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Before Prithviraj’s Cold Case, watch these 10 best police procedurals from Mollywood

Ryan Gomez

Ryan Gomez
Jun 28, 2021

Here’s a list of the best police procedurals from the Malayalam film industry on streaming platforms before the highly anticipated release of Cold Case, starring Prithviraj Sukumaran

Investigative crime dramas are a popular genre in any language or in any industry. Mollywood has produced some excellent police procedurals, especially in the 80s. Here is a list of some of the best from the genre from the 80s to the present day. Check out some of the best police procedurals from Mollywood, while waiting for Prithviraj Sukumaran’s Cold Case.

1
Commissioner
8OTTplay Rating
The cult classic of police procedurals in Mollywood and the film that elevated Suresh Gopi as a bankable star in the 90s. The film may not have aged that well but the dialogues and Suresh Gopi’s over the top portrayal as a righteous policeman have become engraved into the pop culture of the state.
2
Mumbai Police
8.1OTTplay Rating
As a police procedural and an investigative film, it is one of the best Mollywood has to offer. It also broke new ground in terms of inclusive narratives with regards to homosexuality. However, the portrayal of gay characters in the movie has done more damage than good. The writing of these characters leaned too heavily on stereotypes and were relegated to being nothing more than social deviants, rather than an attempt to address the taboo surrounding the issue in the society. Prithviraj Sukumaran, Jayasurya, and Rahman played the main characters in the movie.
3
Memories
8.1OTTplay Rating
Written and directed by Jeethu Joseph, the man behind the Drishhyam series, Memories was a commercial hit despite strong competition at the box office on its release. The critics praised the psychological thriller for its gripping plot about an ex-policeman brought back to solve a series of murders. The film also attempts to explore themes about alcoholism and PTSD. Prithviraj Sukumar plays the lead as Sam Alex.
4
Oru CBI Diary Kurippu
8OTTplay Rating
Arguably the most popular name on this list is Oru CBI Diary Kuruppu. The first movie of the famous franchise is also the best in the series. Mammotty played the lead role of CBI Officer Sethurama Iyer in the film. His character has become one of the most iconic fictional characters in Kerala. This fast paced, well written and well acted film from the late 80s was a universal success and has aged very well. Jagathi Sreekumar, Suresh Gopi and Mukesh played the primary characters and were supported by excellent veteran actors.
5
Kariyilakkattu Pole
8OTTplay Rating
Another classic from the 80s is the legend P Padmarajan’s lesser known film Kariyila Kattu Polae. The film had an excellent cast of Mohanlal, Mammotty, Karthika and Rahman. This investigative thriller had all the elements which resembled a Shakespearean play - It had love, betrayal, villainy and tragedy. Furthermore, the plot itself unfolded in a dramatic fashion with shocking revelations and an unexpected twist at the end. The film definitely deserves more credit than what it received at the time of its release in 1986
6
Yavanika
8.2OTTplay Rating
Yavanika is an underrated gem from the early 80s. The film features a star-studded ensemble cast of Bharat Gopi, Mammotty, Jalaja, Thilakan, Nedumudi Venu, Jagathi Sreekumar, Venu Nagavalli and Sreenivasan. It is not the murder mystery in itself that makes the film special, but rather the characters, the setting and the excellent performances by the entire cast.
7
Action Hero Biju
8.1OTTplay Rating
Action Hero Biju is a unique police procedural. It focuses on what happens in a local police station inside a city, with an overarching bigger investigative plot in the background developing towards a climax in the end of the movie. Sub Inspector Biju Paulose, played by Nivin Pauly, is a self-righteous policeman who believes in ‘the ends justify the means’ motto. He uses unethical and at times illegal means to help people seeking justice. The film has glorified this aspect of the character and does reflect poorly on the message it is trying to convey. However, as an entertainer and as an authentic representation of policing in certain parts of the state, the film excels. The sound and visuals, the performances by the cast and the overall plot were excellent.
8
Anjaam Pathiraa
8.2OTTplay Rating
The most recent film on this list is Anjaam Paathira. The film stays in line with the more modern films in Kerala with its visual aesthetics. The film stars Kunchacko Boban in the lead, in a fast paced thriller about a serial killer. It does tend to move towards clichéd and overused tropes from famous TV shows and movies at times, but still manages to keep the overall plot entertaining.
9
Moonnam Mura
7.2OTTplay Rating
Mohanlal plays the lead in this investigative political thriller from the late 80s. The film is a well written no nonsense entertainer. Some of the action sequences may not have aged that well, but the story, screenplay and the performance by Mohanlal, certainly warrants this film a place on the list.
10
Aavanazhi
7.7OTTplay Rating
Inspector Balram is another iconic character played by Mammotty who has appeared in multiple films. Avanazhi is the first film about the inspector and it is also arguably the best one in the series. It is also the fourth film on this list from the late 80s, which speaks volumes of the popularity of the genre at the time. The film is yet another classic investigative thriller from the era which has stood the test of time.
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