The southern movie industry has grown into one of the best theaters producing blockbuster movies and talented actors. Some Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil movies of late have shown that they are much more than a typical hero/heroine romance, involving over-the-top action sequences, cheesy family sentiments, etc. They have the right content, the best actors and an interesting story that completely surprises the audience in all languages.
Southern cinema has gotten to the point where it is not shy or afraid to speak out about issues like feminism, domestic violence, women’s empowerment, and equality with its films. Yes, over the years we have come across a number of movies that show various social ills that beset the lives of women. And the best thing is that these movies not only won the response from the audience but also became box office hits.
Recently, many southern films have touched on themes such as domestic abuse, patriarchy, women’s rights, and others. Be it Ammu in Telugu or Jaya Jaya Hai in Malayalam, there are plenty of feminist movies in the south that depict misogyny in the truest sense.
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Basil Joseph and Darshana Rajendran, the Malayalam film starring Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hai, has managed to convey a highly relevant social issue in the best possible way and yet with full impact. The movie not only managed to win over the Malayali audience but also impressed everyone irrespective of language barrier due to the right content. The overwhelming response forced the creators to release the Hindi dubbed version on OTT.
With a budget of Rs 5 crore, Jaya Jaya Jaya Hai has grossed around Rs 40 crore from the initial launch points of Kerala and GCC alone. This is quite an achievement for a low-budget domestic violence movie. A satire on gender stereotypes directed by Vipin Das, Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey is the story of a married woman who struggles with her husband, who physically abuses her on a daily basis. However, the clincher of the film is how she managed to learn karate, brilliantly showing how women can do anything, anywhere. The first kick to her husband, Jaya Jaya Jaya Hai, is the best shot in the movie.
Next Ammu, a Telugu film released on Amazon Prime Video, is based on domestic violence. Ammu’ stars Aishwarya Lekshmi in the title role along with Naveen Chandra and Simha. According to the official tagline, it follows the exciting transformation of a woman who goes from being a victim of domestic violence to overcoming her internal struggles, discovering her inner strength, and giving her abusive husband a great reward.
Ammu thought the marriage was a fairy tale, full of love and magic. But everything changed when her policeman’s husband, Ravi, hit her for the first time. What Ammu thought was a one-time incident turned into an endless cycle of abuse. However, she decides to fight back and returns.
Gatta Kushti is another movie that shows a patriarchal mindset on how women should live and how a man should always control his wife in marriage. The film revolves around the male militant Veera, who is looking for a girlfriend on his predetermined conditions, but ends up marrying Keerthi, against her expectations. The ending definitely deserves a round of applause. A good watch and a movie about empowering women who never stop dreaming and fighting.
Gatta fight features Vishnu Vishal and Aishwarya Lakshmi. The project was also cast in Telugu as Matty Kusthi and was directed by Chella Ayyavu. The film received a positive response from critics and audiences. It is available for streaming on Netflix.
That’s it, lately the south has been giving out patriarchy-busting movies and these three movies have definitely garnered accolades and should definitely be on your watch list.
ALSO READ: From Yash to Rishabh Shetty, here’s how the stars broke language barriers and changed the dynamics of the Kannada film industry
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