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The year that was for south cinema

DH Showtime picks the best and worst of 2022 from Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam film industries
Last Updated : 23 December 2022, 18:13 IST
Last Updated : 23 December 2022, 18:13 IST

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Masooda
Masooda
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Ante Sundaraniki
Ante Sundaraniki
Bheemla Nayak
Bheemla Nayak
Bheeshma Paravam
Bheeshma Paravam
Super Sharanya
Super Sharanya
Thallumaala
Thallumaala
Na Thaan Case Kodu
Na Thaan Case Kodu
Rorschach
Rorschach
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey
Gargi
Gargi
Natchathiram Nagargirathu
Natchathiram Nagargirathu
Vendhu Thanindathu Kaadu
Vendhu Thanindathu Kaadu
Thiruchitrambalam
Thiruchitrambalam
Kadaisi Vivasayi
Kadaisi Vivasayi
RRR
RRR
Sita Ramam
Sita Ramam
Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam
Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam

The Highs

Super Sharanya (Director: Girish A D; starring Anaswara Rajan and Arjun Asokan): Breezy, and funny without trying, this is that rare rom-com seeing things from where the girl stands.

Bheeshmaparvam (Director: Amal Neerad; starring Mammootty, Shine Tom Chacko, and Soubin Shahir): Star swagger is celebrated with all-out adulation in this slickly-shot actioner where a Godfather-mode patriarch survives family coups and ambitious challengers.

Nna Thaan Case Kodu (Director: Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval; starring Kunchakko Boban): Poduval builds drama in the courtroom with stinging satire, as a reformed thief defends himself in his last shot at redemption.

Thallumaala (Director: Khalid Rahman; starring Tovino Thomas and Kalyani Priyadarsan): A busy, hyper-stylised film set amid fights and pretty much nothing in between. Chaotic, irreverent, supremely entertaining.

Rorschach (Director: Nissam Basheer; starring Mammootty and Grace Antony): Vengeance is served slow and cold in a psychological thriller led by a solid Mammootty.

Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey (Director: Vipin Das; starring Basil Joseph and Darshana Rajendran): At a time when films are being audited, lauded, and damned entirely for their political positions, this one breaks new ground with content (domestic violence) and its interesting choice of tone (dark-comic).

The Lows

Aaraattu (Director: Unnikrishnan B; starring Mohanlal and Shraddha Srinath)

Jack n’ Jill (Director: Santosh Sivan; starring Manju Warrier and Kalidas Jayaram)

Theerppu (Director: Rathish Ambat; starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, Indrajith Sukumaran, and Saiju Kurup)

Ottu (Director: Fellini T P; starring Kunchakko Boban and Aravind Swamy)

Monster (Director: Vysakh; starring Mohanlal and Honey Rose)

Gold (Director: Alphonse Puthren; starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Nayanthara)

Tamil

The Highs

Gargi (Director: Gautham Ramachandran; starring Sai Pallavi): A gripping tale of a daughter's fight for justice after her father gets arrested in a child abuse case.

Vikram (Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj; starring Kamal Haasan, Fahadh Faasil, Vijay Sethupathi): A bang-for-your-bucks action drama featuring a dream cast. Fans of the genre will love this compelling violent film.

Kadaisi Vivasayi (Director: M Manikandan; starring Vijay Sethupathi, Nallandi): An immersive experience on the art of simple living. Watch this heart-warming story of a farmer holding on to his roots and traditions.

Ponniyin Selvan I (Director: Mani Ratnam; starring Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Karthi): A visual spectacle with the Mani Ratnam flair. The director jumps the pan-India bandwagon yet remains unique with this retelling of the famous five-part novel.

Thiruchitrambalam (Director: Mithran R Jawahar; starring Dhanush, Nithya Menen): A consistently feel-good romantic comedy with an old-school, refreshingly simple style of storytelling.

Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu (Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon; starring Silambarasan, Siddhi Idnani): A reflection of the cold, matter-of-facts operations of the underworld. Gautham returns to form in this realistic gangster flick with stylised action sequences.

Natchathiram Nagargirathu (Director: Pa Ranjith; starring Dushara Vijayan, Kalidas Jayaram): In his finest film yet, Pa Ranjith offers an unabashed and honest take on love.

The Lows

Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal (Director: Vignesh Sivan; starring Vijay Sethupathi, Samantha and Nayanthara).

Beast (Director: Nelson; starring Vijay and Pooja Hegde)

Naane Varuvean (Director: Selvaraghavan; starring Dhanush)

Prince (Director: Anudeep K V; starring Sivakarthikeyan)

Valimai (Director: H Vinoth; starring Ajith)

Cobra (Director: Ajay Gnanamuthu; starring Vikram, Srinidhi Shetty)

Telugu

The Highs

RRR (Director: SS Rajamouli; starring Jr NTR, Ram Charan): The scene where Komaram Bheem (played by NT Rama Rao Jr.) jumps off a truck along with his army of wild animals around the time of intermission will be spoken about even after fifty years. ‘RRR’ is a beast that cannot be tamed.

Bheemla Nayak (Director: Saagar K Chandra; starring Pawan Kalyan, Rana Daggubati): It’s hard for a remake to pull off the charisma of its original, but ‘Bheemla Nayak’ spins the wheel faster and makes it a high-octane action drama in which the leads indulge in scrumptious verbal assaults.

Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam (Director: Vidya Sagar Chinta; starring Vishwak Sen, Ritika Nayak): This is a movie that addresses social issues without losing its grip on delivering laughs. It can also be counted as Vishwak Sen’s finest performance to date.

Sita Ramam (Director: Hanu Raghavapudi; starring Dulquer Salmaan, Rashmika Mandanna, Mrunal Thakur): Inthandham may not have the same flavor as Alanati Ramachandrudu from ‘Murari’ (2001), but it has already joined the league of favorites to be played at Telugu weddings.

Masooda (Director: Sai Kiran; Kavya Kalyan Ram, Sangeetha): The horror genre generally depends on some tried-and-tested tropes to either put the viewers in a trance or shock them, and ‘Masooda’ does both without plucking the low-hanging fruit.

Ante Sundaraniki (Director: Vivek Athreya; starring Nani, Nazriya Nazim): Wholesome conversations that sometimes feel like in-jokes, excellent background score, and actors who paint their on-screen shenanigans with vulnerability sprinkle stardust on this romantic comedy.

The Lows

Liger (Director: Puri Jagannadh; starring Vijay Devarakonda, Ananya Pandey)

Acharya (Director: Koratala Siva; starring Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan)

Khiladi (Director: Ramesh Varma; starring Ravi Teja, Dimple Hayathi)

Son of India (Director: Diamond Ratnababu; starring Mohan Babu, Pragya Jaiswal)

Krishna Vrinda Vihari (Director: Anish R Krishna; starring Naga Shaurya, Shirley Setia)

The Ghost (Director: Praveen Sattaru; starring Nagarjuna, Sonal Chauhan)

(Compiled by R Krishnakumar, Vivek M V and Karthik Keramalu).

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Published 23 December 2022, 18:07 IST

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