Breaking Into Tamil Cinema: A Beginner's Guide to the Art of Kollywood

Mathew Kurian
September 13, 2023
Explore the richness of Tamil cinema through our beginner's guide, spotlighting six influential films that embody Kollywood's unique storytelling prowess.

Tamil Cinema, colloquially known as Kollywood, is a vibrant and dynamic film industry known for its riveting narratives, compelling performances, and soul-stirring music. For those just getting started with Tamil Cinema, this article will serve as your primer, offering a peek into its most influential films. Here's your shortlist of must-watch Tamil films:

Roja (1992)

Directed by Mani Ratnam, 'Roja' is a landmark film that marked the debut of composer A.R. Rahman. This political drama, framed around a love story, explores themes of patriotism and the human cost of terrorism. 'Roja' is a cinematic milestone that continues to inspire filmmakers and music enthusiasts alike.

Nayakan (1987)

Another masterpiece from Mani Ratnam, 'Nayakan' is an engaging narrative based on the life of a Mumbai-based underworld don. The film is known for Kamal Haasan's stirring performance and Ilaiyaraaja's evocative music score. It was India's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards.

Anbe Sivam (2003)

Helmed by Sundar C, 'Anbe Sivam' features Kamal Haasan and Madhavan in a narrative that touches upon atheism, communism, and altruism, packaged within an unconventional road trip setting. It is cherished for its dialogues and philosophical underpinnings.

Kaakha Kaakha (2003)

Directed by Gautham Menon, this action-packed cop drama reinvented the genre within Tamil Cinema. Suriya's riveting portrayal of a dedicated police officer, coupled with Harris Jayaraj's memorable tunes, make it a must-watch.

Super Deluxe (2019)

Thiagarajan Kumararaja's 'Super Deluxe' is an unconventional narrative that weaves together multiple stories, touching upon themes of faith, morality, and existentialism. With an ensemble cast delivering power-packed performances, the film is celebrated for its bold storytelling and intriguing character arcs.

Peranbu (2018)

Directed by Ram, 'Peranbu' is a poignant tale of a single father raising a daughter with cerebral palsy. Starring Mammootty in the lead role, the film is a moving exploration of unconditional love and acceptance.

These films, with their distinctive narratives and compelling characters, encapsulate the depth and diversity of Tamil Cinema. Whether you're a cinema enthusiast or a casual viewer, these classics provide a window into the heart of Kollywood, making for a rewarding cinematic journey. Happy viewing!

The Tamil industry is also home to a roster of Pan-India hit movies. Check out the list of Highest grossing Tamil movies!

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