Movies based on real-life incidents have an altogether different charm. It is exciting and intriguing to have a glimpse into the life of some of the most well-known and talked-about people around the world. Be it an actor, a politician, a criminal, or a freedom fighter - it is something about their lives that just reels us in and compels us to be a part of their story. If nothing, it assures post-watching reading material as we are bound to go on the web and explore some more about the true event that inspired the movie.
It is enthralling to watch how the director manages to showcase the delicate workings of a person’s life or an incident in just a few hours. If you’re on the lookout to watch some engrossing fact-based South Indian movies then below is a list you should refer to!
Rajanna - 2011
Director: K.V. Vijayendra Prasad
Cast: Nagarjuna, Sneha, Baby Annie
Rajanna movie produced by Nagarjuna is one of the best Telugu movies based on true stories partially influenced by the Razakar movement and freedom fighter Suddala Hanmanthu. The movie narrates the story of Mallamma, an orphan, who loses her freedom to sing due to the jealousy of Dorasani, the village chief and how her music teacher narrates the story of Rajanna to inspire her. With positive reviews from the audience and critics, the movie won several awards. The Rajanna movie was later dubbed and released in Tamil as Raja Singh in 2015.
Watch the Rajanna movie only on Disney+ Hotstar.
Paradesi - 2013
Cast: Atharvaa, Vedhika, Dhansika
Paradesi released in 2013 is one of the best Tamil movies based on true stories that took place before independence in the 1930s. It is a period movie that follows a group of villagers who are lured to work on a tea plantation run by British officers. Paradesi Tamil movie was based on the novel Eriyum Panikadu, a Tamil translation of the 1969 English novel Red Tea by Paul Harris Daniel. The critics praised the movie for its veritable script, life-like cast performance, and realistic visuals. Paradesi Tamil movie was later dubbed and released in Telugu under the same name.
Watch Paradesi Tamil movie only on Sun NXT.
Ennu Ninte Moideen - 2015
Director: R.S. Vimal
Cast: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Bala, Tovino Thomas, Sai Kumar, Sashi Kumar, Lena
Ennu Ninte Moideen released in 2015 is a Malayalam biographical romantic drama based on the story of a real-life couple from different faiths. The movie was hit at the box office and was praised by the audience as well as the critics. It also became one of the highest-grossing Malayalam films of all time. The movie is a tragic love story that will strike a chord and leave a lasting impression on everyone. The movie has won a total of 55 awards at several award functions.
Watch Ennu Ninte Moideen only on Disney+ Hotstar.
Visaranai - 2016
Cast: Dinesh, Anandhi, Samuthirakani, Aadukalam Murugadoss, Kishore, Pradeesh Raj, Silambarasan Rathnasamy
The crime-thriller Visaranai is one of the must-watch Tamil movies based on true stories. It is inspired by the novel Lock Up written by M. Chandrakumar highlighting his personal experiences. Visaranai was premiered in the Orizzonti (Horizons) section of the 72nd Venice Film Festival and won the Amnesty International Italia Award. The movie was selected as India's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards but was not selected. Visaranai garnered positive reviews upon its release from the audience as well as the critics. The cast was especially praised for their life-like performances in the movie.
Watch Visaranai only on Netflix.
Killing Veerappan - 2016
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Cast: Shiva Rajkumar, Rahaao, Sandeep Bharadwaj, Yagna Shetty, Sanchari Vijay, Parul Yadav
The docudrama Killing Veerappan is one of the most intriguing Kannada movies based on true stories. It is based on the events leading to Operation Cocoon to capture or kill Indian bandit Veerappan. The movie was a big hit at the box office and was applauded for the performances, background score, cinematography, screenplay, casting and direction. It bagged many awards at several award ceremonies and was also dubbed in Telugu.
Watch Killing Veerappan only on Sun NXT.
Kathakali - 2016
Cast: Vishal Krishna Reddy, Catherine Tresa
Kathakali starring Vishal and Catherine is one of the most gripping Tamil movies based on true stories and incidents Pandiraj’s friend experienced. Kathakali Tamil movie follows a man who is falsely accused of the murder of a local don due to their enmity. The movie was a success at the box office and was praised for the mystery it entails. Kathakali Tamil movie was later dubbed in Hindi under the title Khel Power Ka and released via Zee Cinema.
Watch Kathakali Tamil movie only on Sun NXT.
Aval - 2017
Director: Milind Rau
Cast: Siddharth, Andrea Jeremiah
Aval released in 2017 is one of the most thrilling Tamil movies based on true stories. The movie is based on the horrifying events the close friends of actor Siddharth and Milind Rau faced. It traces a rebel teenager Jenny who brings home unwanted elements in the house and the terror that follows. Aval Tamil movie is a war between good spirits vs bad spirits and how humans suffer stuck between the two. The movie was shot simultaneously in Hindi and Telugu. The lead actor Siddharth also worked on Aval Tamil movie as a co-producer and a co-writer.
Watch Aval Tamil movie only on JioCinema.
Take Off - 2017
Director: Mahesh Narayanan
Cast: Parvathy Thiruvothu, Kunchacko Boban, Fahadh Faasil
Take Off movie directed by Mahesh Narayan is a Malayalam-language drama-thriller that traces the ordeal of Indian nurses held hostage by the terrorists in the city of Tikrit, Iraq, in 2014. The movie makes for an interesting and hooking cinematic experience with a thoughtful presentation of real-life events. Take Off movie was a hit at the box office and bagged several awards. Parvathy Thiruvothu became the first Malayalam actress to win the Best Female Actor award at the 48th International Film Festival of India for the movie.
Watch Take Off movies only on Disney+ Hotstar.
Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru - 2017
Director: H. Vinoth
Cast: Karthi, Rakul Preet Singh, Abhimanyu Singh
Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru directed by H. Vinoth is one of the most engaging Tamil movies based on true stories. The movie entails the true events from the Operation Bawaria case, showcasing the nefarious activity of dacoits and capture by the Tamil Nadu police. Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru was a blockbuster at the box office and was well-liked by the audience as well as the critics. Film Companion ranked Karthi’s performance in the movie among 100 Greatest Performances of the decade in 2019.
Watch Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru only on Disney+Hotstar.
Mahanati - 2018
Director: Nag Ashwin
Cast: Keerthy Suresh, Dulquer Salmaan, Samantha Akkineni, Vijay Deverakonda, Shalini Pandey, Rajendra Prasad, Prakash Raj, Bhanupriya
Mahanati directed by Nag Ashwin is one of the must-watch Telugu movies based on true stories. It is a biographical movie that chronicles the life of popular Indian actress Savitri Ganesan - her career at its peak, marriage and downfall. Mahanati movie was dubbed in Tamil as well as Malayalam. The movie received positive reviews from the audience as well as the critics. It can be truly described as the rightful and touching interpretation of the actress’s life. Mahanati movie also bagged awards at several award ceremonies, national and international. Lead actress Keerthy Suresh brought Savitri Ganesan to life with her applause-worthy performance.
Watch Mahanti movie only on Amazon Prime Video.
George Reddy - 2019
Director: B. Jeevan Reddy
Cast: Sandeep Madhav, Muskaan Khubchandani, Abhay Bethiganti
2019 movie George Reddy is one of the most engaging Telugu movies based on true stories. The biopic is inspired by the life of a college student George Reddy who was also an Indian revolutionary, social activist, community leader, college leader, a research student in physics with a Gold medal and a boxer. The movie showcased how he influenced the politics of the Telangana region in Osmania University between 1967 and 1972.
Watch George Reddy only on Amazon Prime Video.
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy - 2019
Director: Surender Reddy
Cast: Chiranjeevi, Nayanthara, Tamannaah, Sudeep, Jagapathi Babu, Vijay Sethupathi, Amitabh Bachchan. Anushka Shetty
One of the best historic Telugu movies based on true stories, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy is inspired by the life of Indian independence activist Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy from the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. The movie traces the events of his opposition to the British East India Company to put an end to their atrocities. The movie was simultaneously dubbed and released in various languages and received positive reviews by the critics.
Watch Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy only on Amazon Prime Video.
Lakshmi’s NTR - 2019
Director: Ram Gopal Varma, Agasthya Manju
Cast: J.K. Vijay Kumar, Yagna Shetty, Sritej
Lakshmi’s NTR co-directed by Ram Gopal Varma and Agasthya Manju is one of the best Telugu movies based on true stories. It is a biographical drama tracing the life of the former movie actor and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N.T. Rama Rao from the standpoint of his second wife, Lakshmi Parvati. Lakshmi’s NTR is a must-watch movie for its interesting portrayal of unfathomed and less-talked events of NTR’s life.
Watch Lakshmi’s NTR only on Amazon Prime Video.
Mallesham - 2019
Director: Raj Rachakonda
Cast: Priyadarshi Pullikonda, Ananya Nagalla, Jhansi
Released in 2019, Mallesham is one of the most inspiring Telugu movies based on true stories. It is based on the life events of Chintakindi Mallesham, a self-trained Indian inventor who revolutionised the weaving industry with his new weaving process. The movie is a portrayal of every common Indian man who set out to solve trivial problems at hand. It is a relatable tale of determination and victory.
Watch Mallesham only on Netflix.
Yatra - 2019
Director: Mahi V. Raghav
Cast: Mammootty, Suhasini Maniratnam, Jagapathi Babu, Rao Ramesh, Anasuya Bharadwaj, Sachin Khedekar, Posani Krishna Murali, Prudhvi Raj, Vijayachander, Thalaivasal Vijay, Jeeva
Directed by Mahi V. Raghav, Yatra is one of the best Telugu movies based on true stories. It is inspired by the padayatra of Rajasekhara Reddy who served as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from May 2004 to June 2009 representing the Indian National Congress. Yatra Telugu movie was simultaneously released in Malayalam, Tamil and received good acclaim from the critics. It covers the political as well as the emotional aspect of the event.
Watch Yatra Telugu movie in Malayalam only on Amazon Prime Video.