The Malayalam film industry, popularly known as Mollywood is a rare breed house of impeccable talents, and over the past five decades, the state has produced some of the best movies in the country. However, the recent trend in Mollywood does not seems promising, as most of the young filmmakers are busy making ultra-realistic movies with no commercial elements.

No in and out entertainers, only realistic films

The obsession of new-generation Mollywood filmmakers towards realistic movies began in 2016 when Maheshinte Prathikaram, directed by Dileesh Pothan. Even though Maheshinte Prathikaram was a classic movie, the success of the film made several filmmakers believe that the only way to produce blockbusters in the state is by making ultra-realistic movies with very few commercial elements.

Over the past four years, only a handful of realistic movies tasted success at the theaters, and it includes the much-appreciated Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum and Virus. Despite a few noted films, most of the films labeled as realistic literally bombed at the box-office.

KGF Mollywood
Mammotty, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, and YashYouTube/Collage made via Photoscape

Mollywood was once such a fabulous industry where movies of all genres were made. In the 90s, directors like Siddique-Lal, Priyadarshan, and Rafi Mecartin competed to craft in and out comedy entertainers. In the same timespan, filmmakers like Shaji Kailas, Joshy, and K Madhu were busy making mindblowing action entertainers with Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, and Mammootty in the lead. On the other hand, filmmakers including Sathyan Anthikkadu, Faasil, Sibi Malayil, and Lohithadas made family entertainers, and those were the golden days of Mollywood.

However, as realistic films started dominating the industry, Mollywood became deprived of new ideas, and directors stopped exploring various genres of filmmaking. Even though films like Jallikkattu is a necessity for any industry to widen its horizon, it will become mere repetition if several directors start copying the raw filmmaking style of Lijo Jose Pallissery.

Mass entertainers needed to make the industry big

Even in this flood of ultra-realistic movies, it was Mohanlal and Prithviraj who stood up and proclaimed the vitality of making commercial entertainers. In 2019, Lucifer was released, and it became the first Mollywood movie to gross more than Rs 200 crores at the box-office. The success of Lucifer is an example of how a mass entertainer made with an uncompromising cinematic language can change the dimension of an industry. With wide-angle frames and top-notch direction, Prithviraj crafted a movie that has the capability to impress Pan Indian audiences.

KGF, Prashanth Neel and Yash: Study material to Mollywood

It was around a few hours back that the official teaser of KGF: Chapter 2 was released. The teaser was welcomed warmly by the viewers, and within a day, it became one of the most liked teasers ever released on YouTube.

The success of the KGF franchise should open the eyes of Mollywood filmmakers who are obsessed with realistic movies, which will impress only a small section of audiences. When KGF was released in 2018, Yash was just a film actor known only among Sandalwood audiences, while director Prashanth Neel had experience of directing only one movie in the past, which is Uggram.

The success of KGF changed the career of both Yash and Prashanth Neel. As KGF became a huge blockbuster, entire movie buffs in the nation started noticing films that are being released in Sandalwood. In short, the success of KGF literally played a crucial role in reviving the Sandalwood industry, and now, producers are ready to invest crores to make movies with a Pan-India appeal.


Even though Mollywood has its fair share of Pan-Indian movies in the past, most of these flicks were from the 90s which had either Mohanlal, Mammootty, or Suresh Gopi in the lead roles. The only hope now lies in Marakkar: Arabikkadalinte Simham, directed by Priyadarshan. The film has Mohanlal in the lead role, and it is being made with a mammoth budget of Rs 100 crore. If this movie becomes a success, it may encourage more filmmakers to make movies targeting Pan-Indian audiences.