Ahead of Navarasa, ranking all the best anthologies from the south: From Pitta Kathalu to Paava Kadhaigal - Hindustan Times

Ahead of Navarasa, ranking all the best anthologies from the south: From Pitta Kathalu to Paava Kadhaigal

ByHaricharan Pudipeddi
Aug 06, 2021 12:27 PM IST

With Netflix's Navarasa up for release on Friday, we are ranking the four anthologies that have impressed fans so far.

It’s the season of anthologies and the southern film industry has slowly caught up with the trend. In 2020, streaming giants Netflix and Amazon bet on two anthologies – Paava Kadhaigal and Putham Pudhu Kaalai respectively - that were exclusively made from the south for global audiences.

Arvind Swamy in Navarasa.
Arvind Swamy in Navarasa.

They were not only successful in making these anthologies but were able to bring together some of the popular names from the southern film industry. Filmmakers Vetrimaaran, Gautham Vasudev Menon and actors Prakash Raj, Sai Pallavi, Shruti Haasan and Andrea Jeremiah came together. Ahead of the grand release of Mani Ratnam’s Navarasa on Netflix, here’s a ranking of every south anthology and where to watch them.

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4. Metro Kathalu – Aha

With Metro Kathalu, local streaming platform Aha made a decent attempt at making an original anthology. In terms of content quality, the show doesn’t match up to the likes of Paava Kadhaigal and Pitta Kathalu but it’s an attempt that’s not downright silly. Interestingly, the anthology is headlined by not so popular actors such as Ali Reza, Karuna Kumar, Gayatri Bhargavi and Rajeev Kanakala among others. The film offers four different tales of love, pain, men and ignorance, all set in Hyderabad.

3. Pitta Kathalu – Netflix

With Pitta Kathalu, Netflix forayed into Telugu film industry with an anthology featuring four shorts on themes such as love, desire, honour and freedom. What really made Pitta Kathalu stand out was the fact that these were stories about four bold women. In these shorts, women were seen challenging the norms and breaking away from what’s essentially a man’s world. It was directed by Nag Ashwin, Nandini Reddy, Sankalp Reddy and Tharun Bhascker. The lead cast included Amala Paul, Ashwin Kakamanu, Eesha Rebba, Jagapathi Babu, Lakshmi Manchu, Saanvi Megghana, Sanjith Hegde and Shruti Haasan among others.

2. Putham Pudhu Kaalai – Amazon Prime

Putham Pudhu Kaalai, which was the first mainstream anthology to come out of southern film industry, featured shorts about love, new beginnings, second chances, and a glimmer of hope, set and filmed in the times of the Covid-19 lockdown. While four stories are set in upper middle class households and feature dialogues in English and Tamil, Karthik Subbaraj directed short, Miracle, is about two petty thieves and how lockdown impact their lives. The ensemble cast of Jayaram, MS Bhaskar, Andrea Jeremiah, MS Bhaskar and Suhasini Mani Ratnam made this one of the more exciting anthologies to watch out for.

1. Paava Kadhaigal - Netflix

Paava Kadhaigal brought together four popular Tamil filmmakers such as Gautham Menon, Vetrimaaran, Sudha Kongara and Vignesh Shivn for the first time. The anthology, featuring four shorts, explored themes like love, pride and honour. This was the first anthology to bring on board some really popular actors as part of its cast. It starred Anjali, Bhavani Sre, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Hari, Kalidas Jayaram, Kalki Koechlin, Padam Kumar, Prakash Raj, Sai Pallavi, Shanthnu Bhagyaraj and Simran, amongst others. Vetrimaaran’s short about honour killing was the most talked about segment of the anthology followed by Sudha Kongara’s story about same-sex love.

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