Films like Hridayam and Mudhalum Nee Mudivum Nee can leave you wanting to desperately go back to the good old days of hero pens and autograph books, school uniforms and canteen food. The closest we have to a time machine is our movies thanks to set of lovely filmmakers in both Malayalam and Tamil cinema. Here’s a set of movies that may help with this time travel.
Inidhu Inidhu is about a group of college students who become friends after they get ragged by seniors. From crushes to fests and exams, the film takes you through a complete college journey. It is a beautiful mix of fun, romance, friendship, and emotions making it a great place to start. It is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
This Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha classic takes you right back to school and the memory of one’s first love. It shows parallel narratives of school days and a reunion. Everything about 96 echoes 90’s Tamil Nadu with Illaiyaraaja, ink-blot uniforms and old friends. You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video or Sun NXT.
3 is a psychological thriller filled with romance. But the flashbacks of Ram and Janani in the backdrop of high school is the perfect dose of school romance and comedy. While the crux of the story takes a serious turn, the school (and tuition class) days are portrayed beautifully. The film is available on Sun NXT.
Depicting the notoriousness of teenagers and their immaturity, Pattalam is a solid school-based drama that explores the intricacies of student life, friendship, love and jealousy. Set at the time of Boys and Chennai28, the film delivers exactly what you expect. You can find this film on Sun NXT.
This blockbuster is all about the college life of three friends played by Vijay, Sreekanth, and Jeeva. This official remake of Three idiots follows four years of engineering with its share of wild laughs and moving sentiments. The film is available on Disney+ Hotstar.
A newly-appointed school teacher tries to discipline an unruly bunch of students and fights the problems in a government school. Depicting the issues of students, the film navigates the many minefields most of us had to overcome. Saatai is exhilarating and motivating. It is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
April Mathadhil is a story about students who bond over college days and vacation. Not wanting to be separated during the holidays, they plan to visit each other’s house. Though April Mathathil released in the early 2000s, the film remains fresh even today. It is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Set much after campus life, this is a flashback that weaves in the emotions of one-sided love, friendship and heartbreak. With its realistic storytelling, Ullam Ketkumae shows you a happy college life and a happier after-life. It is available on YouTube.
Premam is not a student-life film. But it is about George and his three love stories spanning across school, college and adult life. The film takes you through a whirlwind of emotions, reminding you of your first crush and student-days and mischief. You can enjoy this beautiful film on Disney+ Hotstar
Anandham is a treat for people who love to live in the past. It is a tale of a few friends and their exploration of love during a college excursion. The trip set in Hampi and Goa gets you into the perfect mood with your guards down. The film is a fun-filled entertainer you should not miss. Watch it on Amazon Prime Video.
The film starts off as a regular story centred around a college reunion. But with several twists and past secrets spilling out, the film takes an interesting dark route. Irrespective of the serious turn of events, the film has enough romance and humour to let you enjoy a college film. It is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. Its Tamil remake Ninaithale Inikkum is on Sun NXT.
Thaneer Mathan Dinangal
Thaneer Mathan Dinangal explores familiar territory with its high school setting, replete with humanities-versus-science debates and controversial cricket matches. But it never overdoes its dosage of nostalgia and remans a delightful comedy about first love. The young actors are great and there are many adorable moments that are hard to forget. You can watch it on Jio Cinema and Eros Now.
The oldest film in this list Niram is an evergreen story that revolves around college days. When two childhood friends fall in love with each other, what stops them from confessing their love to each and how the film plays out is the essence of this friendship-turned-love tale. The film was remade in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi. You can watch Niram on Disney+ Hotstar.
What happens when a guy joins an all-girls college? This storyline itself is perfect to get your attention. Packed with fun, emotion, drama, love and songs, Chocolate is a hilarious romantic comedy. You can find the film on Amazon Prime Video.
Which films would you add to this list?