From indie movies gaining prominence to big movies living up to their expectations, 2012 has been a year of delight so far for the average film lover and the producers / distributors alike. While sincerely hoping that the trend continues, what with some big pictures lined up for release in the second half of 2012, here are a few surprises Tamil cinema presented us in 2012.
Kadhalil Sodhappuvadu Eppadi
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of this year, Kadhalil Sodhappuvadu Eppadi looked unassuming and humble enough to not pose a threat to other films at the box office. However, the movie not only swept the viewers off their feet, it also did the same to the trade and fetched impressive returns at the box office. Siddharth’s conviction with the movie’s quirky rom-com storyline proved exactly right and soon after its release it was declared a hit. With its very low production budget, this bilingual movie also made enough money in Telugu. Director Balaji Mohan is now in demand.
Thanks to YouTube, 3 became world famous when Kolaveri Di was released. While it caught the nation’s attention and catapulted Dhanush to the pan Indian movie scene, it also provided the movie the biggest opening of the year. When it was released, however, 3 could not satisfy the likes of critics and fans. Aishwarya Dhanush treaded a territory that has probably never been touched by directors before and told the story of a person with bipolar disorder. Too much publicity could not have harmed the movie but what seems to have worked against it is the lack of consistency in the narrative. Nevertheless, the movie made a star out of young musician Anirudh Ravichander.
Leelai’s release was around 2 years overdue and it was one of those unfortunate movies mired by financial troubles that had to wait for two long years to, as they say, see the light of the day. Andrew Louis’s romance based on modern day love is a take on how relationships are conducted in this internet age. Although it was not a huge commercial success, Leelai won a few critic hearts and was unanimously praised for its storytelling. That the elegant and brilliantly evocative Manasi Parekh could do more than just being a pretty face became another plus for the movie.
Magizh Thirumeni’s first film Mundhinam Paartheney received average reviews and his second, Thadaiyara Thaakka, was in the production for a long time. When it was released finally, Thadaiyara Thaakka proved to be a tautly made thriller with inspired performances from its leads Arun Vijay and Mamta Mohandas. However, what made the critics fall for the movie was its neatly written screenplay that was equally credible and left not a moment of tedium. After all, Magizh Thirumeni seem to know his onions.
Gautham Menon and Ilayaraja
Gautham Menon’s movies are known to have quality music – hummable melodies populate his movies’ soundtrack and invariably songs from his movies find place in the list of chartbusters. In what could be easily this year’s casting (actually, musical) coup, Gautham brought in maestro Ilayaraja for scoring Neethaane En Ponvasantham. This has not only pushed the bar for the movie’s expectation levels, the movie’s album has quickly become one of the most expected soundtracks of the year. Subsequently, the movie’s audio rights were sold to Sony for a whopping 2 crore, a first in Tamil cinema. This Jiiva – Samantha starrer is expected to make a red carpet appearance in theatres in November and has already joined the most expected movies list of 2012.
Almost made it to the list:
Vazhakku En – We know Balaji Sakthivel makes movies that are hard hitting and pose some serious questions so where is the surprise when he released Vazhakku En, inspired by real life incidents?
Ambuli – This sci-fi thriller, from the people who made Orr Eravuu, has everything going for it except that the director, in a desperate attempt to make it mainstream, threw in a few songs and an item number
Aravaan – Vasanthabalan is known to research his subjects well but something happened while bringing it to screen and the movie could not rise up more than an average period drama.
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