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Diving into the world of Parallel cinema with 6 Tamil movies
Samayeshwari Vithaspa
Aug 26, 2021
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Parallel cinema in Tamil

Though a parallel cinema may not be a choice for many, they too can make an interesting watch on a weekend. Non-commercial films address several issues in the country with their realistic visuals and aesthetics. Parallel cinema that originated in the ’50s narrates simple stories from our day-to-day lives. Though Tamil films are known more for their commercial and mass appeal, the industry has produced several interesting unconventional films that convey messages about caste issues, pothole-ridden roads and several other socio-political issues.

Here is a list of parallel movies in Tamil that you can watch to get you introduced to a new wave of cinema.

1
Aramm
8.3OTTplay Rating
Starring Lady superstar Nayanthara in the lead role, the movie talks about how an entire village joins hands to help a little girl, who gets stuck in a deep borewell. It draws a parallel from the real-life incidents where roads are not well laid and people meet with such accidents due to potholes that are hardly filled by the authorities. Nayanthara portrays the role of a district collector who is entrusted with the responsibility to save the little girl. The film makes you realise and enlighten you about similar incidents happening in different parts of the country, and even the world.
2
Ka Pae Ranasingam
7.7OTTplay Rating
Starring Aishwarya Rajesh and Vijay Sethupathi in lead roles, the movie talks about the difficulties faced by a widow in getting her deceased husband’s body from Dubai to her place due to politics, corruption and treacherous bureaucracy. Aishwarya Rajesh’s performance is one of the reasons for which the movie deserves a watch. It talks about the lives of people who leave for Gulf countries to earn their living for their families back at home, and the unfortunate incidents faced by their families, in the case of their deaths. On a lighter note, the chemistry of Aishwarya Rajesh and Vijay Sethupathi is also a good reason to watch the movie. The movie is another splendid contribution from the world of parallel cinema.
3
Merku Thodarchi Malai
8.1OTTplay Rating
It is another visually aesthetic and remarkable movie that revolves around the lives of small-time labourers. It talks about the real-life incidents of the daily conflicts that happen between the labourers and their employers or landlords. The movie is another epitome of parallel cinema, as when we watch the movie, we also simultaneously realise that a labourer must be facing challenges and injustice in some corner of the world. It shines a light on the hardships faced by a man who wants nothing but to own a piece of land in his name.
4
Pariyerum Perumal
9OTTplay Rating
It is another movie that highlights inequalities due to the caste system. It talks about the difficulties of a man from an ‘oppressed caste’ and the issues he faces when he falls in love with a girl from an upper caste. The movie shows a mirror to the reality of the world and reminds us of numerous such issues we read in newspapers, social media or watch on TV. The film conveys the hardships with some elements of comedy they include in the relationship of the protagonist with his friend, but at the same time, the film portrays their friendships very realistically.
5
Joker
8.2OTTplay Rating
The movie talks about a man who questions the government and points out its inefficiency in delivering its promises. He declares himself as the president of the country who wants to end corruption in the system which gets people of his village to believe that he’s crazy and starts calling him a joker. The movie is shot beautifully and highlights what exactly goes on in the mind of the protagonist played by Guru Somasundaram. You will never get tired while watching the movie, as every scene has something new to offer. It also highlights the lack of basic amenities in small towns which is the fundamental right of every citizen of the country.
6
KD
8.8OTTplay Rating
The movie raises the issue of senacide (involuntary euthenesia performed on the elderly) or thalaikoothal, that is followed in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. It narrates the story of the titular character who runs away from his home when he realises his family’s deadly plans for him. The movie takes a lighter turn when Karrupu Durai befriends an eight-year-old boy who helps him fulfil things he wanted to do in his life. The way how every character is sketched in the film and the chemistry between the old man and the kid fills your heart with a myriad of emotions. The film definitely deserves a watch.

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