I consider 70s to 90s as the Golden period of Tamil Cinema. It’s the time when both hard core masala movies and radical directors co-existed. Both types of movies were lapped by audience with open hands. It also saw the rise of the “B” directors (Bharathiraja, Balachander) and moreover it gave the genius by the name Ilayaraja.
16 Vayadhinile (1977)
Why it’s special ?
1. It not only broke the norms of melodramatic Tamil cinema but also the rules of a typical Tamil cinema. The movie proved that the audience will accept a loin cloth clad, paan chewing, shabby looking hero too. The story revolves around the woman in question and the bold decisions she takes even after being the wronged woman. This was path breaking in Tamil cinema.
2. The wonderful casting and acting of the leads. Nobody could have though that Sridevi could pull off such a character. The character has multiple nuances – on one end she falls hopelessly in love and on the other hand she snares on Parattai and co. The shades change to a determined woman when she transforms Chappani. A kickass performance, I should say. Kamal should be glorified for taking such a role although he was popular at that time. Chappani will be one of his most memorable roles. Rajinikanth as Parattai was brilliant and in fact his punch dialogue “Idhu yeppadi irukku” had it’s roots in this movie.
Why it’s in the list?
YouTube link for the movie (with subtitles)