Discussion Post: What Was the Best non-Hindi Movie You Saw in 2019? Or in the 2010s?

As I am sure you have noticed, my posts tend to be Hindi focused. Because that’s where I know stuff, like being able to scroll through a list of films and remember which ones had really shockingly bad wigs. But that doesn’t mean I don’t care about other places! I just don’t know enough to do an awards post. I’ll do a discussion post instead, and you can all educate me.

I’ll start!

2019:

The best non-Hindi film I saw was….. Hmm. I’m not sure. This is tricky. Let me come back to it after I answer the 2010s one.

2010s:

The best non-Hindi film I saw was City of God! I freaking LOVE that movie. Angamaly Diaries is more technically adept, but City of God has the heart that kills me. I could happily recommend it to any film person, from Spielberg to my favorite film class professor, and know they would come back to me crying at the beauty of it. Truly, Lilo Jose Pellisery is the greatest director living today, and one of the handful of greatest directors of all time. Guru Dutt/Orson Welles/Raj Kapoor level.

Okay, back to the 2019s! What non-Hindi movies did I even watch? There’s Saaho, but that is definitely NOT the best. Sye Raa Narasimhaa Reddy was crazy fun, but also not the best. Jallikattu is (of course) the most technically brilliant and inventive but it didn’t have the heart I like. Maybe Virus? I didn’t love-love it, but it is extremely well-made in a highly specific and difficult kind of way. Dear Comrade was super fun, but not like “good”. Gang Leader was actually good, but was it the best? If Sarvam Thaala Mayam had had consistent quality, it would easily be the best, but it didn’t land the ending at all. Super Deluxe, upon reflection, I kind of hated. Bigil, SO FUN! But not even as good as Gang Leader. Kumbalangi Nights, I like more on reflection than on the first watch (kind of the opposite of Super Deluxe). June I really liked too. Uyare was good too, but again weak at the end. Brothers Day was a fun watch, but not a good movie. Driving License, ditto.

Okay, I think I have to do a 4 way tie! Jallikattu was the best technically (available on Prime, someday)

Gang Leader was the funnest watch (available on Prime now)

Virus was the best written (available on Prime)

Kumbalangi Nights was the best in all those ways combined but not as good individually as the others.

How about you?

22 thoughts on “Discussion Post: What Was the Best non-Hindi Movie You Saw in 2019? Or in the 2010s?

  1. For hindi, 2019 was not a good year for me. I usually make a list of my favorite movies of the year and only Gully Boy made the cut out of the 2019 Hindi movies I’ve seen.

    Have I told you to check out Brochevarevarura? It’s a small budget Telugu crime comedy/drama that has so much heart. I would say that it’s easily my favorite movie of the year. It came out in June and it’s on prime now and I think I’ve already seen it like four times. Oh yeah, the acting is really good and it’s got really great songs too! I would definitely recommend watching it.

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    • You haven’t told me to check out Brochevarevaru! Thank you, this was my big hope for this post, that I would get more good regional recommendations.

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      • One of my friends described it as a wholesome movie and I would say it’s a really good way to describe it.

        Another movie that I really enjoyed from last year is F2: Fun and Frustration which is a Telugu comedy from last year. It’s kinda dumb (maybe I would compare it to the Housefull movies in terms of genre) but I thought it was a lot of fun. It became one of those movies that I watched when I just wanted something light and happy. I did find that I’m the only person who I know (other than a 10 year old) who holds the movie in a high regard. So keep in mind it’s a dumb, colorful family comedy if you decide to check it out on prime.

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        • F2 was a surprise box office hit, which got me curious about it. And I have to admit, I really enjoyed the last Housefull movie, so I might have the correct temperment.

          On Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 11:55 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, it came out for Sankranthi this time last year and it was the only movie out of the 4 movies to actually be good. Ram Charan’s action movie and the NTR biopic basically bombed and F2 was decent enough that it took advantage of the holiday season. It helps that Venkatesh is still beloved among the general audience and he did an all out comedy after a long time. The director actually announced earlier that’s he’s going to make F3 (the sequel but not really a sequel) with the same cast next.

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    • I had huge expectations on this movie when it came out as most of the movie was shot in my hometown (Guntur) – the story starts there – same college as the one in Pilla Zamindar – and also because of Harshavardhan, the police guy – “Something is fishssssshyyyyyy”. However, the movie did not match my expectation – the hero gang was little over-aged for the college episode and mainly because of *spoiler alert*….


      kidnapping a small girl for their selfishness – not a character for a hero/protagonist.

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  2. Kumbalangi Nights was one of my top films for 2019 but the Malayalam movie Helen is also wonderful and you should really watch it. It’s a survival story but it’s really about how a young woman’s life is threatened by the patriarchy. There are bits where it wobbles but overall it knocked me out and Anna Ben is fantastic in it.

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  3. 2019:
    Objectively the best :Gantumoote – refreshing, different, sensitive and with very good acting. A must-watch.
    The most engaging: Thadam

    2010s
    Koode
    Nathicharami (it’s funny how I have seen like less than 10 kannada movies in my life but two of them are here on this “the best” list)

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    • Maybe it’s more that you only watch a Kannada movie if it is really something special, so it sorts down to only the really good ones?

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  4. 2010s

    1. Baahubali Duology – I won’t explain, because we all know why. But it’s also best experience seeing Baahubali 2 in a small theatre filled with South Asians/Indians where I had to go by train because I still so new to the whole Indian film thing and didn’t know where to look for shows. There were whistles and shouting of joy when Baahubali (1) cut off the molesters head and the Aunty (I mean it in a good way) offered me her popcorn and chatted with me a bit and I chatted back though I was too shy to basically do anything more forward. I was maybe 1 of three white people there and it was an experience I’ve yet to feel again. It was awesome! It was dubbed in Hindi with english subtitles, but it’s originally Telugu so I’m counting it.

    2. Bangalore Days – First Malayalam movie I watched. Haven’t looked back since. Officially the favourite movie making place after Hindi and also started my want to someday go to Kerala.

    3. Raavanan – My favourite of the 2010s Mani Ratnam. Not gonna lie, mainly because of Vikram’s splendid acting. Also the one that got me to watch his more recent stuff, even thought the 90s – early 2000s is still still my favourite part of his creative streak as a director and storyteller. Also, the music is breathtakingly awesome and got me to look more in to the Ramayana. I’m counting it even though it was also made in Hindi, but this one is too good and I don’t want to ruin it by seeing the Hindi version.

    2019:

    Virus – can’t top in my mind from all the non-Hindi movies I saw last year, which wasn’t a lot and I streamed it so there’s that. But yeah, definitely top of the list.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Raavanan and Thiruda Thiruda are now the only two Ratnam movies I have not seen. I am kind of purposefully avoiding them, just because I don’t want to be done with Ratnam.

      On Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 4:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Oh! This was the confusion, when his last gangster movie came out, it was rumored to be an adaptation of this novel but set in modern times. I looked up the plot of the novel to try to figure it out (VERY CONFUSING) and it wasn’t exactly the plot of the movie, but it had similar themes. I bet he was working on this film and it kind of bled into his other script, and the rumors kind of bled in too.

          On Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 4:46 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I heard that Ratnam has been trying to make Ponniyin Selvan for years but has struggled with it. Maybe CCV was a test run?

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  5. I don’t have any awareness of South Indian cinema but if we’re allowed to choose non-Indian films, then definitely Parasite. I’ve never seen a movie like it before. Not only is it entertaining, it combines so many genres – comedy, horror, drama, and social commentary. There’s so much it has to say about society and class. Absolutely loved it.

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    • I was hoping someone would pick non-Indian! I legitimately didn’t like any non-Indian film more than the ones listed, but then I also barely saw anything non-Indian this year. Blinded By the Light I guess, which was really good, but not as good as the Indian stuff I saw.

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  6. There are a lot of big non-Hindi Indian from the 2010s much less 2019 (only watched Saaho, half of Dear Comrade, and still waiting for Moothon) I haven’t seen and I really didn’t begin exploring Southern films until very recently but out of the ones I have seen the ones from this decade that really stood out to me were Raavanan, VIP, and Kaatru Veliyidai (even though I hated the ending). Guess I’m in the minority that still likes present-day Mani Ratnam.

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