Sorry this is so late, but:
schokolade wrote:I'm actually a little bit picky when it comes to films... I can easily watch a movie without romance, but I am such a sucker for it that I prefer to watch films that have at least a BIT of romance included lol... *sigh* I like living vicariously through film characters!
And I've never seen any of those language films! It's probably harder for me to find or know which Telugu/Tamil/Malayalam films are good because I'm so used to Hindi-language cinema and the actors/actresses etc. Bengali is probably a film industry I haven't even thought about!!!
I'm very picky when it comes to movies, too, although I actually prefer movies that don't have (much) romance in them.
I don't know much about Telugu or Tamil movies because I've seen very few in Tamil and even fewer (I think) in Telugu. However, there is one Telugu movie I can recommend: it's called Oy!
. Plot-wise at least, it's basically like a Bollywood flick, but the ending left me feeling shocked. It also has my favorite Malayalee actress in her first role as the heroine.
In Tamil, well, there's always the famous and extremely popular movies by Mani Ratnam; I'm thinking specifically of Bombay
, and I guess also Guru
, all of which were also dubbed into Hindi and Telugu (Roja
was also dubbed into Malayalam and Marathi). I don't remember Roja
all that well, apart from it being romantic (but also having to do with the Kashmir conflict, where I personally don't care much for India's political stance). Bombay
is pretty violent and gut-wrenchingly tragic (it's about Hindu-Muslim conflicts, after all), but it certainly involves romance, and I like it precisely because it dared to expose all of this in (what I thought was) brutally honest detail. Guru
is basically the story of a business tycoon - not terribly romantic, FWIR, and not one of my personal favorites, but certainly interesting and different from the usual Indian movie. (I think it's available on Netflix).
There's also Kannathil Muthamittal
a.k.a. "A Peck on the Cheek" by Mani Ratnam, which was not
dubbed into any other languages (and which I haven't personally seen but it's on Netflix and it sounds pretty good, lol). Finally, there's Thirumalai
, which AFAIK is a pretty typical Tamil movie (same basic plot as a typical Bollywood movie).
Now, Malayalam is my heritage language, so I'm more familiar with movies in that language. As a Malayalee, I think I'm culturally obliged to recommend Chemmeen
It's our most famous movie and (like most Malayalam movies of its time) a romantic tragedy. Shadow Kill
is an even better tragedy (and in fact the language is interesting, since the main character speaks only Tamil even when others speak to him in Malayalam), though with no romance in it. Nakhakshathangal
is a 1980s romantic tragedy that's also very good (though also pretty sad). Vanaprastham: The Last Dance
is slightly more lighthearted, and I guess you could say it involves a romance of sorts (though both of those involved in the romance are married).
And now I'm trying to think of some other Malayalam movies with subtitles which either I like (like the above three) or are representative of the industry as a whole, but my mind is drawing a blank.
Finally, Bengali. Hmm...almost all the Bengali movies I've seen are by Satyajit Ray. His movies are not much like standard Bollywood fare at all (although there are a few that are closer than the others) and in fact, IMPO, more often than not, they're difficult to really understand.
I'd say Samapti
(The Conclusion, part of the anthology Teen Kanya
a.k.a. "Two Daughters") is one of the easier ones to understand, and it's romantic though it's less than an hour long. Nayak
is also pretty romantic and relatively simple; it's about the hero (an actor!) exploring his past with the heroine's help.
I would recommend Charulata
as well; it's a classic romantic tragedy, and it is a good movie, but it's important in that movie to realize how all the characters are related though I find it's all too easy to get mixed up there.
Lastly, I've never seen Saptapadi
(it's not a Ray movie), but apparently, it's a good old black-and-white romantic movie.
I think most of these can be found on YouTube with subtitles (though that's probably not true of the Malayalam movies I mentioned here).