The thrillers have been a favourite genre for filmmakers in all languages as it keeps the viewers engaged with its suspense. Movies plotted around solving murder cases have always been a favourite in this genre. Here, we take a look at some 90s the best thrillers in Malayalam cinema. If you have not seen these, watch them. And if you have seen these, re-watch them.
Manichitrathazhu is a 1993 Indian Malayalam-language epic psychological horror film directed by Fazil, written by Madhu Muttam, and produced by Swargachitra Appachan. The movie tells the story, when a forbidden room in an old bungalow is unbolted, the spirit of a vengeful dancer is unleashed. The story is inspired by a tragedy that happened in the Alummoottil tharavad, a central Travancore family, in the 19th century. The film stars Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi and Shobana with Nedumudi Venu, Innocent, Vinaya Prasad, K. P. A. C. Lalitha, Sridhar, K. B. Ganesh Kumar, Sudheesh, and Thilakan in supporting roles. The film won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and Shobhana was awarded the National Film Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Ganga / Nagavalli.
Oru CBI Diary Kurippu
Oru CBI Diary Kurippu is a 1988 Indian Malayalam-language mystery thriller film directed by K. Madhu, written by S. N. Swamy, and starring Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Jagathy Sreekumar, Mukesh, and Sukumaran. The movie tells the story when, Prabhakara Varma is called upon to investigate the death of Omana, the daughter-in-law of a local businessman. It looks like a suicide but, Varma is sure that is not so. The lead character, CBI officer Sethurama Iyer is inspired by a police officer named Radha Vinod Raju, Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS Officer who in 2009 was appointed as the first chief of India’s National Investigation Agency.
Yavanika is a 1982 Indian Malayalam-language mystery thriller film written and directed by K. G. George, and starring Bharath Gopi, Nedumudi Venu, Jalaja, Thilakan, and Mammootty. The film explores backstage drama of a travelling drama group. The plot is structured around the search for an unpopular tabla player of the troupe who suddenly disappears. The film received wide critical acclaim. It won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Film (shared with Marmaram), Second Best Actor (Thilakan) and Best Story (shared with Marmaram).
Utharam is a 1989 Malayalam mystery-thriller film, starring Mammootty, Suparna, Sukumaran and Parvathy. It was written by Malayalam writer M. T. Vasudevan Nair based on the short story No Motive by Daphne du Maurier. The movie unfolds with the suicide of Selina, wife of a rich businessman, Mathew. As he couldn’t find any reason for his wife’s suicide, Mathew calls his friend Balakrishnan Nair, a Delhi based journalist finds answers. The movie then follows Nair’s investigation to find the motive behind Selina’s suicide. The investigation leads him to dig out some disturbing secrets about Selina and her friend.
Kariyilakkattu Pole is a 1986 mystery thriller film written and directed by P. Padmarajan. The movie tells the story of Deputy Superintendent of Police Achuthankutty tries to solve the mystery of film director Harikrishnan’s death. Three women are the main suspects. The film stars Mohanlal, Mammootty, Rahman, Sripriya, Karthika, Jalaja, and Unni Mary. The background score was composed by Johnson.
Jagratha is a 1989 Malayalam investigative thriller film directed by K. Madhu, starring Mammootty, Mukesh and Jagathy Sreekumar. It is also a murder-solving mystery in which Sethuramayar from the CBI is investigating the murder of an emerging actress, Ashwathy. Following the same pattern of the investigation, the team unfolds every mystery in the murder, but the real culprit is only revealed in the climax. The movie maintains the suspense through the narrative and has many twists to keep the viewers guessing.
Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu
Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu is a mystery thriller film, written by Padmarajan and directed by Joshiy. It stars Mammootty, Nedumudi Venu, Lalu Alex, Suresh Gopi, Sumalatha, Lakshmi and Murali. It tells the story When an elderly and socially well-respected judge is found murdered in a series of gruesome killings involving elderly victims, a cop must revisit history and start with an old unsolved murder while warding off chances of possible continued serial killing. The plot unravels while keeping the viewer on tenterhooks and the film moves at a steady pace.
Charithram is a 1989 Indian Malayalam-language thriller film starring Mammootty and Rahman, along with Shobana, Lizy, Jagathy Sreekumar, Janardhanan, Murali and Pappu in other pivotal roles. It was written by S. N. Swamy and directed by G. S. Vijayan in his directorial debut. The film tellls the story of Philip who is desperate to prove that Raju is not his brother but a lookalike and an imposter. Together with his trusted friends, he repeatedly tries to test him in order to expose him.
Ee Kanni Koodi
Ee Kanni Koodi is a 1990 Indian Malayalam police procedural drama film directed by K. G. George and produced by Ousepachan Valakuzhy. It is an Investigation story of a prostitutes murder and the path leading to it. The film stars Ashwini, Saikumar, Sukumari and Thilakan in the lead roles.
Mukham is a 1990 Indian Malayalam-language thriller film co-written and directed by Mohan, starring Mohanlal, Nassar and Ranjini in the lead roles. The movie tells the story of a police officer tries to uncover and stop an unknown serial killer who sniped three victims and plans for a fourth one. The film does not have any songs, but features a musical score composed by Johnson.