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Kantara’s success is a reminder of how movies rooted in Indian culture have immense power to win hearts. While the superstars loaded movies falling flat at the box office, the small-budget movie Kantara is endlessly breaking records. 

From Kantara to Tumbbad to Stree, here are some movies that represent our local folk tales and folk culture.

1. Kantara (IMDb rating: 9.3)

Dealing with the critical issue of land politics and man vs forest, the movie revolves around the local folklore and beliefs in Daivas, regional demigods. An action-thriller, Kantara is the story of Kambala champion – Shiva, who is at loggerheads with a forest officer Murali. Human vs nature is the theme of the movie. Shiva is a rebellious character who works against nature and leads the war between villagers and evil spirits. The inhabitants and the demonic spirits engage in battle over territory.

2. Vikram Vedha (IMDb rating: 8.3)

Inspired by the Indian folktale Baital Pachisi, the movie originally starred R Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathy. Sometime back, its Hindi remake starring Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan, was released too!

Source: Movie Poster

3. Tumbbad (IMDb rating: 8.2)

Based on the folktales of Maharashtra, Tumbbad is a story of a family, who builds a temple for Hastar, the devil God who should never be worshipped. In case you haven’t watched this movie, please do! It is no less than a masterpiece.

4. Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana (IMDb rating: 8.4)

The gangster movie is about a clash between two friends – while one is named Hari and the other is Shiva. While Garuda Gamana is used to address Lord Vishnu & Vrishabha Vahana for Lord Shiva. The makers have made the two characters very similar to the gods in nature they are named after.

5. Karnan (IMDb rating: 8.1)

Drawing a parallel with Mahabharata, Dhanush-starrer is loosely influenced by the 1995 Kodiyankulam caste violence.  The movie revolves around Karnan (Dhanush), who belongs to an oppressed community and fights against the authorities for his people.

Image: Source

6. Bakita Byaktigato (IMDb rating: 7.8)

The movie revolves around a documentary filmmaker who gets to know about a village where everyone readily falls in love. He goes to this unconventional village to shoot for a movie on true love.

7. Stree (IMDb rating: 7.5)

This horror comedy movie is based on the legend Nale Ba – a witch who abducts men at night when they are alone and only leaves their clothes behind. Starring Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurana, and Abhishek Banerjee, this movie is a must-watch

8. Jallikattu (IMDb rating: 7.3)

Jallikattu is a traditional event that involves releasing a bull into a crowd of people where participants attempt to grab its hump and ride it for as long as possible. Based on the story of Maoist by Hareesh, the plot follows a bull as he escapes from a slaughterhouse in a remote village and the entire village men gather to hunt him down.

9. Churuli (IMDb rating: 7.1)

A science fiction horror movie, Churuli, is based on the short story Kaligeminarile Kuttavalikal from the book Mullaranjanam. The movie revolves around a monk and his pursuit of an evil forest spirit. Dealing with time loops and aliens, this movie left many impressed.

10. Bulbbul (IMDb rating: 6.5)

Inspired by the Bengal tales of female ghosts and tales of Kali, this supernatural thriller starring Tripti Dimri left many impressed.

Image: Netflix

11. Paheli (IMDb rating: 6.3)

The movie is based on a Rajasthan folktale, where a ghost falls in love with a woman and takes the disguise of her husband. This movie stars Rani Mukherjee & Shah Rukh Khan.


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