Year-ender: Kollywood gets new bunch of directors, artistes, technicians

It’s almost a lifetime’s research, skill and waiting that reflect in the first work of any creator in an art form. This is so true in cinema, the art form of art forms which has witnessed masterpieces from filmmakers and artistes in their debut venture. From Bharathiraja’s 16 Vayathinilae to Karthik Naren’s Dhuruvangal 16, every debut film has been a gem from the makers. In that row, 2018 has enough of its share with a lot of freshers making it big at the box office. Here are a few among them in chronological order of their movie release.
G R Adithya – Savarakkaththi – Director
Making a movie with two ace filmmakers like Ram and Mysskin in the lead itself would have been a tough task for him during the making of Savarakkaththi. But, Adithya managed it like a pro in this first film of his as director. The movie was a dark comedy and is a series of events happening in a day in the life of a barber and a gangster on parole.
Mu Maran – Iravukku Aayiram Kangal – Director

Inspired by a lot of crime novels, Maran, who scripted and directed this Arulnithi-starrer investigation thriller, also named his characters after famous fictional characters like Bharath, Suseela, Ganesh and Vasanth. The film was a gripping tale which kept its audience guessing throughout its runtime and also had an open end for a possible sequel.

P S Mithran – Irumbu Thirai – Director 
For the first movie by a director, this one had many details. The background research made by filmmaker Mithran was evident in every frame of this techno-thriller. The movie grossed well at the box office and also helped Vishal get back to form after facing a row of losses.
Chemban Vinod Jose – Goli Soda 2 – Villain
Though the movie got mixed reviews critically, Chemban’s screen presence was really ‘conjurous’. His body language and villainy expressions were the major reasons for the film being entertaining. Despite having done an uncredited role as a junior artiste in the 2014 romantic comedy Vaayai Moodi Pesavum, this one is his first big flick in Tamil.
Elan – Pyaar Prema Kaadhal – Director 
Touching upon one of the social taboos, live-in relationships, this film saw good reception from critics and the box office. The movie saw Harish Kalyan and Raiza Wilson in the lead. It was also the debut film for music composer Yuvan Shankar Raja as a producer.
Nelson Dilipkumar – Kolamaavu Kokila – Director
Kolamaavu Kokila was one of its kind in many ways. From having a middle-class girl who turns a drug-peddler to making fun of all men in the film, this one personified feminism on a different level. Starring Nayanthara in the lead, the film also had Yogi Babu, ‘Nan Kadavul’ Rajendran and Saravanan in prominent roles.
Lenin Bharathi – Merku Thodarchi Malai – Director 
Acclaimed by film critics as the only mainstream movie in the history of Tamil cinema to have avoided every kind of commercial compromise, this film won a special name for Kollywood in various international film festivals. Filmmaker Lenin spent almost one-and-a-half decades to write the script of this film which documented a complete lifestyle and geography in its true form.
Rajkumar – Annanukku Jai – Director 
This film seems to be narrating a very quirky and funny story of a local body politician. But, in its layer, it spoke a lot about casteism and the struggles of toddy-tappers in society that fantasises artificial and imported liquor. The film had ‘Attakaththi’ Dinesh playing the lead and showed one of the less seen geographies of Tamilnadu in cinema, Tiruvallur district.
Mari Selvaraj – Pariyerum Perumal – Director 
A hard-hitting film, Pariyerum Perumal was equally intense to that of Merku Thodarchi Malai. However, the premise of Pariyerum Perumal dealt with a different social issue, untouchability. Mari, who was an associate of Ram, made this film which also was a debut film for Pa Ranjith as producer, under his banner Neelam Productions.
Prem Kumar – 96 – Director
If a question gets shot among a crowd of movie buffs to pick one feel-good movie of 2018, the obvious choice of most of them would be 96. The beauty of this Vijay Sethupathi-Trisha-starrer was in its making and narration. Anyone who watched this movie would knowingly or unknowingly be pushed to a nostalgic zone for its details. Some schools even had a reunion which was because of this 96-impact.
Govind Vasantha – 96 – Music Director 
One more strength of 96 was its music in songs and original score. With an album with all melodies, Govind had already sent a signal about the movie way before its release, after the audio launch, letting the audience get prepared for a pleasing journey when watching it.

Gouri Kishan – 96 – Actress

Reminding the ex-girlfriends and first love of a lot of men out there, Gouri as S Janaki Devi, in 96, was one of the show stealers in the film. She grabbed the attention of film freaks who went crazy about her expressions. Especially her not-so-wide smile and minute mannerisms were the attracting traits that made the entire flashback sequence lovely to watch.
Vijay Devarakonda – NOTA – Actor
For Kollywood audience, Vijay Devarakonda wasn’t a stranger who had already gained fame through the Telugu film Arjun Reddy and Tamil dubbed version of Mahanati (Nadigaiyar Thilagam). But, NOTA was his direct debut in Tamil, and bigger, too. It was so grand that the movie had early morning shows in Chennai.
Girish Gangadharan – Sarkar – Cinematographer 
The movie could not work out well with the audience. But, its visuals were completely mind-blowing. Girish had treated all scenes with intense colour lighting that enhanced the mood of the film.
Karthik Thangavel – Adanga Maru – Director
Understanding the potential of Jayam Ravi and utilising him properly on screen has always been a success for many filmmakers. Karthik joins that club. The movie’s story was so cliched. But, its screenplay treatment and narrative style adopted by the filmmaker made it a winner.
Arunraja Kamaraj – Kanaa – Director 
We have seen Arunraja in various avatars before in cinema, as a lyricist, singer and comedian. But, through this film, he proved he is more than that. A complete sports drama that spoke not just about the front end of the sport but also the politics behind it. Not stopping there, the film also touched upon the significance of agriculture.

Santhosh Mathevan