PeepingMoon 2021: The rise of Fahadh Faasil on OTT to Samantha Ruth Prabhu’s divorce – Movers & Shakers from the South film industry!

The Southern film industry has had a rocking 2021 with some stellar projects coming out of it, actors and actresses breaking the regional barrier and becoming a Pan-India name, ruling the OTT and basking in the accolades that came their way. However, there was no dearth of controversies either and they kept company to the newsmakers.

Here’s a quick recap of the newsmakers and the controversies that plagued the southern film industry in 2021.

Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi’s Master theatrical release and OTT boom

Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi’s Master became one of the first films to release in theatres this year when the coronavirus induced lockdown lifted in the earlier part of 2021. The Lokesh Kangaraj-directorial made the impossible look possible by attracting the viewers to cinema halls in huge numbers. People raved, clapped, whistled and made the most of watching the film on the large screen after being cooped up in their houses the previous year. However, it also left many theatre owners disappointed when Master released on OTT 16 days after its theatrical release. The film released on Amazon Prime Video and managed to rake in the moolah as well.

Jai Bhim controversy and overtaking The Godfather on IMDb

Suriya starrer Jai Bhim became the talk-of-the-town for its social commentary on Tamil Nadu’s caste dynamics. The film has been considered as one of the most important socio-political Tamil films to have come out in 2021 that unveiled the atrocities meted out to the lower castes. The plot is based on a real-life incident from 1993 handled by the former Madras High Court judge, Justice K Chandru. A member of the Irular tribe was wrongly accused of theft, subjected to brutal torture in police custody that resulted in his death. Jai Bhim was mired in controversy for several reasons. A slap scene in the film was alleged to propagate ‘anti-Hindi’ sentiment. The film also received backlash from the dominant upper-class Vanniyar community of Tamil Nadu. However, the film has been rated the top film by users on IMDb, beating classics such as The Shawshank Redemption and The Godfather.

RECOMMENDED READ: PeepingMoon 2021: Varun Dhawan-Natasha Dalal, Yami Gautam-Aditya Dhar to Katrina Kaif-Vicky Kaushal, the year was all about band, baaja and baaraat for B-Town

Samantha Ruth Prabhu’s divorce and accolades and controversy coming her way via ‘The Family Man 2’

Samantha Ruth Prabhu had a mixed-bag year. On one hand, she scaled professional highs with the Manoj Bajpayee led web series The Family Man 2 that earned her accolades and critical acclaim as well as several awards for playing the main antagonist Raji but also suffered a tremendous low in her personal life when she parted ways with husband Naga Chaitanya. The actress received hate and support in equal measure on social media from the netizens for calling it quits with Chaitanya. However, she became a pan-India household name for her impeccable performance and holding her own in front of Bajpayee.

Fahadh Faasil’s rise and impeccable performances in Joji and Malik

Malayalam actor Fahadh Faasil burst on the mindset of the country’s cinema lovers with two back-to-back Malayalam films that released on OTT. With Joji and Malik, Fahadh who had till recently ruled only Malayalam films reaped accolades from not only the rest of India who were blown away by his splendid performances in the films but even cinema veterans like Gajraj Rao who gushed over him in a social media post. Fahadh also made his Telugu film debut as the main antagonist opposite Allu Arjun in Pushpa: The Rise and is poised to helm a meatier role in its sequel Pushpa: The Rule.

Suriya's Soorarai Pottru becomes 3rd highest rated film on IMDb

Suriya’s release Soorarai Pottru on Amazon Prime Video has become the third highest rated film on IMDb with a 9.1 rating. Dubbed in Kannada and Malayalam under the same title and in Telugu as Aakasam Nee Haddu Raa, it was recently selected for Shanghai International Film Festival 2021. Directed by Sudha Kongara, the story is inspired from the life of retired Army Captain GR Gopinath, who founded the low-cost airline, Air Deccan. The film went on to beat Hollywood classics like The Dark Night and Schindler’s List to become the third highest rated film on IMDb. Soorarai Pottru was also selected as one among ten Indian films to be screened under the best foreign film category at the 78th Golden Globe Awards.

Puneeth Rajkumar’s untimely and tragic death

Kannada film industry’s beloved superstar Puneeth Rajkumar’s untimely and tragic death shook the entire country. The actor died on October 29 in Bengaluru due to a severe cardiac arrest while he was working out in the gym. His demise sent a wave of shock and grief across the country, especially among Kannadigans. His body of work included several blockbuster films such as Raajakumara, Jackie, Milana, and Anna Bond among others. He was posthumously awarded with Karnataka State's highest civilian award Karnataka Ratna and his last rites were done with state honours.

The Great Indian Kitchen becomes the only Indian film to feature in Top 41 movies from 2021 picked by IMDb editors

Directed by Jeo Baby, The Great Indian Kitchen captures the invisible labour women take on at home, from cooking large meals to being responsible for keeping a spotless kitchen, without appreciation or acknowledgement. The daughter-in-law's journey from a kind-hearted newlywed sto empowered, self-actualized women makes the film a great watch. The Great Indian Kitchen is one of the Top 41 films from 2021 as picked by IMDb editors. It is the only one to make it to the list  from India.