To pick the best Malayalam movies of 2023, from a movie industry that is renowned for its realistic storytelling and impactful narratives is always a daunting task. This South Indian movie industry has always astounded audiences with its innovative concepts and top-notch performances.
If you are new to Malayalam cinema or even an ardent follower, you are in the right place./ Here is a list of the best Malayalam movies of 2023 so far, in my view. It’s purely my opinion and being someone who has written and directed two feature-length movies, even in a low-budget movie space, I understand the time and effort gone into making movies. My choice is purely based on the audience’s experience and doesn’t factor in the effort to make a movie.
In no particular order, the best Malayalam movies. I will keep adding to the list as I find new ones!
Best Malayalam Movies of 2023 So far
- Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam
- Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum
- Special Mention
1. Iratta (Twins)
Rating 7 out of 10
Synopsis: After a cop is found dead, a policeman’s investigation starts a chilling search for the truth connected to his estranged twin and their fraught past.
Star : Jouju George, Anjali, Sabumon Abdusamad, Shebin Benson, Sreeja, Jit Ashraf.
Director: Rohit M.G.Krishanan
Writer: Rohit M.G.Krishanan
This recent movie with Joju George in the lead that has a beautifully woven story. Solid. It reminded me of a couple of earlier Malayalam movies in hindsight but this one is fresh and the acting is top-notch. Worth a watch of Drama/Thriller fans.
2. Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam(Like an afternoon Dream)
Rating 9 out of 10
Synopsis: A group of Malayali travellers, returning to Kerala by bus after their visit to Velankanni, doze off in a lazy nap. When James stops the bus in a village in Tamil Nadu, Sundaram behaves like him and confuses them. He walks amidst faith, delusion, dream, and trance.
Star : Mammootty, Ashwant Ashokkumar, Ashokan, Ramya Pandyan.
Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery
Writer : Lijo Jose Pellissery
Movie titled “Life an afternoon Dream” is a visual poety and an acting school from Mammootty. This delightful and comic at times is a foray into the surreal and cosmic nature of humans. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. The afternoon nap is what takes us into a journey and makes us question the reality of the character. A worthy movie that came out of majestros of our time, Lijo – Mammotty combination.
Rating 7 out of 10
Synopsis: A caretaker’s bond that was formed from his forefathers time with a family comes under strain when the caretaker’s son doesn’t respect age-old traditions, wants to challenge the generational bond, and is influenced by woke culture.
Star : Dileesh Pothan, Vishnu Agasthya, Athulya Chandra, Haniya Nafisa.
Director: Ranjan Pramod
Writer : Ranjan Pramod
O.Baby is raw and explores the feudal society with a solid backdrop of a hill station.Like the directors earlier movies its has a good mix of wild and forest into the narrative. It’s an intense drama thriller on the mild side.
4. Romancham (Goosebumps)
Rating 6 out of 10
Synopsis: A game of Ouija board goes hilariously wrong when seven bachelors unexpectedly invite a spirit and try to make the best out of the situation.
Star : Soubin Shahir, Arjun Ashokan, Chemban Vinod Jose
Director: Jithu Madhavan
Writer : Jithu Madhavan
Romancham works as a horror comedy that is less explored in Malayalam movie industry. This works well with the setup of bachelors staying in a house and bit of nostalgia of the bygone days for those who has experienced a similar stay.
5. Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum (Pachu and the Magical Lamp)
Rating 7 out of 10
Synopsis: A middle-class Malayali youth who is settled in Mumbai and revolves around incidents that take place on a journey to Kerala.
Star : Fahadh Faasil, Viju Venkatesh, Anjana Jayaprakash, Innocent, Mukesh, Vineeth, Indrans, Shantikrishna, Althaf Salim.
Director: Akhil Sathyan
Writer : Akhil Sathyan
Akhil Sathyan follows the footsteps of his Father Sathyan Anthikad in creating a feel good movie with a sensible drama. The characters feels genuine and the theme is like any Sathyan Anthikad movies relevant. It takes courage to pull off something like this while carrying the baggage of his fathers fame.
The movies that had potential but didn’t make it to the best Malayalam movies of 2023
Who hasn’t been affected by the floods of 2018. Whenever we think about a train of emotions runs through us and this I feel is the exact reason for its box office success. However from a movie lens its a a humongous failure and missed opportunity! The one I would compare is Virus (2019) which was a well crafted movie in all aspects. The makes of 2018 may not have followed the same path but it could have been a lot more effective with some very basic scripting & movie making standards.
A beautifully picturised movie with some fine acting from Vijayaraghavan and the rest of the cast. A very important topic thats being addressed but somewhere it looses its own game. Its definitely enjoyable in parts.
At first, I was surprised to see only a few movies on my list. However, I don’t feel the need to add every movie I watched this year. I will continue to add movies to my list as I discover them.