The year 2008 was a year of mixed fortunes for Tamil cinema.
A total of 110 films were made or dubbed in Tamil. Of these only a few were successes. Quite a few were flops. With the remainder just squeaking through with meagre profits or going under water with minor losses.
The colossal flop for 2008 was “Kuselan” directed by P. Vasu starring the super star Rajnikanth.
The pair had delivered a super-grosser in “Chandramukhi” that ran for more than three years at theatres thus beating even the record set by “Haridas” starring the legendary MK. Thiyagaraja Bhagavathar .
Just as P. Vasu remade the Malayalam hit “Manichitradhal” into “Chandramukhi” earlier, the bearded director remade another Malayalam hit movie “Kadaparayumbol” into “kuselan”.
The hitch was that Rajni played only a small role in the film. Almost like a cameo appearance.
But in a bid to woo the masses a massive publicity blitz sought to convey the impression that Rajni was the hero.
That he was not. The real hero was Pasupathy.But he was virtually blacked out in advertisements.
The excreta hit the oscillator when rasikas found they had been duped. Their hero super star was not the hero.
Result? The film bombed at the box office despite a superlative performance by Pasupathy.
Those who wanted to be kuberas by duping the masses were turned into Kuselars overnight. No Krishna! No “aval”!!
As anticipated the mega hit Tamil movie for 2008 was “Dasavatharam” starring Kamal Haasan in ‘dasa’ or ten roles. It was a lavish spectacle where Kamal scored with magnificient acting.
Make-up artistry combined with appropriate body language cum mannerisms helped Kamal excel.Among the different roles Kamal played were George Bush, an American assassin, a Japanese kung fu expert and a Vaishnavaite old woman.
Starring opposite him was the lovely Asin who is now making waves in Bollywood pairing off with Amir Khan in a Hindi remake of “Ghajni”.
The film directed by Ravikumar had the director himself gyrating to the beats of “ulaga nayagane” a paean in praise of Kamal. Despite the cost of production the film was a hit and made money amply.
The best Tamil movie for 2008 was “Vaaranam Aayiram” starring Surya in a double role. As far as acting was concerned Surya demonstrated that he has come a long way. Acting as father and son , Surya was really great.
Starring opposite were Simran, Divya and Samira Reddy who has made a mark in Bengali movies. The duo were captivating
[Nenjukkul Peyum Mamazhai-by Thamarai]
The songs written by Thamarai with music composed by Harris Jayaraj were all hits.
Goutham Vasu Menon who gave us “kakka Kakka” with Surya delivered another hit. The movie dealing with a father-son relationship was a tribute by the director to the memory of his father and had shades of an auto biography
OTHER HIT MOVIES
Many of the hits in 2008 were small budget movies with lesser known actors. “Anjathe” with Naren and Prasanna was directed by Myshkin.
Then there was “Subramaniapuram” directed by debutant M. Sashikumar and “Saroja” by Venkatprabhu
Another hit was “Kadhalil Vizhunthen” that had Vijay Anthony composing music. The hit song for 2008 “Nakka Mukka” was in this film
Among Other hits were “Yaradi Nee Mohini” starring Dhanush and Nayantara ; “santhosh Subramaniam” starring Jeyam Ravi and Genelia D’Souza; “Sakkarakatti” starring Santhanu the son of K. Bhagyaraj and Poornima Jayaram
Another film that did well was “Dham Dhoom” starring Jeyam Ravi and Kangna Ranaut. The director Jeeva died in Moscow while shooting for the film
THE find of the year was Poonam Bhajwa who acted opposite Bharath in “Seval” and Jeeva in “Thenavettu” Both were hits. She has stunning looks and acts well.
A conspicuous feature among hit movies were the songs and music. From AR Rahman to Yuvan Shankar Raja the music directors played a constructive role in ensuring box office success.
Among the movies that crashed at the box office the prominent flops were “Bheema” starring Vikram-Trisha, “Kuruvi” starring Vijay-Trisha, “satyam” starring Vishal-Nayantara and “aegan” starring Ajit-Nayantara.
“Kuruvi” produced by Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi’s grandson , was artificially converted into a “hit” by being screened continuously in theatres without a viable audience.
MOVIES FOR NEW YEAR.
Among movies expected to make the grade in the new year are “Villu” starring Vijay directed by Prabhudeva, “Ayyan” starring Surya,”Kandasamy” starring Vikram and “Thalaivan Irukkindran” starring Kamal Hassan.
There are also Rajnikanth’s “Sultan the Warrior” directed by his daughter and Ajit’s untitled film.
Let’s hope 2009 will be a promising year for Tamil movies