Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Top Tamil Movies of the Decade - 2001 to 2010

The year 2010 draws to an end and so does the decade. And I thought that this would be a good time to make a list of my favorite Tamil movies (or Thamizh Padam as they say) of this decade.

The Tamil film industry churns out quite a few good movies every year - and has been doing so consistently for the past many years or so. I've seen quite a few movies and also haven't seen many - more importantly, my knowledge of Tamil is limited to a few basic phrases and words and hence I have to rely heavily on English sub-titles. And not all movies do have sub-titles - so I've skipped those which don't have subs.

This list which I've conceptualized is based on my ideas of great cinema and may or may not not include the box-office toppers or popular star-based cinema. So lets get started ... I've not ranked  the movies in any specific order but rather arranged them chronologically i.e based on the year of release.

1. Kannathil Muthamittal (2002) 
Director - Mani Ratnam
Starring - Madhavan, Nandita  Das, Simran

A beautiful and touching story of a 9 year girl's search for her biological mother - set against the backdrop of   civil war in Sri Lanka.
2. Saamy (2003)
Director - Hari
Starring - Vikram, Trisha

An end-to-end action-packed adrenalin-filled entertainer - a cop's unconventional way of weeding out corruption. Vikram is stupendous - but the songs are worthless.
3. Kaaka Kaaka (2003)
Director: Gautam Menon
Starring - Suriya, Jyotika

Anti-terrorist squad officers balance their personal lives with the hunt of a criminal master-mind. (form IMDB). Nail-biting suspense, hard-hitting action and awesome sound-track by Harris Jayaraj - all this have contributed in creating great cinema.
4. Ghajini (2005)
Director - A. R. Murugadoss
Starring - Suriya, Nayanthara, Asin

A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes, tattoos and photo's to hunt down his girlfriend's killer. (from IMDB). I would prefer the Tamil version any time to the Hindi version (2008). Suriya was fantastic and so were the others.
5.  Abhiyum Naanum (2008)
Director : Radha Mohan
Starring - Prakash Raj, Trisha

A sensitive, humorous and touching portrayal of the relationship between father and daughter over the years. Prakash Raj as the father is absolutely brilliant - Trisha also did a fantastic job.
6. Dasavatharam (2008)
Director - KS Ravikumar
Starring - Kamal Hasan, Asin and Mallika Sherawat

An American Bio-Technologist must race against time and heavy odds to try and retrieve a deadly chemical in a vial.(IMDB) Dasavatharam is all about Kamal Hasan in various roles - Asin supports ably.
Director - Gautam Menon
Starring - Silambarasan, Trisha

A truly magical story of love - with all its myriad shades, complexities and simplicity. And AR Rahman's music, great performances by Silambarasan and Trisha, beautiful cinematography and fantastic story-telling - VTV is a visual and visceral delight!
8. Raavanan (2010)
Director - Mani Ratnam
Starring - Vikram, Aishwariya Rai Bacchan, Prithviraj

Awesome cinematography, great locales, superb story-telling and wonderful performances by Vikram, Aishwariya and Prithviraj. A R Rahman's awesome music makes the rainy jungle setting seem very real.

So that's it. There were other good movies also - but this list is of those movies which I would classify as great cinema.


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