The topless lead actor looked earnestly into the camera and mumbled something about what love does to a person. His eyes conveyed emotions that pierced my heart and his apparent good looks, well, did a lot more. 😉 I’m not into romantic mush but am still a girl who weeps for a broken heart and boy, he killed it. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that it was some Bollywood movie. Old Salman, blabbering Akshay, or plastic Tiger cannot invoke such feelings in me. It was Vijay Deverakonda’s Arjun Reddy rendition that melted my insides and turned them to jelly. People may disagree about the story but there’s no argument that he did his job brilliantly. South Cinema with its fresh and relatable content wholeheartedly appeals to the moviegoer in me since then and another name, in particular, deserves credit for it: Fahadh Faasil.
If a few years ago someone suggested that I would someday trade Bollywood for South Cinema, I would probably scoff and move on. Don’t take me wrong, I’ve spent my childhood consuming dubbed movies like Appu Raja, The Gentleman, Sazae Kaala Paani, Roja, Anjali, and the like. All amazing actors with super hit movies, as you may observe, which was often the case back then. However, with back-to-back (often substandard) dubbed movies (Thanks to Goldmines) showing on television all day the short-lived aversion was as real as can be. The lockdown
forced me gave me a chance to explore originals of Hindi remakes (Madhavan’s Alaipayuthe, Dulquer’s O Kadhal Kanmani, Mohanlal’s Drishyam, etc), brand new stories, and some truly wonderful actors. While I had seen and known others, the real find for me was Fahadh Faasil with his brilliant movie: Maalik.
Bollywood has for long tricked people into believing their misleading version of society. It still relies on caricatures and stardom to make its movies work and dishes out absolutely non-palatable junk sometimes. Imagine seeing something like C U Soon and wondering if I’m missing out on real Indian Cinema! The movie is shot entirely through screens and has a beautiful story to go with it. Baahubali and KGF franchises have created records with their content and cinematic experience. Even a simple love story like Maara has a rewatch value. My most recent outing, Vikram, has probably made me shift loyalties for good. Thanks to Kamala Hassan, Fahadh Faasil, and director Lokesh Kanagaraj for his universe in making.
Drug movies aren’t new to us. Many moviemakers have picked up bits and parts of The Godfather and created superhits with them. Our very own Janbaaz merged the concept with a love story and soulful music to boot. Vikram, however, dishes out an unapologetic, raw, violent, and real version of the drug mafia that involves senior police officials. Fahadh Faasil as an undercover cop and Kamala Hassan’s shaded character add layers to this complicated story. Money and commitment to duty drive the narrative while lives are expended faster than the blink of an eye. You uncomfortably watch butcher knives slit and bullets pierce, fervently hoping that the bad guys die first, because you never know right?
Am I normal to vouch for Vikram after all this? Well, yes. Cops who cannot be tamed, drug peddlers with no conscience, and families that bear the brunt of it all, it has everything. Crime and thriller movies excite me since they highlight the grey side of human nature that we mostly don’t want to acknowledge. This is a perfect example of it. Anirudh’s amazing music blends with the scenes and stays with you long after the end credits have rolled. Reviews suggested that I watch Lokesh’s previous movie Kaithi to understand Vikram better, and glad I did. The story and characters are interwoven and I would recommend the same. Can Bollywood match up with these standards of moviemaking? I can only hope.
While Telugu cinema is louder and larger than life, Malayalam movies are subtle and more rooted in their homeland. Every language has a different flavour and introduces us to a new world. I’ve sieved through every OTT platform and watched many Fahadh Faasil movies with subtitles. Bangalore Days, Pushpa, Irul, Joji, Trance, Athiran, Varathan, Njan Prakashan, Red Wine, God’s Own Country are a few of them. His voice is too good to miss out on in dubbed versions and his beautiful, expressive eyes deserve a fan base of their own. I wanted to see him on the big screen and Vikram took care of that (though it was in Hindi). How can I ever go back to the Baaghis, Housefulls, and bad remakes of Bollywood after discovering such a gem? Why would I want to?
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20 thoughts on “Why Fahadh Faasil and Vikram sealed my love for South Cinema”
I too love movies made down south. They are soulful and with some great stories. I haven’t watched much of Faasil movies but loved him in Pushpa.
I totally agree with you Varsha, movies from South are so much grounded and touch your heart, even I love Puspha a lot and so RRR.
My husband is a big fan of south movies. I have watched few of classics like anjali, appu raja but did not give this a try in recent times. will check out recent ones. did not watch any movies of faasil or Vikram.
Having grown up here i have watched my share of Telugu movies. But most of them were loud but the good ones left a lasting impact. Vijay is a cult figure now and girls swoon when u take his name. I do not agree to the story line of Arjun Reddy but then each to his own. Thank you for sharing about Vikram and Fahadh. I have already noted it and will watch ASAP.
Cinema of the south is much slicker and well-edited now, no wonder our Bollywood is full of remakes of these. I am also planning to watch, but I hate blood and gore! Yes, a doctor who hates the sight of blood 🙂
I always prefer South Indian movies over Bollywood ones because of their detailing and a concrete story line.
We really low the work of Fahadh Faasil. After we saw one of his movies, we were fans of his performances and saw many more. Looking forward to see Vikram, where three great performers are together.
Movies that touch your heart and create ripple in your emotions is to be surely noted. Language is not a bar when it comes to watching movies. Few movies that does not require brain and have less emotion can be seen as an entertaining fact not as learning ones, every movie has a day to be watched, but yes humor in right sense is required. In movies we forget the practicality of a situation and flow with the emotion, if that is done then maker and actors have done the excellent job.
I am a die hard fan of South Indian movies.i feel they have content and originality which is very rare in Bollywood.
I am not into South Indian movies as I have found most movies are full of action and I like to stay away from maar dhaad. But I do watch a few that make to the news like Bahubali but I have not yet watched KGF & Pushpa. My husband, on the other hand, is a true devotee to south cinema. He must have watched almost every movie released in the last decade.
Your post have made my day, first because I got to google these two actors and viewed their portfolio images. And secondly, we needed an alternative to the junk they show in Hindi films today. I have seen Fahad Faasil’s work and his eyes are quite expressive.
Fahadh Faasil has a huge passion for cinema that is equal to his own level of passion for film which makes them both like brothers.
Even I have come to love south Indian films. Honestly I loved Vijay Deverkondda in Arjun Reddy. He was so natural. I also liked movies like Pushpa and bahubaali too now I will watch Vikram soon
Thank you for sharing this movie recommendation it looks really nice I’m surely going to check out this on weekend I loved watching Pushpa Too so can’t miss this one
I am a huge fan of Faasil. It started from Kumbalangi Nights. With one line “Raymond, the complete man.”he showed what he is capable of. Then there was no looking back. I wish Bollywood could even deliver a fraction of what Malayalam movies offer its audience.
I am big lover of South Indian cinema, I have seen pushpa, Bahubali,KGF ,i have started admiring south Indian movie, I agree Bollywood is way back in cinemagraph,acting,direction skill.
I am so glad to see the South Indian movies being accepted so much these days. Some of them are so awesome and have brilliant casting and writing. I have not watched these movies till now though, but I am sure they are awesome.
What a lovely, personal and interesting way you have chosen to review this Varsha. I still have not watched too many films of this genre but I feel I’m missing out.
Fafa is an excellent actor or should I say performer. Been in awe ever since I started watching his movies on OTT. Vikram is definitely gonna change his future to bigger roles
I have not watched these movies till now though, but I am sure they are awesome. I have just watched Bahubali so far from south . That was a brilliant movie