From 'Manjummel Boys' to 'Pada', Malayalam movies that are based on real-life incidents

Such films offer audience a chance to learn more about incidents, people involved


Life, it is said, is stranger than fiction! Some real-life stories that we see around or read about are so unbelievable and inspiring that they leave us with a sense of wonder and admiration for the people who lived through them. Some such incidents have been turned into movies, offering the audience a chance to learn more about the incident and the people involved and feel empathetic. Here we look look at 5 Malayalam films that have used real-life incidents as inspiration.

Pada (2022)

Pada (1)

Set in the 90s, the film revolves around an incident in which four men, Rakesh Kanhangad (Kunchako Boban), Aravindan Mannur (Joju George), Balu Kallar (Vinayakan) and Narayankutty (Dileesh Pothan) hold the then Palakkad collector, Ajay Shripad Dange (played by Arjun Radhakrishnan), hostage for nine hours, demanding the repeal of the controversial Adivasi Land Amendment Bill of 1996. The movie highlights the issue of displacement of Adivasi communities in Kerala. Directed by Kamal K.M., this compelling, thought-provoking movie is a masterful portrayal of the fight for land, justice and dignity.

Virus (2019) 

Virus (1)

Virus, directed by Ashiq Abu, is a medical thriller that pays a fitting tribute to men and women who displayed extraordinary courage to contain the Nipah Virus outbreak in the state in 2018. The director perfectly blends elements of drama, suspense and real-life heroism to craft an entertaining movie that also boasts some fantastic performances. The non-linearity that the director employed to tell the story adds to the suspense in the proceedings. The ensemble cast, Kunchacko Boban, Indrajith Sukumaran, Asif Ali, Tovino Thomas, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Rima Kallingal, and Sreenath Bhasi, came up with some layered, fine performances to make the movie highly engaging. The film also highlights the importance of dispelling misinformation in times of health hazard.

Ennu Ninte Moideen (2015)

Ennu Ninte Moideen (1)

Ennu Ninte Moideen, starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Parvathy Thiruvothu in the lead, narrates the real love story of Moideen and Kanchanamala set against the backdrop of the river Iravanjippuzha and Mukkam village in Kozhikode in the 1960s. Moideen belongs to a Muslim family and Kanchanamala hails from a traditional Hindu family. As inter-religious marriages were taboo then, the couple was forced to part ways as their families objected to their union. Determined to be together, they decide to shift to America where they can live out their dream. But tragedy strikes as Moideen dies in a boat accident, destroying their plans and devastating Kanchanamala. She tries to commit suicide but Moideen’s mother stops her. She decides to live as Moideen's unmarried widow. 

2018: Everyone is a Hero (2023) 

2018 (1)

Directed by Jude Anthany Joseph, 2018 is a disaster thriller based on the Kerala floods of 2018. The movie follows the lives of multiple individuals, giving us an all-round perspective of difficulties faced by people belonging to different social strata due to the flood. The film shows how the whole state came together to rescue those affected by the catastrophic consequences of torrential downpours and floods. The film has been celebrated for its exploration of resilience and the enduring spirit of Kerala in times of absolute chaos. The movie was chosen as India's entry into the Oscars in the international feature film category. 

Manjummel Boys (2024) 


Based on an incident that happened in 2006, this survival thriller, directed by Chidambaram follows a group of friends who go on a trip to Kodaikanal and a fateful tragedy that follows. When one of them falls into the Guna Caves, the group comes together against all odds to save him. The cast of Soubin Shahir, Sreenath Basi, Balu Varghese, Ganapathi, Lal Jr, Deepak Parambol, Abhiram Radhakrishnan and Arun Kurien breathe life into the characters, portraying them as men with flaws and vulnerabilities. The film also focuses on the psychological toll the tragedy takes on the characters. A must-watch, the movie is a testament to the undying, unyielding human will in the face of the harshest adversities.


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