India is a multi-cultural land and yet it is the Bollywood movies that have dominated the film market in India. With all the glamor that is attached to Bollywood, regional films often don't get as much exposure on the national scale as they probably should. However, over the years, vernacular languages have given us many movies that have left us stirred within.
With a diverse culture like ours, with so many different dialects, India has a vast resource of stories and characters. Regional films mainly get promoted in their respective states, but audiences now, are looking at and for content from beyond their native lands. There are many regional films that have been highly appreciated not just by the respective regional audience, but also by the nation.
Here are a few regional films that every movie lover should watch.
The story of a retired theatre actor, Ganpat Ramchandra Belwalkar, is as haunting as it is beautiful. The story of a selfless father with his better half, makes this a heartbreaking yet heartwarming and a must-watch film for all cinema lovers. We know how Nana Patekar is a great actor, but after watching 'Natsamrat' you will have a newfound respect for this man.
Chauthi Koot (Punjabi)
This Punjabi film is set in the 1980s when Punjab was witnessing a lot of political turmoil. Gurvinder Singh’s Chauthi Koot is a marvelous and authentic re-creation of the time. The film has two parallel stories, and the director makes us forget that there is a camera. Winner at the Singapore International Film Festival of the Best Asian Feature Film, makes it a must-watch regional movie. This also established Singh as one of the most exciting young voices of independent Indian cinema.
Wrong Side Raju (Gujarati)
This thriller is inspired by a real life hit-and-run case. The protagonist, Raju is a driver by the day and smuggles alcohol at night, which is illegal in the state. He is wrongly convicted for the accident and now has to find a way to clear his name from this false case. This edge of the seat thriller, makes 'Wrong Side Raju' a film worth watching.
The story of a Bengali couple who visit a town for the treatment of their ailing child won the National Award for the Best Bengali Feature Film this year. Shankhachil highlights the anguish that people have gone through due to partition, through generations. The struggles of the family's relationships form the crux of this film. This is a film that everyone will connect to, irrespective of their background and religion.
This film received the Best Film on Social Issues award at the National Film Awards. Jogwa portrays strong romantic elements that explores the life of rural people. The struggles of two lovers is shown in this film where they are forced by the society to give up everything and serve God. Watch it for its serious plot, which is very original, and the music.
Watch these regional films and you will not be disappointed. Comment and let us know what you think of these movies and if there are any recent favorites of yours that should be on this list.