Despite a rough year for theatres owing to the pandemic, the fan fervour around film releases prevailed.
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Much of this excitement migrated online to OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime but that did not stop fans from wanting to know more about their favourite films before and after they released. Netizens were on the lookout for plotline discussion forums, trailer releases, interviews, memes and more — all this online activity contributed to these 10 films making it to Google’s 2021 Year in Search for South Indian films.
And it is no wonder that this year’s list features projects from actors such as Rajinikanth, Suriya, Pawan Kalyan, Dhanush and Dulquer Salmaan.
1. Tamil movie ‘Jai Bhim’, directed by T. J. Gnanavel, is produced by Jyothika and Suriya. Based on true events from a 1993 court case, the legal drama film follows Justice K Chandru (Suriya) who advocates for a couple from the Irular tribe.
2. ‘Master’ stars Thalapathy Vijay as John Durairaj, an alcoholic professor who has to teach at a juvenile facility. He goes head-to-head against a gangster, who leverages the children as scapegoats for his crimes.
3. ‘Annaatthe’, one of the year’s most anticipated films, sees Rajinikanth playing Kaalaiyan, a village leader devoted to his sister Thanga Meenatchi (Keerthy Suresh). As they prepare for Meenatchi’s marriage, their plans are disrupted by chaotic conflict.
4. Dulquer Salmaan embodies infamous criminal Sukumura Kurup in Malayalam film ‘Kurup.’ The movie follows the consummate criminal seeking out a man whom he resembles so he can commit insurance and identity fraud.
5. Taking place in 1970s Madras, ‘Sarpatta Parambarai’ is inspired by the real-life of Tamil Nadu’s prominent boxers. Arya portrays Kabilan, a Dalit labourer who strives to become a successful boxer like his father. But his journey to get there is not easy.
6. Telugu entertainer ‘Jathi Ratnalu’ stars Naveen Polishetty, Priyadarshi and Rahul Ramakrishna as three friends who leave their village behind to find success in the city. However, chaos ensues and they find themselves in trouble with a minister.
7. Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan takes the lead in 'Vakeel Saab,' the Telugu remake of Hindi film ‘Pink’. It addresses themes of consent, women’s rights and addiction.
8. Romantic-drama ‘Uppena’ stars Vaishnav Tej and Krithi Shetty as a fisherman and daughter of a village leader. The two fall in love, but face caste-geared conflict in their journey to be together.
9. ‘Jagame Thandhiram’ stars Dhanush as Suruli, a gangster with a heart of gold, who heads to London and lands in the middle of a power struggle between two British gangs.
10. Mari Selvaraj’s ‘Karnan’ follows a Tamil Nadu hamlet of Dalits who are led by titular character Karnan (Dhanush) in a spirited fight against oppression.