Shakeela: From Kinnarathumbikal to Maami, 7 Cult Movies of the South Queen of Softcore Era That Once Ruled Kerala!

Shakeela: From Kinnarathumbikal to Maami, 7 Cult Movies of the South Queen of Softcore Era That Once Ruled Kerala!

After the late Silk Smitha got her life story immortalised with Vidya Balan’s The Dirty Picture, it is now the turn for another glam queen from the South to have a picture made on her life in Hindi. Shakeela, known popularly for her softcore movies in South, is the subject of director Indrajith Lankesh’s new film, Shakeela, with Richa Chadha playing the lead role. While the Fukrey actress may not look anything like the real Shakeela, despite gaining weight for the role, the biopic is made with Shakeela’s blessings. Shakeela Teaser: Richa Chadha Sheds All Her Inhibitions as the Popular South Softcore Star.

Pankaj Tripathi plays a superstar in the film, the teaser of which was unveiled on December 12, with Shakeela releasing in theatres during Christmas 2020.

Check Out the Teaser Below:

So who is Shakeela and why is she such a big deal that a Hindi film is being made on her life? While it is Kerala who made her famous, Shakeela actually from Andhra Pradesh. She is often put up as the face of the softcore era that ruled Malayalam cinema in the early ‘2000s, so much that the wave was dubbed as Shakeela tharangam. These films featured nude and semi-nude scenes for tiltillation purposes that drew male audiences by the bulk, be it youngsters or oldies. While Shakeela herself rarely went nude in her movies, the same cannot be said of some of her female co-stars, like Roshni, Sajni and Reshma. These movies made on a low budget used to earn more profit than the films starring superstars, an era that coincided with the time Malayalam cinema was at its weakest. Silk Smitha Birth Anniversary: Her Erotic Hit Layanam That Achieved Cult Pan-India Success As ‘Reshma Ki Jawani’ and the Tragic Story Behind It.

Many of these films also featured some popular known faces like the late Pratap Pothen, Salim Kumar, Kalabhavan Shajon, Prajod etc. As years went by, the popularity of these softcore films waned, especially with the advent of internet. Since porn was no available directly on people’s phones and computers, the fanbase for these movies didn’t need to venture out to theatres to get their share of titillation, hence bringing to closure the reign of Shakeela films.

The actress later appeared in bit roles in mainstream films and even turned producer, though her days of glory are long gone. But thanks to Shakeela the film, she is now again become the talking point, with audiences in North of India about to find out why she is such a big deal.

While Shakeela has done quite a lot of films during the height of her fame, there are a few prominent films that stand out purely for the kind of sensation they created. In this special feature, we look at six films in her filmography that heightened her wave, and one movie that paid tribute to it.


Of course, this one has to take the top spot. Kinnarathumbikal is mainly responsible for kickstarting the Shakeela tharangam, though the actress has been part of softcore films in the past. Made on a meagre budget of Rs 12 lakh, the movie went on to make Rs 4 crore at the budget. Let the math buffs out here calculate how profitable the film is!


Yamini is perhaps one of the boldest films that Shakeela has been part of, doing some very envious business both in theatres and in CD’s.


Maami, a hit in its times, recently became famous thanks to a comic scene in another film, Homely Meals, where it was an answer to the question – ‘In which film did Shakeela cry?’


Audiences drove in flocks to see Shakeela as this hot driving instructor who lands in predictably risque scenarios.

Ee Raavil

Let’s have a horror film in this list, where the scares were only an excuse to have more titillation. Shakeela was not the lead in the film, though it was sold with her face prominently pasted on the posters.

Kalluvathukkal Kathreena

Kalluvathukkal Kathreena courted some controversy, where it was criticised for using a real-life terrible hooch tragedy to sell sex.

Chotta Mumbai

Of course, this is not a porn film, but rather a very mainstream popular crime comedy, featuring Mohanlal in the lead. While the movie is known for its mass scenes and comic quotient, the most famous comic sequence features Shakeela.

The actress plays herself as she comes to shoot for a film in the protagonists’ locality, as her ‘fans’ storm the area. The scene recalls the popularity of the actress, making even Mohanlal her ‘admirer’, while also denoting how her reign has ended.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Dec 09, 2020 04:13 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website

About Charles 34617 Articles
Charles writes for the Headline column of the website. He has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism. He has worked for more than 1.5 years in a media house. Now, he joined our team as a contributor for covering the latest US headlines. He is smart both by him looks and nature. He is very good with everyone in the team.

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