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Krishna Rama, Purusha Pretham, Burqa and Hondisi Bareyari – 10 underrated South films and shows of 2023

Take a look at 10 films, shows from the South that deserved more love

Krishna Rama, Purusha Pretham, Burqa and Hondisi Bareyari –  10 underrated South films and shows of 2023
Underrated South films, shows of 2023

Last Updated: 03.16 PM, Dec 14, 2023


2023 was a year where OTT platforms, corporates clearly confirmed their interest to invest big in the regional markets. While the viewership of Telugu shows, films offers a ray of hope, the Tamil industry too made some progress in the digital space with a handful of web originals. Malayalam cinema, despite having only a handful of box office hits, sustained its golden standard with its rooted writing. Kannada industry, minus many starry outings, overcame a tepid start and seeks to end on a positive note.

Amidst biggies like Leo, Jailer, Ghost, Bhagavanth Kesari and Kannur Squad, we take a look at films, shows from the South that deserve more love from audiences.

Hostel Days

Director: Aditya Mandala

Cast: Darahas Maturu, Mouli Tanuj Prasanth, Aishwarya Hollakal and others

Available on: Amazon Prime Video


Hostel Days, the Telugu adaptation of TVF’s Hostel Daze, is a light-hearted, bitter-sweet exploration of hostel life. While unfolding from a male perspective, it encapsulates concerns, joys that are universal to most teenagers. It takes viewers through the highs and lows of hostel life, exploring teenage anxiety with the right doses of humour, (b)romance and drama.

Krishna Rama

Director: Raj Madiraju

Cast: Rajendra Prasad, Gautami, Ananya Sharma

Available on: ETV Win

Krishna Rama is a surprisingly vibrant addition to a long list of Telugu films revolving around parental neglect. Director Raj Madiraju lends the premise a trendy spin as the protagonists take to social media to overcome their loneliness. It makes you invest in its characters and entertains, while Rajendra Prasad and Gautami complement the theme with their experience.

Arthamaindha Arun Kumar

Director: Jonathan Edwards

Cast: Harshith Reddy, Ananya Sharma

Available on: aha

Arthamaindha Arun Kumar, the Telugu adaptation of the Hindi show Official Chukyagiri, is a low-stakes corporate drama tailormade for OTT viewing. Focusing on a small-town boy’s tryst with the corporate sector in a metropolis, it is a bitter-sweet coming-of-age tale, exploring workplace politics, work-life balance and heartbreak.


Director: Poluru Krishna

Cast: Avika Gor, Nandu, Ali Reza

Available on: Disney+ Hotstar

Vadhuvu, the official remake of the Bengali series Indu, is ably adapted in Telugu by writer-director Poluru Krishna. The family drama, largely shot indoors, has a dark theme while the characters certainly have a story to tell. Minus any obscenity, the show makes for ideal family viewing, thanks to its crisp runtime, racy treatment and a few solid twists.

Purusha Pretham

Director: Krishand

Cast: Prasanth Alexander, Jagadish, Darshana Rajendran, Devaki Rajendran, Jeo Baby, Sreejith Babu

Available on: Sony LIV

Purusha Pretham turns the popular tropes of cop movies on their heads. Though it may deceptively sound like a horror tale, it’s a dark comedy that satirises the Kerala police department. With colourful characters, high-energy performances, the film makes for an exciting watch and is benefited by the terrific cinematography and editing.

1001 Nunakal

Director: Thamar K V

Cast: Remya Suresh, Vishnu Agasthya and others

Available on: Sony LIV

A taut drama placing Malayali marriages under the microscope, 1001 Nunakal is a a slow-burner indie film leaning on a few familiar plot devices that offers a fresh perspective on the subject through a unique lens. The film explores Kerala’s vastly diverse society through a captivating tale.  The narrative tackles relatable issues involving married couples minus any exaggeration.

Hondisi Bareyari

Director: Ramenahalli Jagannatha

Cast: Naveen Shankar, Aishani Shetty, Praveen Tej, Archana Kottige, Bhavana Rao

Available on: Amazon Prime Video

Director Ramenahalli Jagannatha tells a nostalgic tale, that’s relatable to every college-going student, blending it with impressive music and songs. The film is an entertaining package of friendship, romance, showcasing the good and bad dimensions of college life with a meaningful message.


Director: Manso Re

Cast: Rajesh Natranga, Balaji Manohar, Avinash and Krishna Hebbale

Available on: T.B.A

19.20.21 is a compelling drama where Manso Re presents his case with a lot of conviction and remains solid in his path. It sheds light on a severely undermined social issue and bats for the oppressed in an emphatic manner. There's no dearth of heart or compassion in the film.


Director: Sarjun KM

Cast: Kalaiyarasan and Mirnaa Menon

Available on: aha

Burqa reminds you that one doesn't have to be strong to brace through the loss of a loved one. The natural, documentary-like cinematography complements the realness of the characters and moments, aided by tastefully-done music score. What sets it apart is how everything is woven into the vivid screenplay without feeling forced.


Director: Prasath Murugesan

Cast: Atharvaa, Nikhila Vimal, Manikandan

Available on: Disney+ Hotstar

Mathagam is an intriguing tale involving cops, politicians, and gangsters where Atharvaa is convincing as the timid cop who's torn between his family and profession. Nikhila Vimal, who plays his wife, is apt in the role of a concerned wife and a doting mother. Manikandan as the menacing antagonist tries his best to fit into the shoes of a hardcore criminal.

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