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Our Picks from Q2 2017 : Tamil Films

April started with a bang for Tamizh Cinema with opinions cluttering our social media feeds on Kaatru Veliyidai and 8 Thottakal being accepted almost unanimously for its daring content. With Kadamban being passable, it was Pa Paandi that became the talk of the town for its mature content and music, with the additional attraction of being Dhanush’s debut directorial venture. The magnificent Baahubali storm took hold of not just Kollywood but Indian cinema as a whole for a few weeks with only brave independent films like Lens managing to sustain despite releasing in its aftermath. Films like Saravanan Irukka Bayamaen and Yeidhavan (which was well-intentioned) could not break the spell of Baahubali which had audiences thronging the theatres for repeat viewing and multiplex programmers giving it the prime shows. The end of May saw some good efforts like Sangili Bungili Kadhave Thorae and Brindavanam get good response from the critics as well as the box office. Samuthrakani’s much-delayed Thondan was as usual panned by the critics for being preachy yet it managed to attract the masses. Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu, fresh from its premiere in 17th edition of The New York Indian Film Festival managed to get fantastic reviews from a majority of the critics but could not get widespread audience acceptance due to the lack of shows. Gautham Karthik’s much delayed Rangoon opened to excellent reviews with the debutant filmmaker Rajkumar Periasamy’s scripting and attention to detail being praised. Vikram Prabhu’s Sathriyan directed by S.R.Prabhakaran was disappointing while Peechankai was dismissed for not being able to achieve the quirkiness of Soodhu Kavvum in the Black Comedy genre in spite of the interesting knot. Uru suffered the same fate as Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu due to lack of shows and the reviews could not sustain the film long enough in the big screen. But one’s loss is another one’s gain as Maragadha Naanayam which released in the same week became one of those rare films that got critical and commercial acclaim. The fantasy storyline and the hilarious unravelling of the knot worked big time with the masses. Silambarasan’s much talked about Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan [1D] opened to disastrous reviews which aided films like Maragadha Naanayam, Vanamagan and Ivan Thanthiran capture more screens. Vanamagan was praised for the monumental effort of the entire team in terms of performances and CG, it was however derided for being quite similar to Kadamban which released few months back. Ivan Thanthiran got some great comments from both the youth and the critics and it was two in a row for Gautham Karthik with Rangoon also doing well. However, due to the GST and local municipal tax issue and the theatre strike that followed, all the films releasing in June suffered in terms of collections.
Overall we at PipingHotViews ended with the below 5 picks of the films that released in this quarter with films like Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu, Ivan Thanthiran, Brindavanam and Uru narrowly missing out.

8 Thottakkal (April 7, 2017)

145 min

  • U Rated
  • Directed by Sri Ganesh
  • Music by KS Sundaramurthy
  • Shot by Dinesh K. Babu
  • Edited by Nagooran
Full Review

8 Thottakkal

It is rare to encounter a film from Kollywood which is based on the kind of actors colloquially referred to as ‘Character’ actors. Such is the conviction shown by young Sri Ganesh that he puts the focus on MS Bhaskar (who delivers big time) and provides the platform for a debutant hero by having the experienced Nasser to give him space. In spite of the elaborate stage-play like dialogues and wooden expressions from the hero, this film deserves a place in our picks of this quarter for the sheer guts of the director and the producer.
Full Review

Pa Paandi (April 14, 2017)

Full Review

Pa Paandi

In these times of action and dark comedy, for a filmmaker to venture into drama is quite brave and that too, a drama hinging on the romance between two veteran actors in Rajkiran and Revathi of polarising backgrounds, is unheard of. The writer-director in Dhanush needs to be commended for handling the mature romance so well in his first film and also handling the interpersonal dynamics within the veterans’ respective families. Of course, the flashback sequence reeks of artificiality due to the stiff performance of Dhanush and Madonna, but Sean Roldan’s score and Velraj’s make them bearable and the well-enacted climax ensures a wonderful closure to the film.
Full Review

125 min

  • U Rated
  • Directed by Dhanush
  • Music by Sean Roldan
  • Shot by Velraj
  • Edited by Prasanna GK

Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion (April 28, 2017)

168 min

  • U/A Rated
  • Directed by SS Rajamouli
  • Music by MM Keeravani
  • Shot by KK Senthil Kumar
  • Edited by Venkateswara Rao Kotagiri
Full Review

Baahubali 2 - The Conclusion

The expectation on a sequel that follows a successful first one is generally impossible to match. Especially in an Indian context where sequels do not get made that often, the feat the SS Rajamouli and the team of Baahubali have achieved is massive. Mammoth effort does not necessarily result in an entertaining film and it is credit to Rajamouli that he has inspired his team to come up with a visually stunning and wildly entertaining film that has made people throng the theatres for the experience.
Full Review

Rangoon (June 9, 2017)

Full Review

Rangoon

In spite of the unravelling of the central knot being slightly chaotic towards the end and a template heroine characterization, Rangoon is a well-made thriller from a debutant director with fine performances by Gautham Karthik, Lallu and Daniel. Backed by gritty camera work and a stirring score, the film portrays the true essence of the North Madras trade equation realistically.
Full Review

127 min

  • U/A Rated
  • Directed by Rajkumar Periasamy
  • Music by Vikram R. H, Vishal Chandrasekhar
  • Shot by Anish Tharun Kumar
  • Edited by Prasanna GK, Vijay Venkataramanan

Maragadha Naanayam (June 16, 2017)

132 min

  • U Rated
  • Directed by ARK Saravan
  • Music by Dhibu Ninan Thomas
  • Shot by PV Shankar
  • Edited by Prasanna GK
Full Review

Maragadha Naanayam

Wacky comedies with a tinge of fantasy have been made in Tamizh Cinema with films like Lucky Man and Adhisaya Piravi coming to mind immediately. But making such a film in the current generation of mobile wielding audience who are easily distracted is no mean task. Often fantasy films are discarded as logic-less films, yet there are a set of golden rules that need to be followed to make a fantasy film coherent and that is exactly what debutant writer-director, ARK Saravan has accomplished here. The characterization of the lead lady followed by that of Daniel Pope and Ram Doss are so fresh and original and that makes it one of our picks of this quarter.
Full Review
2018-05-26T19:24:30+00:00 2017|Perspectives|1 Comment

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