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.

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

Ciao!

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