Indian Cinema even though yielded to the magical hands of Phalke the genre took its own time to creep into the Malayali lives. The main reason remained that none was aware enough to start such an endeavor in Kerala. The early Malayalam Cinema was all the creations from the Chennai based Film studios. It was only later in 1947 the first film studio of Kerala ,Udaya was established by Kunchakko in Aleppy. The first Malayalam Film Vigathakumaran (1928) was a silent movie by J.C.Daniel who was a dentist by profession.But the economic failure of the movie discouraged him from advancing further in the industry. The second silent film, Marthandavarma (1933) by Sunderraj based on the story by C.V.Raman Pillai would have created a ripple in the state but getting entangled in a legal embargo the second and last silent Malayalam Movie passed to the oblivion just after 2 days of exhibition. It was the 1st Indian adaptation from Literature than puranas.
1938 saw a new beginning for the Malayalam Cinema with the release of the film Balan produced by R Sunderam and directed by S Notani which was a melodramatic film that dealt with the story of 2 orphans struggling under their stepmother. The film but had a strong Tamil influence and failed picturise the true Kerala.Following the lead of Balan, many films trailed the path, namely Jnambika (19400, Prahalada (1941) Nirmala (1948). P.J.Cheriyan’s Nirmala was the first film that explored the possibility and vitality of songs in Malayalam Films. With songs penned by the veteran writer, G.Shankara Kurup
The 50’s brought into the field path breaking endeavors such as Jeevithanauka in 1951 directed by K.Venmbu in the form of a musical drama dealing with ego clashes in a joint family. The film was the first super hit of Malayalam and Thikkurishi Sukumaran Nair emerged as the first Super star. 1954 saw yet another path breaking endeavor, Neelakuyi that broke the naval string of Malayalam films from the Tamil influence and emerged with a story that was exclusively Kerala. It dealt with the untouchability that prevailed in Kerala. Penned by the renowned writer Uroob, the duo Directors P.Bhaskaran and Ramu Karyat made it a success and this became the first Malayalam Film to capture International Attention by winning the President’s Silver Medal. 1955 witnessed an innovative venture ,The Newspaper Boy ,following the tracks of Italian Realism portraying the struggles of a boy Appu who loses his father at a very young age and takes up the job of a newspaper boy to run his family. The film directed by P.Ramdas was entirely a project by amateur college students.
1960’s brought in a handful of films that captured the Malayali hearts as well as winning attention in national level. Kandam Bacha Coat (1961) became Malayalam’s first full length colour film. Bhargavi Nilayam !1964) also stole the hearts of the audience . Chemmeen (1965) directed by Ramu Karyat became the first South Indian Film to pocket the President’s Golden Lotus Award for the best film. Based on a novel by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai the film brought in new technical aspects into the Malayalam film making. Karutharathrikal in 1967 by Mahesh was the !st science fiction film in Malayalam. Oolavum Theeravum (1969) by P.N.Menon...