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Top 11 Cinematic Highlights of Malayalam Cinema in 2023: A Year in Review


With around 250 Malayalam films released this year, mostly OTT rejects, or planned for OTT but were forced to release in theatres, only a handful stayed on in our memory. Here#39;s a list of some of the most stirring frames from 11 such films

Malayalam cinema has undoubtedly captured the hearts of movie lovers worldwide with its compelling storylines, breathtaking visuals, and stellar performances by talented actors. Over the years, this film industry has consistently delivered exceptional content, making its mark on the global stage. As we look back at the year 2023 in Malayalam cinema, it’s safe to say that it has been yet another successful year, churning out some of the best cinematic gems. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top 11 cinematic highlights of Malayalam cinema in 2023.

1) Varane Avashyamund – Rekindling Old School Romance:

Directed by Anoop Sathyan, Varane Avashyamund was a heart-warming movie that brought back the essence of old-school romance. The movie revolved around a retired army officer and a single mother, portrayed by Dulquer Salmaan and Shobhana, respectively. With its feel-good vibe and lovable characters, the movie was a breath of fresh air in a year filled with intense dramas.

2) Ayyappanum Koshiyum – A Clash of Egos:

Ayyappanum Koshiyum was undoubtedly one of the most talked-about movies of the year, thanks to its stellar performances by Prithviraj and Biju Menon. The movie, directed by Sachy, focused on the clash of egos between two strong-headed individuals. With its gripping storyline and intense action sequences, Ayyappanum Koshiyum was a box office hit and garnered critical acclaim.

3) Kappela – A Tale of Love and Deception:

Kappela, directed by Muhammad Musthafa, was a coming-of-age romantic drama that kept the audience on the edge of their seats. The movie followed the story of a young woman who falls in love with a guy she meets over the phone. However, things take a dark turn when she realizes he might not be who he claims to be. With its brilliant performances and twisty plot, Kappela was a must-watch in 2023.

4) Joji – Family Drama at its Finest:

After the massive success of Jallikattu in 2019, director Dileesh Pothan reunited with actor Fahadh Faasil for yet another masterpiece, Joji. The movie was inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth and revolved around a dysfunctional family and their power struggle. With its dark and gripping storyline, Joji proved to be a game-changer in the Malayalam film industry.

5) The Great Indian Kitchen – Breaking Stereotypes:

The Great Indian Kitchen, directed by Jeo Baby, was a thought-provoking and powerful movie that shed light on the patriarchal mindset in Indian households. The movie followed the story of a newly married woman, portrayed brilliantly by Nimisha Sajayan, who struggles to find her place in a traditional Kerala household. With its hard-hitting narrative and exceptional performances, The Great Indian Kitchen was a must-watch in 2023.

6) Malik – Mammootty’s Return to Action:

After a hiatus of eight years, Mammootty returned to the action genre with Malik, directed by Mahesh Narayanan. The movie was based on real events and revolved around a charismatic leader’s journey to protect his community from corrupt politicians. With its hard-hitting story and powerful performances, Malik was one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2023.

7) Kuruthi – Intense Thriller:

Kuruthi, directed by Manu Warrier, was a gripping and intense thriller that kept the audience on the edge of their seats throughout. The movie followed the story of a man’s fight for survival against a group of extremists. With its thought-provoking message and stellar performances by Prithviraj and Roshan Mathew, Kuruthi proved to be a game-changer in the thriller genre.

8) Malikapuram – Bringing Back Horror:

Horror movies have always been a crowd-puller in the Malayalam film industry, and 2023 was no different. Directed by Anoop Sathyan, Malikapuram was a spine-chilling movie that brought back the horror genre’s glory. With its eerie storyline and terrifying visuals, Malikapuram was a definite must-watch for horror movie enthusiasts.

9) Uyare – Empowering Women:

Uyare, directed by Manu Ashokan, was a powerful movie that highlighted the issue of acid attacks on women. The movie followed the journey of a resilient woman, played by Parvathy Thiruvothu, as she overcomes the trauma of an acid attack and achieves her dreams. With its inspiring message and brilliant performances, Uyare was a must-watch in 2023.

10) Oru Yamandan Premakadha – Comedy at its Best:

Directed by BC Noufal, Oru Yamandan Premakadha was a hilarious comedy that had the audience rolling with laughter. With its rib-tickling jokes and lovable characters, the movie was a blockbuster hit and a much-needed breather amid the intense dramas of 2023.

11) Nayattu – A Powerful Social Commentary:

Directed by Martin Prakkat, Nayattu was a hard-hitting social commentary on the flaws and corruption in the Indian justice system. The movie, starring Kunchacko Boban, Joju George, and Nimisha Sajayan, portrayed the story of three police officers who become the victim of the system they swore to protect. With its powerful message and stellar performances, Nayattu was a standout movie of 2023.


In conclusion, 2023 was yet another remarkable year for Malayalam cinema, with a diverse range of movies that catered to all genres. From heart-warming romances to gripping thrillers and empowering dramas, these movies brought to light various important issues while entertaining the audience at the same time. As we look forward to the years ahead, it is safe to say that Malayalam cinema is only going to get better and continue to amaze us with its exceptional content.

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