The first two decades in Malayalam cinema, 1928 – 1950 could very well be termed the Lost Years (as I have mentioned earlier) owing to the near-impossibility of finding a copy of the 13 films produced in the 20 years ( an unlucky figure in all aspects, don’t you agree? ), hence it becomes a natural choice to start with Jeevitha Nouka ( 1951), or the Boat of Life that also gave Malayalam cinema its first bankable ‘star’, Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair. It also feels sad to have been denied the legacy of two decades of singing and dancing – if only they had been a bit more careful with preserving their celluloid stories that they so crafted with care.
After a long break of 10 years, ( there were no movies produced between 1941-1948 in Malayalam, from what we know now) it was production back to normal, averaging 6 movies every year, for the next decade. The films in this decade had a few firsts (it was bound to be), with Malayalam’s first box-office hit Jeevithanouka(1951), which established a set formula and format for a ‘winning story’ at the box-office and gave us our first megastar –Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair! Janova (1953), was the first and last film which saw MGR in a Malayalam film!