However, we are talking about those four-wheelers, two-wheelers and more that have taken us for exciting, memorable rides in Malayalam films.
Bullets of different kinds have a special place in the pantheon of wheels in Malayalam cinema.
Here is our take of Malayalam movies that were in top gear and the iconic wheels that sped away into the records.
Remember that Morris Minor with polka dots that Dileep’s character drove around in Mr. Butler and umpteen faithful, trusty Ambassadors in several films?
Sometimes, wheels within wheels play an even bigger role!
Wheels of all kinds add zing to a movie. Sometimes, wheels within wheels play an even bigger role! However, we are talking about those four-wheelers, two-wheelers and more that have taken us for exciting, memorable rides in Malayalam films.
Even a single scene or two leaves behind indelible images in the minds of viewers. For instance, Mammootty racing ahead in his Mustang was a high point of Twenty 20. Remember Jagathy Sreekumar’s encounters with different ‘caars’ in Aram Plus Aram = Kinnaram or his bright yellow Nano in Ee Adutha Kalathu or Bharat Gopy’s convertible in Kattathey Kilikkoodu. Then there was that Maruti Esteem in The Car, the Bentley limousine in CIA and the rickety Matador in Ustad Hotel. Remember that Morris Minor with polka dots that Dileep’s character drove around in Mr. Butler and umpteen faithful, trusty Ambassadors in several films?
Bullets of different kinds have a special place in the pantheon of wheels in Malayalam cinema. It is difficult to name just one film that celebrated this iconic and hardy bike. Almost all our super stars and heroes have had many a ride on this iron steed.
Here is our take of Malayalam movies that were in top gear and the iconic wheels that sped away into the records. Add your own to this list...
Bike and the man
Sleek, Royal Enfield Bullets and Sunny Wayne keep Dulquer Salmaan (Assi) (DQ) company as he travels from Kerala to Tawang in search of his love, crossing mountains, vales, plains and deserts. Sameer Thahir’s Neelakasham Pacha Kadal Chuvanna Bhoomi (2013) is a road movie that tugs at the heartstrings of every youngster with its mix of travel, adventure and romance.
Give me red
Mammootty’s character Rajamanikyam (2005) in the eponymous film Rajamanikyam had many monikers, one of which was Benz Raja. His gleaming, scarlet Merc was his vehicle of choice in this blockbuster by Anwar Rasheed.
A youngster inherits a rusty, old bus and how he tries to earn a living with it and how he lives in it had all the right comic moments for Ee Parakkam Thalika (2001). Directed by Thaha and featuring Dileep and Harisree Ashokan in the lead, the bus is an integral part of the rom-com. But its most famous passenger was perhaps an unwelcome guest, a rat.
Jugaad in motion
CID Moosa (2003) was a fun ride and Moosa’s car, which was given to him by his uncle, provided many lighter moments. The red car with its many gimmicks could not match up to those stylish ones that James Bond drove, but this one, packed with jugaad contraptions, never failed to evoke laughter.
Fast and furious
Who can forget the truck Mary Matha that was driven around by Aadu Thoma, a.k.a. Thomas Chacko in Spadikam (1995)? As Mohanlal swaggered around as Aadu Thoma, the ruffian with a traumatised childhood, the truck seemed to acquire a life of its own. Perhaps that is why he was heartbroken when his dad decided to rename it Chekkuthan (devil). Each time, the truck roared through the screen, the viewers knew it was time for action. There is also some heavy duty romancing in the truck!
When love comes calling
As Mohanlal, playing Solomon, races through the dawn in his tanker lorry, man and machine seem to enjoy a unique bond in Nammukku Paarkaan Munthiri Thoppukal (1986). It gives us a hint of the driver’s nature: rugged, unpredictable and someone who does not follow the beaten track. When love comes calling in an oil tanker, it brooks no discussions or obstacles. The charming roads of Mysore, the haunting background score and songs enhance the charm of this evergreen Padmarajan classic.
Riding into the storm
DQ again, this time as a young and restless husband with a temper in Sameer Thahir’s Kali. The movie falls into track when the young couple goes on a ride in their new car, a red Polo. That is when their journey of life starts and before they reach their destination, the couple learns quite a few unforgettable lessons about life and people. The Polo, in the meantime, magnificently, puts up with their bickering, tears, anger, fear, and, yes, great love for each other.
Yet another unforgettable bus features in Sathyan Anthikkad’s Varavelpu (1989). Although this was not an exciting journey, it has stood the test of time as its meanders through the travails of a hapless bus owner (Mohanlal) and his staff and relatives who drive him up around the bend.
As Sreenivasan, a disgraced cop-turned-saviour, zipped through Kerala’s narrow roads and lanes to reach his destination within a stipulated time, all eyes were on the black Scorpio carrying the life-saving organ for a patient.
No obstacle was unassailable for the SUV as it covered town, village and slum. The late Rajesh Pillai’s Traffic (2011) showcased the rugged Scorpio and its all-terrain capabilities.
Road to romance
In Jude Anthany Joseph’s rom-com Ohm Shanthi Oshaana (2014), the rugged hero Giri has a hardy Bullet with a single seat and the heroine has a Hero Honda CBZ. The road to love becomes clear when Nivin Pauly’s character Giri changes over to a two-seater for his bike. The delightful rom-com became a runaway hit thanks to the imaginative narrative and lively cast.
In praise of the autorickshaw
Sundari was the name of the hero (Mohanlal)’s auto in Venu Nagavalli’s Aye auto. A popular song Sundari… was sung in praise of his loyal autorickshaw.