Published: 09th April 2021
Anantharaman Ajay, his grandfather and his friends review forgotten and bizarre Malayalam movies
Forgotten Malayalam Movies is a YouTube channel that was created when a few friends were holed up in an apartment during lockdown and decided to watch old Malayalam movies with questionable plots
Some movies are forgotten for a good reason. Although Malayalam cinema has a thousand classics to its name, some titles have slipped the mark and been wiped out of our memories because of bizarre plot lines and questionable acting. Over the last few months, Anantharaman Ajay, his grandfather and a few close friends have decided to dig these films out of their graves and review each weird and invariably badly-acted film for a young audience that was fortunate to have never heard of them in the first place.
Anantharaman refers to his crew or support circle as Appuppan and the Boys, it’s also the name of their YouTube channel. He says, “I was working for a company roughly a year ago when COVID-19 hit, so I was working from home and living alone with my grandfather in Thiruvananthapuram. A few friends had come to stay over with us the same weekend when the lockdown was declared. So my friends got stuck with us.”
MOVIE MINDED: Anant is preparing to be trained as a professional actor
He continues, “I have always loved watching bad movies and making fun of them with my friends. My grandfather was also someone who liked to comment on them and we would entertain ourselves that way, more than through the film itself! So that weekend, we all sat down to watch a 2006-film starring Suresh Gopi titled Beda Dosthe. We had so much fun over-analysing it and ripping it to shreds that we kept finding random and old obscure films to watch over and over again.”
Now don’t be surprised if you’ve only seen Anant through the now viral Forgotten Malayalam Movies series, he’s actually invested in the professional aspects of film as an aspiring actor who is preparing to apply to film schools. In fact, the impeccable editing skills you can see on his videos were brushed up when he was preparing for college interviews for the same. The 24-year-old is a BITS Pilani graduate who has been partaking in theatre since his school days.
CHUCKLE FEST: The channel has gained cult status among Malayalis online
They have gone on to review a great variety of films like Lanka, Jayam, Robo, Bhadra, Chintamani Kolacase and various others. Anant’s videos generously sprinkle in charming anecdotes of his grandfather’s shared love for mediocre cinema. So intrigued is his audience about such a fun-loving patriarch that the comments section is often full of questions about him, urging Anant to introduce his grandfather in one of the videos. As a curious fan myself, I ask Anant how true the stories about his grandfather are. He says, “I have a lot of stories about Appuppan, of course some of them are exaggerated and we add a few fun details here and there, but his character is exactly that. When we work on a film when he’s around, he’ll watch it with us at least once.”
Anant has an admirable ability to sit through these films for around five or six more times. He takes down notes about each snarky comment and bizarre detail that his friends or his grandfather observe and develops a script through consecutive viewings. Having shot nine episodes for their first season, nine more for their second, he has two more videos in the works. In fact, my interview had interrupted his latest ‘hate watch’. Their love for bad movies is almost infectious. Most people who have watched the videos admit to being reduced to tears of laughter and have gone on to binge each available episode. Anant has somehow managed to make these films ‘unforgettable’!