1. Azhakiya Ravanan
A rich businessman tries to buy love in this comedy of errors.
Written by Sreenivasan and directed by Kamal, this movie starring Mammotty was a runaway hit thanks to a tight screenplay, stellar cast and a story that makes you fall in love with the hero’s grey shades. With music composed by Vidyasagar, the movie went on to win three National Awards for Lyricist, Music Director and Female Singer.
Spook yourself with this psycho thriller that still remains one of the best horror films ever made.
Shobana in what can be declared her finest, delivers a nuanced performance as a mentally disturbed young lady. In a movie starring Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi, she clearly steals the show. Considered director Fazil’s best, the movie was remade into several Indian languages. Chandramukhi in Tamil and Bhool Bhulaiyaa in Hindi were the most notable ones. All the remakes also went on to become blockbusters.
3. Meesa Madhavan
How about an endearing tale of an ‘honest’ thief who gives you a fair warning before robbing you?
Dileep became a bankable star after the release of this blockbuster that starred Malayalam industry’s most popular comedy actors including Jagathy, Mala and Harisree Asokan. This was yet another Lal Jose movie out and out! This movie was also remade into Telugu and Kannada.
A hasty wedding of passion fizzles out with a family honeymoon in this story about a man who can never get anything right.
Sreenivasan’s stories hardly go wrong. And when they get directed by Priyadarshan, what you get are masterpieces you’ll never forget. Urvashi and Mohanlal play a newly married couple, slowly losing their love, in the humdrum of daily life. The company Mohanlal attempts to start ‘Dakshayani Biscuits’ has been referenced multiple times in several movies and is part of popular culture even today.
5. Vietnam Colony
A man leads an uprising only to betray his own people! Will he change his mind?
Mohanlal plays yet another character with shades of grey as he tries to con an entire colony of residents with the help of Innocent. Whether he redeems himself or not is explained in a tight climax that leaves you at the edge of your seat. Written and directed by Siddique-Lal, this was one of the last few movies they directed together, before breaking off.
This game of deceit, betrayal and errors, is far more entertaining than any game of thrones!
Another comedy of errors from Priyadarshan, this movie is remembered for its timeless songs. This was also one of the highest grossing movies, collecting 3 crores back in 1988 itself. Mohanlal and Ranjini play a fake couple in the movie, eventually falling for each other.
A mysterious phone call changes the life of three friends. Do they rise up to the occasion?
Directed by then debutants Siddique-Lal, this movie not only spawned two equally hit sequels, but was also remade into several other Indian languages. The most notable was Hera Pheri and its sequels in Hindi. Mannar Mathai Speaking and Mannar Mathai Speaking 2 are the two other Malayalam sequels that were made. This also remains the first movie where AR Rahman programmed a song ‘Kalikalam’ sung by SPB.
Will peace ever prevail in this house with siblings who have opposing political ideologies?
A Sathyan Anthikkad masterpiece, this movie dabbled with political satire and dark comedy with so much class and sensitivity. It was also featured on IBN Live’s 100 Greatest Indian Films of All Time. Written by Sreenivasan, the movie was also remade into Tamil ‘Veettai Paar Naattai Paar’.
No. Nothing to do with the Hollywood Godfather. But a cult movie in its own right.
Winning the State Award for best popular film, this movie was another blockbuster directed by Siddique Lal. Chronicling the enmity between two warring families, this story touched upon love as the solution for everything. Kanaka made her debut with this movie that broke several collection records in Kerala.
If Bun Hanuman doesn’t make you laugh, then there are plenty more such avatars in this laugh riot.
Dileep is at his comic best as he plays a simpleton cook who tries desperately to impress a girl he likes. Directed by Shafi, the movie was a huge commercial success, and spawned a Telugu remake Kalyanaramudu.