The Malayalam cinema has to be highly focused on realism and pragmatism, with Malayalis and Malayali culture being a major theme and as a result, Malayalam cinema has traditionally put enormous focus on story, script and acting, giving this much higher preference than commercialism.
History of Malayalam Cinema
The history of Malayalam Cinema traces the evolution of one of the most gifted film industries in India. Initially the Malayalam film industry made mythological movies that were inspired from the Hindu mythologies. With time the subjects of the films changed. At a certain point in the history of Malayalam cinema the films that were made here were remakes of popular Tamil and Telugu films. The appearance of cinema found an echo during the period of the silent film in the future Kerala, at that time a rural region isolated from the motion pictures of cinema.
It is only in 1928 that that the first silent Malayalam film, Vigatha Kumaran was produced. It was directed by JC Daniel who also played the main lead. In 1931 the very year of the first talkie at Mumbai, PV Rao directed Marthanda Varma, the second Malayalam film, a historical silent film glorifying the eponymous Raja by the same name and the founder of modern Travancore. It was not before 1938 that Kerala was put on the map of the Seventh Art with solid directors and producers belonging to the region. The first talkie film in Kerala was Balan (1938). Studios were set up but Keralites were dependent on the technical infrastructures of Chennai till 1970s.
Scenario of Malayalam Cinema
High literacy rate of Kerala and the focal point on education have also resulted in a fairly larger number of talented and experienced writers and artists. Malayalam cinema has been gifted successfully with the works of renowned writers like Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer and M. T. Vasudevan Nair being made into award-winning movies. The last has in fact had a very successful and critically-acclaimed crossover career between cinema and literature. The Malayalam cinema also puts a lot of focus on music, with movies on the art of music being the central theme in quite a few notable ones.
At a time when the Malayalam film industry was undergoing changes entered three well-known Malayalam actors, Mohanlal, Mammotty and Suresh Gopi. Riding on the shoulders of these three outstanding actors the history of Malayalam cinema witnessed a number of films being screened at the international arena. The contemporary group of Malayalam actors is versatile and they balance well between art films and commercial cinema.