It's been a long year, this 2012, and to be modest, we could say that a good portion of Tamil cinema had moved forward, making strides in several departments. Helping the growth has been some great acting, with actors moving away from masala films more and more and doing a large amount of hard work to fine tune their characters. So we better get started quick, for we have a lot of popular names lined up.
Dhanush - 3
A lot of people questioned the film 3 for it's weird second storyline. But Dhanush was driving it from the middle with all his heart. Having already skyrocketed expectations through Kolaveri, the actor could have settled with another normal performance, but he really did justice to his character who went through different stages of his life in the film. His acting in the second half in which he becomes mentally deranged was brilliant and he trumps our list this year.
Vijay - Nanban, Thuppaki
In arguably the best year of his career, Vijay has reason to be full of smiles for both his films - Nanban and Thuppaki soared to become blockbusters in their own way. To be fair, the actor was a good part of the success too, for he had changed his looks, his attitude and everything people found to be similar to his previous films. For a change, there were no punch dialogues, no unbelievable fight sequences. Instead, he played his roles well and they just clicked.
Vijay Sethupathi - Pizza, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kanom
One of the finds of the year, Vijay Sethupathi had already proven himself in Thenmerku Paruvakaatru. This time around, he just had to be noticed by everyone and his shot to fame came through the highly impressive Pizza. Playing most of the scenes in the thriller film he wouldn't have been easy but he was pivotal in propelling Pizza and making it one of the best movies this year. He then made another good impression with NKPK. This guy is going places and we need to keep an eye on him.
Vikram - Thaandavam
Known for his unique roles, Vikram was sure to get a lot of attention with Thaandavam. Even as the film got mixed reviews at the box office, Vikram went on to be the talking point of the town. His performance as a blind that uses echolocation to find his way around in society impressed many. The promising backline story and the added romance with Anushka just added to the impressive acting and helped the movie escape from critics.
Ajith - Billa 2
One of the biggest openings of 2012, Billa 2 was declared a hit, but its weak storyline and plot didn't help it reach audiences. But as always, there was Ajith taking up everything on his shoulder and pushed it forward with all his might. Action sequences and dialogues alike, his effort was seen in every frame he appeared in and he single handedly kept the movie afloat until it reached safe waters.
Suriya - Maatraan
Suriya, having already made a superhit in Ayan, with K.V.Anand came back for another cracking project in Maatraan. Attempting a very unique storyline, Suriya played both roles of Siamese twins and impressed in making the differences stand out in the first half. He would have made it further up the list if the film hadn't become too dragging in the second half and its unique factor was retained throughout the plot. Still, job well done for trying his hand.
Jiiva - Nanban, Mugamoodi, Neethaane En Ponvasantham
It's been an eventful year for Jiiva, who started off 2012 with Nanban. Playing a supporting role to Vijay, the actor impressed and captured audiences with the emotional scenes. His next in Mugamoodi required tremendous training and effort. He fought through injuries and came through and saw the film through, something, which is much easier said then done. His attention quickly turned to NEP, with Gautham Menon and Samantha, and his narration and sequences are already a hit among audiences.
Aadhi - Aravaan
When Vasantha Balan first picked Aadhi to play the lead in Aravaan, his choice seemed peculiar. But with its release, we saw a transformed Aadhi who completed the puzzle well in the period film. Right from dialogues, to costumes to body language, the actor learnt well to do justice to his role. Aravaan certainly gave him depth and he did well to fit well with other experienced actors in the crew, including Pasupathi. Now having proved his mettle more than once, we can hope he will be put to good use in the future.
Siddharth - Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi
KSY and Balaji Mohan were the talking point of K-Town when the film came out, but there was one more man behind the success of the romantic drama. Siddharth deserves credit for placing his trust in the debutant director and playing the lead himself. Having to do a lot of narration, personal dialogues and expressive scenes, Siddharth was the unsung hero of the project and showed Tamil cinema why it needed actors like him coming back more frequently.
Sasikumar - Sundarapandian
It's hard to not have Sasikumar on this left after the success of Sundarapandian. In his very southern role, the director-actor didn't try hard to be different and instead brought out the best of comedy and standalone dialogues this year. His efforts quickly lifted the film and made it appealing to all kinds of audiences. Most of all, his chemistry with Lakshmi Menon worked like magic and no one could not enjoy the movie up to a certain extent.