Look at the movies being made these days in Tamil Cinema. Some of them are on par with international subjects and high quality of movie making. The credit for this impressive reception of Tamil Cinema worldwide is shared by the new breed of directors.
Tamil Cinema has received much appreciation through out the country and abroad, thanks to the Tamil population that lives overseas. Tamil movies have always received appreciation for their commercial elements as well as meaningful subjects. Recall the works of great directors like Balu Mahendra, K.Balachander and Bharathiraja, or contemporary director lke Maniratnam, all these directors have been respected for their distinctive style of movie making and more importantly their stress on good scripts.
There's a very broad line between meaningful cinema and commercial cinema. Directors like K.S Ravikumar, Shankar, Vasanth, Lingusamy, S J Suryah etc. have made commercial movies more meaningful. These directors changed the way cinema has looked- Gala openings, weeks of advance booking, mega sets, special effects, etc.
Later the cult of unconventional, meaningful stories with mixture of commercial elements began. Production values of international standards had started from Goutham Menon, who made a romantic movie like Minnale and then action flicks like Kaakha Kaakha, Vettaiaadu Vilayaadu and now Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya, only shows his importance to the story and the suitable cast. A movie like 'Autograph', by Cheran is a revolutionary film talking about memories, which was made with very little commercial elements, and the movie received much appreciation. The same way Radha Mohan who made Mozhi, a meaningful cinema about people and their relationships
Continuing the legacy of meaningful cinema is the new breed of Directors who are making a lasting impression in the minds of the audience like Vasantha Balan who made Veyil which was a totally unconventional and a meaningful movie that was received well. Such reception from the audience has encouraged movie makers to give something more than the commercial movie. Handling real life incidents and making a movie out of it - Balaji Shakthivel's Kadhal.
In the same league of meaningful directors, is National award winning director Bala, who is known for his stories with the dark side, like Sethu, Nandha, Pitamagan, and critically acclaimed Naan Kadavul. Another man who has made a mark is Ameer, the director who made cult classics like Mounam Pesiyathe, Ram and the award winning Paruthiveeran. Joining him is Sasikumar's Subramaniapuram and his close aide Samuthirakani's Naadodigal, that were recently invited to be shown in a foreign movie festival. Meaningful cinema had a new following when director Mysskin made his Chithiram Pesuthadi and Anjaathey, movies that were distinct with a tough story line.
While all the directors have involved themselves in making cinema more meaningful, a couple of directors have combined the ingredients of commercial cinema with meaningful stories. Director Selvaraghavan who started with Thulvatho Illamai, Kadhal Konden, and the recent mega budget Aayarathil Oruvan, has made movie watching an enjoyable experience with high production values. Director of Dhanush starrer Polladhavan Vetrimaran has also proved his mettle by entertaining the audience with commercial elements with out losing the importance of the story.
If you thought all those movies belong to the serious genre, then Tamil cinema hasn't been behind in the Comedy genre either. Simbu Devan, the director of '23 Pulikesi' justified that comedy can be made with finesse. Similarly, Venkat Prabhu who worked with a couple of youngsters to make Chennai-28, Saroja and the much recent Goa, has shot his movies nonchalantly, to give the audience a new feel, making them giggle throughout. Taking a different look at cinema is director Amuthan who made the first ever Tamil spoof movie Tamil Padam, which was a satire of the stereotypical Tamil movie.
What ever the budget of the movie is, these new age directors have not believed in a super cast, but only in a super 'strong' story. They have given their prime importance to the story and the screenplay. Take your stance- a commercial movie with 3 fights and 5 songs or a meaningful movie with a lesser known cast accompanied by a significant story and an expressive screenplay?