Malayalam films before the OTT era

Malayalam films before the OTT era

“I watch Malayalam movies!” was once considered an offensive statement among Telugu film viewers. We don’t need to explain why. Even though there were actors like Mammootty and Mohanlal and their films were dubbed and remade in Telugu, there was a time when Malayalam films were synonymous with adult films in rural Andhra Pradesh.

Time has changed! Watching Malayali movies has now become an elegant pastime among Telugu people. However, I started watching Malayali films even before the OTT era. The first Malayali film I watched on TV was ‘Sargam’!”

It stunned me with its shocking storytelling and exceptional acting skills. As a 12 year old boy who spends his summer vacation just watching TV, I watched this movie by chance! It left me amazed. Vineeth, Rambha and Manoj K Jayan starred in the film and the ending was tragic and shocking. The storytelling and camerawork also stand out from classic films. This film sparked my interest in Malayali films.

At that time, cable operators offered non-Telugu channels, while DTH offered complete packages of South channels. As a movie buff who is passionate about watching movies, I often watched Malayali channels like Surya and Asianet. Watching these channels regularly, I discovered some interesting facts about Malayali films!

While watching, I noticed many Malayali films which reminded me of Telugu films. In one film, Mammootty has five sisters and his name is “Hitler”. I learned that Chiranjeevi’s ‘Hitler’ was a remake of Mammootty. Once I watched a comedy-drama called ‘Chronic Bachelors’ on the same hero, which was also remade in Telugu. These trivial facts became a more interesting topic for me at that moment!

Chandralekha, Manichithrathazhu, Chitram, Vandanam, Spadikam and In Harihar Nagar, God Father – and many more. These are the hit Malayali films that I used to watch on Sundays during my college days. They have all been remade in Telugu with big stars!

On the other hand, Telugu newspapers have featured various popular Malayali films. Telugu newspapers and weeklies offer extensive coverage of Malayali films, including detailed biographies of actors like Mammootty and Mohanlal, as well as information on directors such as Fazil, Priyadarshan, Siddique and Lal. They also explain the storyline of their films. Telugu media regularly promotes Malayali films, including crime dramas starring Suresh Gopi and Priyadarshan comedies.

Some Telugu producers, known for their good taste, have remade small Malayali films and also created masterpieces in Telugu. For example, “In Harihar Nagar” was remade in Telugu as “Madhura Nagarilo” and is considered a classic. Producers S. Gopal Reddy, director SV Krishna Reddy and another producer, Sravanthi Ravi Kishore, have frequently remade Malayali films in Telugu.

Gopal Reddy has remade a Malayali film under the name ‘Allaripilla’. SVK has dubbed and remade various Malayali films. Sravanthi Ravikishore remade the film Sargam in Telugu as Sarigamalu. Other films like Hanuman Junction, Dhanalakshmi I Love You, Dongodu, Maa Balaji and Bhagyalakshmi Bumper Draw are also based on Malayalam films and are considered comedy classics.

Event cinemas are one of the specialties of Malayali cinema, just like Steven Spielberg’s films. The Malayali industry adapted this style very early.

This is the brilliance of Malayali cinema and its lasting impact on my cinematic experience, even before the OTT era.

Jeevan Reddy B

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News Source : www.greatandhra.com

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