While Bollywood is still hesitant in making mainstream political films, giving us remakes like Nayak and once in a blue-moon unicorns like Raajneeti. The South Indian film industries have taken the genre ahead with defiance, experimenting on the go. From political thriller to political dramas, here are some of our favourites that we can’t stop raving about:

1. Malik

Fahadh Faasil plays the lead in this Malayalam-language political thriller about a man’s rise from a smuggler to a man who wants to rid his coastal village of political corruption. 

2. Mandela 

This Tamil-language film starring Yogi Babu as the lead, is a refreshing watch as it follows the story of a local hairstylist, whose vote in a small village election could decide the ruling leader. The film doesn’t shy away from talking about the caste-based politics that drives the election – a topic that Bollywood is is too cautious to touch.


Shot simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu, this political thriller stars Vijay Devarakonda and Mehreen Pirzada in lead roles. It tells the story of a young video-game designer who finds himself filling the shoes of his CM father. This film didn’t go great at the box office but was praised by critics. 

4. Nene Raju Nene Mantri

If you loved Nayak, then this Telugu-language film is all that and more. It has action, drama, romance – all set in the world of politics. With Rana Daggubati and Kajal Aggarwal in lead roles, the film was dubbed in Hindi as Main Hi Raja Main Hi Mantri, Tamil as Naan Aanaiyittaal and in Malayalam as Raaja Kireedam.

5. Joker

This 2016 Tamil-language political satire tells the story of a young man who declares himself the President of India, leading protests against things that are unfair in his village. 

6. Oru Mexican Aparatha

This Malayalam-language is a campus film that focuses on student political parties. It isn’t just a political thriller but does have a good narrative. 

7. Lucifer

A political action film, this Malayalam-language movie stars Mohanlal in the lead role and is an entertainer through and through. Currently, the highest-grossing Malayalam film ever, Lucifer is all about picking the greater of two evils. 

How many of these have you watched?