Many Malayalam filmmakers have made a name for themselves by consistently delivering content in a specific genre. Some of them have dared to switch genres and explore the craft. Some have managed to create absolute marvels, others have flopped drastically, while others have had us praising the way they’ve tried to handle the genre. In no particular order, here are six Malayalam filmmakers who have dared to venture into the thriller genre and have amazed us with their skills.
Vineeth Sreenivasan (Thira)
If there’s anyone who can bring slice-of-life stories to viewers in a relatable way, it’s undoubtedly Vineeth Sreenivasan. He has a special ability to write characters and stories that are rooted in reality. He also pays great attention to the music in his film, which increases the film’s quality and popularity. So when we heard Vineeth would be directing a thriller titled Thirawe were pretty shocked.
Originally planned as a trilogy Thira is a thriller that deals with the subject of human trafficking. Co-written with his cousin Rakesh Mantodi, Vineeth does an excellent job of designing this film. The various filming techniques he employed were absolutely phenomenal to watch. In addition, he also brought out one of Dhyan Sreenivasan’s best acting performances. Although the film had an overwhelming run in theaters, the film gained popularity over time. Vineeth has certainly proven himself as a director of thriller films, and we would certainly want to see him directing a theme like this many times.
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Johny Antony (champion)
Johny Antony is a filmmaker who has given some of the best evergreen comedy in Malayalam including CID Moosa, Kochi Rajavu, etc. Known for his filmography which has some form of humor in it, we all expected Johny Antony to stick to the same genre and deliver hits. However, in 2012 he left his comfortable genre and ventured into the thriller realm with the film Prithviraj Sukumaran-Sasikumar master.
The film is about mysterious serial murders that give no clue as to the killer or the reason behind the murders. Johny Antony did a great job handling Jinu V Abraham’s excellent script. He approached the film subtly and managed to keep the intensity of the script. His abilities as a filmmaker were evident in this film and makes one want to see him direct more thrillers if he decides to make a comeback in film directing.
Midhun Manuel Thomas Anjaam Pathira
Anjaam Pathira Considered one of Mollywood’s best crime thrillers. But many were surprised to know that the writer and director of this movie was Midhun Manuel Thomas who is best known for his comedies like The Aadu franchise, Alamaara, and Ann Mariya Kalipilaanu. He was also a screenwriter for Ohm Shanti Oshana. With a knack for writing comedy-rich subjects that serve as perfect entertainers, no one expected Midhun to write a perfect thriller with no logical loopholes. The way he structured the story, building the suspense and keeping up the thrill, it was clear that the filmmaker in him could handle the genre very well. It made us all curious to see the announced sequel, Aaram Pathira.
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Jis Joy (Innale Vare)
Jis Joy is a filmmaker who is the go-to person for anything that has a feel-good element. He’s able to beautifully wrap heartwarming moments and intricately weave them together into a brilliant story. There’s a philosophical element to his films that never really overdoes it or to the extent that it becomes preachy. The last person we all thought would venture into the thriller genre was Jis Joy. However, he surprised us all when he announced his first thriller film titled Internal Vare.
This Jis Joy thriller, centered around the kidnapping of a well-known and troubled movie star, wasn’t really the best of the genre, but it really surprises viewers with how it handles the genre. The story was very generic and cliche to a certain extent, but Jis Joy successfully manages to create an exciting and intriguing atmosphere for viewers.
Nadirshah gained notoriety for his work in comedy and mimicry. From introducing several talented artists and technicians into the industry to building the childhood memories of several individuals, Nadirshah’s contribution is most remarkable. When he announced he would direct a film, many were skeptical about the decision. However, he proved his naysayers wrong by delivering a goal in the form of Amar Akbar Anthony. He then announced that his next project, Eesho, would be a downright thriller. This came as quite a surprise to many of us as Nadirshah is synonymous with comedy. Although the film didn’t live up to the set standards of a perfect thriller, it proved that Nadirshah is a filmmaker who has the skills to handle the genre efficiently.
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Here is my pick of the various Malayalam filmmakers who have ventured into the thriller realm and amazed us with their ability to handle the genre. Although some of them had given us mediocre films, they proved their worth as filmmakers and made us curious about their upcoming films in this genre. Who do you think should be on the list? Mention them in the comments below.