The Kollywood industry has gotten off to a great start in the new year thanks to the blockbuster Viswasam and the superhit Petta. Both the films have set the cash registers ringing in TN ever since release and all their stakeholders are merrily counting their profits. But Tamil cinema is not just about the big stars like Rajinikanth, Ajith, and Vijay, it is also an industry where many concept-driven, content-oriented films come out every now and then. This year, there are a lot of such interesting films which have already kicked up enough excitement among true blue movie buffs and critics. Here we take a look at a selection of the most promising among this lot of ‘underdogs’.
Mammootty’s comeback to Tamil cinema after 10 years with Peranbu is already getting him rave reviews from the festival circuit. Director Ram has seemingly crafted an extremely emotional father-daughter tale. We’ll know more on February 1 when the movie releases in theaters. On February 1, Rajiv Menon’s musical drama Sarvam Thaala Mayam will also release in theaters after favorable outings in the festival circuit. A.R.Rahman’s music is a big calling card, and GV Prakash is expected to put up one more convincing performance after Naachiyaar last year.
With Nayanthara in a dark-skinned look for the first time and a stunning teaser which hooked viewers, director Sarjun’s sophomore venture Airaa is on the ‘to-watch’ list of many. Kolaiyuthir Kaalam is another film in which Nayan will hog all the limelight as the solo heroine. With Vijay Sethupathi playing a transgender and Thiyagaraja Kumaraja returning to direction many years after Aaranya Kaandam, the excitement on Super Deluxe is huge. Select guest screenings have already worked wonders for the film.
Director Raju Murugan’s 3rd film as a director Gypsy, with Jiiva playing a traveling folk singer, promises to be a great visual experience with a powerful political undercurrent and other enjoyable cinematic elements. Boy wonder Karthik Naren’s long in readiness multistarrer thriller Naragasooran is expected to match the lofty levels of his stunning debut Dhuruvangal 16. The trailer already hints at the quality that the film will possess. Maverick director Mysskin’s next has a title (Psycho) which just about reveals what to expect from the film. The intriguing cast list (Udhay, Nithya Menen and Aditi Rao) and the extraordinary crew (Ilayaraja, PC Sreeram) promise to make things even more interesting for the viewer.
With Uriyadi 2, Vijay Kumar is back with the sequel to his powerful ‘cult’ debut vehicle which was a vivid portrayal of the caste system in Tamil Nadu presented in the backdrop of a college in rural TN. The film is produced by Suriya and will get a much bigger platform compared to the under achieving first part. Amala Paul’s Adho Andha Paravai Pola and Aadai promise to be daringly different in the space of women-oriented films, on the evidence of the posters and news stories.
Bala’s soon to release Arjun Reddy remake Varmaa, the long in readiness Iravaa Kaalam (directed by Maya fame Ashwin Saravanan), the National Award winning To Let, the stoner comedy Simba starring Bharath, the Arun Vijay starrer Thadam, Vasantha Balan’s Jail starring GV Prakash, RJ Balaji’s political satire LKG, Nelson Venkatesan’s Monster starring SJ Suryah, Hip-hop Tamizha’s second film as a hero Natpe Thunai, Venkat Prabhu’s exciting multistarrer Party, Madhavan starrer Rocketry: Nambi Vilaivu, Prabhu Solomon’s Kaadan, the Jayalalithaa biopic The Iron Lady are also expected to deliver a certain level of quality in their respective outputs.
Among the big star vehicles, Thala Ajith’s decision to remake Pink is one of the most interesting, gutsy picks in recent times. After the mass blockbuster Viswasam, this film will be a sea change for the star actor. Suriya’s NGK also promises to be something different from the usual star-driven films, due to the director Selvaraghavan’s reputation.
Let’s see how 2019 pans out. That it promises a lot, is an understatement.