2022: A Roundup of Regional Language Content

After watching a lot of regional language content, I still seem to have missed out a truckload of them across languages. Blame it on time I wasted on Insta Reels! 
Here are my favourite five movies/shows in all languages other than Hindi.

Tied at the fifth place are three films that I couldn’t decide between. All of them have flaws, but they stand out nevertheless.
X = Prem (Bengali, Hoichoi) is a beautiful film borrowed from a Hollywood classic, but it turns the premise on its head. And the fact that it has an unforgettable soundtrack (my absolute favourite of 2022) is somewhat ironic, given the film's plot. 

Thallumaala (Malayalam, Netflix) is like watching a WWE match, a superhero comic book, a Tiktok video, a Whatsapp forward, a college skit and multiple movie flashbacks. All at the same time.

Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana (Kannada, Zee 5) is quirkily violent thriller where City of God comes to Mangalore and engages you with throwaway lines and gestures of the amazingly talented lead pair. (Rishab Shetty, who acted in G2V2, went on to superstardom with Kanatara.)
4. Suzhal: The Vortex
A shadowy crime occurs in a small town with a unique sub-culture and a host of characters with questionable pasts. Add a spectacular festival and a race against time to solve the crime. These are now standard tropes of shows on streaming platforms. And yet, Suzhal manages to bring a fresh thrill to all that it does, making Pushkar-Gayathri a creator team to keep eyes and ears open for!
3. Byadh
Kolkata Police’s Department of Unusual Cases – where problematic officers are put to pasture – springs into action as sparrows get murdered in various villages of Bengal. This intriguing premise gets bolstered by a promising – lovably eccentric – detective duo, and we have the beginnings of a solid franchise.
Honourable Mention: Kaiser, a Bangladeshi detective show – with a video-game-playing sleuth and clever writing that makes fun of itself – is worth a watch and again, promises an exciting franchise.
2. Minnal Murali
Strictly speaking, this is a 2021 release but when you have an Indian superhero origin story of this quality, you have to ignore the year of release and cheer it on. From the super-villain, to the Kerala atmosphere, to the stellar supporting cast, to the iconic t-shirts (Abibas!), Minnal Murali is a satisfying blockbuster in the garb of a sensitive, small film.
1.       Aparajito
Bengalis grow up on a steady diet of Satyajit Ray stories – his illustrious family, his prodigious talent and initial career as a graphic artist, his struggles to make Pather Panchali, and his eventual fame. Anik Dutta neatly compiles all those stories into a fantastic celluloid encyclopedia about the making of Ray’s first film. And casts Jitu Kamal in the title role, who’s a doppelganger of the maestro, to supplement the excellent art direction and writing. A must-watch primer for anyone even half-interested in Ray.