It might be easy for an actor to express his emotions, but making others laugh is definitely not the cup of tea for all, that makes comedy genre a difficult one to handle. However, Malayalam entertainment industry has few good comedy movies to boast that have fresh humour content and plot entertaining the audience.
If we take the example of the comedy entertainers released in the past three years, we see quite a lot of successful projects that were opened to fabulous response from the audience.
It was in 2014 when Jibu Jacob released Vellimoonga giving a break to actor Biju Menon as the hero of the political satire that turned a surprise hit in Mollywood. The movie, which was opened to tremendous response from Keralites was the second highest grossing Malayalam film of the year.
However, 2015 was a fabulous year for Mollywood with the release of handful blockbusters and comedy entertainments. The movies, including Oru Vadakkan Selfie, Chandrettan Evideya, Premam, Jamna Pyari, Kunjiramayanam, Amar Akbar Anthony, Two Countries and Adi Kapyare Kootamani entertained the movie-goers with fresh humour content. Apart from earning tremendous business, these movies are also tagged as the best comedy entertainers in Malayalam in the recent times. In 2016, the movies like Happy Wedding, Pretham and Thoppil Joppan were also well received by the audience.
The audience are now awaiting the release of Nadhirshah's second directorial venture Kattapanayile Hrithik Roshan, which stars scriptwriter Vishnu Unnikrishnan in the lead roles. The movie is expected to perform well at the box office as the filmmaker's debut movie Amar Akbar Anthony remains as one of the best comedy films in Malayalam.
Why Malayalam has good comedy entertainers?
"We have grown up seeing good comedy movies in Malayalam, be it a horror movie or thriller, filmmakers used to attach come sort of humour in them to entertain the audience. Moreover, Kerala is the place where Kunjan Nambiar lived, a place where mimicry and cartoon received tremendous response that shows how important comedy is for us. Compared to other states and languages, I think people in Kerala welcome humour, which is an area that has worked out well in Malayalam movies. May be that's why more filmmakers come up with such movies. Also, we all like to laugh and watching these movies are the best way for that," Dileesh Pothan, director of Maheshinte Prathikaaram told International Business Times, India.
Humour sense of Keralites
Keralites are a group of people, who are considered to have good humour sense and keen observers, who can find comedy in almost everything they come across. It is evident from the memes that surface online whenever some issues broke out. Recently, when Narendra Modi scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes in a attempt to uproot corruption and black money in India, Keralites had come up with many creative memes that had gone viral on social media.
"Even if it is a serious matter, we Keralites are very good in coming up with creative memes that are hilarious. There are few Facebook pages like International Chalu Union and Troll Malayalam, which I check on a regular basis just to laugh. They always have hilarious memes," Ann Sebastian says.
"We have quite a lot of good scriptwriters, who know the pulse of the audience. They can come up with comedies that will make us laugh and think. There might be good writers in other languages, but I don't think they can beat Keralties when it comes to humour," Mukesh Krishna says.
Apart from the good scripting, what makes a comedy movie entertaining is the performance of talented comedians, who have the caliber to deliver the comedies effectively. Comedians including Jagathy, Jagadeesh, Mukesh, Salim Kumar, Dileep, Suraj Venjarumoodu, Indrans, Harishree Ashokan, Innocent, Ramesh Pisharody, Aju Varghese among many others are the assets of the industry these days.
"I really miss seeing Jagathy in Malayalam movies now, he is definitely one of the best comedians in Malayalam," Sreekumar T said when asked about his favourite comedian.
We have a bunch of good comedians, whose presence in a movie itself will assure that it will be a comedy entertainer. But if these same comedians take up serious roles, they transform to totally different people, and the performance of National Film Award winning actors Salim Kumar or Suraj Venjarumoodu is an example for that.
Majority of the audience prefer spending a happy time in theatres than watching a serious movie. "In this busy life, if a movie can make me laugh at least for two hours, that helps me a lot. So I always prefer watching comedy entertainers in theatres," Gokul Suresh says. It has to be noted that even politicians in Kerala accept films that mock politics.
Disclaimer: Some of the movies listed here would not be in the favourite movie list of many readers, but these are the films that have got good response and support when asked to a group of people.