New Malayalam Cinema 101: 25 Recent Films With Subtitles And Where To Find Them On OTT

You’ve heard of Premam, you’ve might have seen Bangalore Days and you’re nursing a crush on Dulquer Salmaan. How about a few more movies to transform this tiny crush into a full-fledged romance with recent Malayalam cinema?
New Malayalam Cinema 101: 25 Recent Films With Subtitles And Where To Find Them On OTT

Films on Netflix 

Njan Prakashan

Director:  Sathyan Anthikad

This comedy, staring Fahadh Faasil, is about a wily nobody named Prakashan who prefers being called PR Akash. He wants to get rich quick but hard work is never an option. So, when the girl he dumped returns with a high-paying job and an offer to move to Germany, she becomes his golden ticket.  

Sudani From Nigeria 

Set in football-crazy North Kerala, this deeply moving drama takes us into the lives of a local football club manager (Soubin Shahir) and his Nigerian forward after an injury forces both of them into an unlikely friendship.

Angamaly Diaries 

This "hyper local" gangster drama, with a cast consisting entirely of first-timers, is an excellent ode to Goodfellas, the town and people of Angamaly, elaborate single shots and some Kerala-style pork curry (with Chinese potatoes).    


Director: B Ajithkumar

Another film set in politically volatile North Kerala is this modern-day interpretation of Romeo And Juliet. Instead of the Montagues and the Capulets, here we get two star-crossed lovers torn between the extreme right wing politics of Anand's (Shane Nigam) family and the hardcore leftist values of Aishwarya's.      

Director: Manu Ashokan

This sensitive drama is about Pallavi (Parvathy) who dreams of becoming a pilot from her teenage. But when a spurned lover attacks her by throwing acid, her dreams risk being compromised. Will she fly?   

Director: Anoop Sathyan

Though the film requires a certain amount of knowledge about Malayalam cinema to enjoy it thoroughly, this feel-good rom-com is a Malayali's love letter to all things Madras, classic 90's cinema and Shobana, of course. Deceptively deep and touching, most of the film's main characters deserve their own films.


Director: Emcy Joseph

Vikrithy, starring Soubin Shahir and Suraj Venjaramoodu, is a cautionary tale about the misuse of social media. It's not preachy, neither does it pick sides. And that works because any one of us could be the guy committing the crime the film's based on.   

Films on Amazon Prime Video

Director: Anwar Rasheed

This trippy psychological drama is the concoction we get when an ambitious but broken man mixes religion with drugs, aided by corporate money power. Trance demands our complete attention, with every viewing leading to newer theories. 

Director: Sachy

This modern-day Western is a clash of titans unlike any other. What begins with just two people (Ayyappan and Koshi) escalates quickly, dragging everyone around, right from their respective families to the entire village, into a quicksand of male egos. Who wins and who loses? Does it ever matter?   

Director: Aashiq Abu

Essential viewing during lockdown times, this brilliant film gives great insight into the minds of a number of people, right from doctors to the ambulance drivers who came together to control the spread of the deadly Nipah Virus in Kerala.  


Director: Martin Prakkat

This dream-like romance takes us along as  Tessa (Parvathy) discovers, page by page, the magical qualities that make up Charlie (Dulquer) a vagabond with a heart of gold.    

Director: Mathukutty Xavier

A film that can make you freeze even in the height of Indian summer. The survival thriller gets an exceptionally humane makeover when Helen (Anna Ben) finds herself stuck in a restaurant's freezer room. 

Kumbalangi Nights

An instant Malayalam cinema classic, Kumbalangi Nights welcomes us into the doorless house of a broken family of four brothers. What will it take, besides brick and mortar, for this to finally become a home?  

Malayalam cinema's highest-ever grosser is superstar cinema at its finest, a Rolls Royce among star vehicles. With good performances all around, an effective political plot and multiple 'mass' moments that will instantly teach you the art of whistling, Lucifer can make a Mohanlal fanboy out of anyone.

Director:  Khalid Rahman 

The legendary Mammootty plays a cop in this story of a seriously underprepared and under-armed police force sent to Maoist territory, but the film is anything but hero worship. From casteism to bureaucracy, Unda discusses a wide range of topics, each of them with a peculiar insight.

Director: M Padmakumar

 A broken man, who has lost everyone that matters to him, reports to duty as a policeman for one last time. Let alone happiness, can this case somehow give the man an ounce of relief?  

Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery

 A bull that is ready for butchering runs amok, getting every person in the village involved in one way or the other. Who is man and who is the beast becomes a question, but at a time like this, the film can become a goldmine of new readings and meanings. 

Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery

The last LJP film in this list is the darkest of comedies, and it takes off from the death of a father who has but one dream…a grand funeral. As we see his son's desperate attempts to give his father his dream, what we see is Murphy's Law in full glory. 

Disney + Hotstar

Director: Anjali Menon

The ICYMI film or the Gateway film to new Malayalam cinema is Bangalore Days, with the biggest of star casts. It gets everything right, from comedy, romance, drama and the one emotion that unites every Indian… love for family.   

Director: Ahammed Khabeer

This sweet coming-of-age story of a girl named June appeals to that warm fuzzy part in all our hearts. It is light, it is fun, but it's also filled with a unique charm that lingers.

Director: Alphonse Putharen

The OTHER gateway film or the most iconic romance of the last decade is one that made Nivin Pauly an instant sensation. Set across three time periods (like the three stages of a butterfly's life cycle) we live through George as he falls in love with Mary (Anupama), Malar (Sai Pallavi) and Celine (Madonna Sebastian).  


Director: Amal Neerad

A creepy AF home invasion drama, this film throws out the notion that all picturesque small towns are filled with people with hearts of gold. From moral policing to shady perverts standing right outside your window, Varathan is a horror film that's all too real. 

North 24 Kaatham

Director: Anil Radhakrishnan Menon

A man with chronic OCD (Fahadh Faasil) joins two others on a hartal day to travel across the length of the State in an odd 'trio' road movie with a uniquely indie spirit.  



Director: Aashiq Abu

This tribute to French classic Breathless is a back and forth journey into the beautifully complex relationship of Appu (Aishwarya Lekshmi) and Mathan (Tovino Thomas). A trueblue romance for the ages, Maayanadhi has the power to melt even the hardest of people.   


Director: Abrid Shine

A self-described love letter to Indian cricket and Sachin Tendulkar, 1983 is the story of a father and his son finally finding common ground. If you're looking for a reference, 1983 is a lot like Dangal, but winning here is not as important as the love for the game.   

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