20 offbeat must watch south Indian films of 2017
How many of these movies have you watched?Updated: Dec 27, 2017 18:21 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Movies that move the audience has become a rarity in the film industry. The plots are more formulaic and star films have turned out to be disappointing. Be in Shah Rukh Khan’s Jab Harry Met Sejal or consider Telugu star Balakrishna’s Paisa Vasool - they were all a big let down. The year, however, turned out to be good for film lovers who chose off-beat films that was not necessarily backed by a big star. Here’s a list of must-watch film from the South Indian film industry!
When was the last time you saw a true blue Tamil horror film? No, we don’t mean the watered down fare called horror comedies. Aval starring Andrea Jeremiah and Siddharth is one of a kind horror film that aims to scare its audience and doesn’t bother much about the laughs. Milind Rau, directed this film bankrolled by Siddharth.
Directed by Arun Prabhu Purushothaman, solid writing and a winsome performance by Aditi Balan makes this satire a must-watch. The highlight of the film is its buildup and how director introduces many questions and keeps the audience hooked.
Aramm has a superstar at the helm of affairs -- not Rajinikanth or Kamal Haasan but Nayanthara, the actor who is emerging as a powerhouse performer, as the film’s hero. She plays the role of a District Collector of an area suffering from water scarcity. How she deals with the government to help people makes for a great watch. The film is directed by Gopi Nainar.
One of the best crime thrillers of the year, Vikram Vedha is a story of a cop, played by Madhavan, and a don, played by Vijay Sethupathi. Inspired by the folk tale Vikram Aur Betaal, the film portrays both characters with shades of grey. The film is directed by duo Pushkar and Gayatri.
Taramani is about a single mother who meets a man trying to get over a break-up. The film was lauded for showcasing human relationships without passing a judgement. Andrea Jeremiah plays the protagonist in this film directed by Ram.
Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu
The name of the movie roughly translates into ‘A Goat’s Mercy Petition’. The black comedy is bit of a thriller and a bit of a road movie. The movie is a goat’s perspective on human failings. The characters, the situations and scenes that are straight out of everyday rural life makes this film a must watch.
8 Thottakkal is about a lost gun and how that leads to a suspended police officer solving a murder case Sri Ganesh directorial connects one event to another so convincingly, and the smooth flow of events on silver screen makes this a great watch if you are in the mood for a crime drama.
Solo is a bilingual anthology that is inspired by different elements - earth, fire, water, air - and one mood that constitutes each of these elements is the base of each story. All the the four shorts have Dulquer Salmaan playing the lead role, and this anthology has excellent character sketches. Directed by Bejoy Nambiar, the film received a mixed response and the producer of the Malayalam version even went ahead and edited the anthologies and released the movie again. Personally, I like the original anthology.
Take Off is based on the kidnapping of 46 nurses in 2016 in Mosul, Iraq by the ISIS. The movie depicts this incident from the perspective of the nurses, particularly one nurse, Sameera who decided to work Iraq to pay off her debts. It is a serious movie that ends on a happy note, leaving you impressed with the writing. The film stars Parvathy, Kunchacko Boban and Fahadh Faasil in the lead roles.
The film is about a newly married couple who move away from their hometown as the girl’s father is unhappy with the inter-caste marriage. Instead of the family drama that one would expect, director Dileesh Pothan focuses on connecting events to cause and effect. Just like the butterfly effect, this interesting story structure hooks you right in. The movie stars Nimisha Sajayan, Suraaj Venjarammoodu and Fahadh Faasil in lead roles.
Oru Mexican Aparatha
This film received a mixed response from critics, but the reason why one should watch this film is to understand the love that Malayalis have for the Left wing politics. The story centers around two college students who try to emulate their idol, student leader Kochaniyan from the 1970s who was martyred during the Emergency. The debut directorial of Tom Emmatty starts off on a light note, including a very patriarchal worldview, but as the story moves forward the lead characters take you on a ride worth taking.
Njandukkalude Nattil Oridavela
A mother is diagnosed with cancer and how her family changes after the diagnosis is what Njandukkalude Nattil Oridavela is all about. Something as serious as cancer receives a light treatment from director Althaf Salim and though it is not what we expect initially, we sure come to enjoy the film. Nivin Pauly, Shanthi Krish, Lal and Ahaana Krishna play important roles in this feel good film.
Angamaly Diaries is set in a small town in Kerala, Angamaly, and its gang fights. Before you imagine guns and knives, let me add just a bit more about the plot. There are two football teams, and one of them is led by two pork butchers. The story is rooted and it’s the local colour that adds flavour to the plot. A breakout hit in Kerala, this film can be considered similar to Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur but grimier.
PSV Garuda Vega
This spy thriller film written by Praveen Sattaru was the comeback vehicle for Dr Rajasekhar. The best part about this film was the sharp screenplay, which to a large extent is the reason why this was a nailbiting watch. In fact, in comparison with other spy films of the year like Spyder and LIE, PSV Garuda Vega is worth your time.
Ninnu Kori is about what happens after you fail in love. We have seen films which portrays the process of getting over their respective partners, but this film is a bit more mature. Starring Nani, Nivetha Thomas and Aadi in lead roles, it shows how ex-partners worry about the wellbeing of the individual they once loved. They have moved on for sure, but does that mean they shouldn’t care about each other? The film answer this question in a charming manner.
One of the most unexpected hits of the year, the film was lauded for the raw portrayal of what goes on in a relationship. There were some who found the film misogynistic, but I found it real. Arjun Reddy’s love for Preethi and how it turns his life upside down is the story. It is dark, broody and even depressing, yet you fall for Arjun Reddy. The film starred Vijay Devarakonda and Shalini Pandey in lead roles and was directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga.
Fidaa is a love story. A girl hailing from Banswada, Telangana meets a guy from America who is preparing to be a neurosurgeon. Bhanu and Varun fall in love, but Bhanu doesn’t want to leave her father and move to a country for a man. She pursues Bachelors in Agriculture and is proud of her country and refers to NRIs as ‘broiler chicken’ (boring and bland). Does she change? This Sekhar Kammula directorial has a sweet surprise in store for viewers, which also happened to be one of the reasons behind the success of the film. The film had Sai Pallavi and Varun Tej playing the lead roles.
If you need to laugh your heart out, then this is the film for you. The star of this comedy is actor Vennala Kishore who leaves the viewers in splits - not with sexist jokes or comic sketches. The film is something along the lines of Shakespeare most loved romantic comedy - A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The confusion is brought to the plot by Vennela Kishore. It is said to be inspired by one of the most successful operas to be staged in England, The Duenna.
Who would have thought that a man who cannot cry can make for an interesting story? Well, directory Yogaraj Bhat did. Actor Ganesh plays a man who has a faulty tear duct and how he learns to shed tears is the story. The film deals with relationships – their beginning and end.
Ondu Motteya Kathe
Raj B Shetty wants to say the same thing that we have heard many a time before: Beauty is skin deep. Only he doesn’t go about it in a preachy manner, or choose people who are considered beautiful by the society to play the lead roles. He cast himself as the lead man Janardhana, who is a lecturer in Mangalore. We have heard about women being rejected by men during arranged meetings with prospective grooms and their family. In this film, the man is rejected for being bald by prospective brides and how he deals with this rejection makes for a hilarious yet thought provoking watch.
First Published: Dec 26, 2017 08:24 IST