© Madras Talkies

8 Must-Watch South Indian Films That Have Inspired Your Favourite Bollywood Films

Reisha Shetty
Junior Digital Writer

It’s finally happened; South Indian films have taken over the Indian film industry. With language not being a barrier anymore, people across the world are opening up to some of the iconic masterpieces that the South Indian film industry produces year after year. With films like Baahubali, KGF, and Pushpa taking over the world, more and more people are exploring the world of regional films. But Bollywood filmmakers have been recreating south Indian films for years.

So, here are our favourite south Indian films that have hindi film counterparts. Turn on the subtitles, and start bingewatching!

O Kadhal Kanmani - Ok Jaanu

If you liked Aditya Roy Kapoor’s cheeky smile and charm in Ok Jaanu, brace yourself for Dulquer Salmaan in O Kadhal Kanmani. Starring alongside Nithya Menen, Adi and Tara are immediately attracted to each other when they first meet at a wedding. With siliar views on marriage and what an ideal relationship looks like, sparks fly and they soon move in together. Directed by Mani Ratnam, the film is a great Friday-night-in choice. And with music by A.R. Rahman you’re definitely going to feel all the feels.

Kaakha Kaakha - Force

If you couldn’t keep your eyes off John Abraham in Force, we would like to introduce you to Tamilian superstar Suriya in Kaakha Kaakha. After ACP Anbuselvan and his police team succeed in killing a drug-dealing gangster, his brother avenges his death and vows to destroy the families of the officers. Truth be told, the film is definitely more violent than it’s Hindi counterpart, but it’s thrilling action and brilliant music composition makes it worth the watch.

Manichitrathazhu - Bhool Bhulaiyaa

With the release of Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 being right around the corner, it’s time to pay homage to the original, Manichitrathazhu. This movie has been adapted several times, which has given us some iconic gems of the Indian film industry like Chandramukhi and Bhool Bhulaiyaa. The 1993 Malayalam movie revolves around Nakulan, who along with his family moves into his ancestral home only to be haunted by spirits known to none. Nakulan then seeks help from his psychiatrist friend, who promises to help him when his cousin starts behaving abnormally. This psychological horror film will keep you at the edge of your seat at all times.

Minnale - Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein

If you loved Madhavan in his Hindi film debut, Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, it’s time to watch Minnale for your next movie night. Starring R. Madhavan and Reema Sen, Minnale tells a story about a man who falls in love with the woman of his dreams but pretends to be someone else to just pave his way into her heart. A romantic movie with lots of spice and drama, this is a must-watch rainy day film.

Mudhalvan - Nayak: The Real Hero

The Anil Kapoor-starer Nayak: The Real Hero created big waves in Bollywood, but it’s the Tamil film, Mudhalvan that paved the way for its Hindi remake. Mudhalvan revolves around an honest reporter, who accepts a challenge from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to be a man of power for one day. As he goes along the righteous path of politics, he soon finds himself in a loop of political difficulties. Starring Arjun and Manisha Koirala, this film is gripping and should definitely be on your watch list.

Aayitha Ezhuthu - Yuva

If you loved Yuva’s three independent but connecting storylines in one film, Aayitha Ezhuthu is here to make it even better. Starring Suriya, Siddharth, and R. Madhavan the movie is about the three main leads—Michael, Arjun, and Inba, whose lives intervene when they all end up meeting at the Napier Bridge. This is by far one of Mani Ratnam’s best films and is still a fan favourite.

Alaipayuthey - Saathiya

It’s time to move on from Vivek Oberoi from Saathiya and fall in love with young R Madhavan from Alaipayuthey. Yet another Mani Ratnam masterpiece, Alaipayuthey revolves around Karthik and Shakti, who started their friendship with a turbulent start but soon fell in love despite their parents‘ disapproval. The couple runs away and starts a new life together only to soon realise that marriage is not as easy as it seems. You can thank the Tamil original for all the Saathiya songs you love.

Vinnaithandi Varuvaya - Ekk Deewana Tha

A movie far more superior than its Hindi counterpart, Vinnaithandi Varuvaya wins the race against Ekk Deewana Tha quite effortlessly. The Tamil hit film focuses on Karthik, an assistant director in films who falls in love with his Christian neighbour, Jessie, who comes from a conservative family. As they begin the new phase of their relationship, they soon realise that their religious disparities play a big role in straining their relationship. Trust us, you may not have seen the hindi film (or even heard of it) but you need to watch the Tamil version.