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Ayali, B 32 Muthal 44 Vare, and more - 5 South films and series that call out gender role expectations

Films such as 'B 32 Muthal 44 Vare' and 'Aachar & Co.' made an impact this year with their treatment of the subject matter, lucid scripts, stellar performances, and captivating storytelling methods.

Ayali, B 32 Muthal 44 Vare, and more - 5 South films and series that call out gender role expectations

Snips from B 32 Muthal 44 Vare, Aachar & Co, Ayali, Month of Madhu and Sweet Kaaram Coffee | Photo: Youtube

Last Updated: 03.17 PM, Dec 08, 2023


A lot of women-centric films were released in 2022, and many of them addressed the negative impacts of patriarchy, stereotypes, and gender norms, sparking lively discussions among viewers. While Ponni in ‘Saani Kaayidham’ chose to become vicious in order to exact revenge on her abusers, Jaya in ‘Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey’ chose to break free from the bonds of an abusive marriage. Sai Pallavi's character in 'Gargi', also made a strong choice against her father to uphold justice for a young girl.

In the meantime, a few directors had included several subtexts of gender norm expectations in their works. These films and series stood out this year thanks to the way they treated this subject, clear scripts, excellent performances, and engaging storytelling techniques.

1. Ayali (Tamil)


The Tamil series ‘Ayali’, starring Abi Nakshatra, gained recognition at the start of the year for its deft handling of a script that addressed a subject that is still taboo in many parts of our society: menstruation. The central character, Tamizhselvi, battles against a 500-year-old tradition that predominated in her village, Veerappannai, in Pudukkottai, in order to pursue higher education and her dream of becoming a doctor. In the process, she breaks the chains of patriarchy, empowers the women in her village, demonstrates to them the value of education, and helps them understand that women are for more than just getting married and having kids.

(Streaming on Zee5)

2. Aachar & Co. (Kannada)

Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar-produced film ‘Aachar & Co.’ gives a novel perspective on gender roles, women's employment and educational prospects, and the idea of arranged marriages. The life of Suma and her traditional family in Bengaluru during the 1960s is the subject of this 1 hour and 45-minute-long film. Suma eventually learns to put herself first and develops resilience in the face of adversity. Directed by Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy, who also plays Suma in the movie, Aachar & Co. is entertaining to watch and leaves viewers wondering if things have changed over time.

(Streaming on Amazon Prime)

3. B 32 Muthal 44 Vare (Malayalam)

Film enthusiasts highly praised Shruthi Sharanyam's ‘B 32 Muthal 44 Vare’, which explored issues of body image among women and homosexuality. The topic, which is handled with complete candor and clarity, sheds light on the lives of five women and a transgender person attempting to address their issues with body image. This film, which was produced by the Kerala State Film Development Corporation, featured outstanding performances from Krisha Kurup, Remya Nambeesan, Anarkali Marikar, and Aswathy Babu. ‘B 32 Muthal 44 Vare’ has not been sold to any OTT platforms yet.

4. Sweet Kaaram Coffee (Tamil)

The eight-part series, which stars Lakshmi, Madhoo, and Santhi Balachandran, tells the heartwarming tale of how three women from different generations' perspectives on life change after a trip. Overall, they learn to prioritize themselves, love who they are, and stand up for what they believe in.

(Streaming on Amazon Prime)

5. Month of Madhu (Telugu)

‘Month of Madhu’ tells the story of Lekha, a woman undergoing a period of self-discovery and fighting to break free from her complicated marriage. Netizens have already praised a scene in the movie that depicts Lekha taking some "me" time, emphasizing the value of loving oneself. Another character that gets us thinking about the stereotypes that still exist in our society is Madhumathi, also known as Madhu. She is an NRI teenager who is continuously criticized for living her life on her terms and making her own decisions. Applause was also given to the makers for their realistic presentation of the complexities of modern relationships.

(Streaming on aha and Amazon Prime)

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