From 'Vellimoonga' to 'Samooham': Check out these Malayalam movies to fuel your election spirits

Election movies
Posters of politics-based movies. Photo: IMDb

Kerala is currently immersed in the election fervour with the Puthuppally by-polls underway. To ignite your election spirit during this season, here are a few movies worth watching.

In the Dileep starrer 'Lion', the audience are drawn into the complex world of Balagangadhara Menon, the Education Minister, and his ambitious son, B. Krishnakumar (Dileep). Amidst a web of family dynamics and corrupt political dealings, Menon's desire to become Chief Minister leads to turmoil and protests. As the political landscape shifts, Unni emerges as a beacon of integrity, unravelling deep-seated corruption and bringing about a transformation that challenges the very foundation of power. With an engaging narrative and compelling characters, 'Lion' delivers a thought-provoking message that leadership is defined by action, not position.

Sthalathe Pradhana Payyans
'Sthalathe Pradhana Payyans', a 1993 Malayalam-language political thriller directed by Shaji Kailas and penned by Renji Panicker, delves into the socio-political landscape of 1990s Kerala. This commercially successful film fearlessly scrutinizes the political establishment, shedding light on its hidden dynamics, and consequently, it faced vehement opposition from various political factions. Jagadish's portrayal of an ordinary man thrust into the role of the state's Home Minister resonated strongly with the audience, marking a significant turning point in his career, previously dominated by comedic roles.

In the 2014 film 'Vellimoonga', directed by Jibu Jacob and featuring Biju Menon, political satire takes centre stage. The story revolves around Maamachan, an unmarried politician in his forties, affiliated with a relatively lesser-known political party. Maamachan's character is driven by ambition and a thirst for power, leading him to run for MLA elections. 'Vellimoonga' is an absolute crowd-pleaser, with Biju Menon's portrayal of Maamachan stealing the spotlight. The film's depiction of election rallies and the clever tactics employed make it a delightful and entertaining watch.

Bhoomyile Rajakkanmar
'Bhoomiyile Rajakkanmar' is a 1987 political thriller directed by Thampi Kannanthanam and written by Dennis Joseph. The movie stars Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Nalini, Balan K. Nair, Adoor Bhasi, Jagadish, and Jagathy Sreekumar in pivotal roles. The film revolves around the scion of the Thekkumkoor royal family, Valiya Thamburan, who endeavours to introduce his heir, Mahendra Varma, to the world of democracy. However, Mahendra Varma initially lacks political acumen and is uninterested in politics. To change this, Valiya Thamburan resorts to bribery to secure a ministerial position for Mahendra Varma in the existing government. Once in power, Mahendra Varma seeks independence from the Chief Minister's influence and joins forces with his friend Jayan to challenge the political status quo and work towards a better future for the state.

'Unda' a 2019 black comedy film directed by Khalid Rahman and featuring Mammootty in the lead role, revolves around the story of a nine-man police unit from Kerala led by Sub-inspector Manikandan C P (Mammootty). They embark on an election duty assignment in a Maoist-prone area in Chhattisgarh. Their initial impression of calm and tranquillity on the first day gives way to stark reality when a shootout occurs the following day, revealing the imminent dangers they must confront. In their initial excitement, they exhaust all but eight of their limited ammunition supply, making the daunting task of ensuring peaceful elections ahead even more challenging

'Samooham' is a compelling political drama directed by Sathyan Anthikad, featuring Suhasini and Suresh Gopi in the lead roles. The film revolves around Rajalakshmi, a beloved politician deeply engaged in numerous social initiatives. However, her personal life takes a hit when her partner abandons her due to her demanding political commitments. Addressing the relatively unexplored theme of women in politics in Malayalam cinema, Suhasini's portrayal of Rajalakshmi shines, making 'Samooham' a standout film in this genre.

Lal Salam
'Lal Salam', a 1990 political drama directed by Venu Nagavalli, boasts a stellar cast including Mohanlal, Murali, Geetha, and Urvashi. The film's narrative delves into the lives of three dedicated comrades, Sakhavu Stephen Nettooran (Mohanlal, inspired by Varghese Vaidyan), Sakhavu D.K. Antony (Murali, inspired by T. V. Thomas), and Sakhavu Sethulakshmi (Geetha, inspired by K. R. Gowri Amma), tracing their journey before and after the imprisonment, as devoted members of the Communist Party of India (CPI).

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