Like it or not, big-ticket Bollywood or Hollywood films almost always become our go-to option for default movie-watching. But times they are a changin'. Some of most thought-provoking films made in India over the last few years have not been in Hindi. Here are our picks for the best non-Hindi regional films made in 2019. So dive in, travel off the beaten path, surprise yourself with these gems.
Aamis | Assamese
In Assamese film 'Aamis', director Bhaskar Hazarika takes a harmless narrative and gives it a shocking twist. 'Aamis' tells the story of Nirmali, a married paediatrician and Sumon, a young anthropology student, who bond over their shared love for meat, and embark on a gastronomical adventure of sorts. The film explores the relationship between food and sex, it will repulse you and provoke you at the same time.
Nagarkirtan | Bengali
In 'Nagarkirtan', Kaushik Ganguly tells the love story of a girl trapped in a man’s body and a young man who is still unsure of his sexuality. The two best Bengali actors in the business, Riddhi Sen and Ritwick Chakraborty portray the characters of Punti and Madhu. The film is heartbreakingly visceral and shows how class can complicate the struggles of the LGBTQ community.
Peranbu | Tamil
Directed by Ram, Tamil film 'Peranbu' is a moving drama about a father played by Mammootty and his efforts to care for his daughter with cerebral palsy. The first half of the film is set in the midst of nature, sunlight, meadows... and is bright and beautiful, the film then moves to the big bad city...where a father tackles daily tribulations of a pubertal daughter, her periods and her changing sexuality.
Kumbalangi Nights | Malayalam
Set in the village of Kumbalangi in Kerala, the film has been directed by Madhu C Narayanan. It is about a family of four dysfunctional brothers who eventually discover security and love among themselves with the help of their friends. With stellar performances and brilliant writing, the film is one of the best releases this year.
Mallesham | Telugu
Raj Rachakonda's inspiring biopic is based on the true story of Padma Shri-winner Chintakindi Mallesham who invented an ‘asu’ machine which helped the weaving community in his village by revolutionising the production of silk sarees. With a superlative performance in Mallesham, Telugu actor & comedian Priyadarshi, underlines he's a actor who needs to be taken seriously.