Since picking up the best 5 Malayalam movies of 2017 on the basis of aesthetic appeal and innovation is relatively difficult and subjective in nature, this round-up has an attached list of runners-up. Be it filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's milestone win of the prestigious Tiger Award at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, or the still fuming, controversial actress abduction case, Mollywood had no shortfall of filmy stuff in the year 2017.
The year witnesses more youngsters proliferated into all departments of filmmaking and the result was a bunch of movies that transgress and transform the genre conventions and societal norms.
Quite naturally, some of those movies and their makers found themselves locked horns with either the authorities or the groups with various interests.
When Dileesh Pothen teamed up with Fahadh Faasil for their ultra-realistic cat and mouse game, Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, the movie stole the viewers' hearts and rang money in the cash registers. The movie, which told the interconnected lives of a thief, a young couple and a group of policemen caught in a stalemate, was hailed by critics for its realistic narration, power-packed performances and Dileesh Pothen's keen eye for details.
Lijo Jose Pellissery effortlessly drew a character sketch of Ankamaly, a small town in Kerala, using the rivalry and the resulting gang wars between two local gangs. He even dared to launch 86 new faces as the key characters in Angamaly. The movie was notable for its playfulness, eagerness to capture all the local flavours of the town and stunning technical aspects.
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's most controversial, Tiger Award winner S Durga has been in the headlines ever since it was announced. The movie was targeted for its provocative title and explosive content. The movie juxtaposes the contrasting lives of women as a goddess and a victim through the journey of a couple in a desolate night in the company some rogues.
Editor-turned-filmmaker Mahesh Narayan's debut directorial venture, Take off, is an ambitious take on the unprecedented evacuation of a group of Indian Nurses stranded in the ISIS occupied Iraq. The movie not just caught the top spot in the collection reports, but also earned its lead actress, Parvathy, the coveted Best Actor (Female) prize at the recently wrapped up International Film Festival of India.
Even though it hit the screens in the last leg of the year, Mayaanadhi stole the heart of the social media for its intense portrayal of love, loss, and pain, unfolding in the backdrop of contemporary Kerala society. The movie instantly became a social media darling for Aashiq Abu's sensible treatment of a sensitive theme and the stunning performance of the lead pair, Tovino Thomas and Aishwarya Lekshmi.
Along with the changing wind in Mollywood, new filmmakers and writers dared to venture into untold stories and never-seen-before characters. Movies like Parava (Soubin Shahir), Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela (Althaf Salim), Comrade in America (Amal Neerad), Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu (Raman Premed), Gotha (Basil Joseph), Taranga (Dominic Arum), and Y (Sunil Ibrahim) also share the general air of freshness and experimentation prevailing at various levels.