Out of the 400-odd films released in four southern languages - Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam, the following films may not have earned a robust box-office number but still managed to elicit positive response from the audience and critics alike.
IANS lists 10 best southern films of 2013:
Onayum Aatukuttiyum: It's the most underrated
Tamil film of the year from filmmaker Mysskin, who also featured in
it with a bevy of newcomers. Fittingly titled Onayum
Aatukuttiyum, which translates to The Wolf And The Lamb, it is
a touching story about the redemption of an ex-assassin (wolf) on a
mission to amend his past with the help of a medical student
(lamb). Maestro Ilayaraja's background score breathed life into the
Lucia: The film changed the way how
others looked at the Kannada film industry, usually popular for
producing loud commercial films, mostly remakes of its southern
counterparts. Not only did Lucia earn critical as well as
commercial acclaim but also introduced the concept of crowd-funding
and paved the way for aspiring filmmakers. A story set against the
backdrop of lucid dreaming, the film is already being remade in
Telugu, Tamil and Hindi.
Mumbai Police: Contrary to how
cop flicks are made in Indian cinema, this Malayalam crime thriller
is a cut above several films in the same genre across industries.
Mumbai Police is a well-narrated and well-performed realistic
picture backed by the support of an apt cast, to which you don't
mind rooting for.
Soodhu Kavvum: Dark Tamil
comedy shows it means to make a film is just to make audiences
laugh. Unarguably the funniest film of the year, Soodhu
Kavvum is powered by the presence of poster boy Vijay
Sethupathy. A box-office blockbuster, it revolves around four
misfit kidnappers who try something way out of their league. Imran
Khan will feature in the Hindi remake of the film, which will be
produced by Rohit Shetty.
Anthaku Mundu Aa Tharavatha: A rare Telugu film
that proves it is possible to make a modern-day romantic tale sans
sex and vulgarity. With Indraganti Mohan Krishna at the helm of it,
Anthaku Mundu Aa Tharavatha doesn't dare to experiment, but
questions the spate of romantic films that reek of cheesy
one-liners and respects the intelligence of a viewer. And what a
comeback film for Roja fame Madhoo!
Neram: A story that revolves around the events
that take place in a single day in the life of the protagonist, the
Tamil thriller-comedy focusses on the importance of time in one's
life and its subsequent repercussions. Neram was one of
the few films in the language that pleasantly surprised everybody
who watched it. Alphonse Putharen, who directed the film, will soon
remake it in Hindi.
North 24 Kaatham: An endearing story
about the meeting of three strangers on a hartal day and their
journey. Debutant director Anil Radhakrishna Menon's Malayalam
drama North 24 Kaatham is about life's randomness and
hope. Packed with intermittent humour, this is one of the best
films of actor Fahadh Faasil, who had 10 more releases this
Swamy Ra Ra: A simple story about fate, the
Telugu crime-comedy revolves around three friends who rob for a
living. Laced with humour and occasional thrills, "Swamy Ra
Ra is a welcome change for the industry plagued by mindless
commercial outings. The film's music was one of the best
soundtracks of the year.
Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi: A
Malayalam road movie that more or less could be termed as a
coming-of-age story of two friends, who hit the road and along the
journey learn about politics, friendship, family and religion. It's
a whiff of fresh air for moviegoers. Strong performances by an
ensemble cast and apt music make it nothing short of
Mallela Theeram Lo Sirimalle Puvvu: A clean and dignified Telugu film about a woman's search for love, liberation and self-respect, Mallela Theeram Lo Sirimalle Puvvu is one of the finest works in the family genre albeit melodrama and emotional outbursts. It's a shame that such a beautiful film had to release only in fewer cinemas.