Kollywood-2012… Annual Round-up.


As usual the year had its mixture of blockbusters, niche hits and a mix of the two. But the ones which were a hit were not genre changing and neither were the ones which flopped. As they say in Kolly-talk, the more things change the more they remain the same. And 2012 was an average year for the Tamil Film industry

The Saravedi hits of the year.

1) Naan-E.

The ultimate blockbuster hit of the year and a remake of the telugu movie “eega” was a testimony that even a wafer thin story line can be made into an interesting movie if there’s is an intelligent screenplay and perfect editing. Plus it was a perfect re-launch of Samantha in the tamil industry. Sudeep the actor who played the antagonist is a superstar of the sandalwood (kannada film) industry but choose to go against type by playing an out and out baddie and showed he could pull it off. Even the music, especially the fly-dance, of which you do not expect much in special-effects heavy films was pleasing to the ears. The fly gets to be my superstar of this year and I give it- 5stars

2) Billa-2.

One of the toughest of genres to make – a prequel. Tamil cinema has never seen something like this and it took guts to make a film which doesn’t continue the story but takes us back to the humble beginnings. Despite all the critics who panned it for the excessive violence, the movie struck to its genre which alone makes me give it the second best movie award. You cant make a gangster movie without killing people off- gangsters don’t hug and forgive. And if the hero comes through unscathed through all the fights, it’s a prequel for heaven’s sake. The hero is supposed to survive till he dies in the next part- that’s the simple explanation- for continuity’s sake. The director knew what his story was about and he stuck to it without pandering to any commercial sentiments. There was no softening of the hero’s villainy with a heart wrenching flashback involving mothers and sisters. A refugee with no way to survive takes it on himself to fight back and uses the only means he knows- unthinking violence and effortlessly underplayed by Ajit kumar who shows once again he can be a fine actor if given a chance. For a sheer uncompromising storyline I give it 4stars.

3) Leelai.

A pleasantly surprising sleeper film from an unknown team and which had a delayed release of over 3 years because of absence of star power. My pick for romantic hit of the year. The story line was straightforward romance, but never a drag for a single minute. Plus the music and song picturisation was better than average. A nice little time pass movie, but with the other execrable fare on offer all year this deserves a 3star.

4) Naan..

Again a low –budget movie which was a better than average thriller. Starring the music director Vijay Antony in a new makeover as a hero and quite effectively at that, the movie was a straightforward narration of an identity swap with undercurrents of Hitchcock’s Psycho. The music was the usual Vijay Antony formula of jumbled lyrics and hummable music. Plus the film proved that not only mass hero’s can pull off thrillers or action movies. 2-stars

5) Sundarapandian.

I don’t watch sasikumar movies. Change that to, I have never watched sasikuamr movies. Because I don’t like movies with rustic, bearded, ruffians who go around waving arrivals and slitting throats. But I was recommended this movie as light fare (by my mother) and I decided to make an exception for once. And I enjoyed the movie because the film was more about the romantic antics of the theni youth than a typical aruva bloodfest. The characters were surprisingly true to life and more importantly didn’t bore anytime- 1star.

Others which didn’t make the list, but which were worth a mention are- Nanban, Kathalil Sothapuvadu Yeappadi and Needhane Enn Pon Vasantham.

 

Dabba Movies of the year.

1) Mankatha-

Oh my gawd, where do I start? Let me share just one dialogue “action king, I like it”…a dialogue which ajits character keeps repeating every ten minutes or so till the end of the film. A film which is unable to decide what it is – a straightforward heist saga or a spoof of one and ultimately falling headfirst between two stools. The director (or was it the hero) who insisted on making the film too clever by half, laughing at both the audience and at themselves, which ends up insulting our intelligence by being too clever by half. A film in which I wished I had walked out at the interval.

2) Pizza.

A film which reminded me again (like a hammer blow to the head) that the taste of most (all) movie critics is execrable and when they go ga-ga over a movie, you should turn the other side and run. Thankfully, as I was watching this over a dvd, I could rip it off the player, jump on it and let go of my disappointment at having wasted time and money on watching a movie which should have been at the most a 30-mins episode off ZEEtv’s midnight thrills. Pizza was stale, stuffy and made you nostalgic for all early 90’s those nostalgic for Ramsay horror-thrillers like Purana Mandir, Purana Haveli etc..

3) Mugamudi

The only question I can ask is why? Why mishkin why? Why jeeva, why? Did you all have a collective mindfreeze to make such a movie? Or did the producer have a lot of money which he wanted to burn free? I failed to see the point of this film, then, now and maybe forever.

Heres to a happy new year, 2013 with more interesting and intelligent movies..paisa vasool, what say?


 

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