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Suprises and Disappointments: Kollywood 2008

As the 2008 comes to a close and the list tradition bears on, I thought a list of Best & Worst Movie surprises from the 2008 Kollywood (Tamil) movies would be a good recap. The year 2008 has been a period of rough tide for the Tamil movie industry as well. But as long as we are not either on the screens or behind the screens, we enjoy both flops and hits. The hits are savoured and the flops are ridiculed. Either way, movies entertain us. But still, lets go back in time through the last 12 months and browse the pages of Kollywood diary.

The Underdogs: Movies which were not expected to be good, but turned out to be a better choice for the viewers, in 2008:

Anjathey lacked any over-hyped promos. Though Narain had given out a hits in his record, nothing great was expected out of this movie. The movie didn’t have a great box office opening. But all of a sudden, this movies was claimed by everyone to be one of the best Tamil movies ever made. The cult song “Kathale Kannale” helped the movie mark itself in the hits board. My blog post about Snigda Alokar in the song, is one of the most popular
Jayam Kondaan
Neither Bhavana nor Vinay were riding on the Hits. Nothing great was predicted out of Jeyam Kondan. Bhavana wasn’t looking as gorgeous as expected. But Jeyam Kondan saw some great performance from Lekha Washington. Surprising the movie was not a boring one to watch. It had a decent story line and it was pleasant to watch a down-to-earth movie.

Pirivom Santhipom
Pirivom Sandhipom was not expected to be a hit. Cheran was prone to deliver slow unintersting stories and he faced the dirt with his Mayakannadi. Nothing much but the same amount of rantling and family sentiments was expected. It didn’t have a great opening, but this movie connected with many audiences. When people started reading the reviews and storyline, they reacted with almost the same reaction. “Hey! this movie is similar to my life…” That made this movie pickup pace at the box office. Sneha was seen a different role and she had handled it well.

Santhosh Subramaniam
There wasn’t much hype about this movie prior to it release. Nobody envisioned this movie to be a super hit. But it was a clean entertainer. Fast paced storyline, bubly acting by the lead pair, good humour line and some excellent dance steps contributed to the success of Santosh Subramanian.

150th movie for the captain and he wanted it to be a grand success. But with highly predictable array of captain’s characters, any movie goer would expect him to fight terrorists and thrash 100 odd thugs with bare hands. But this movie was a pleasant surprise. Neat screenplay, underplayed heroism, funny English dialogues, super funny serious scenes made Arasangam a happy watch.

With a row or flops and monotonic dialogue delivery Srikanth was not in anybody’s watchlist. But Poo made a difference. Though Srikanth had a small role, he was utilized well. But the credit goes to the debutant Parvathy. She has been essayed in a role of a joyous girl who travels the rough terrains and let life teach her lessons to be become a strong woman. She was just fantabulous to watch. Greater credits go to Sasi’s screenplay. This movie sure turned out to be the surprise hit of the year.

Any movie which is targeted towards specific audience is sure a cat on wall. But this cat definitely made it to the other side.  Mudhal Mudhal Mudhal Varai (M3V) was a movie targeted towards the urban youth. It definitely hit the right note. Little mistakes and a few boring scenes was digestible and surprisingly, the flick was a good one to pass time.

There are movies which are hit even before its released and there are movies which are flops even before shooting starts. But some movies are silent assassins. They creep into the box-office and run silently for a week and then burst the bubble. Subramaniyapuram is one such movie. The makers did not extra efforts to market the movie. They left the word of mouth and the sheer strength of storyline to do the marketing for them. Following the cult song “Kangal Irunthal”, this movie proved to be surprisingly good moola raker.

Arjun is an ardent follower of a political leader and his son doesn’t approve it when the leader wants to make Arjun his heir. The son kills the leader and burns Arjun’s family and attempts to kill Arjun. Arjun gets his vengeance. Hold on! isn’t this storyline familiar? “Gladiator?” mmhm, forget it. Are you an Arjun fan? You give a damn about movie logic? You want a movie that doesn’t bore you for 2.5 hours? Then Dhurai is the surprise package of 2008. 

Super Hyped Flops: Movies which were expected to deliver, but failed in 2008:

Kuselan was the hyper-hyped movie of the year. After the success of Sivaji, everyone was eager about this movie. Infact the base story was tweaked to accommodate a lot of Rajini in it, as it was initially a guest role for him. But the movie turned out to be a boring watch. Nothing could save the distribution houses to run into losses, unless Rajni himself volunteered to part with a part of his salary.

With his comeback movies Varalaru(God Father) and Billa, too much hope was riding on the Ultimate star Ajit. The current hottest starlet of kollywood, Nayanthara was envisioned to set the temperature high. Adding to the hype-factors, this movie borrowed its story-line from SRK’s “Mein Hoon Naa”. But poor performances, casting, choreography and screenplay rendered this movie a great flop. Thalai is lost in translation once again.

Arai En 305il Kadavul
I would call it the biggest disappointment of the year. The cast and crew were the reason for the hype created around the movie. But on the screens, this movie turned out to be a suicide to watch. Irate jokes, stupid logic and weak storyline were the causes of this catastrophic flop.

Kandaswami’s trailer was released around the time of Bheema’s release. From the lead pair of “Saami”, could have been the tag line of promos. Natually everyone was interested in it. So good was the chemistry between Trisha and Chiyan in Saami, that everyone believed that Bheema would be a sure success. But unfortunately, the movie had little to offer. Trisha looked older and less intersted in acting. Vikram’s stunts were cool but the storyline totally failed. Though the music did fairly well, its a Huge box-office disappointment

Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan
After the success of the 23aam Pulikesi, Vadivel’s next movie as Hero was anticipated to be a success as well. Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan happened and it happened all wrong. Every aspect of the movie from casting to storyline was faulty and had a feel of cheap quality build. It bombed at the box office so badly that Vadivel had decided not to do anymore Hero roles.

It’s been a while since Vijay had a hit. So he handpicked all the crew from his hit movies to make this Kuruvi. The audience, the producers, the cast and the crew everyone anticipated the movie to be a massive hit. But cliches, gravity defying stunts, weak logic, ineffective and irritating one line punch dialogues made this movie nothing but a headache in disguise.

Skimpily clad heroine, mindless action sequences, casting the happening stars and super hyped promotions could never set any movie on the race to the hit list. Sathyam is a classy example of such a strategy. Mediocre performance, poor story line, misplaced camera angles and editing rendered this movie a flop.

Sakkara Katti
What if you get the Maestro ARR to score the music for you? That not the end of a Hit Recipe. The makers of Sakkarakatti got this totally wrong. But for the Soundtrack sales, nothing else was positive about this movie. It was a pain watching such movie. Because, naturally everyone would expect something great when there is a hit track. But when the movie has nothing but only the hit track, it disappoints further.

The Chennai 600028 team proved that they could also render flops. Irritating jokes, moronic dialogues, irrelevant storyline and illogical heroism are the ingredients of this huge package of disappointment. The movie was expected to do good because of the Chennai 600028 team Premji and Nithin in it. But it was a worthless movie to watch.

Looking forward to some good movies in the coming year and Happy New Year to the folks out there at Kollywood.


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