A good film is the result of a creative pursuit by a bunch of good friends. The best of Malayalam films have been produced by some of the "best friends" in the industry. The camaraderie shared by them has paved way for several popular as well as classic films in Kerala's movie industry.
These include not only veterans and superstars, but also youngsters and a few newcomers. Let's take a look at what camaraderie has contributed to the growth of Malayalam cinema.
The friendship of the actor-director duo, which started in the early 1980s, has produced some of the evergreen films in Malayalam including "Boeing Boeing", "Aram+Aram=Kinnaram", "Mazha Peyunnu Madhalam Kottunnu", "Chithram", "Thalavattom", "Vellanakalude Nadu", "Vandanam", "Kaalapaani", "Kilukkam" and "Minnaram".
When asked about their three-decade bonhomie, Mohanlal earlier told Mid-day, "There is an unknown chemistry between me and Priyadarshan. Even when we work on Malayalam films he just describes a scene and I understand what he wants from me or what he expects from me. After continually working with the same person it sort of becomes a practice."
However, it is not just the two of them that makes up the camaraderie as the extended friendship circle includes the likes of singer MG Sreekumar, producers Sanal Kumar and Suresh Kumar, actors Mukesh, Jagadeesh, Maniyanpilla Raju and Ashok Kumar.
The actor-director duo, who teamed up for "Geethanjali" in 2013, will be seen next in an international multi-lingual film with a budget of Rs 28 crore.
The screenwriter-director duo of Siddique and Lal was active from the fag-end of the 80s till the mid-90s. The duo, who broke off in 1993, had brought out some of the biggest hits that still have a cult following among Malayalis. These include Ramji Rao Speaking (1989), In Harihar Nagar (1990), Godfather (1991), Vietnam Colony (1992) and Kabooliwala (1993).
Following the split, Lal focused on acting, while Siddique continued as writing screenplays and went on to become an actor.
However, their fans are excited as the duo are making a comeback with "King Liar" starring Dileep and Madonna Sebastian.
The duo had first worked together in "Kattuchembakam" in 2002. Though not the best of friends, they have come together to bring out some of the so-called new generation films including "Cocktail" (2010), Beautiful" (2011) and "Trivandrum Lodge" (2012).
However, the duo has broke up two years ago and rumours are that it is because of the failure of their last two films, "David & Goliath" (2013) and "Hotel California" (2013).
Amal Neerad, Aashiq Abu, Sameer Thahir, Shyju Khalid and Anwar Rasheed
The five former students of Maharaja College in Ernakulam share a two-decade-long camaraderie and they celebrated it with a five-film anthology titled "Anchu Sundarikal" in 2013.
Amal Neerad, Aashiq Abu, Sameer Thahir, Shyju Khalid and Anwar Rasheed directed one film each: "Sethulakshmi", "Isha", "Gauri", "Kullante Bharya" and "Aami".
"We studied almost during the same era in the college. We share some similarities and it is in this college auditorium that we spent many sleepless nights discussing everything under the sun. So opting Maharaja's for the first look of the film was the best bet," The New Indian Express had quoted Amal as saying.
According to the directors, the film was "a collective realisation of sheer brotherhood and camaraderie between them and a celebration of their long friendship."
Alphonse Puthren, Nivin Pauly, Jude Anthany Joseph, Shabareesh Varma and others
The mere mention of these names will remind you of "Premam", the recent popular Malayalam hit film, which broke several box-office records.
"Premam" cast was full of newcomers, most of whom are members of the Aluva-based camaraderie. "Neram" was the first full-length film by the Alphonse-Nivin-led group, which share a friendship of over 12 years.
Director Alphonse Puthren and lyricist Shabareesh Varma had studied together at School of Audio Engineering in Chennai, while the duo met actor Nivin Pauly through a mutual friend at a tea shop.
Also, Jude Anthany Joseph had worked as a software engineer with Nivin at Infosys. Both of them left the Bengaluru-based firm in pursuit of their common passion: Cinema; the same passion that brought together the extended circle of Alphonse, Nivin, Jude, Shabareesh and others.