Malayalam Cinema has been seeing some praise in the recent years for the kind of movies that it has been producing, including themes that are seen progressive by many. In 2021, films like Operation Java, Biriyani, The Great Indian Kitchen, Nayattu, Kala, Joji et al have been receiving quite the acclaim not only within the Malayali audiences, but also thanks to an extended reach due to OTT releases, beyond the state borders. But as is always the case, there are also some bad eggs in the stable. Jayasurya Birthday Special: 7 Memorable Times the Malayalam Actor Impressed Us With His Negative Portrayals.

In the case of some of the rotten eggs, the disappointment is bigger considering the names and the hype surrounding these films. Movies of huge stars like Mammootty, Mohanlal, Prithviraj Sukumaran et al that came out in 2021 have been kind of letdowns in their own ways.

In this year-ender feature, we look at the seven Malayalam films of 2021 that disappointed us big time.


Mukesh and Aju Varghese in Tsunami

This adult comedy, starring Innocent, Mukesh, Aju Varghese and Balu Varghese (who at least acquitted himself with Operation Java and Jan-e-Man), may not have superstars in the cast. But the level of disappointment is caused because of those who were behind the camera. Lal and his son La Jr came together to direct this exercise in crassness that served juvenile humour and misogynism which we thought Malayalam cinema had left behind in the wake of far more progressive cinema. Tsunami Movie Review: Mukesh and Balu Varghese’s Comedy Film Is One Weak Joke Stretched for Two Hours!


Mammootty in One

One, directed by Santhosh Viswanath, can be seen as Mammootty's feeble  answer to Mohanlal's Lucifer. A protagonist with deep political connections who is both feared and respected. A huge roster of supporting cast, and the tremendous buildup for the lead character before we finally get to see him in person. Only that One, despite the promise in the premise and its attempt to throw light on Right to Recall act, loses itself in its superstar-pandering and a loose script that never rises after the initial dazzle. One Movie Review: Mammootty’s Political Thriller Loses an Important Discussion in Its Slo-Mo Idol Gazing.

Cold Case

Prithviraj in Cold Case

An investigative thriller that also is a horror film, Cold Case had the benefits of two very interesting genres and a dashing Prithviraj in the lead. While the investigative part of the movie, directed by Tanu Balak, is decent enough, it is the horror aspect of the film that didn't impress us, more so because it is stuck in the cliches that we are have grown tired of recent haunted house movies. Cold Case Movie Review: Prithviraj Sukumaran and Aditi Balan's Spooky Mystery Thriller is Bogged Down By Predictable Twists.


Prithviraj in Bhramam

Another Prithviraj movie that makes it to this list is the remake of the Hindi film AndhaDhun that no one asked for. While Ravi K Chandran has managed to adapt the movie efficiently with a few localised changes, it falters greatly when set against the huge yardstick of the Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer. The director flourishes that made AndhaDhun such a smart black comedy are truly missing here, making us wonder why even take the effort to adapt when you can watch the original on the same OTT platform. Bhramam Movie Review: Prithviraj Sukumaran and Mamta Mohandas’ Remake is a Needless But Faithful Adaptation of AndhaDhun.

Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham

Grace Antony and Nivin Pauly in Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham

Nivin Pauly has gained a good set of admirers beyond the Kerala borders with his stupendous performance in Moothon. His production, Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham, however, has him give one of his weakest performances in the same range as his last comedy Love Action Drama. KKK, directed by Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval, is not without its good points. The black comic premise had potential, and some of its cast-members like Grace Antony, Vinay Forrt, are quite excellent. But the writing and its forced attempts to generate laughter renders KKK a major disappointment considering it comes from the director of the poignant Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25Kanakam Kamini Kalaham Movie Review: Grace Antony Is the True Star of This Unusual Nivin Pauly Comedy That Doesn’t Always Deliver the Goods!


Dulquer Salmaan in Kurup

Okay, first things first. Dulquer Salmaan is impressive as the titular fugitive, and the middle act involving the recreates the events that preceded and succeeded the murder of Chacko is Kurup's best portion (helped by a scene-stealing performance by Shine Tom Chacko). It is what comes before and then follows this middle act, that makes Kurup nothing more than a one-time watch, despite its ambition and polished treatment. Less said about the lazy, twist-filled epilogue that is clearly inspired by Lucifer (Prithviraj, what have you done?), the better. Kurup Movie Review: Dulquer Salmaan’s Panache in Playing the Anti-Hero Doesn’t Extend to Its Lumbering Screenplay.

Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham

Mohanlal in Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham

Say what you about the other movies in this list, but nothing can beat the colossal disappointed than this boring magnum opus directed by Priyadarshan. Lavishly mounted but poorly written, the movie nearly wastes some big names in the cast and even makes a brilliant actor like Mohanlal feel like a sore thumb in his own movie. Marakkar was such a disappointment, that many began to question the credentials of the National Award jury who awarded the movie as the Best Film of 2020 (it was censored last year). But then, the jury has been continually dropping some deuces for the past few years with its choice of winners.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 16, 2021 07:13 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website