Mother’s Day Special: Five Malayalam movies that celebrated powerful mothers

On this Mother's Day, South First brings you five amazing performances of Malayalam actors as mothers.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published May 12, 2024 | 12:30 PMUpdatedMay 12, 2024 | 12:30 PM

Impactful mothers in Malayalam movies

Malayalam movies have, time and again, showcased powerful and inspiring women on the silver screen.

Several female actors have left an indelible mark on our minds by brilliantly portraying varied roles — love interests, mothers, sisters, wives, grandmothers, homemakers, working women, new-age moms, and entrepreneurs, to mention a few.

Since it’s Mother’s Day, let’s focus on five memorable mothers in Malayalam movies.

For instance, veteran actor Sheela impressed us all in Sathyan Anthikad’s Manassinakkare (2003) by playing an elderly woman who is still at heart and finds happiness in small things.

Manju Warrier drew applause for her performance in How Old Are You (2014) as a middle-aged working woman who turns an entrepreneur.

Similarly, the actor tugged at our heartstrings with her role in Udaharanam Sujatha (2017). In the film, she plays a single mother who works as a maid to support her daughter’s education and even enrols herself in the latter’s school so she can learn and tutor her.

Without much ado, let’s a take quick look at these handful of mothers in Malayalam movies:

Padmini in Nokkethadoorathu Kannum Nattu

Every Malayali is familiar with Kunjoonjamma Thomas, played by yesteryear actor Padmini, in the superhit movie Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu (1984).

Padmini in Nokketha Doorath Kannumnattu

Padmini in ‘Nokketha Doorath Kannumnattu’. (Supplied)

In the flick, the late actor played the role of a grumpy grandmother who slips into depression after the deaths of her husband and her only child.

Like in typical middle-class families, the children in her neighbourhood irritate her with their naughty deeds.

As the story progresses, her granddaughter Girly (Nadiya Moidu) enters the scene.

Kunjoonjamma is happy to have her grandchild back.

However, she realises that Girly ran away from Delhi because she had a brain tumour and is in her final stage.

Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu, directed by Fazil, shifts the tone and turns emotional after the interval.

The relationship between Kunjoonjamma and Girly remains the main highlight of the movie.

The emotional scenes in the film and the melodies composed by Jerry Amaldv are quite popular among Malayalee audiences.

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Urvashi in Achuvinte Amma

A still from Achuvinte Amma

Urvatshi in a still from ‘Achuvinte Amma’. (X)

Who can forget Urvashi’s role of Vanaja in Sathyan Anthikad’s Achuvinte Amma (2005)?

The superhit film featured Meera Jasmine as Achu, Vanaja’s daughter.

The movie has several hilarious moments between the duo, especially the spoken English sessions.

Achuvinte Amma also casts Narein, Sukumari, Oduvil Unnikrishan, and Innocent.

In an emotional turn of events, it is revealed that Achu is not the real daughter of Vanaja. Director Sathyan subtly presents this revelation and the emotional turmoil of Achu and Vanaja after that.

Urvashi and Meera Jasmine steal the show with their scintillating performances.

Urvashi’s versatility as an actor in emotional and comedy scenes makes the film more engaging.

Sobhana in Varane Avashyamund

Sobhana in Varane Avashyamund

Sobhana in ‘Varane Avashyamund’. (Supplied)

Another Malayalam movie that explores mother-daughter bonding is Anoop Sathyan’s directorial Varane Avashyamund (2020).

Shobana and Kalyani Priyadarshan played the mother and daughter in the flick.

The film also has Dulquer Salmaan and Suresh Gopi in the main roles.

Shobana and Kalyani’s characters are poles apart. While Kalyani is headstrong and believes she knows what is best, Shobana loves to keep expanding her horizons by learning new things; say, for example, a foreign language.

Despite their love and affection, Varane Avashyamund puts the messy relationship and the rift between the mother and daughter at the forefront.

Also Read: Nivin Pauly hits the bull’s eye with ‘Malayalee From India’

Viji Venkatesh in Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum 

Fahadh Faasil and Viji Venkitesh

Fahadh Faasil and Viji Venkitesh. (Supplied)

Viji Venkatesh is not a seasoned actor. But her performance in director Akhil Sathyan‘s Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum (2023) as Laila is significant in the movie.

Viji Venkatesh is a well-known cancer-care specialist and country head of Max Foundation.

Her role as Laila, who goes to any lengths to provide education to her maid’s child (Nidhi), is beyond excellent. She even goes against the wishes of her son (played by Vineeth) to deliver her promise.

In the process, Laila faces some obstacles but she doesn’t step back.

With several twists involving Fahadh Faasil and Anjana Jayaprakash, Laila’s battle to provide education to the girl child forms the crux of Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum.

Shanthi Krishna in Nila

Shanti Krishna and Mamukkoya in Nila

Shanti Krishna and Mamukkoya in ‘Nila’. (X)

Veteran actor Shanthi Krishna is still delivering great performances in commercial as well as parallel films alike.

The actor’s role as Malathy in director Indu Lakshmi‘s Nila (2023)  stands above all.

Malathy is a social worker and a gynaecologist. Her encounter with a woman named Nila is the foundation of the story.

An always-busy Malathy is forced to rest after she falls and is unable to walk.

She learns about Nila, the neighbour living in the same apartment near her son’s flat. They never get a chance to meet each other as the pregnant Nila is locked up in the flat by her husband.

At a crucial point, Malathy becomes her rescuer. With the help of her aide (played by Mammukkoya), the elderly woman helps Nila deliver her baby.

Shanthi Krishna as Malathy delivers a power-packed performance in the Malayalam film.

Her final act in the movie is akin to how a mother rescues her daughter or a doctor willing to do her work irrespective of the situation.

Related: Director Indu Lakshmi’s ‘Nila’ celebrates womanhood