Justalkin Episode 78: Kolamaavu Kokila, Mahanati, Aadai and more, South films where females shined bright
Does anybody else like just watching trailers? There are only some that do the job perfectly. Tell you just enough to make you wait for the film with bated breath. And one of them, definitely for me, is Aadai. This is JusTalkin brought to you by in.com. The teaser for Aadai dropped a few days back, and I’m telling you, making trailers is even more difficult than making a movie nowadays because you have to tell people enough to make them want to watch the film but hide all the best bits so you can see it on the big screen. Aadai has only put out the teaser just yet. The movie stars Amala Paul, and she bares it all towards the end of the teaser. She’s always picked some really unconventional roles, even in the past. The teaser starts off with a mom looking for her daughter and ends with Amala Paul waking up completely naked on an office desk. So you know it’s gonna be a really serious movie. But it also doesn’t seem depressing. Aadai, means dress in Tamil. And towards the end of the teaser, Amala Paul wakes up wearing nothing. I think it’s really bold that they put that shot in. Considering how much censorship we’ve been experiencing lately, this shot is brave and brilliant all at the same time. It takes so many guts to bare yourself naked in front of a camera and crew. Amala Paul is incredible! And she’s not the only one. The South has slowly and steadily been seeing a rise in movies where women are not just an arm candy anymore. So who else has been dazzling us with their brilliance on screen?
Kolamaavu Kokila will always be one of my favourite films from the South. It’s the story of how this regular middle-class girl somehow finds her way to the underworld peddlers and ends up becoming a part of the cocaine chain. First of all, it was a really bold subject that they picked. Drugs! The entire cast was actually pretty kickass. There’s this submissive helpless clueless dad, a feisty sister, an overly dramatic mom, India is filled with them, and loads of other characters like the one Yogi Babu plays. But Nayanthara leads the entire film and how! She plays this innocent girl who is thrown into a world that she’s totally unfamiliar with, but somehow figures it out, and not just that. She plays them! I’m so in love with her character in this film! Going from someone who has a regular job in some random office, to making peddlers and drug suppliers and cops run after each other in this mad turn of events! Nayanthara man. They don’t call her lady superstar for nothing!
Amala Paul doesn’t have too much to do in this film. She has very few scenes. And she almost didn’t do this film because she wasn’t sure what she really needed to do in the film. Then she signed on to be in it. Most of the movie is helmed by Vishnu Vishal who plays a cop. Amala Paul plays a teacher who gets caught in the middle of a cat and mouse game between this cop and a psychotic guy on the loose who ends up killing young kids. The protagonist is a guy. But this is NOT an easy watch. It’s not a light-hearted film. So even though she had little to do, the female protagonist still needed to be someone who could translate the seriousness of the situation on screen. And Amala Paul nailed it.
Mahanati is a movie about an incredible woman, featuring another incredible woman. It’s about the life of Savitri, who herself was an actress to be reckoned with. Savitri was known as the Goddess of the Screen! Titles like that don’t come easy. And what’s even more difficult is to play her on screen. Well, Keerthi Suresh had second thoughts but ended up doing the movie, and I don’t know a single person who thinks she didn’t do a good job. When news got out that she was gonna play Savitri, she actually got trolled on social media. So full points to her for not giving a damn about what anyone was saying and going ahead with it! She’d always played cutesy and bubbly girls on screen before this. Savitri really helped her grow.
Nayanthara actually did quite a few roles where she was just the sidekick and came on screen to just do her thing next to a hero. I love how they’re making movies with women in mind and she can actually pull it off like a boss! She plays two roles in this film. It’s the first time she’s done that so that’s a challenge already! And on top of that, it’s a horror film so she had to play two characters who were polar opposites. The only problem with this movie was that there was a lot of confusion on whether they wanted to show Nayanthara the actor, or Nayanthara the star. There were two of her so they could’ve done both but somehow lost their plot along the way. Also, even though it was a horror film, one of the characters Nayanthara plays is this dark-skinned girl who is supposed to be like a great example of inner-beauty. So they also made a statement whether or not they intended to.
This is slowly becoming a Nayanthara appreciation podcast! But she has done that many kickass movies in the past few years. Imaikka Nodigal is a crime thriller, and it looks like you know everything you need to at the beginning of the movie. You’ll wonder if you should watch it fully. But you should. Because it has some crazy twists and turns. Nayanthara plays this woman who is smart as a whip and is a CBI officer. She also has a daughter in the film so although it could’ve just been a film about a tough female officer, who could catch bad guys, it also became a movie about a single mom who could run after her kid when necessary. Poor Nayanthara wears high heels. Sure, it looks hot and completes the image of a tough, sharp woman who is on the job. But is it really practical? I doubt the stylists have ever tried running while wearing heels. How on Earth are you supposed to chase bad guys then!
Paris Paris/ Zam Zam/ Butterfly/ That is Mahalakshmi
Queen was awesome, and what a wonderful job Kangana Ranaut did, and what a kickass new concept it was for us. Where a woman who was jilted at the altar decided to go on her honeymoon by herself. Now, why let it remain in Bollywood! We needed it in the South! So it’s gonna be remade in four different languages with four different leading ladies. And all of them have pretty kickass filmographies to boast of. Tamannah is starring in the Telugu one, and Kajal Aggarwal is gonna be in the Tamil remake. I don’t know how they decided that because both these ladies have their own fan base in both the industries! Manjima Mohan is gonna be in the Malayalam one, and Parul Yadav, who entered the Kannada industry and became popular for one song, is producing and starring in it! She’s come a long way! So if all these movies release on the same day, and you’re a South Indian, it’s very likely that you’ll know at least three of these languages. I’m guessing. How are you going to pick between these women!
Samantha Akkineni has made some smart moves, picked the right movies over the last few years. And now she’s in ‘Oh! Baby’. It also stars Lakshmi, this superb actress who does granny roles now. She’s pretty kickass still. So the movie is about an old woman who sort of comes back in time and realizes she’s young. Imagine you could go even ten years back in time. You’d have to be a saint to think you wouldn’t change anything. It’s also new turf for Samantha because it’s the first time she’s trying her hand out at comedy! And it must’ve come with its own challenges, cos she’s this youngster who has to pretend to be an old woman! Now that’s a movie that actually requires some serious acting chops. Oh baby!
Uyare features Parvathy in the lead role. It’s a fairly recent movie, and again, this one is serious. It’s about a female pilot who is an acid attack survivor. Malayalam movies usually have this hero, even if it’s about a woman, and this film breaks all those stereotypes. Parvathy has been in some really good movies. She’s always tried to pick roles that have some gravitas. But this one is I think maybe her best movie so far. Her performance is above everything else in the film! And it’s not a recent movie to get in on the woman empowerment game. It’s a problem that has been around for a really long time and these guys decided to make it the premise. Parvathy just runs the movie from start to end.
Nobody wants to stay behind on this game. Not even Disney. There are actually movies being made about women with women leading them! Not just some damsel-in-distress kinda format. And I hope this isn’t just some trend. Because there ARE stories to tell. This is JusTalkin brought to you by in.com.Read More