Some say they are only as good as their looks. Others think they are added accessories to film plot to help increase the entertainment factor. But despite the odds, Tamil cinema has produced some great leading ladies this year, maybe it be in the form of new faces, or existing ones making a point when their latest offering. In our continuous effort to bring you some of the best of 2012, we are going to take a close look at some amazing performances from actresses and tell you why we think they stood out from the rest.
Sunaina - Neer Paravai
She was not the first choice for the film, but Sunaina will go down as number one in several lists. The actress had to get a makeover from her previous commercial films and took her up role with sheer professionalism. Her hard work paid off, and as the film tasted critical acclaim, many leading journalists quickly appreciated her performance. Now that the platform is set, we will have to wait and see what the actress take back home after the time spent with Seenu Ramasamy.
Lakshmi Menon - Sundarapandian, Kumki
New and notable, Lakshmi Menon managed to rope in two of the biggest hits of the year under her belt and finishes the year on a high after tasting great success. Her break came with Prabhu Solomon's Kumki. Her work in the film got praised quickly and as Kumki was pending CG work, her second film Sundarapandian went on to the audience and was soon declared a hit. But the real delight came with Kumki, which released right at the end of the year and grabbed box offices. We are gonna have to keep our eyes on Lakshmi for sure!
Samantha - Naan Ee, Neethaane En Ponvasantham
It's not the first time we are seeing Samantha in Tamil cinema, but ever since her appearance in Baana Kaathaadi, she has gone on to become a popular face in Tollywood. Her two films year happen to be bilinguals and the first one became a blockbuster across borders. The focus was back on her with Neethaane En Ponvasantham. But even as the film got mixed reviews, her performance got appreciated and dubbing in her own voice for the Tamil version certainly added to the benefits. Looks like she has become a mainline actress in Kollywood after all.
Viji Chandrasekhar - Aarohanam
Another debutante, Viji Chandrasekhar got introduced to Tamil cinema through Aarohanam. Critics and users alike soon lauded the film, which broke all barriers and obstacles and made it to mainline cinema. Viji impressed with her role as a mother suffering from bipolar disorder. Depicting the story that takes place within a single day, there was an awful lot of work to be done and Viji and team managed to pull it off in 20 days. Job well done, Viji!
Amala Paul - Vettai, KSY, MUK
Amala Paul turned her attention to a mainline Tamil cinema following her debut in Mynaa. The first half of this year saw her get three films. Vettai, which released for Pongal saw her play the roles of once of the leading ladies and she was cast opposite Arya. She also featured in Muppozhudum Un Karpanaigal with Adharva. Both films made her popular in the industry. However, her biggest hit will come with Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi, a subtle romantic comedy which struck the chords with many.
Anushka - Thaandavam
We have seen her pull of roles in masala films before. But Anushka had a different job this time, and she had to bring all the commercialism down in her role as a grounded and homely girl. As the film gained mixed reviews, everyone continued to like Anushka's character. Her subtlety and convincing dialogue delivery showed that she isn't going anywhere. And with a few films lined up, we can expect a lot from the leading lady.
Kajal Agarwal - Maatraan, Thuppaki
Big name films seem to have become home-turf for Kajal Agarwal these days. The actress completes this year having completed two successful films with the top actors in Kollywood - Suriya and Vijay. Both films had her do more than small roles and produced great music videos. And right at the center, with her bubbly acting, Kajal handled things well and propelled herself to become one of the most in-demand actresses today.
Manasi Parekh - Leelai
After being in the making for a long while, Leelai came out this year. The straightforward love ride had Manasi Parekh in the middle of things. With nothing turning the attention away from the actors, she made emotions and dialogues look natural and captured the audience with her charming personality. A dark horse from the list, you gotta see Leelai to understand why she made it here.
Varalakshmi - Podaa Podi
Varalakshmi had to wait two long years before her film Poda Podi got ready, but when it came out, she could be sure to get a chance at Kollywood. Unlike films that barely noticed its heroines, Poda Podi gave Varu a significant role. Sharing the same time as Simbhu on screen, the actress showcased her bubbly character, dance moves and expressive dialogues. Given more time, we can look at her coming up with similar roles and opposite popular actors.
Shruti Hassan - 3
In only her second film, Shruti got the chance to play a character who is shown across three stages in her life. Her effort and acting made her fit into the schoolgirl role well and the rest was natural to her. The latter part of the film even had her show emotions that were new to her, but she fought on unrelenting and impressed on most fronts. And with a few songs under her name as well, she is turning out to be multi-talented just like her dad!
Hansika - OKOK
Did you guys know that Hansika is just 22? The actress has grown to become very popular in Tamil cinema in a short span and her latest offering, Oru Kal Oru Kannadi, turned into one of the biggest hits of the year. Having made it to the cast of a Rajesh film, Hansika was sure to get a lot of scope in the project and the actress showed how much she had matured as an actress over the last few years. With Harris's songs turning out well, the actress had a lot of numbers helping her increase popularity. With Settai and Biriyani just around the corner, we can expect more improvement from the youngster, having already got more than a dozen films under her name across languages and more on the way, she will certainly be on cloud nine!