Ponniyin Selvan To Gargi: Five Enthralling Tamil Films Of 2022

As a movie buff and an evolving feminist, I look forward to seeing more Tamil movies with strong female characters.

Kalyani Ganesan
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We are nearing the end of 2022, and numerous films have seen tremendous recognition from the audience as well as at the box office. As a fan of women-centric films, I’m always on the lookout for films that feature strong female characters.

This is one of the years where female actors have ruled the screen in the Tamil film industry. From Nayanthara’s O2 to Andrea Jeremiah’s Anel Meley Panithuli, here are five enthralling Tamil films in 2022.

Five best Tamil films in 2022

Ponniyin Selvan

Although Ponniyin Selvan is not a typical women-centric story, it has multiple women playing roles with strong character arcs. In fact, the crux of the story revolves around two women on opposite sides. They are the ones who unravel the plot. Towards the climax, one would wonder if the men were all merely pawns in a chess match between the two women. Be it the competent political strategist and diplomat Kundavai (Trisha), the beautiful, brilliant, vicious, and manipulative Nandhini (Aishwarya Rai), or the independent, fierce, strong, and gutsy Poongulazhi (Aishwarya Lekshmi), these women were way ahead of their time.

Anel Meley Pani Thuli

Mathi's (Andrea Jeremiah) character is well-crafted to establish her as a strong-willed, bold, and independent woman from the beginning of the film. Despite discovering that her perpetrators are men in authority, she goes ahead and files a complaint against them. She decides that she will not let a doctored video of herself released in public deter her from fighting for justice. Despite having a supportive fiancée, she defeats her inner demons by herself. Despite the gruesome crime committed against her, she never considered herself a victim. She's a survivor. A fighter. An inspiration. And that makes the movie truly empowering for women.



Gargi isn't a movie about women's empowerment, but it is about a lot of issues that revolve around a woman’s life. Through the titular character, Gargi (Sai Pallavi), we see the struggle and responsibilities of being the first-born daughter in a middle-class family. We see the trauma of a woman who narrowly escaped being abused as a child. We see the determination, courage, and willpower of a woman who is on a quest to save her family. We see the emotional conflict a woman goes through when she's placed in the position of doing the right thing, even if it is excruciating. Towards the end of the film, we can’t help but wonder if we can trust the people that we have known our entire lives.

Saani Kaayidham

Objectification of the female body is common in cinema, regardless of the scene. Saani Kaayidham stands out in this aspect. For once, the movie compelled the audience's eyes to stay fixated on Ponni's (Keerthy Suresh) expressions and not on her body. For once, a rape scene was filmed without revealing Ponni's body and focusing solely on her face. With Yamini Yagnamurthy as the cinematographer, it was a delight to watch two women, one in front of the camera and one behind it, both acing their respective fields.


The story is about how Parvathy (Nayanthara) protects her son and the only oxygen cylinder that is crucial for his survival. The movie manages to keep us hooked throughout, with Nayanthara’s performance as its backbone. Nayanthara’s acting is so natural and realistic that we can empathise with the pain of a mother fighting to save her child. Parvathy’s undeterred determination and willpower to save her son, even if it means fighting against the world, make O2 an interesting watch.


As a movie buff and an evolving feminist, I look forward to seeing more Tamil movies with strong female characters.

Suggested Reading: Ponniyin Selvan I Review: Female Characters Shine In This Period Drama

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