Best South Indian Movies of 2023

Best south indian of 2023

Sapta Sagaradaache Ello – Side B 

After a decade in prison amid the COVID fight, Manu (Rakshit Shetty) longs for Priya (Rukmini Vasanth), his past flame. Guided by former inmate Prakasha (Gopal Krishna Deshpande), Manu encounters Surabhi (Chaitra J Achar), a sex worker resembling Priya. Despite Surabhi’s differences, Manu grows closer to her. Learning of Priya’s bleak life, he resolves to help her find love. The sequel, Side B, showcases stellar performances from Rakshit Shetty, Rukmini Vasanth, and Chaitra J Achar. Director Hemanth M Rao excels in character portrayal, creating a satisfying sequel with engaging storytelling, enriched by Advaitha Gurumurthy’s cinematography and Charan Raj’s music. Despite some pacing issues, Side B delivers a poignant conclusion, making it a must-watch for those familiar with Side A and a compelling standalone for newcomers.


Sampath, the newly appointed station inspector in the coastal village of Thamas Katte, delves into the mysterious disappearance of Jenny’s father, Toby. Known as both a ‘Shaitan’ and a dumb angel with childlike innocence, Toby, an abandoned child, forms a unique world with Father Iglesias, Damodara, Jenny, and Savitri. Raj B Shetty delivers a powerful, dialogue-free performance as Toby, with Chaitra J Achar also shining. The film, blending various elements, showcases captivating scenes, enhanced by Praveen Shriyan’s cinematography and Midhun Mukundan’s music. Despite a slow-paced narrative and a somewhat predictable climax, “Toby” offers a unique, genre-defying experience with a nod to fans of the Raj-verse.

Jigarthanda Double X

Being Karthi’s 25th film, “Japan” intrigued him due to its unconventional character-driven narrative. The titular character, Japan Muni, stands out as a bold and flamboyant robber, a departure from traditional hero roles. Director Raju Murugan takes a commercial tone, infusing self-awareness of clichés into the script. The film explores mass appeal but struggles with emotional engagement. The plot revolves around a jewellery showroom heist, intertwining criminals, cops, politicians, businessmen, and film stars, revealing their impact on common lives. Despite promising script ideas, the execution lacks emotional resonance, relying on sharp dialogues and Karthi’s committed performance to maintain audience interest.

In “Kaathal – The Core,” Mathew Devassy confronts the challenges of electioneering and navigating a family crisis, beautifully presented by Mammootty and Jeo Baby. Writers Paulson Skaria and Adarsh Sukumaran unfold a compelling narrative, skillfully exploring the intricacies of relationships and societal norms. The film fearlessly addresses divorce and societal change, delving into the legal system’s functioning. Maintaining a low-key tone, Jeo Baby’s adept use of sound enhances emotional impact, complemented by Mathews Pulickan’s background music. Cinematographer Salu K Thomas and editor Francies Louis contribute to the cohesive cinematic experience, while Mammootty’s standout performance, supported by Jyothika, makes “Kaathal – The Core” a thought-provoking and inspiring piece transcending traditional boundaries.


In “Romancham,” director Jithu Madhavan’s debut thrives on vivid detailing, portraying the central characters’ camaraderie within their intricately crafted home. Despite being a horror-comedy, the film’s memorable aspects lie in the characters’ faces and well-timed interactions rather than the horror elements. The movie introduces seven men living together, with Nirup (Sajin Gopu) leading the pack. Each character is uniquely developed, exploring quirks and mannerisms, reminiscent of classic Malayalam films like In Harihar Nagar and Ramji Rao Speaking. The film adds a fresh twist to the horror-comedy genre, extracting comedy from frightening scenarios while maintaining an overall hip vibe, enhanced by Sushin Shyam’s music. Arjun Ashokan’s entry after the interval transforms “Romancham” into a different movie, hinting at a promising sequel.

Viduthalai Part 1

Viduthalai” stands as a triumph of conviction, revealing Soori’s hidden hero within, skillfully portrayed by Vetri Maaran. The film, portraying an unconventional underdog tale, is laden with drama, emotions, and simmering tension. Soori, embodying hope in the face of systemic oppression, delivers a restrained yet compelling performance. Bhavani Sre impresses as the leading lady, while Chetan embodies relentless police brutality. Gautham Vasudev Menon adds a humane touch, leaving room for suspense. Vijay Sethupathi’s portrayal of Vathiyar adds an intriguing element, setting the stage for an eagerly anticipated sequel. Vetri Maaran, unflinching in showcasing police brutality, crafts another impactful narrative akin to his previous successes, backed by Ilayaraja’s haunting background score and impeccable contributions from the cinematography and art direction. “Viduthalai 1” stands as a commendable effort with a promising setup for the sequel.


Jude Anthany Joseph’s highly successful 2018 survival drama, credited with reviving the Malayalam film industry post-COVID, presents a formidable ensemble cast. Tovino Thomas, known for Minnal Murali, leads as Anoop, an ex-Army soldier. The film skillfully depicts the catastrophic 2018 floods in Kerala, celebrating the resilience of ordinary citizens amidst the crisis. With a star-studded lineup including Indrans, Kunchako Boban, Asif Ali, and Aju Varghese, the film weaves multiple narratives during the relentless rains, emphasizing the communal efforts to combat nature’s fury. Despite some indulgence and sentimentality, 2018 remains a compelling and affecting portrayal of a universal struggle against climate change.

Good Night 

Feel-good films, a rarity in Tamil cinema compared to Malayalam, find success with gems like “Good Night.” Exploring the common issue of snoring, the film follows Mohan’s journey, played by Manikandan, as he navigates the challenges of love and family. Directed by Vinayak, the film strikes a balance with beautiful moments and well-established characters, especially in the effective bond between Ramesh Thilak and Manikandan. The second half, while swift in transitions, delves into emotion and drama, leaving a lasting impact. Every actor, particularly Manikandan, delivers standout performances, making “Good Night” a heartwarming and worthwhile watch.


The spoken line, “We’re Maharashtra police investigating a Mallu case in Tamil Nadu – it’s gonna be tough,” sets the tone for the complex narrative of the Malayalam film “Thankam” produced by Fahadh Faasil, Dileesh Pothan, and Syam Pushkaran. Directed by Saheed Arafath and written by Syam Pushkaran, the film defies categorization, seamlessly blending crime drama, police procedural, friendship saga, and slice-of-life elements. Starring Biju Menon, Vineeth Sreenivasan, and Vineeth Thattil David, “Thankam” unfolds as a story of friendship in Thrissur’s gold trade, taking unexpected turns when their plans in Tamil Nadu go awry, leading to a crime in Maharashtra investigated by Mumbai police officer Jayanth Sakhalkar.


ASP Vinod dies unexpectedly during his duty at Vagamon police station, prompting his twin brother DSP Pramod to investigate. The film explores the unique bond between the brothers, delving into childhood trauma and sibling rivalry. Rohit M G Krishnan’s thriller unfolds with multiple layers, skillfully showcasing the acting prowess of Joju George, who plays both characters distinctively. The supporting cast, including Anjali, Sunil Surya, Sabumon Abdusamad, and Arya Salim, deliver outstanding performances. The background score by Jakes Bejoy, along with Vijay’s cinematography and Manu Antony’s editing, contributes to the film’s suspenseful tone. “Iratta” stands out as a captivating suspense thriller with a nuanced portrayal of characters and feminist themes. Joju George reaffirms his acting caliber, and the film leaves a lasting impact on the audience.

Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam

Watching “Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam” feels like experiencing the Kochi Muziris Biennale – initially skeptical, then awed, yet unsure about the essence. Lijo Jose Pellissery’s films prioritize characters, heightened emotions, and atmosphere over plot, creating a distinct mood. Mammootty portrays James, a complex patriarch who mysteriously assumes another identity during a pilgrimage. The film, open-ended and enigmatic, delves into the exploration of different lives and personal truths. Mammootty’s stellar performance, Lijo’s mature direction, and Theni Eswar’s cinematography contribute to the film’s unique allure, generating substantial interest at film festivals and promising continued buzz in theaters.

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