Tamil cinema, popularly known as Kollywood, is hugely popular and widely loved both in India and abroad. Tamil films have established a global presence through distribution to an increasing number of overseas theatres and has also inspired independent filmmaking in Tamil diaspora populations in Malaysia, Singapore and the Western Hemisphere. If you’ve wondered what are some of the best Tamil movies to watch, we’ve got you covered.
The Kamal Hassan starrer directed by Mani Ratnam is a must watch and is a classic film. It is loosely based on the real-life Bombay underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar and also depicts the struggles faced by South-Indians in the city. Some say it is an adaptation of The Godfather movie as well. The soundtrack of the film is great and has been composed by Ilaiyaraaja.
Mouna Ragam (1986)
This Tamil language romantic drama film is also written and directed by Mani Ratnam and pulls at one’s heartstrings which is the reason why it also won several national awards at the time. The movie tells the story of a character called Divya who is grieving over the death of her lover and is convinced into an arranged marriage with a man called Chandrakumar. The movie showcases Divya’s struggles of moving on and accepting her present and how the couple adjusts to one another. With brilliant performances by each character the movie is again a classic that mustn’t be missed.
Yet another Mani Ratnam movie, Bombay is a romantic drama film that narrates the story of a Hindu man and a Muslim woman who fall in love in a small village and over time move to the city of Bombay where increased religious tensions in the city lead to riots. Subsequently, the couple have two children but the religious tensions threaten to tear their family apart. The movie was received well at the time by audiences and critics alike and the Hindi version of the film did well at the box office too.
Moondram Pirai (1982)
Starring popular actors Kamal Hassan and Sridevi, Moondram Pirai is the story of a young woman who suffers a massive head injury in a car accident and subsequently begins regressing and behaving like a child. She finds hope in a school teacher who rescues her from a brothel where she’s trapped and falls in love with her. The film won various national film awards and Filmfare awards too.
This Rajnikanth cult classic is about an auto driver who tries to stay away from violence but is confronted with it when his sister gets attacked. Although the plot doesn’t seem to be too tight-knit, the movie is an entertaining action flick. It was also dubbed in Telugu.
There are many more classic cult movies that have inspired generations of actors, directors and audiences alike such as Roja, Mudhalvan, Anjali, Kannathil Muthamittal, Sivaputrudu and more.