2015 in retrospect: Tamil films with unique storylines, formats
Mainstream Tamil cinema may be star-obsessed but the year also saw much creative content. Take a look.regional movies Updated: Dec 31, 2015 17:34 IST
If mainstream Tamil cinema has the dubious distinction of hero-worshipping its stars, the industry has time and again proven that it is also capable of genuine creative content. Of the over 200 Tamil films released this year, there were a few that may not have necessarily created an impact at the box office but they appealed to a mixed audience with their unique storylines, talent and formats.
Here’s a list of 10 such movies that stood out in 2015:
M Manikandan’s debut feature Kaaka Muttai is not a children’s film. It’s a movie for adults and relates to children oblivious to the growing social divide, capitalism and elitism. It’s also a film you can watch with your children without a doubt, and be assured that they will enjoy it.
AG Amid’s Rajathandiram, hands down, is the best heist film to have come from Tamil cinema. Made exclusively for the kind of audience that appreciates original content and doesn’t like to be spoon-fed, it’s hard to believe it’s the work of a newcomer. An extremely well written, edge-of-the-seat thriller, this is a small film with all the potential that big films lack.
Kamal Haasan’s semi-autobiographical take on stardom and mortality could easily be the most underrated, star-studded film of the year. While the film may have turned out to be a dud at the ticket windows, Haasan proved once again why he’s one of the best writers we have in the country.
This was perhaps this year’s dark horse. Revolving around events that take place in a school in a single day, this extremely well-written docu-drama encompasses multiple themes ranging from motherhood to religion and humanity.
A story about a wannabe rowdy and a woman he wants to help avenge the death of her father, this is the most entertaining Tamil film of the year. It also brought back two highly talented actors -- Vijay Sethupathi and Parthepan -- to glorious form.
Trisha Illana Nayantara
An A-rated sex comedy that may have not done full justice to the genre, but introduced us to a young filmmaker, Adhik Ravichandran, who isn’t afraid to go against the tide. With an ‘adults only’ certificate, the makers had the licence to go all guns blazing, and one wishes they didn’t restrict themselves.
A film that made its audience roots for a villain! How many times does that happen in Indian cinema, given the kind of villains our films produce? In a comeback role, Arvind Swamy was terrific in this extremely stylish thriller that made us take notice of its underestimated director Mohan Raja.
O Kadhal Kanmani
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Mani Ratnam fan or not, his O Kadhal Kanmani will leave you with an everlasting smile on your face. The movie, which marked the auteur’s comeback to the romance genre after a decade, was a refreshing take on contemporary romance and relationship.
CSK: Charles Shafiq Karthiga
A low-budget thriller that unfolds in a single night in a shopping mall, the entire story of the movie rests on its female protagonist, and that’s not something you see often in Tamil filmdom. While the film attempts something offbeat but doesn’t quite succeed, it still manages to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
Closely following in the footsteps of meta-films such as Jigarthanda and Kathai Thiraikkathai Vasanam Iyakkam, debut filmmaker J Vadivel’s Kallappadam is another honest and brave attempt to shine a spotlight on the trials and tribulations of struggling first-timers in filmdom by walking a tightrope between satire and tribute. What we get to see may not be exceptional, but something far offbeat than the mainstream garbage.
Other notable mentions include Indru Netru Naalai and Yennai Arindhaal.