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June 17 2019
The best of Tamil cinema in 2018
28 December 2018

2018’s Tamil cinema had the big stars yes, but it also saw some young filmmakers making a mark with their work. Here’s a list of the best films of the year (in no particular order).

Nayanthara in ‘Kolamaavu Kokila’

Nayanthara in ‘Kolamaavu Kokila’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Kolamavu Kokila

What happens when a normal person belonging to a middle-class family suddenly has to smuggle drugs? This interesting storyline gets to be a lot of fun thanks to Nayanthara and company indulging us in some genuinely comical moments conceptualised by Nelson. It also helped that composer Anirudh came up with some interesting songs to go with this wacky subject.

 

Dulquer Salmaan in Mahanati

Dulquer Salmaan in Mahanati  

 

Nadigaiyar Thilagam (Mahanati)

Keerthy Suresh came up with a stellar performance in this biopic on actress Savitri. Nag Ashwin’s passionate trip down memory lane gave us a lot to dig into – the film industry back then, the sway that stars had over audiences. All that went a long way into making this one of the best biopics in recent times.

 

The best of Tamil cinema in 2018
 

Savarakathi

Though not directed by Mysskin (he is given screenplay credit and of course, stars in it), this is essentially a Mysskin film at heart. There are a lot of quirky characters that make this a uniquely-textured film that also manages to dish up some quite ironic moments.

 

A scene from ‘Pyaar Prema Kadhal’

A scene from ‘Pyaar Prema Kadhal’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Pyar Prema Kadhal

The lead pair – played by Harish Kalyan and Raiza Wilson – won many hearts in this complicated romance that’s not just all lovey-dovey. There’s doubt and debate in their relationship, giving the film a unique flavour. Will also be remembered for the strong characterisation (and performance) of ‘Bigg Boss’ fame Raiza Wilson and the songs (by Yuvan Shankar Raja).

 

A scene from the movie “Pariyerum Perumal”.

A scene from the movie “Pariyerum Perumal”.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Pariyerum Perumal

Director Mari Selvaraj weaves an outstanding anti-caste storyline inPariyerum Perumal, probably the best Tamil film of the year. The casting and performances are top-notch, while Mari’s directorial prowess is evident in many sequences. The climax is both beautiful and hard-hitting. This is that one Tamil film you just had to watch this year.

 

The best of Tamil cinema in 2018
 

96

Just when fast was becoming synonymous with ‘good’ in Tamil cinema along came this nostalgic love note that seemed to be in no hurry to go anywhere. The longer the moments linger, the better the ‘feel factor’ was in this heartwarming film that took you back to your school days and old flames.

 

Samantha in the movie.

Samantha in the movie.  

 

U Turn

This Samantha-helmed film came across as an intricate film that got most of its twists spot on, especially for those who hadn’t watched the Kannada original. With a suspense-led police interrogation leading on-screen proceedings, U Turn plays out like an English crime novel, one of those you just cannot put down.

 

Arvind Swamy and Jyothika in 'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam'

Arvind Swamy and Jyothika in 'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam'   | Photo Credit: @MadrasTalkies_

 

Chekka Chivantha Vaanam

Just when we thought Mani Ratnam was losing his touch, the director gave us a realistic action drama that showed that he still had it in him. The story of sons slugging it out post their father’s demise isn’t a new storyline in films, but the treatment and performances (from a bevy of stars) gave hope for many fans of Ratnam who had been yearning for such a film from the director for a while now.

 

The best of Tamil cinema in 2018
 

Ratchasan

Mystery killers and unique plot twists have always worked in Kollywood, andRatchasan – thanks to its unique antagonist – turns what could have been your average thriller into something riveting. The cat-and-mouse game between the cops and the killer keeps you on the edge of your seat for most of the time.

 

When Vada Chennai released, there were objections to the portrayal of north Chennai. A still from the film

When Vada Chennai released, there were objections to the portrayal of north Chennai. A still from the film  

Vada Chennai

The Dhanush-Vetri Maaran combination, which gave us the terrific Polladhavan and Aadukalam, continued their rich form with gangster drama Vada Chennai. With fine characterisation and performances, this film provided an insight into the goings-on inside prison. We can’t wait for Asuran, the next project from the same combination.

 

 

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