In this list are Malayalam films that didn’t light up the box office, or even receive awards from critics. Nevertheless, on the right day and when you are in the right mood, these movies can tell you beautiful tales that lie somewhere between quirky and intense. And the best part is, they are all streaming online.
1) Varnyathil Aashanka (MX Player): In a village in central Kerala live four thieves with their own distinctive brand of quirkiness. When they attempt to rob a local jewellery shop, they are joined by another fascinating character, Dayanandan. He is a slacker who keeps getting short shrift from his wife but eventually turns out to be the craftiest of the lot. Once there he quickly turns the tables in his favour. Directed by Sidharth Bharathan and written by Thrissur Gopalji, it is the element of surprise, spontaneous humour and unexpected thrills that keep us excitedly invested in this heist thriller, supported by some superb performances from Suraj Venjaramoodu, Kunchacko Boban and Shine Tom Chacko. It’s unfortunate that the film never got the audience it deserved.
2) Lukka Chuppi (MX Player): After 14 years, a college reunion brings together six friends at a quaint resort where they let their hair down, reviving days of yore, friendship, and love. While their spouses get accustomed to their partners’ friends, the friends are going deeper into their own lives as there are unresolved issues between them. The narrative gradually allows us to warm up to the characters and their complexities. There is Raghuram (Jayasurya), who is in the middle of a marital discord; Sidharth (Murali Gopy) who still has not gotten over his college sweetheart; Rafeek (Joju George) who is kept on a tight leash by his wife; Felix, a priest; Radhika the college heartthrob; and Benny, who drives a rickshaw. A great debut by Bash Mohammed (written by Gafoor Arackkal) that never got its due. Perhaps the cheesy title proved to be a deterrent.
3) Artist (Amazon Prime Video): In this...