This year kicked off with low key releases until the festivities began with four movies squaring off on Pongal Day aimed at catering to different audience. With Gethu and Rajini Murugan falling prey to cliches, Kathakali edged ahead for its absorbing content but the darker Tharathappattai from Bala remained etched in memory for the terrific acting and enchanting music from the Maestro Illayaraja. When the wave subsided, comedy-horror-glamour was back with Aranmanai-2, but the boxing drama Irudhi Suttru starring a beefed up Maddy stole the limelight for its honest attempt. The best phase was seen around the release of the much anticipated Visaranai which was hard hitting and liked by hard code cinephiles. Jil Jung Juk started another wave of ambitious movies including the first zombie flick in Tamil - Mirudhan which missed out to Pichaikaran,Sethupathi and Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum that made to our list of best flicks this quarter.
The 13th Chennai International Film Festival originally scheduled in December 2015 had to be postponed due to the floods in Chennai and it was finally held between 6th and 13th of January 2016, across seven screens within the city
Visaaranai gives hope – The hope that there still are film-makers who can genuinely make you think a lot about films & how you actually are part of the stories some of them make.
2015 kicked off with the Pongal releases & right in the middle of the mix was Shankar’s Vikram starrer I – arguably, the most expected film of the year that received mixed reviews but performed well at the box-office with Vikram receiving unanimous praise for the toils he had taken for the role! GV Prakash’s litmus test as an actor came in the form of Darling & the maverick SJ Suryah got back after a hiatus through his Isai that focused on a fictitous rivalry between Raja and Rahman.
The final quarter of the year started off with the much-expected experimental Vijay film Puli which tamed timidly. A flurry of small releases over the next few weeks meant the weekend that saw the release of Naanum Rowdydhaan & 10 Endrathukulla a prominent one. While NRD got a positive verdict, the Vikram starrer failed to arouse the Box office. Then came the traditional Deepavali festival weekend which saw Kamal‘s Thoonga Vanam & Ajith‘s Vedalam release both catering to its own set of target audiences. Towards the end of the year, the films that created the buzz were small ones big in heart and ambition – 3 of which make it to our picks for the quarter. The year ended though with the jaded and uninventive Thanga Magan, an unpleasant reminder that Tamil Films have not completely come of age. Let’s look forward to a nice 2016.