Wednesday, January 12

Worst Movies of 2010 - Malayalam

This is an attempt to compile 10 of the worst movies of  2010, from among the ones I had to subject myself to. There have been umpteen number of terrible films which got released this year, but thankfully I managed to stay away from them. So these are the 10 which I felt were the worst among what I've seen. And this is my personal opinion and need not coincide with any one of yours. 

10. In Ghost House Inn
Director - Lal
Producers - Lal, PN Venugopal
Cast - Mukesh, Siddique, Jagadish, Ashokan, Nedumudi Venu, Radhika, Harisree Ashokan
Writer - Lal

Lal made 4 of Malayalam Cinema's favourite characters come back on screen in 2009 with 2 Harihar Nagar and even though it was nowhere close to the original, people enjoyed the antics of the 4 in their middle age. And seeing the success of that one, Lal decided to stretch it into another sequel, which turned out to be In Ghosthouse Inn. Advertised as a horror comedy, this movie killed the spirit of Mahadevan, Govindan Kutty, Appukkuttan and Thomas Kutty. It was full of lewd, lame jokes and absurd sequences and the character of Appukkuttan was made like he was the dumbest person on earth. Harisree Ashokan's toilet scene was a disgrace to anything and everything director Lal had made before this. The twist at the end was the only redeeming factor, but even that was expected considering Lal's fascination for unexpected twists. (Which apparently he continued creating in his next flick Tournament, which I havent seen yet). We hope that the foursome are left alone now in our memories of the 1990 classic - In Harihar Nagar

9. Pokkiri Raja
Director - Vysakh
Producer - Tomichan Mulakuppadam
Cast - Mammootty, Prithviraj, Shriya Saran, Siddique, Riaz Khan, Nedumudi Venu, Suraaj Venjarammoodu, Salimkumar
Writers - Udayakrishna & Sibi K Thomas

Pokkiri Raja was a Tamil movie disguised as a Malayalam movie. Following every formula that had been successful in Tamil Cinema in the 80s and early 90s, this film starred the superstar Mammootty with the next generation star Prithviraj for the first time together in a full length feature. The first half of the movie was entirely reserved for Prithviraj to shine and the second half for Mammootty, but Prithviraj played a glorified action hero while Mammootty's character looked like it was created for comic relief with some bad jokes involving bad English and some punch dialogues that even T Rajendar would feel ashamed of delivering. And to top it all, there was a comedy track involving Suraaj Venjarammoodu and Salimkumar which made me cry more than laugh. Except for one scene where Mammootty and Prithviraj tease their real selfs, this movie was a bloody pain to watch. But despite all this, the movie turned out to be Malayalam Cinema's biggest hit in 2010. Such an embarrassment for an industry that was known to produce only quality cinema. Tamilians would be having the last laugh. We used to call them and their cinema 'pandi padams' but now we make more 'pandi padams' than they have ever made. 

8. Alexander The Great
Director - Murali Nagavally
Producer - VBK Menon
Cast - Mohanlal, Bala, Sudha Chandran, Ganesh, Jagadish, Sayikumar
Writer - C Balachandran

A bad copy of the Oscar winning Rain Man, this movie was in the making for a long long time and finally when it got released, even Mohanlal fans had lost interest in it. A film with a caption saying 'He is humorously intelligent' is definitely not attractive. Usually, Mohanlal gives good performances even in bad films. But in this movie, even his performance was pathetic (compared to what he is capable of). And to add more damage, there was Jagadish repeating his Appukkuttan act, and a whole lot of ridiculous scenes and dialogues. And an end which suggests that Mohanlal's character was not autistic at all. Wah Wah!! The audience outrightly rejected this film and it became one of the biggest flops of the year.

The 7th position had a tie, because the two films were equally bad despite having some potential in them to be good movies. 

7. Apoorvaragam
Director - Sibi Malayil
Producer - Siyad Koker
Cast - Nishan, Asif Ali, Nithya Menen, Vinay, Santosh Jogi, Shruti Menon
Writers - GS Anand, Najeem Koya

Apoorvaragam was the classic case of an interesting plot going horribly wrong. Everything from the direction, acting, music and screenplay went haywire, despite having an interesting story to tell. It also tries very hard to be a 'youth' film despite being told from the perspective of a middle-aged filmmaker. Nishan couldnt handle his complex character and made a mess out of the role. Asif Ali and Nithya Menen were mostly in control, but even they went overboard in many scenes. The fourth guy, Vinay was also a major disappointment. And the man who played Nithya's father was the most entertaining thing in the movie with his horrible acting. Vidyasagar's music was also very bad. The only redeeming factor was Ajayan Vincent's great cinematography.  
(Click here for review)

7. The Thriller
Director - B Unnikrishnan
Producer - Sabu Cherian
Cast - Prithviraj, Sampath, Siddique, Lalu Alex, Kathrine, Riaz Khan
Writer - B Unnikrishnan

B Unnikrishnan had already made a bad movie in 2010 called Pramani, which was a rehash of his own Madambi, with Mammootty in it instead of Mohanlal. And 'The Thriller' was again another version of the umpteen number of Suresh Gopi cop flicks, with Prithviraj in it instead of Suresh Gopi. A film which calls itself a thriller should at least be able to cause some sort of thrills in the audience, but this movie was way too bad to do that. A take on the Paul Muthoot murder, this movie had Prithviraj trying very hard to be Suresh Gopi. It had a bad item song, an ugly heroine and a villain whom you can spot during his introduction scene itself (even though its supposed to be a suspense). A terrible experience.
(Click here for review)

6. Karyasthan
Director - Thomson
Producer - Anto Joseph
Cast - Suraaj Venjarammoodu, Dileep, Akhila, Madhu and a host of other actors.
Writers - Udayakrishna & Sibi K Thomas

Karyasthan was again supposed to be a mass masala entertainer written by Udayakrishna & Sibi K Thomas, again a 90s Tamil movie disguised as a Malayalam film. Suraaj Venjarammoodu (with the screen name Vadivelu) had more prominence than the film's hero Dileep, who incidentally completed 100 films with this one. He deserved a much better film for that feat. Crude, unfunny jokes, done to death storyline and some unwanted action and songs. The cast was huge when there was absolutely no necessity, out of which only Madhu left a mark, mostly because the respect he has among the audience. Dileep didnt get to do anything other than beating up goons or dancing uncomfortably in ridiculous songs (with an exception of a great song like Malayalippenne). The success of Karyasthan showed the terrible deterioration of an average Malayali's taste in comedy. 
(Click here for review) 

5. Best of Luck 
Director - MA Nishad
Cast - Kailash, Asif Ali, Rima Kallingal, Archana Kavi, Urvashi, Prabhu, Suraaj, Jagathy, Bheeman Raghu & Mammootty
Writers - MA Nishad, Vinu Kiriyath

Calling this film bad, would be an understatement. The entire cast came up with horrifying performances, except for Asif Ali and Bheeman Raghu who were mildly funny. It was a shame to see such talented artists like Urvashi and Prabhu doing such atrocious stuff on screen. And yea, there was Suraaj Venjarammoodu and his own set of lewd jokes too. A very bad rip off of the Hindi blockbuster All The Best, this film had Mammootty making an extended special appearance and even that didnt help the movie in any way. A big flop from day one. 
(Click here for review)

4. Kandahar
Director - Major Ravi
Producers - Mohanlal, Sunil Nair
Cast - Mohanlal, Amitabh Bachchan, Ganesh Venkatraman, Major Ravi, KPAC Lalitha
Writer - Major Ravi

Kandahar was a massive, massive disappointment. The movie, which was hyped as a take on the Kandahar hijack, and brought together Mohanlal and Amitabh Bachchan in Malayalam Cinema for the first time, was anything but a commando movie. Director Major Ravi lost the plot and told the story of a wayward youth Ganesh Venkatraman and the entire hijack sequence (which was shot in an extremely funny way) lasted only about 15 minutes. Mohanlal didnt even have a substantial role to play and Amitabh Bachchan's role could have been played by any of those stock character actors we have in Malayalam. The only good things about the movie were the performances by KPAC Lalitha and Anil Murali in the little screen time they got. Major Ravi tried to give a patriotic movie which had lame jokes, item dances and silly commando operations. The audiences are not dumb, major!!
(Click here for review)

3. Vande Mataram
Director - T Aravind
Producer - Henry
Cast - Mammootty, Arjun, Sneha, Nasser, Jagadish
Writer - Henry

Another patriotic movie which had more than 2 item numbers, Vande Mataram was a non-starter from the day it released. It had this absurd plot of a criminal being convinced that some 25 years had passed since he was arrested, when actually it had just been a few days. The film's producer Henry, who was also the writer came up in arms against the film's hero Mammootty creating a controversy when he said Mammootty didnt perform the stunts he was supposed to do. But the controversy died down soon. But yea, it was very weird seeing Arjun doing all the stunts in air, and Mammootty beating up the people who fall down from the air. A terrible movie in all respects, this movie also had a simultaneous release in Tamil which nobody saw. 

2. Drona 2010
Director - Shaji Kailas
Producer - M Mani
Cast - Mammootty, Manoj K Jayan, Kaniha, Navya Nair, Thilakan, Dhanya Mary Varghese, Suraaj Venjarammoodu, Bala, Devan, Lakshmi Sharma
Writer - AK Sajan

Drona 2010 was the heights of absurdity. I havent found a single person who understood what happened in this entire movie. Mammootty in a pointless double role, Manoj K Jayan as an effeminate villain (he was the villain right?) and all were totally crazy. AK Sajan made the audience furious with his illogical writing and Shaji Kailas topped it up with his fascination for weird camera angles, shots and edits. Mammootty's introduction is a zoom out from his mouth when he is eating chicken. Eww!! Why do people do this to the great actor that he is!! And they added 2010 to the name of the movie because they heard that all films in all languages named Drona became flops. Ha Ha!! And did that 2010 stop it from being one of the biggest flops of 2010? NO!!

1. Thanthonni
Director - George Varghese
Producer - Shahul Hameed Marikar
Cast - Prithviraj, Sheela Kaul, Suresh Krishna, Saikumar, Aditya, Suraaj Venjarammoodu & many others without even a single dialogue
Writer - TA Shahid

Epic fail of the year 2010, Thanthonni was a bloody pain to sit through. I was pulling my hair out in frustration initially, but as the movie progressed me and my friends had a good time laughing at the movie and the silliness of it all. Prithviraj so desperately trying to be Mohanlal, Mammootty, Vijay and Rajnikanth all at once, was sad as well as funny at the same time. And so much money was wasted for nothing. The climax had so many different luxury cars and they werent even shot well by the cinematographer. The film looked like it was not directed at all and TA Shahid happily continued writing his favourite story of 'avihitha bandham' and 'jaara santhathi'. And if all this was not enough, there was Suraaj Venjarammoodu also. Prithviraj kept repeating throughout the movie that he was a Thanthonni, as if the audience didnt know that already! And then there was this hilarious scene where Sudheesh says that he will go to jail instead of his boss Prithviraj, which got the maximum response from the audience in the form of hysterical laughter and constant boos. This was an experience I would like to forget.
(Click here for review)

There were apparently many more epic bad movies which got released in 2010, like Black Stallion, Theen Char Sau Bees, Oru Small Family, Senior Mandrake, Valiyangadi, Ringtone, Nallavan, Yakshiyum Njaanum, Nirakkazhcha, Four Friends, Holidays, Kanyakumari Express, Again Kasarkod Kadarbhai and Tournament, and I didnt have the bad fortune to see any of these. Movies like Pramani and Anwar missed being on this list by a whisker since there were even more terrible films than them. And let me tell you all again that this list is not for any kind of controversy and strictly my opinion on these films alone, and not the actors or any of the crew members, except for some of the directors who think they can take the audience for granted.


  1. Dude, the movies you've mentioned in your epilogue are actually far worse than the ones that made your list. Consider yourself lucky for not having to sit through them ... I did a article recently for Manorama Online on the kind of movies I wouldn't want to see in 2011. Maybe you'll enjoy it.

    PS On the bright side, we did get Pranchiyettan and Best Actor this year. And Cocktail (I know it's a copy but at least it's a half-way decent copy), Elsamma(which could have been way better but not a bad effort from Ann) and Kadha Thudarunu (for once, Jayaram didn't overact) ... So maybe it wasn't all that bad.

  2. Wow...Prithvi had 5 movies last year and 4 are on ur list! Beautiful! :D :( :(

  3. That was an awesome post Kuria,
    and incidentally, i've compiled a best of 2010 too with all the ones you've mentioned.

  4. @Suhana,
    the 5th one also almost made it on the list.

  5. Hi,,,nd wat abt Pappi nd of the worst of 2010...

  6. certainly pokkiri raja is worse than Kandahar was a huge letdown....

    Kudos man..Nice list

  7. i think you have contradicted yourself by including alexander and pokkiri in yur list.i think for alexander yu gave same 3 stars or so when it was released in yur review and for pokkiri some 2.5 stars or so.....neways gud that yu haven't seen oru small family

  8. no i have not. My rating for alexander was much worse than what i gave for pokkiri raja. they were both bad movies that released on the same day. unfortunately i lost those 2 reviews from my blog.

  9. Dear Vivek..
    I am a film editor working in this industry.I went through ur opinions and views about all the films which u rated as good and bad.Dear friend.. when i came out from the film institute , i had an ideology, that "yes i am going to work in good cinema from now"..of course initial stages..struggling days..(started with some docu's) all passed and i finally got one film called RATHRIMAZHA in 2004. That film was appreciated.. it was selected in IFFI COMPETETION section and it won 2 national awards and 5 state awards.. but do u know one thing.. the fate of the film was to be premiered in television!! much before its release..The situation is similar for a plenty of films which i think is just screened for some festivals..

    2010 - my concepts and ideologies were kept aside!...
    I was editing two films in the beginning days of 2010
    FIPRESCI AWARD in IFFK and the other film was
    POKIRIRAJA(VYSAKH) which was supposed to be the biggest hits of 2010

    I should tell one thing in this context that I really enjoy editing both the films...In my opinion a film should always have a clear objective, that who are going to view it..Commercial Cinema, frankly speaking is a commodity which we are trying to sell and it should have its own selling points.. I am not against your review but i think i should comment on a statement of ur's "Such an embarrassment for an industry that was known to produce only quality cinema".. dear vivek...there are a plenty of good cinemas which has been produced other than KUTTY SRANK last year. The thing is that most of the people haven't seen such films.. well KUTTY SRANK came to the theaters because it had a MAMMOOTY in it.. Well I am not against shaji sir here(even i have edited one of his film), but its hard to find a solution...A film "INDUSTRY" require all kinds of films...We need a KUTTY SRANK as well as a POKIRIRAJA... other wise its hard to survive for a small industry like ours..
    I also used to think like you some three years back..but now i am not keeping any discrimination as GOOD CINEMA OR BAD CINEMA..but i enjoy the films i work...situation is still similar i did ATHMAKADHA...then i did KARYASTHAN and now TRAFFIC...all are films for the kind of audience which they demand...

  10. @Mahesh bhai,
    I know you from my friend Vinay who has worked closely with you for VKP's films. And I would like to disagree with your point here. I also have had the experience of working on a film like Paappi Appacha as an AD (which is why I havent mentioned it as good or bad, because I shudnt be commenting on something which I'm a part of) and I know what all goes through in making such movies. My point is that Malayalam Cinema's commercial entertainers in itself had such amazing quality till not so long ago, that we need not stoop low to the levels of old age Tamil masala entertainers to make commercial cinema. The same Mammootty and Dileep made very good entertainers through Pranchiyettan and Marykkundoru Kunjaadu and people turned them into hits too. I certainly dont want only Kutty Sranks coming to the theaters. I'm all for commercial cinema, whether it is mass masala or family entertainers. But even in that mass masala, there should be a certain quality which comes from our culture and our cinema, not borrowed from Pollachi. As Sreenivasan Sir had written in Udayananu Tharam, film people think audience needs a certain kind of cinema and give them that, and because they have no other option, they're forced to accept that. But if they're given quality (commercial or otherwise), they'll be more than happy to accept them. Your latest film Traffic is a clear example. We're an industry whose entertainers used to be Nadodikkattu, Chitram, Thenmavin Kombathu, Ramjirao Speaking, Godfather, etc. So this is certainly an embarassment.

  11. @vivek,

    abt yur point abt quality commercial/mass films i do agree with yu on certain points where as in some other i wud like to differ.
    when coming to mass movies ,in the last decade we had mvies like aram thampuran/narasimham/ravanaprabhu et al.we loved those kind of movies then and we made t blockbusters when it was released.but things have changed now,renjith,shaji kailas and co no longer makes those kind of movies and malayalis have also got bored with them.remember some time back mohanlal himself had dropped a movie called 'karthika thirunal karthikeyan' to be directed by ts suresh babu?even shaji couldn't recreate that old magic when he tried to nmake mohanlal do a arger than life character in 'alibhai' or 'natturaju'.(both were bad films though'.The veterans in the field like srinivasan(oru nal varum,bhargavacharitham),priyadarsan(vettam,kakkakuyil),siddique(bodyguard,chronic bachelor),no longer make goodmovies like they used to make once upon a time while sathyan anthikkad repeats the same thing ahain and again film after film.So either new talents like rajesh pillai/bobby sanjay(though they are 8 years old in this industry have made only 2 films do far)should come to this industry or we should get satisfied with tamil masala flicks made in malayalam.

    ps: myself had made a couple of short films and after seeing one of the works i had made,was approached by one of the top film makers in the field through a common friend of ours(who thought we could work on that story line and co write the script for his latest movie).i had a couple of story lines with me at that time and narrated one of those t him.After hearing the whole thing,he said " your story is original and is a different one.i agree that something like this hasn't been made in malayalam.but i don't think that the malayalee audience will like something like this coz they are not used to multiplenarrative,non linear kind of story telling,try to think of something like 'pappy appacha',".This happened a couple of months and this year 'traffic' got released.i am happy for themfor having made something different.btw it was also so kind of that mainstream director to have personally contacted me (though i am not a big name in cinema and who also doesn't have any formal training in cinema).he wished to get fresh ideas but was too afraid to take risks.thats t.hope 'traffic' makes the mainstream industry open to new ideas and talents.

  12. Apoorvaragam is one of my favourite movies.I dont know why you added it in this worst list.It became a hit also.

    The thriller was below average.But its not worst.If item songs,songs,heroine was avioded and only 1 or 2 realistic fights the film would have been a hit.

    I believe B Unnikrishnan is in Industry only Bcoz of The Tiger which is one of my favourite.But he is still in the Hangover of tiger which was also seen in IG.But I think he can write good investigative thrillers.But he should not direct films.

    I agree with you to the fact that we need meaningful and quality commercial films.The King,Narasimham etc all were mass films but had quality


  13. Any way 2011 has been a better year with Traffic, City of God, Salt N' Pepper, Adaminte Makan Abu, Pranayam, and Indian Rupee. Although some of them were BO failures, at least there are some filmmakers out there who are trying to bring about changes.

    The two worst directors currently in the industry are Shaji Kailas and B Unnikrishnan. They make among the worst crap out there.