With the first part of the year zooming past, it's time to take a look at the collection of Kollywood's hits, misses and surprises.
Right from national awards to new genres, Kollywood has come a long way in 2011. We have traveled half year successfully and the progress of Tamil films is stunning and it’s evident. In this half year journey we have witnessed many experimental genres and they proved out to be successful at the box office. We have come across offbeat films, romances, quirky comedies, purely commercial entertainers, and even epic sagas. But one thing is common among all these genres; they have managed to make an impact and connect well with the audiences at various levels.
Over the last half year Tamil films have overall, made respectable collections at the box office. The business of the Tamil films has not dropped down as each and every film released over the last six months has created its own impact. Very few films lost money and even the small films got a good mileage. So far this year 65 films got released and movies like Aadukalam, Siruthai, Avan Ivan, Kaavalan and KO made fast business.
Now Let us look at Kollywood's hits, flops and surprises, so far this year.
Aadukalam cleaned up the National awards, Dhanush the main lead and director Vetrimaran are awarded with Best Actor and Best director respectively. The film tells the tale of a young man, Karuppu whose blind trust is repaid with disloyalty. The film connected well with the audiences for its grittiness, undeniable charm and sorrow. The film was made on a budget of Rs 18 crore and the trade reports reveal that the film has collected Rs 30.75 crore. Means, The film grossed almost 30 crores at the box office. Undoubtedly the film enrolled itself as the first biggest hit of the year-2011.
Ilayathalapathy Vijay’s big Pongal release Kavalan took a fantastic opening. Vijay has come out of his masala films and attempted something different. His experiment worked big time by winning universal acclaim for his sensitive performance. Vijay faced many problems for releasing the film but nothing has stopped him. Vijay received a lot of appreciation for this role. In addition to this, audiences absolutely loved the twist in the tale. Kaavalan became a box office success by collecting 87 lakhs in three weeks. The film has completed 200 days successfully all over Tamil Nadu.
Karthi for the first time played dual role in his career. Directed by Siva, the film has Tamannah opposite Karthi while Santhanam in a comedy routine with the hero which made the audience rolling in the aisle with laughter. The presentation, Karthi’s awes truck performance and Santhanam’s comedy apart from Tamannah’s glamour made the film to list in the hit list of 2011. Siruthai was made with a budget of Rs 11 crore and the film collected Rs 40 crore.
KV Anand’s KO with Jeeva, Ajmal, Karthika, and Piaa Bajpai is the biggest hit of the year so far. The film is watched for its outstanding presentation by director KV Anand. The highlights of the film are Jeeva and Ajmal’s performance, KV Anand direction and Harris Jayraj music. However, KO has surpassed Ayan’s collections and is next in line only after Endhiran when it comes to Chennai box office collections. KO’s collections were at Rs. 2, 67, 279 with a total of Rs. 7.99 crore.
Avan Ivan: Hit
Avan Ivan directed by National award winner director Bala turned out to be a hit at the box office. The film features Vishal in the role of squint eyed boy and he undoubtedly excelled in the role. The actor received rave reviews for his acting skills from all section of audiences including Tamil and Telugu. The film opened big in Tamil and Telugu and proved to be successful. Though the film failed to carry interesting plot but Vishal in his new avatar proved to be a huge draw. The film opened across 350 screens in Tamil Nadu and collected 89, 03,727 in the opening weekend at the Chennai box office and this is the largest opening weekend of 2011. The box office collections were at Rs. 37, 68,204 over the weekend with a total of 2.23 crore.
Out of 65 films released during the last six months only 5 films were turned out to be hit at the box office.
Above average and Average films
To start with, director’s Mysskin’s Yudham Sei was a commercial success. The film stars director Cheran in the lead role along with debutant Dipa Shah. Upon the release the film received mixed reviews and managed average collections. Following Yudham Sei is Thoonga Nagaram which features Vimal, Bharani, Nishanth and Anjali in the lead roles. The film is the first film to be produced by Cloud Nine Movies and was a commercial success.
Payanam, hijack thriller is directed by Radha Mohan. Known for making emotional human dramas with a feather light touch, he toggled gears to make a thriller about a plane hijack. The film received good reviews and those who watched the film has only positive things to say about it. As there are not much of commercial elements the film turned out to be an average entertainer. Gautham Menon has shifted his gear from romantic entertainers to psychological thriller theme with Nadunissi Naaygal. The film opened with negative reviews and slowly turned out to be an average film. Seedan released with high expectations as Dhanush played a cameo role in the film but finally the film went on to be a below average scorer as there is nothing new and fresh in the story.
Dhanush and Hansika Motwani starrer Mappillai was high on expectations as the film is the remake of Rajinikanth’s super hit film Mappillai of 1989. The film got big openings but later on the film has been declared as an average scorer at the box office. The film was largely criticized by critics, who generally agreed that the film was a poor remake. Ponnar Shankar was a historical epic, based on Kalaignar Karunanidhi’s work. Prashanth played dual role in the film after a long time. The special effects of the film came in for a lot of praise for their attention to detail. The film made decent collections and was declared as an average by trade pundits. Historical films frequently succeed in striking a chord with the audience, this one did as well.
Simbu starrer Vaanam was high on expectations and has settled as an above average entertainer. The film was highly praised for its ripping story, excellent screenplay and brilliant direction. Vaanam has made good collections without much publicity and turned to be an above average film. Engeyum Kadhal a breezy romantic entertainer directed by Prabhu Deva opened up with mixed reviews, and most of them felt that the film was high on production values, but lacked substance. The film had an average opening and the collections in Chennai and was declared an 'average' film by the trade pundits.
Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai was opened to very positive reviews by the critics for its unconventional story-line and the protagonist performance. The film was praised by the critics for its innovative and interesting attempt made by director Suseenthiran. Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s Aaranya Kaandam with Jackie Shroff, Sampath Raj, and Ravikrishna in the lead roles opened to strong critical acclaim. Nootrenbadhu (180) turned out to be an average as there is no impact in the plot.
Critically acclaimed Films:
Aadukalam, Yudham Sei, Vaanam, Payanam and Avan Ivan
Ilaignan, Pathinaru, Thambikottai, Aadu Puli, Singam Puli, Bhavani IPS, Muthukku Muthaaga, Kullanari Koottam, Nil Gavani Sellathey, Sattapadi Kutram, Nanjupuram, Vikadakavi, Sankarankovil, Narthagi, Kandaen, Eththan, Sabash Sariyaana Potti, Pillaiyar Theru Kadaisi Veedu, Udhayan etc….
Big Flops (nearly total washouts)
Thamizh Desam, Sollitharava, Pazhagiyathe Pirivatharka, Nandhi, Varmam, Lathika, Minsaaram, Kadhal Meipada, Paasakaara Nanbargal, Aanmai Thavarael, Oru Santhippil, Shanthi Appuram Nithya, Anaagarigam, etc………
On a whole, Kollywood has tasted only five hits so far and the remaining films settled as average and above average grossers. The main reason for not having many hits is because there are not many outings from big stars like Ajith, Suriya, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Vijay, etc….The main drawback of the failures is just because of inappropriate casting and e poor subjects handled by the film makers.
But the next half of the year will be like a roller coaster ride as many big releases of big stars are gearing up for their releases. So fasten your seat belts and grab a cup of popcorn while our movies take you on a roller coaster ride.