Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal
With Dulquer Salmaan and Ritu Varma in the lead Design Periyasamy has definitely impressed us with his directorial debut. Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal is a romance drama but with an interesting and fast paced story plot. Rakshan’s witty yet subtle humor makes it an entertaining watch. The jaw dropping twists in the sub plot leaves the audience mind blown, especially with the screen presence of Gautham menon who simply steals the show. Overall KKK, is worth the watch and is a deserving 1st place in this list.
Oh My Kadavuley
Oh My Kadavuley directed by Ashwath marimuthu is a feel good rom-com and my personal favourite of the year. Unlike usual romances which only feature life before marriage and conclude with a “they lived happily ever after” this story plot actually begins with the life after marriage. Great acting from the leads along with natural humor and mesmerizing songs makes the movie a delightful experience. Especially, the sub plot involving the ‘second chance’ enhances the attempt and adds some hilarious moments to the film. With Vijay sethupathy’s extraordinary portrayal of his role makes even the unbelievable believable. Overall, this is a breezy movie and a totally fresh attempt whose only aim is to put a smile on our faces at the end of the day.
Psycho is definitely one of the most terrifying and eerie thriller films ever made with deliberate visibility of beheading scenes, headless corpses and puddles of blood. Definitely, a well-written story by Mysskin with his name evident at every frame. The film has many edge of the seat moments during the process of reaching the psychopath but the actual story is beyond just the ‘whodunit’ factor. It deals with the psychology of psychopaths and what had pushed them to a life of crime. Mysskin at some point makes us empathize with the psycho yet doesn’t justify his actions. It’s a very thin line between both and the film successfully manages to stay at the border. Overall, psycho is a worth watch for thrill lovers.
Gypsy from the ‘Joker’ fame director is a romantic film which speaks a lot of politics, classic Raju Murugan(director). The first half of the film shows how a wandering musician and an orthodox Muslim girl fall in love, with a lot of political satire drizzled here and there. Though at times the political reference felt unrelated it brought out the humor well without the feeling of being forced. During a riot caused by communal disputes, gypsy and his pregnant wife get separated. The second half is fully about how they reconcile despite, the trauma his wife has undergone due to the riot leaving her in fear and depression. The movie beautifully dealt with communal violence and how it affects common people with splendid performance from Jiiva who literally carries the film and Natasha who perfectly brought out the vulnerable self of the character. Overall, its a beautifully written love story with a lot of politics spoken.
Penguin the directorial debut of Eashvar Karthic, with Keerthy Suresh in the lead, is among the best crime thrillers of the year. A pregnant mother going in search of her son, who was lost six years ago is the crux of the story. On the other hand, there is a psychopath on the loose who abducts and brutally kills children. The first half of the film is really thrilling with many eye-widening moments, mainly attributed to Keerthy’s phenomenal acting and talented cinematography. The second is half is where all the revelations take place and would have been equally as mind-blowing as the predecessor if only they were more logical and believable. Overall, Penguin is a good attempt for a thriller film, with the weight of the film solely bared by Keerthy, but with ease.
Dharala Prabhu the remake of the Hindi film ‘Vicky donor’ is the directorial debut of Krishna RV Marimuthu with Harish Kalyan and Tanya hope as the leads. The movie successfully deals with the sensitive topic of sperm donation with the screenplay altered perfectly to suit native audience. Prabhu’s(Harish), a football player, initially refuses to become a sperm donor despite Kannadhasan’s(vivek) repeated efforts to convince him but later agrees due to an incident. The story plot revolves around the issues he faces due to this post marriage. The film tries to convey that sperm donation is not shameful, but pure as any other donation, which brings bliss into many childless families but for some reason fails to emphasize strongly on the point. The screenplay and dialogues could have been made more deeper with regard to this otherwise its a great film with a lot of scope for humor.
Velvet nagaram directed by Manoj Kumar Natarajan with Varalaxmi Sarathkumar as the lead is an action thriller with very realistic screenplay and visuals making the film very believable. The film begins with explaining the troubles undergone by a neglected tribal community living in the kodaikanal forests and their plight due to the forest fires. Gauri an actress and activist ,collects some shocking evidence regarding the influential people responsible for the fire but gets mysteriously killed. Usha(Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) Gauri’s friend, sets out to find the killers, which makes much of the first half. But, the second half unexpectedly, turns into a home invasion thriller with some gripping yet realistic action sequences mainly attributed to the actors’ natural performance. Though, as a story it was a strong film, the pace was quite slow making many things predictable. Overall, Velvet Nagaram though, has a lethargic first half is a good watch especially for the action sequences.
Mafia Chapter-1 directed by Karthick Naren with Arun Vijay and Priya Bhavani Shankar as the protagonists and Prasanna as the antagonist is nothing but, a cat and mouse chase between an intelligent officer from the narcotic’s bureau(Arun Vijay) and the head of a drug dealing mafia(Prasanna). The visuals and cinematography of the film are really stylish and the audience are definitely up for some edge of the seat “what happens next!” moments. But, the pace of the film was rather lethargic. The sleek set-up of the film was over-powering and given more importance while the actual story plot lacked quality. The dialogues and mannerism intended to enhance the classy-ness of the film actually felt force-fitted and unnatural. Though there are a few backlogs, the film manages to take us by surprise at many moments and the climax twist is probably the best part.
Ponmagal Vanthal the directorial debut of J.J Fredrick starring Jyothika, Parthiepan, Pratap k. Pothen, and Bhagyaraj in the main roles is a courtroom drama. The film is set at the hilly regions with some suspense triggering opening scenes. It speaks about a very sensitive issue- sexual harassment against children with initial scenes very engaging. But as the films travels further the courtroom gets filled with emotional statements rather than fiery arguments. But the film addresses the point that “those sexually abused will not have evidence but only the truth” pretty well but it felt like Fredrick was trying too hard to bring out this point which made the film too wordy but not realistic. Overall, the film succeeded in creating the awareness it wanted to despite having a TV style narrative and is a good watch.
Vaanam Kottatum is a revenge drama written and directed by Dhana Sekaran, co-written and produced by Mani Rathnam, whose involvement is clearly evident throughout the film. The crux of the film is a recurring idea in Tamil cinema and was pretty obvious in the trailer thus, there was not much room for imagination, we knew exactly how the film would end so, the element of fascination is journey that lies in between. The film managed to pull off the storytelling beautifully (that’s what Mani Rathnam is here for) which makes it an entertaining watch. The chirpy love portions for both Vikram Prabhu and Aishwarya Rajesh with their respective onscreen pairs Madonna Sabastian and Shanthanu Bhagyaraj don’t fail to bring a smile on the audience. Overall, it’s a good watch, with quite a peppy tone for a revenge film.