2017 was the year that shed light on the dark underbelly of the Malayalam film industry with the actress attack case taking the centre stage. Dileep’s arrest, the emergence of Women in Cinema Collective and the growing clamour against the representation of women in cinema were the major talking points this year. However, despite the controversies, 2017 offered a handful of good movies for Malayalees. Presenting a list of top 10 movies picked by ‘Chitrabhumi’ with the help of noted film critics.

1 Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum

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‘Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum’ is the directorial venture of Dileesh Pothan after the block buster ‘Maheshinte Prathikaaram’. As the name suggests, the movie humorously narrates a police probe to find the 'thondimuthal' (booty) following chain-snatching incident. The dialogues and situations seemed quite spontaneous and this helped the viewers to easily relate to the story. It stars Suraj Venjaramoodu, Fahadh Faasil, Nimisha Sajayan and Alencier in lead roles.

2 Take Off

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The directorial debut of editor Mahesh Narayan, the movie beautifully depicts the story of nurses stranded in Iraq during the war. Parvathy and Kunchacko Boban donned the lead roles. Fahadh Faasil, Asif Ali and Alencier too handles important roles.

3 Angamaly Diaries

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Directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery and written by Chemban Vinod Jose, Angamaly Diaries stands out for its novel theme and presentation. The movie literally shattered the traditional image of a hero in Malayalam movies. It featured 86 debutant actors. The film that tells the story of a group of youngers also shows the dark side of small town. The highlight of the movie is ‘realism’.

4 Godha

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Godha is an action-packed comedy film directed by Basil Joseph. The movie tells the story of a group of villagers and their love wrestling. It features Tovino Thomas, Wamiqa Gabbi, Aju Varghese and Renji Panicker in the lead roles.

5 Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu

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Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu is comedy-drama film written and directed by Ranjan Pramod, who has written scripts for films like Meesa Madhavan and Manassinakkare. But his approach to Rakshadhikari Baiju was quite different from his other movies. The movie takes audience to a village that loves cricket. It reminds us of the losing beauty and virtues of villages. The effort-less acting style of Biju Menon is the highlight of the movie. Aju Varghese and Hannah Reji Koshy play supporting roles.

6 Ramante Edanthottam

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Directed by Ranjith Shankar, Ramante Edanthottam stars Anu Sithara and Kunchacko Boban in the lead roles. The movie discusses the discords in marital relationship, the trouble posed by such relationships and the solution.

7 Parava

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Parava tells a novel story of Mattancherry; an untold and less-explored life of the youth there, of friendship and love. The movie was literally a visual treat. It is directed by Soubin Shahir, who is known to Malayalees as an actor.

8 C/O Saira Banu

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The film directed by Antony Sony, stars Manju Warrier, Amala Akkineni and Shane Nigam in lead roles. The film marks Amala’s return to Malayalam cinema after 25 years. A women-centric film, Saira Banu narrates the story of a mother and her struggles to protect her son.

9 Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela

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Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela is a light-hearted film starring Nivin Pauly. It is the directorial debut of Althaf Salim. The film won accolades for presenting a very serious theme with a tinge of humour without losing its significance. Breaking away from conventions, Nivin presented an irresponsible and immature hero in the movie. The movie marks Shanthi Krishna's return to films after a 19-year hiatus.

10 CIA

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Amal Neerad is known for captivating the viewers by offering visual treats in his movies. Through CIA, he tries to push the boundaries of imagination. The movie is dedicated to refugees worldwide. It stars Dulquer Salmaan and Karthika Muralidharan in lead roles.

Varnyathil Aashanka, Aby, Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol, Udaharanam Sujatha, The Great Father, Punyalan Private Limited, Paipin Chuvattile Pranayama, Sunday Holiday, Jomonte Suvisheshangal, Ezra also deserve special mention.