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75th Independence Day: Sainyam to Kashmeeram, Malayalam patriotic films to stream that aren’t helmed by Major Ravi

While Major Ravi’s Kurukshetra and Picket 43 are among the great patriotic films in Malayalam, there’s a bunch of others by veteran filmmakers that are equally inspirational

75th Independence Day: Sainyam to Kashmeeram, Malayalam patriotic films to stream that aren’t helmed by Major Ravi
Posters of Kashmeeram, Nair Saab, Sainyam and Kayamkulam Kochunni
  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 05.58 AM, Aug 13, 2022


From Picket 43 to Kurukshetra, some of Mollywood’s best films depicting war and the lives of Indian soldiers have been helmed by director Major Ravi, and so it’s clear why his movies are the first to come to the mind when you think of Malayalam patriotic films to stream during Independence Day. But there are other equally good gems helmed by veteran filmmakers such as Joshiy, Priyadarshan and even Rosshan Anddrrews that stir the patriotic fervour. Some of these films have also been shot in Kashmir while also showcasing the challenges of Airforce cadets and even Black Cat commandos, who at times have to pay a great price for protecting the nation and its leaders. Here’s a look at some of these films to watch online and why:

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While Suresh Gopi’s firebrand police officers were a genre in its own, winning appreciation from the Tamil and Telugu audience as well, the actor’s role as NSG captain Shyam was probably his first pan-Indian film. Tasked with the mission to protect a Supreme Court judge, the movie showed the audience a story of what happens in New Delhi when terrorist threat looms. Directed by Rajiv Anchal and scripted by AK Sajan, the film also showcased beautiful visuals while mirroring the constant daily grind vs duty challenge of the commandos.
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Made as a tribute to the Indian Air Force, the movie revolves around Captain Eeshwar, who has dedicated his life for the service of his country. In between training his cadets, the officer is also engaged with the renovation of an aircraft – a secret that terrorists too are trying to steal. The film boasted some of the best production value at the time and the cohesion of the cadets from various States is entertaining as it is moving. Also, keep an eye out for a certain actor, who is currently a reigning superstar in Tamil.
Kayamkulam Kochunni
Through the story of an outlaw fighting against oppression from the Indian landlords as well as the controlling Britishers, director Rosshan Andrrews and scriptwriters Bobby and Sanjay aimed at bringing on screen lives of forgotten Malayalam heroes who were more myth than legend. Starring Nivin Pauly, Sunny Wayne, Babu Antony, Nora Fatehi, Priya Anand and a brilliant cameo by Mohanlal, the film was meant to kick off a cinematic universe. While that didn’t happen, it still makes a worthy addition to the cannon of patriotic films in Malayalam.
In a lot of ways, Kaalapani was a milestone in the careers of Priyadarshan, Mohanlal, Santosh Sivan and Sabu Cyril. Mounted on a budget of Rs 25 crore, a quarter of a century ago, the movie was the most expensive Malayalam movie to be made at the time. It came with massive production sets, period detailing and a star cast to die for. From Tabu and Amrish Puri to Prabhu and Delhi Ganeshan, the movie reflected the best Indian cinema had to offer, and what’s even more stellar is that it’s story about a man wrongfully imprisoned in the cellular jail in Port Blair had emotional heft, something that most of the patriotic period films have found lacking for the longest time.
Nair Saab
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Joshiy and Mammootty’s Nair Saab revolves around a new batch of trainees that arrive at a centre located near the Indo-Pakistani border in Kashmir. Things, however, turn awry when men from the batch start importing drugs from the rival country and are killed, only for the trainer – Nair – to be blamed. During his absence, another officer begins to smuggle ammunition. Despite its setting at the border, the movie doesn’t focus on the politics and war between the two countries but makes uses of the backdrop to tell a story that has humour, thrills and emotions – all the reasons the film became Mammootty’s highest grossing film of 1989 and solidified his status as a superstar.
Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja
The importance of Pazhassi Raja in Kerala’s history is paramount. His battles against the British East India Company brought about a resistance movement that had the foreign forces on pins and needles. Its onscreen version hence demanded the best of the industry to unite and they did with director Hariharan, writer MT Vasudevan Nair and Mammootty teaming up again after Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha. The biopic was once again the most expensive movie to be in Malayalam cinema and also led to theatres renovating to showcase the film’s superior quality.