Year-ender: Tamil movies that made it big in 2018

Curtains come down on 2018. The year saw nearly 200 films hit the screens though there was a strike in Kollywood in the first quarter of the year. As usual, only a handful of movies went on to make profits and a handful won rave reviews and accolades. And it was a year to cheer for Rajinikanth fans as he had two releases while his next is all set hit screens this January.

Here is our top 10 films that saw houseful shows

IRUMBU THIRAI

Close on the heels of Thupparivalan’s success came Irumbi Thirai for Vishal. Directed by Mithran, it was a successful venture. It was hailed as a solid action cybercrime thriller. Vishal played an army officer named Major Kathiravan, who suffers from anger management issues. It spoke about data leak in cyber space. And Mithran’s research work was not limited to paperwork, he smartly placed everything within the commercial format.

NADIGAYAR THILAKAM

A bio-pic on veteran actress Savithri, it featured Keerthy Suresh in the titular role. Her performance won her rave reviews. No doubt, it was Keerthy’s best till date. The movie was more a celebration of Savithri’s life. Directed by Nag Ashwin, it also featured Samantha, Dulqur Salman, Vijay Devarakonda among others. It was almost close to reality with several feel-good moments.

MERKU THODARCHI MALAI

Directed by Lenin Bharathi and produced by Vijay Sethupathi, the film featured newcomers in the lead. The high point was cinematography by Theni Eswar and music by Ilayaraja. It was received well in various film festivals and when it hit the theatres, the response was amazing. An off-beat entertainer about people living in the hills of Tamilnadu-Kerala border, it drew many to the theatres. No doubt, the content was the king.

PARIYERUM PERUMAL

Pariyerum Perumal spoke about a relevant issue in an engrossing way. It was like an engaging discussion with masses on honour killing prevalent in southern Tamilnadu. Produced by Pa Ranjith, it saw a strong debut by filmmaker Mari Selvaraj. Though it initially got less screens, following the response at the box office, the theatre counts were increased. Kathir and Kayal Anandhi played the lead.

96

A rewind to the past. Directed by Prem, the movie featured Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha in the lead. The film had a simple storyline – two high school sweethearts from the batch of 1996 meet at a reunion, 22 years after they part. The emotions worked very well. Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha delivered flawless performances with their understated acting. Govind Menon’s music was added strength.

RATSASAN

In the midst of masala movies came Ratsasan. A taut crime thriller. It was about a serial killer who murders school girls. A newbie cop has to track him down before the victim count increases. Vishnu Vishal played the lead and Amala Paul was the heroine. It was directed by Mundasupatti-fame director Ramkumar. It managed a good run at theatres. A gripping screenplay and a wonderful performance by the cast made it an engrossing affair.

2.0

Call it a technical marvel. With Rajinikanth playing the lead and Akshay as the baddie, the fantasy 3D film was a blockbuster hit. Produced on a grand budget by Lyca, and Shankar wielding the megaphone, the movie had enough elements in it to woo children to cinema halls. Rahman’s background score and Nirav Shah’s camera were major highlights. 2.0 helped Rajini establish himself as ‘box office king’ yet again.

KADAIKUTTY SINGAM

A movie that championed the cause of farmers. Directed by Pandiraj, it featured Karthi, Sayeesha Sehgal and Sathyaraj in the cast. An emotional family drama, it stressed the need to preserve agriculture. It wasn’t preachy and shrewd Pandiraj came up with the right commercial elements. As a down-to-earth family man, who talks about the greatness of farming and the need to embrace it, the role has given Karthi another chance to showcase his acting prowess.

CHEKKA CHIVANTHA VANAM

After a debacle in Kaatru Veliyidai, Mani Ratnam bounced back with vigour in Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. A multi-starrer featuring Arvind Swami, Vijay Sethupathi, Simbu, Arun Vijay, Jyothika, Aishwarya Rajesh among others, the movie had music by A R Rahman. A gangster movie set around brothers, the movie managed to win the hearts of audience thanks to Mani Ratnam’s unique style of filmmaking. It was about gun, greed and glory.

VADA CHENNAI

After Aadukalam, Vettrimaran and Dhanush teamed up again for Vada Chennai. A period gangster film set in north Chennai. Gang war in vada Chennai was captured raw and real by Vettrimaran in the movie. Socio-cultural identity of the region was well-captured. Andrea, Ameer, Samuthirakani among others were part of the cast. Music was by Santosh Narayanan.

M BHARAT KUMAR