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5 top actresses making a mark in Malayalam cinema

In an era of overnight stardom and internet fame, these actresses hold their own in Malayalam cinema

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Malayalam actress Manju Warrier in How Old Are You.

Malayalam cinema is the fourth largest cinema production industry in India and has had international recognition for its story-driven cinematography and narrative. Regular people's lives, politics, international cinema trends and comedy are some of the underlying themes in many of its successful movies. 

After the week long frenzy around overnight fame Priya Prakash Varrier, we take a look at some of the strongest Malayalam actresses of this decade.

Manju Warrier

It is extremely rare for an actress to make a return to the cinema industry and swing it in her favour, be it in Malayalam or elsewhere. Manju has done it after a hiatus of some 20 years.

Manju Warrier

Filmmakers have actually started writing scripts with Manju as the lead, which they have done only for the male superstars so far. Her comeback has been marked by strong lead characters and she effortlessly carries them all single-handedly.

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Mamta Mohandas

Mamta’s acting and her films take on an entirely different meaning to Malayali audience owing to her 9-year long struggle with a rare form of cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.


Her motivating comeback to the screen after a relapse and remission, along with her open-minded attitude has made her a fan-favourite in Kerala. A strong actress, she is also a playback singer.

Read her latest interview with us here.


Parvathy Menon doesn’t have a huge number of films under her belt like other Indian actresses. This, however, is by carefully calculated choice. All of the movies she has done in the past 5 to 6 years have been critical and commercial success stories.

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Another actress who can hold her own in every movie she acts in, Menon is also known for her strong advocacy of feminism and equality in the industry.


A relatively new entrant, Anusree is very relatable to the audience for her many leading roles in Malayalam cinema. Most of her roles are of young Malayali women, living a routine life that is typical to a regular person. She was nominated for the Film Fare Best Actress Award twice.

Anusree Nair

Namita Pramod

This 21-year old has created waves with the younger Malayali audience. She has several roles under her belt and many of her movies have been blockbusters or critically acclaimed successes.

Namita Pramod