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Regional gems of 2022 you cannot miss out

Regional films 2022

‘Padavettu’, ‘Kantara’, ‘777 Charlie’, ‘Oye Makhna’, ‘Habaddi’, ‘Vikram’ and ‘RRR’ have left an indelible impact on popular cinema this year

After a prolonged lean period owing to COVID-19-related restrictions, 2022 brought fresh hope for exhibitors and filmmakers and saw the audiences making a beeline for theatres. The content that succeeded was pan-Indian in its appeal, multi-lingual and diverse, giving an insight into the changing tastes of the audience. Here is our pick of a few regional films that scored big this year with audiences and critics.


The era of the hyper-local, universal story is here. This Malayalam political-thriller film set in an agricultural village in North Kerala strikes all the right notes. Produced by Yoodlee Films and directed by Liju Krishna, this film narrates the story of an erstwhile athlete (Played powerfully by Nivin Pauly) who gets embroiled in a corrupt political system and emerges as an unlikely leader battling socio-political challenges. Starring Aditi Balan, Shammi Thilakan, and Shine Tom Chacko, this riveting drama is currently available on Netflix.


Kannada blockbuster ‘Kantara’ has rewritten the rules of success in cinema with a story rooted in a folk legend that also talks about land and forest rights and the relationship between humankind and Nature. Written, directed and headlined brilliantly by Rishab Shetty, and produced by Hombale Films, the film shows how a Kambala champion discovers the power within to fight an avaricious landlord. Shot in Keradi in coastal Karnataka, the film’s cinematography, music and action sequences have massed huge appreciation. The film is available on Amazon Prime.

777 Charlie

The success of this heartwarming Kannada entertainer shows that the audience wants fresh stories rather than jaded formulaic films. Directed by Kiranraj K, the film portrays the emotional bond between a loner, Dharma (Rakshit Shetty ), and his dog, Charlie. Dharma’s monotonous existence is transformed when he adopts a female stray Charlie who brings joy and adventure to his life. Produced by Rakshit Shetty and GS Gupta, the film also stars Sangeetha Sringeri, Raj B Shetty, Danish Sait, and Bobby Simha. The movie has been dubbed into various languages and is available on Amazon Prime and Voot.

Oye Makhna

This Punjabi rom-com is produced by Yoodlee Films and stars Ammy Virk and Tania. Directed by Simerjit Singh, the film hit the big screen on November 4 and is awaiting its OTT release. The film narrates the travels of Makhan (Ammy Virk), who falls in love at first sight with a girl. Fate, however, complicates matters when his wedding is fixed with another girl. The movie also stars Guggu Gill who steals every scene he is in. There is also the film’s chart-busting music, the chemistry between Ammy and Tania and an emotional core that has won over family audiences in a big way. The film also stars Sidhika Sharma.


‘Habbadi’ is a slice-of-the-life Marathi film about the wonderful years of young Manya (Karan Dave), who has to overcome many challenges including a speech impediment to find joy and vindication in his small village in Kolhapur. Directed by Nachiket Samant, this Yoodlee Film production traces sensitively how a young, stuttering boy becomes a Kabaddi champion to win the respect of his peers and a chance to meet the girl of his dreams. The film also stars Vedshree Mahajan, Mayur Khandge and Rupesh Bane and is currently streaming on Netflix.


This Tamil action thriller is a sequel to the 1986 film of superstar Kamal Hassan and is directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. Fahadh Faasil and Vijay Sethupathi lend star power to the film that sheds light on the drug mafia spreading its tentacles across Chennai and the country at large. The plot of the movie follows the black-ops squad led by Agent Vikram who is on a mission to bring down a drug syndicate group that also murdered his son. The high-octane action film is produced by Raaj Kamal Films International and has been dubbed into various languages. You can watch ‘Vikram’ on ZEE 5 and Disney+Hotstar.


What can we say about this potential Oscar contender that has not been said already? Set in the pre-independence era, this SS Rajamouli directorial fictionalises the life of revolutionary leaders Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem. N.T. Rama Rao Jr portrays a revolutionary tribal leader who becomes friends with Rama Raju (Ram Charan), unaware of his real identity as a police officer. Misunderstandings ensue but eventually, they unite to fight the British. The movie, produced by DVV Danayya also stars Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, and Shriya Saran and is currently streaming on Netflix, ZEE5, and Disney+Hotstar