Monday, 30th October 2017

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Our non-Bolly film faves of the year

A peek into what's making a splash

  • Published 27.12.19, 7:02 PM
  • Updated 27.12.19, 7:02 PM
  • 2 mins read
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From the movie poster Source: ‘Super Deluxe’

Super Deluxe

Tamil (stream it on Netflix)

Perhaps the quirkiest movie-going experience in cinemas this year, Super Deluxe was a four-in-one story powered by a chameleonic turn from Vijay Sethupati. Dark and often dazzling, this Thiagarajan Kumararaja film about sexual fantasies and the darker side of the human mind trained an unsentimental and non-judgemental lens on its characters, extracting winning acts from a strong ensemble comprising the likes of Fahadh Faasil, Samantha Akkineni and Ramya Krishnan. Its dark tone punctuated by lively colours and an unmistakable chutzpah, Super Deluxe may be brazenly excessive but is undeniably entertaining.

A scene from the movie
A scene from the movie Source: ‘Kumbalangi Nights’

Kumbalangi Nights

Malayalam (stream it on Amazon Prime Video)

The story of four brothers who share a love-hate relationship with each other but are drawn closer when they join forces to help one of them win over his love, Kumbalangi Nights brought in a crowd-pleasing mix of heartwarming moments and visually appealing frames. Not bound by any formula, this Fahadh Faasil film — that also starred Shane Nigam and Soubin Shahir among others — addressed a number of contemporary socio-political issues and also worked as a moving essay on human relationships, loss and redemption. It turned toxic masculinity on its head, giving us real and flawed people, with the house peopled by these characters emerging as the strongest leitmotif of this Madhu C. Narayanan directorial debut.

A scene from the movie
A scene from the movie Source: ‘Aamis’

Aamis

Assamese

Wildly original and genre defying, this Assamese film helmed by Bhaskar Hazarika turned out to be a compelling watch, riding on its central theme of the repercussions of unbridled lust. It’s meat that drove the narrative of Aamis, with the film turning out to be many things in one — food movie, unconventional romance, addiction drama and psychological horror, and yet its win lay in the fact that it couldn’t be easily slotted. Benefiting from the casting of debutants as its main leads and powered by an unpredictable template, Aamis deserved a watch. And then some more.

A scene from the movie
A scene from the movie Source: ‘Uyare’

Uyare

Malayalam (stream it on Netflix)

Parvathy — Bollywood fans will know her better as the female lead of Qarib Qarib Singlle — brought both heft and heart to this poignant tale of courage and survival. Debutant director Manu Ashokan crafted a tale about an acid attack survivor that challenged our conventional definition of beauty. This layered tale — a telling portrait of an indestructible woman — was taken a notch higher by a powerful performance from Parvathy.

From the ‘Virus’ poster
From the ‘Virus’ poster Source: ‘Virus’

Virus

Malayalam (stream it on Amazon Prime Video)

Director Aashiq Abu set his wholly fictionalised and largely intriguing tale against the 2018 outbreak of the Nipah virus in Kerala, coming up with a well-crafted multi-starrer. Clinical and yet compelling enough to suck in the viewer from the get-go, Virus scored for its tense and taut screenplay, playing out as a mix of a suspense drama and an investigative thriller. The performances at its heart — led by Parvathy, Tovino Thomas and Revathy — powered the film that had long legs at the box office.

A scene from the movie
A scene from the movie Source: ‘Jallikattu’

Jallikattu

Malayalam (stream it on Amazon Prime Video)

That Angamaly Diaries man Lijo Jose Pellissery is one of the most exciting voices in Indian cinema was once again reinforced by this spectacularly frenzied tale that followed the aftermath of the escape of a bull from a slaughterhouse in a hilly remote village. Working as much as a thriller as it did as a social commentary, Jallikattu was searingly honest, cutting close to the bone, with the characters and situations staying on with the viewer. The film was a courageous blend of theme, image and sound and took the audience on a whirlwind ride as it ripped apart the ugly side of unhinged masculinity.