A still from Karma
A still from Karma

The word ‘positive’ has gained a new scary meaning in the present era, thanks to Covid. However, the one ‘positive’, bringing in some encouraging news, is the extremely encouraging response of pan-India viewers to the regional language movies, now easily available on the OTT platforms.

As a fact, the Indian cinema made in regional languages never enjoyed a wide acceptance all over the country because of various reasons, including many misconceptions. Thankfully, the ‘lockdown era’ finally triggered the much-awaited breakthrough bridging the gap. The lack of variety and repetitive nature of Hindi movies also forced the locked-up souls to dive into the world of regional cinema out of compulsion. And when they did, they discovered the surprise of their life, both in terms of quality and subjects, beyond expectations.

Having said that, many still are unaware or hesitant to explore this new world of cinema because of their misguided assumptions or fear of the one-inch barrier of English subtitles. To convince them further, here is a brief description of the novel plots of a few crime-thrillers selected from Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Tamil movies, truly capable of changing their entire perception of our Indian cinema.

Title: Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya (2019/Telugu)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

A fictional story based on reality; reveals unbelievable facts about cases related to the trading of dead bodies, taking advantage of many religious superstitions. A big majority of our population has no information about the existence of such heinous crimes.

Title: Karma (2015/Tamil)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

This is an exceptional path-breaking, and one of its kind of attempt in the genre of murder-mystery and suspense. The film is unique as it is based on a police interrogation, shot in a single room with only two people talking to each other for an hour and nothing else (with a big surprise in its cast). 

Title: Oththa Seruppu Size 7 (2019/Tamil)

Platform: Netflix

Another Tamil film based on a similar premise of Karma, this also features only one actor on the screen, playing a murder suspect, explaining his side of the story to the investigating cops.

Title: Evaru (2019/Telugu)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

An adaptation of The Invisible Guest (Spanish), this outstanding film rectifies the unconvincing twist of its original. In straight words, what Badla (in Hindi) couldn’t do, simply remaining a faithful remake, Evaru does it in style, crafting a novel climax of its own, marching way ahead than the original film by all means.

Title: Arishadvarga (2019/Kannada)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Based on a short story, ‘Murder as a gift’, this is a mature and unpredictable, who-dun-it crime thriller pointing towards six enemies of mind (in Sanskrit), namely lust, anger, greed, pride, attachment, and jealousy, brilliantly represented by the twisted characters in its script.

Title: Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum (2017/Malayalam)

Platform: Disney+Hotstar

One of the most charming human dramas witnessed in recent decades, this is an intelligently crafted black comedy, focusing on a newly married couple, a thief, and the police officials dealing with their case. It’s a rare, insightful gem that makes you witness the working of a police station and its officers on duty like no other film in the past. 

Title: Kavaludaari (2019/Kannada)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

A traffic cop accidentally finds a pile of bones while visiting a Metro construction site. Taking it as an opportunity, he investigates the mystery, seeking help from a retired alcoholic police officer and a journalist. They together begin tracing the clues, finding some hidden dark secrets inviting serious trouble.

Title: Joseph (2018/Malayalam)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

The film revolves around a lonely, retired police officer, known for his unique skills in investigating crimes. The emotional quotient of the script truly touches your heart, making a solid impact, exposing a shocking medical scam that disturbs as well as scares coming as a big surprise.

Title: Anjaam Pathiraa (2020/Malayalam)

Platform: Sun Nxt

They call a psychologist to solve the case of a serial killer, only targeting police officials for a reason best known to him. An exciting edge-of-the-seat thriller, this has a hard-hitting finale that leaves the viewer with a feeling of shame and disgust.

Title: Aadai (2019/Tamil)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

An unusually bold and unique film, Aadai showcases the strange story of a new-age, free-spirited girl, who shockingly finds herself entirely naked in a deserted building, where no one is there to help her out or find some clothes.

Title: Adhe Kangal (2017/Tamil)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

A visually challenged chef falls in love with a girl, but as he, fortunately, gets his eyesight back, she is nowhere to be found and nobody knows about her. The young boy decides to find her on his own, stepping into a completely unexpected world of deceit and betrayals. 

Title: Helen (2019/Malayalam)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

A similar-sounding theme is also there in the worth watching Helen, wherein a young girl, working in a fast-food center, mistakenly gets locked in its cold storage for a night but never gives up the fight for her life.

Summing up, these are only a few representative examples of a particular genre of Indian cinema being made in the four key languages prevalent in the southern part of our country. Imagine how long will become the list, if one explores all the genres in these four and other Indian languages too, including, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Assamese, Konkani, Odiya, Bhojpuri, Maithili, and more. Hope this attempt helps the readers to begin a new exciting journey, discovering the hidden treasure of our exceptional Indian cinema made in the regional languages.

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