Planning to watch the best of Indian content on Amazon Prime Video? As it often happens, in the face of overwhelming options, we spend hours scrolling through potential films and end up watching an old favourite or simply retire to bed. Well, now you can put your worries to rest as we have handpicked the best Indian movies of 2021 currently streaming on Amazon Prime. The list spans genres to ensure that whatever your taste buds desire, there is something to satisfy those cravings. Take a look.
1) Malik (Malyalam):
In his third outing with ace director Mahesh Narayan, Fahadh Faasil proves yet again why he is widely considered as flagbearer of the new wave in Malyalam Cinema. Malik charts the tumultuous journey of Sulaiman Ali Ahammad lovingly called Ali Ikka — rise in the world of crime to eventually become a godfather to the community that he protects. Travelling in a non-linear structure, the drama explores the relationship between religion, politics, gender and individual ambitions. Loosely based on the Beemapally riots of 2009, Malik also depicts how even close-knit communities can be pitted against each other due to vested political interests.
2) Karnan (Tamil):
Director Mari Selvaraj has emerged as one of the most progressive voices of Tamil Cinema. After his powerful 2018 debut film Pariyerum Perumal, Selvaraj delivers yet another hard-hitting tale of caste oppression. Loosely based on the 1995 caste-riots in Kodiyankulam, Karnan shines the spotlight on police brutality and abuse of power, and how Dalit are deprived of even the most basic needs. If Pariyerum Perumal was about a youngster fighting to assert his identity, Karnan shifts its focus on a community standing up for its right to basic human dignity. Dhanush’s portrayal of an irrepressible rebel driven by rage against his tormentors is one of the highlights of the film. His ability to blend into the character is one of the prime reasons why the film works.
3) The Great Indian Kitchen (Malyalam):
The Great Indian Kitchen
The Great Indian Kitchen brilliantly captures the nuances of a patriarchal household and brings to light all that is wrong with sexual division of labour. Director Jeo Baby simply replicates on screen what happens in millions of Indian households even today. The delicious frames move slowly and repeatedly showing vegetables being cut, food cooked, served hot n the table, cleaning the vessels pushing viewers to a point of exhaustion. This apparently has been done on purpose to get the audience to feel the emotional turmoil of the woman which is being constantly ignored. Nimisha Sajayan’s portrayal of a subservient wife who is gradually getting disillusioned with the apathy show at her new home will make you reflect on traditions, customs and norms that have normalised this behaviour.
4) Sherni (Hindi):
Set in a rural milieu, the Vidya Balan starrer is an intricately-woven story exploring the complex issues related to human-wildlife conflict. With obvious references to the killing of the tigress Avni (2018), Sherni tries to unravel the politics of the tribal areas of India that are far removed from the politics of city-dwellers like ourselves. With a stellar supporting cast comprising Vijay Raaz, Sharat Saxena, Brijendra Kala, and Neeraj Kabi, Sherni never oversteps rather delivers noiseless excitement.
5) Joji (Malyalam):
After winning widespread-acclaim with Maheshinte Prathikaram and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, filmmaker Dileesh Pothan delivers another gem in his third collaboration with actor Fahadh Faasil. The film focuses on the happenings at a plantation family in Kottayam, with a physically and overwise powerful patriarch. It is evident that the family is eyeing the share of the wealth that is waiting for them. The story tells what all greed can make a person do. The film is replete with dark humour and subtle hits at family and society. Joji might have drawn from the overarching theme of Macbeth but did away with the plot.
6) Jathi Ratnalu (Telugu):
If you have not been introduced to the mad talent of Naveen Polishetty, you should take some time off to watch his previous flick Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya. It’s a rib-tickling comedy drama that follows the travails of three friends-Naveen Polishetty, Rahul Ramakrishna, and Priyadarshi-haiiling from a small town who have a propensity to invite toruble. How they deal with the precarious situation is what Jathi Ratnalu is all about. Written and directed by Anudeep, Jathi Ratnalu is so self-aware of its characters and world that it leaves you in splits.
Helmed by debutant director Dhilip Kumar, Maara is a Tamil adaptation of 2016 Malayalam film Charlie. Starring R Madhavan and Shraddha Srinath, Maara is an endearing tale of a man who wears his heart on the sleeve and a woman who is in his pursuit. A young woman named Paaru (Srinath) stumbles upon a painting on the walls of a coastal town that depicts a fairy tale she once heard as a child. Intrigued, she sets out on a journey to find the person who painted it. Madhavan plays a slightly older character than Dulquer, but he brings his own vulnerability to Maara. It’s visually-striging film that encourages empathy towards those around us,
8) Drirshyam 2 (Malyalam):
Director Jeetu Jospeh reunited with superstar Mohanlal to churn out an equally good if not a superior sequel to Drishyam. At the end of 2013 thriller, Jeetu Joseph had convinced the audience that Georgekutty aka Mohanlal has hoodwinked the police and committed a perfect crime. Well, the Rajakkad police would not stop sniffing around him. In the first film, people showed empathy towards Georgekutty’s family horrified over police actions, the sequel, people would engage n gossips as how he got away despite committing a murder. It’s a tightrope to walk but Joseph sailed through.