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Guest Article - 2019 Year in Review: A personal take on Tamil movies that released this year

Saturday, December 28, 2019 • Tamil Comments

2019 Year in Review: A personal take on Tamil Movies that released in 2019

2019 has almost come to an end. Another year in Kollywood is about to get over. Its been mostly a pleasant and nice year for me personally in the movies. I am of the types who used to watch every movie, irrespective of the actor/director in theatres. That trend or habit has completly changed, and here is why I feel thats happened:

1. I have very little time to spend on watching movies in theatres. There are other priorities and far more better things to do than catch every release in the theatre near me.

2. Personally, I have taken a step back and have made a conscious choice to watch select movies in theatres. Some movies I definetly wanted to watch in theatres for the visual experience, the rest not necessarily attracted me to step out and pay 300rs for a ticket.

3. When I have access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar at home, I have most certainly accepted the positive aspect of watching many movies in an OTT platform. It gives us the space and peace of mind to watch the latest release within weeks of its release from the comfort of my home's media room.

Keeping the above points mentioned, there have been many movies that I watched that has impressed me and has thrilled the writer in me as I was really stunned by the research and the creativity invovled. The year started with the two biggies "Petta" and ''Viswasam". I loved both the movies throughouly. Karthik Subbaraj took us on a ride back in memory lane to the 'SuperStar' Rajinikanth up until Sivaji-The Boss. He was at his effortless best, lot of references to his epic blockbusters Baasha were evident which made it even more thrillling to watch. A special mention needs to given to Anirudh for completly nailing the BGM's in Petta. Among the better star vehicles in recent times, this movie may not have too much of Karthik Subbaraj's style but it was his tribute to 'Thailavar' and I for one was not complaining. I saw this movie twice in theatres and completly had a ball of a time.

Viswasam was an out and out 'Thala' Ajith movie. He is capable of nailing the gangster/village henchman role with ease. I saw this FDFS and boy was that experience worth it or what!! The story was very melodramatic but the sentiments struck a very strong chord with family audiences. The chemistry between Thala and Nayanthara was nice. It was gratifying to see the Yennai Arindhaal combo reunite in this movie. Although the former surprisingly failed to rake in the moolah for the beautiful, subtle portrayal of the Father-Daugther bond, Viswasam manged to acheive that.

As a big admirer of GVM and the impact of his movies, it was a tough pill to swallow when YA didn't become a big blockbuster considering it had a solid story and the Ajith-Arun Vijay portions being so good. But I guess I have to accept that people just don't have the patience or mind to accept their favorite 'Thala' in GVM's world or universe. As when he returned as a gangster in Vedalam wnich was a very underwhelming experience for me, they lapped it up. The same goes for Viswasam- it was a nice experience and the sentiment worked very well and good for the director Siva as thanks to the humungous success of this movie, he is set to direct 'Super Star' in his movie.

There are movies which have extremely tough or unrealistic expectations prior to the release which coupled with wavered execution and the predictibility factor failed to impress many. Movies like NGK, Kaappaan, Kadaram Kondam, Bigil and Ennai Nokki Paayam Thotta. Each of these movies had lot of stimualting and praise worthy sequences but as a whole missed the mark. Kadaram Kondan was probaably a rare case of a movie I couldn't sit through in one viewing even on Amazon Prime! One wonders what Vikram wants to acheive off late, none of his movies since Raavanan has managed to engage audiences completly including BO hits like I and Iru Mugan.

Bigil worked big time for me when Rayappan was alive. The bond between the dad-son was a pleasant surprise coming from Thalapathy Vijay . The miserablly childish VFX in the football scenes( considering they had a nice budget, couldn't they have used a bettter to handle that?) made the football games very predictable and nothing great to talk about. The portions where MIchael and Angel convince Anitha and Gayatri to come back to the team where done very well. Emotionally that struck a chord and kept me interested in the seoond half despite its extremely predictable nature( can't expect much from an Atlee movie, atleast thats what I feel).

Three movies that were very close to my heart didn't impress audiences much hurt a bit. NGK had Suriya deliver a extremely, convincing performance reminding us how good an emoter he is especially if given the right script. The randomness of the second half hurt the movie big time Still Suriya stood tall and most people had this to say after seeing NGK- Suriya was very good, but there was no story and it had lot of gaps for audiences to fill up. Well, I kinda have made peace with that. It was a different thrill when Suriya-Selvaraghavan tied up for NGK but alas Suriya came out stonger as an actor but was letdown by a Selvaraghavan we couldn't recgonise and don 't want to accept. Please bring us back the Mayakkam Enna and Pudhupettai fame Selva.

Few movies like Karthi's Dev, Dhanush and GVM's long delayed ENPT and Suriya-KV Anand's Kaappaan fell trap to rather high expectations. One must understand what the movie is going to be from the trailer. Everyone started forming their opinions of the movie, the most baffling I have heard is they expected ENPT to be in Varanaam Aiyaram or VTV range and also Dev been not even given a chance just because it has music by Harris Jayaraj! Really, come on guys. You may not respect his music or don't have patience for him anymore, but why let that affect Dev? The album didn't offer anything marvellous but songs like the title track and Oru Nooru Moorai were really nice listens. The fact that Harris was associated with this project ruined the BO collections of what was actually a simple, nice movie.

Personally, ENPT was what it promised to be- a tight, romantic thriller. The music elevated the movie no doubts, hats off to Mr X alias Darabuka Siva for that. It was rather strange and equally emotional to see GVM's movie getting released after all the struggles he had to endure. It was bound to affect his creative process and that was evident in his touches missing in ENPT's second half where he let Dhanush and the lighting to do the talking more than his writing and subtle touches. I still can't come to terms with the fact that a filmmaker who can create such a deep impact on viewers up until Yennai Arindhaal can't get funds to release his movies!

With Vels Film International bailing GVM out and him expected to do 2-3 films for their banner, I sincerly hope that we all can get 50-60% of the true GVM aka till VTV now that financial constraints is something that's not going to bother him. His long pending Dhruva Nathchiram with Vikram has ardent fans of Vikram pinning lots of hopes on it as they are expecting some sort of resurgence for the actor who has continously let down his fans this past decade.

A piece on the movies that were a league above the rest, the best movies of 2019 will be out soon.

To conclude, 2019 has been a good year at the cinemas- Content and something new is what audiences want. That's clear.

Author : Raghav Ravichandran

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