Although I wrote less number of reviews this year due to my PG study plans, I watched 75 movies out of the 200+ Tamil movies released this year.
To be honest, it was a tough choice to choose the top movies of this year as I felt we had some quality movies that pushed the boundaries forward than 2013.
Top 5 Tamil movies of 2014
1. Kadhai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam
It might be perceived as a surprise choice but it deserves this place just for the meta brilliance of Parthiban. A director who always made movies with strong conviction came back with a bang. He proved that it is possible to make a movie only through screenplay and also it critiqued Tamil cinema with the usual punches. The ‘meta’ part is for the ardent Tamil fan (and world cinema fans) to savour.
2. Pannaiyarum Padminium
Although I was skeptic of this movie at the first instance, a second watch made me love this movie. The simple story line combined with some brilliant performances from Jayaprakash, Thulasi and Vijay Sethupathi made this a memorable movie of the year. Nostalgic trip about cars – can’t beat that.
3. Poovarasam Peepee
I could not see this movie in theatres as it had limited release. It got stuck between two big releases week. Halitha Shameem, a debutant director made a perfect depiction of adolescence and the adventures of teenage boys during their summer break. I had a toss up between this and Goli Soda but I think Poovarasam Peepee was more natural and believable than the former. Hats off to Halitha for bringing us this beauty. If you haven’t watched it, you should give it a shot.
4. Vaayaai Moodi Pesavum
After his simplistic Kadhalil Sodhappavadhu Eppadi, director Balaji Mohan immediately experimented with his second movie. It’s my personal favourite after Kadhai Thiraikkadhai due to its theme of how we are talking too much but stopped communicating with each other. Don’t stop these experimentations Balaji, we need more from you.
5. Sathuranga Vettai
This one was a surprise that bamboozled everyone this year. A con movie that showed how scams happen in the nook and corners of Tamil Nadu. The sophistication with which they operate should have made people think. The finesse in the making and wonderful acting made this movie one of the top movies of this year.
5 movies that missed the cut
These movies just lost out to the 5 above
6. Mundasupatti – the second short film that made a mark this year.
7. Goli Soda – A movie that showed growing up in a different light
8. Yamirukka Bayamey – Thank you for introducing horror comedy to Tamil cinema. It did make a mark
9. Oru Kanniyum Moondru Kalavanigalum – another inspired experiment from Chimbu Devan.
10. Jeeva – Once again Suseenthiran proved why is a better director than lot other empty vessels in the industry with this cracker of a movie on cricket politics.
1. Jigarthanda – I don’t think it deserved the adulations. According to me, it blatantly mixed two brilliant Korean movies and I am not going to put it in my top 10 movies
2. Madras – I felt the movie was a cliched representation of gang wars and political manipulations. So no marks for using North madras as a setup.
3. Pisasu – Although, the performances especially Radha Ravi’s was brilliant, Pisasu didn’t make the top 10 cut. May be number 11.
4. Kayal – Kayal was a good movie but the problem with Prabhu Solomon is that he is stuck in his cliches. Over indulgence is the bane of Tamil movie directors.
5. Kaaviya Thalaivan – I really didn’t understand why people were praising this movie . Oh no, if someone takes a period movie, does it mean that we have to sacrifice the focus on screenplay and storyline? Uninspiring movie from Vasanthabalan.
6 movies that you wouldn’t have watched but probably should give a shot
1. Burma – A neo-noir experimentation by Dharanidharan that entertains to the hilt. A little care in execution would have made it even better.
2. Ra – It was indeed a surprise when I watched this movie. Although, it could have been more focused, it didn’t fail to scare. Definitely worth a try for its making.
3. Poriyaalan – A slick thriller works mainly due to the brilliant screenplay is worth a watch for Mohan Ram’s acting.
4. Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah – This is the movie that suffered due to negative reviews on the social media websites. To be honest, it was a good watch and extensive detailing of marriage ceremonies is a treat. Worst case, you can watch it for Ghibran’s songs.
5. Ramanujan – Although it received excellent reviews from critics, it ended up as a multiplex movie. A movie every Tamilian should watch – as simple as that.
6. Damaal Dumeel – A simple but worthy thriller from a newcomer.
Top 10 albums/songs of the year
1. Kaatru Veliyin/Indha Porappudhan from Un Samayal Arayil
Although the movie didn’t match up to the original, these two songs just made my year. Kaatru Veliyin stayed as my caller tune until I left to UK.
2. Cuckoo (the whole album except Enda Mapla)
Santhosh Narayanan made lot of strides this year with his wholesome albums. Aagasatha, Manasula Soora Kathe, Potta Pulla and Kodaiyila was on repeat mode for most of the year for me. But sadly the movie didn’t match the expectations.
3. Enthaara/ Kannukkul Pothi Vaippen/ Khwaja Ji from Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah
Ghibran was a delight in this album. One of the best albums of the year that was soulful, different and broke boundaries.
4. Paandi Naatu Kodi/ Jigar / Thanda from Jigarthanda
The band musical instruments used in Paandi Naatu and the background score was a cracker. The theme music still lingers in my mind but alas the movie cheated me.
5. Enge Pogutho Vaanam from Kochadaiyaan
SPB – Rajinikanth – Rahman – Magic. It felt nostalgic and at the same time fresh. The orchestration was brilliant, let’s not talk about the movie.
6. Pesadhe from Thirudan Police
It was a dull year for Yuvan with Pesadhe being the lonely brilliance. Hope he makes a reprieve next year.
7. Rasa Magarasa / Kadhal Kanave from Mundasupatti
Sean Roldan had a memorable debut this year with string of hits in Vaayai Moodi Pesavum, Mundasupatti and Sathuranga Vettai. But Rasa Magarasa stood out due to the rustic tune and orchestration.
More than the songs, Ramesh Vinayagam fascinated me with his background score. A commendable come back.
9. Yenga Pulla Irukka from Kayal
What a soulful rendering by Balram and heart wrenching tune by Imman. How can I miss this?
10. Mugilo Megamo/ Kalvane from Megha
And the top 10 list ends with one of my favourites – Kalvane is the most unexpected orchestration that you can savour this year.