Have you watched the Tollywood movie Bahubali? Yes, the one that broke all records and became a super-duper hit! Have you heard about Sairat? The one that became the highest-grossing Marathi film ever! But sadly, regional cinemas still don’t get as much attention as it should. But now it’s high time to look beyond Bollywood and explore the sphere of Indian Regional cinema.
With movies like “Village Rockstars” entering to Oscars proves, regional cinema industries have some gems to share. From Sairat to Bahubali, today regional cinema is thriving at its creative peak, all thanks to the new-age audience that is welcoming strong content.
From Marathi to Malayalam cinema, Indian Regional Cinemas are producing some really good regional movies for all the cinema lovers and you’ve got to check them out!
1. Village Rockstars
Singing to the beats of life, Rima Das’s Village Rockstars is a tribute to the people and place she comes from. Unfulfilled dreams simmering against an idyllic backdrop, this movie was India’s entry in Oscars. Bhatia Das as Dhunu shows amazing authenticity in her portrayal. While watching the movie in comfortable recliners I wanted to be with Dhunu and her pals dancing in the rains.
The film rooted in the daily rhythms of Chhaygaon village in Assam shows the innocence and the landscape beautifully. Those 87 minutes of the movie transported me to the magical land of Assam and the biggest worry for me was losing my goat and finding enough money to buy a guitar! Oh! Wish life was so unsullied. Everything was so fondly visualized that you can feel the mud huts baking in the sweltering heat and the coolness of soaking in water pools among the grass fields.
This movie is an absolute gem!
The first feature-length Himachali movie, Saanjh, revolves around an emotional journey of a 16-year-old girl, Sanju, who is sent back to their remote ancestral village to live with her grandmother after getting into trouble in Delhi. It is a must-watch feature film from Himachal by Ajay Saklani which beautifully portrays emotions and relationships.
Wonderful direction, the scenic beauty, mountains, backgrounds, everything will leave all of us mesmerized. Ajay Saklani, a young director from Himachal has done a commendable job. The movie has captured the essence of Himachal and its aspirations beautifully. The locations in the movie were heavenly. It was a delight to listen to Mohit Chauhan giving voice to two of the songs in Saanjh. A great effort to unite the identity and people of Himachal and has given a new image to a beautiful northern hill state of India.
A must watch film for a person hailing from Himachal and a worthy watch for everyone else.
A well-made psycho, Jatin Wagle’s Manjha is a solid entry. Seldom do we get psychological thrillers in Marathi films that are so well made and Manjha is one of its kind. While flying the Kite, you have to hold the thread i.e. ‘Manjha’ very carefully. If you hold it tight, it can harm your figures, and even if you loosen the hold, still it can harm the figures. ‘Manjha’ story of 2 teenage school mates’ friendship which turns into a gritty thrill.
I feel like after a while such delicate topic has been approached with such finesse. The performances on-screen just accentuated the crisp and on tenterhook storyline and direction. The subject was very well Scripted, Dialogued, Directed, Cinematographed and Acted, though mainly focused on 3 characters, it does not lose its grip till the climax. Ashwini Bhave appeared as caring, loving mother gracefully and Rohit Phalke perfectly fits in her son’s character and showed brilliantly the shades of him being a bit reserved, emotional and then open when meeting his close friend. Also, Sumedh Mudgalkar portrayed a smart but a psycho friend so confidently and impressively, that he maintains the desired attention and impact throughout the film.
V.C Abhilash’s directorial debut, Aalorukkam has been praised for its portrayal of social issues so brilliantly. The story follows Pappu Pisharadi, an aging man who has been on a search for his son for 16 years. It is a hard-hitting film that has its good moments and due to the relevance of the issue this film handles, it’s not easy to suppress your thought process after watching it.
Conceivably, “Aalorukkam” is the first film in Malayalam that seriously bond us to introspect about this topic, which we quite often look with aversion. Alorukkam talked about a much-concerned subject from a new perspective, about the loneliness of old age, as well as the deviating attitude of society in passing. Through some strong performances and neat enough making, the film managed to have my attention and also stayed relevant.
Aalorukkam portrayed about the social issues that the generation gap suffer from today and serves as a lesson about perception and social issues.
It is well worth the watch!
Kaushik Ganguly’s Nagarkirtan is probably the finest Bengali regional film that deals with transgender identity and our society’s approach towards it. Some films and performances amaze us and make us go ‘wow’. Then, there are films like Nagarkirtan that leave all of us spellbound and render us speechless.
The unsentimental, unsparing vision of the film left me with a strange and almost grotesque incarnation. Even after hours of watching the movie, I am still numbed by the emotions. Thanks to outstanding performances, there’s scarcely a false note in what is possibly the most authentic depiction of transgender identity on-screen. Nagarkirtan is such a film that makes us flinch from a scene unfolding before us. As Nagarkirtan plunges towards its nerve-racking climax, I found myself almost unwittingly avert my eyes from the screen, hoping against hope that there was some way one could rewind the last half-hour for a different outcome. But then, of course, Nagarkirtan would not be the film it is.
This unflinching, uncompromising, unforgettable film is a must-watch.
The best feature film in Gujarati at the 65th National Film Awards, Dhh, captures the innocence and essence of childhood in a very tasteful manner. A relatable & refreshing story based on the life of 3 Gujarati boys who try to pass their exams through magic! Children need to be molded into good citizens of the future so it is essential to inculcate in them qualities of tolerance, non-violence, scientific temper and love for other beings including animals.
It is an adorable movie that effortlessly takes you back to those unforgettable school days. It touched on many important life aspects like friendship, hard work, belief systems, and family through simple and funny instances throughout the movie. The insight into the lives of small-town Gujarati families was very well depicted. Even as all the seasoned actors lifted the movie to a different level but the real showstoppers were the kids. Music was so indigenous yet very upbeat in various situations.
These regional movies are now coming in the spotlight due to their bold and innovative filmmaking. It’s time to recognize treasure trove of talent and expertise that we own right now and encourage regional films.