India@75 | Mollywood movies set in the backdrop of freedom struggle

Movie posters of the classic films. Photos: IMDB
Movie posters of the classic films. Photos: IMDB

India celebrates its 75th Independence Day on Monday. As flags fly high and the spirit of India gains fervour, we look at some of the movies made in Mollywood set in the background of India's freedom struggle.



Directed by I V Sasi, '1921' is a raw depiction of the Moplah Rebellion. Two men, corporal Khader (Mammootty) and Unnikrishnan, a hard line national (Suresh Gopi), join forces to fight the British troops in an uprising led by Variamkunnath Kunjahammad Haji ( T G Ravi). The movie is said to be one of the biggest films in Mammootty's career. As Kunjahammad Haji is seen as a controversial figure by some and a hero by others, the movie was acknowledged for not taking sides. It is also one of the films in Mollywood which displayed the brute force of the British empire at its peak. All the actors put up amazing performances in the film, which was peppered with hair-raising dialogues penned by T Damodaran.



Directed by Priyadarshan, the movie opens our eyes to the sufferings of the political prisoners who are lodged in Andaman's notorious Cellular Jail (Kaalapani). The movie revolves around Govardhan, a doctor (played by Mohanlal), who is falsely accused of bombing a train and then exiled to Kaalapani for several years. The heartless warden David in 'Kaalapani' shadows the treatment by Britons in British-ruled India of Indians who opposed their regime. The movie is rated among the best movies set in pre-Independent India.



'Veeraputhran' directed by P T Kunju Muhammed narrates the tale of Mohammed Abdul Rahiman, an anti-colonial activist who was an influential force in fighting the British. As the president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee and an editor of a Malayalam daily, he tried to instill in nationalism among the masses. The failures and struggles as a leader and his sacrifice for the nation have been depicted in the movie, which is headlined by Narain.


'Kerala Varma Pazhasshi Raja'

The Mammootty-starrer, which was scripted by M T Vasudevan Nair and directed by Hariharan, is an epic historical drama. It revolves around the life of Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, the king who fought the British Raj, especially after the East India Company failed to follow a treaty which was signed for the welfare of his people. The big-budget movie depicted the heroism of the king who fought till his last breath. It went on to become a critical and commercial success.


'Iyobinte Pusthakam'

The movie set in a per-Independence era centres around a rich family, which owns tea plantations, led by the patriarch Iyob (played by Lal). The power-hungry ruthless man is an over-bearing influence on two of his like-minded sons. However, Aloshy, the youngest son played by Fahadh, is kind like his mother. Aloshy leaves the household due to the brutality of his brothers and joins the British Navy after several years. However, he is a man of a different sensibility and wants to become part of India's Independence struggle.

The entire setting depicting the equations of a family in a colonial period has been beautifully captured and is one of Amal Neerad's best works.

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