by Kannan Vijayakumar


2012 was no doubt an important year for Tamil cinema with numerous talented debutants making their new treatment get recognized by the public, creating a positive change in the industry. Even small budgeted films over shadowed the biggies this year which failed to create the desired impact. In addition there were loads of comedy films which were released, making 2012 a light hearted season for all. The following content is my own analysis and takes on Kollywood 2012 without any biased views.

Best films of 2012.

*The ranking are based on both the trade value and critical acclaim of the films.
*Ratings are based on my views and take

10) Attakathi


Director: Pa. Ranjith
Casts: Dinesh, Nandhitha

Overview:  Love is an oft beat subject in Tamil cinema but what made Attakathi different was its casual screenplay and relatable characterization. Debutant Pa.Ranjith’s fresh treatment was well received by the audience and with newcomer Dinesh making a remarkable portrayal, Attakathi became a rage among the youth instantly after it release. With right amount of situational comedy and scenarios, Attakathi marked a new age love story in Kollywood.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Trade Value: Above Average

9) Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3AYL5ue8isE/UNrsP-I68JI/AAAAAAAAAN4/RXbUuNoaVdo/s1600/naduvula_konjam_pakkatha_kaanom_ver13_xlg.jpgDirector: Balaji Tharaneetharan
Vijay Sethupathi, Gayathri, Baghavathy Perumal, Rajkumar, Vigneshwaran

Overview: Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom. What a title? Not only it had an interesting title but also an unique story line about a three friends trying to regain their friend’s short term memory loss. Again it came from a young debut director who has based a story which happened to him and his friend. Even though it has a simple premise, the relatable dialogues and puzzle like screenplay was well received by the public. With real charismatic performances by the debutants Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom became a winner in all aspects.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Trade Value: Above Average 

8) Kalakalapu

Director: Sundar.C
Casts: Vimal, Shiva, Anjali, Oviya

Overview: Sunder. C, a man, who redefined comedies in 1990s, was back to his best after a brief hiatus with his typical puzzle like comedy with Kalakalapu.  Kalakalapu made up for the missed years by offering non-stop tickle to the funny bone. In a time where serious films were released, with apt casts and fast screenplay, Sunder C managed to create waves at the box office by offering the audience something which could ease their stress instantaneously.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Trade Value: Super Hit

7) Sundarapandian

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-15sBsWVQ2tM/UDmTcfcXaOI/AAAAAAAABn4/sNICz6lPS50/s1600/sundarapandian+sasikumar+new+movie.jpgDirector: Prabhakaran
Casts: M.Sasikumar (also producer), Lakshmi Menon, Soori

Overview: The film’s debut director, Prabhakaran, grabbed his story tightly and never deviated. The character design, screenplay and the unconditional twists he sparkles on it, proves the ease and confidence of the new comer. Be it the mass introduction of Sasikumar, the sparkles of humour at serious points, cross teasing of married women shows what the director wanted the film to shape up to be and gave us a satisfaction when the film ends. Sundarapandian not only ran successfully but also went on to be a surprise blockbuster, bringing Sasikumar back as a bankable star.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Trade Value: Blockbuster

 6) Oru Kal Oru Kannadi

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OB1Q2d9J26s/UNmtH1dA7fI/AAAAAAAAALU/Kl9d5Cx5cVQ/s1600/oru_kal_oru_kannadi_okok_audio_release_posters_004.jpgDirector: M.Rajesh
Casts: Udhyanidhi Stalin, Santhanam, Hanishka, Saranya

Overview: The proverb ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ it best describes the format of Rajesh’s previous two films, Siva Manasula Sakthi and Boss Engira Baskaran. His films are known for wafer thin story with witty dialogues and bright presentation.  Similarly, Rajesh have played safe by following his usual formula in his third instalment, Oru Kal Oru Kannadi and it did not disappoint anyone which broke all records in the box office at the time of its release. All eyes are on his next, Karthi-Santhanam starrer ‘All in Azhagu Raja’ now.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Trade Value: Blockbuster

5) Thuppakki

http://www.vijayfansclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Thuppakki-Poster.jpgDirector: A.R. Murgadoss
Vijay, Kajal Agarwal, Vidyut Jamwal, Sathyan

Overview: As recent big films falling out for too much gimmicks and tedium, Thuppakki set a new bench mark for commercial cinema by keeping focus and true to itself, without trying too hard to impress.  With A.R.Murgdoss’s sharp direction and Vijay’s ever dependable dedication, Thuppakki worked big time, firing with the right sound for this year Deepavali. In addition, Thuppakki broke all box office records and emerged as the third highest grosser in Kollywood, just falling behind, Superstar’s Sivaji and Endhiran.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Trade Value: Highest Grosser of 2012

4) Kadhalil Sothapuvadhu Yeppadi

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Vwfqo41C8rw/UNvevXi-xjI/AAAAAAAAAOc/tQtv_tVwiP0/s1600/kadhalil_sodhapuvadu_yeppadi_movie_release_posters_3401.jpgDirector: Balaji Mohan
Siddarth, Amala Paul, Suresh

Overview: Debutant Balaji Mohan has made an impressive debut with KSY with such a strong grip on the audiences with an engaging screenplay. It can be boldly defined as one of the best ‘battle of the sexes’ story of the decade. The casting was perfect and Siddarth is an apt choice who carried the film on his shoulder with his charm and balanced expressions. Others like Amala and Suresh impressed while the newbies of friends made a thunderous debut by pulling the roofs down at many parts of the story. 


Overall Rating: 4/5

Trade Value: Hit

3) Naan Ee

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TjOoTDomcJA/UNmmkx57dcI/AAAAAAAAAKA/QzdGHqFm5Og/s1600/Nani,+Samantha%27s+Naan+Ee+Movie+HQ+Wallpapers+2.jpgDirector: S.S. Rajamouli
Casts: Nani, Sudeep, Samantha, Santhanam

Overview: ‘Naan Ee’. The title itself reflects innovation and evokes curiosity. The man who created blockbuster hits in Telugu like Magadheera (Maaveeran in Tamil) and Vikramarkudu (Original Siruthai) came up with another imaginative content. This time he propelled on a fly which flew high and fetched unbelievable recognition in all three languages it was released. Actor Sudeep’s ultra-menacing articulation was even praised by Rajini and Naan Ee grew big on all aspects becoming a milestone in commercial cinema.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Trade Value: Super Hit

2) Kumki

http://cdn2.supergoodmovies.com/FilesFive/kumki-first-look-posters--b67ff129.jpgDirector: Prabhu Solomon
Vikram Prabhu, Laksmi Menon, Thambi Ramaiah

Overview: Prabhu Solomon proved that Myna was not just a flash on the pan by continuing his analysis about self-centred society in his latest film, Kumki. Vikram Prabu and Lakshmi Menon gave a best debut anyone could ask for which ensured that the film pricked the heart of many when it ends. Releasing together with a biggie like Neethane En Ponvasantham, Kumki gave a tough fight and proved once again that crisp content matters.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Trade Value: Super Hit

1) Pizza

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0YaEzB0Yx28/UNwstTXsQRI/AAAAAAAAAQ4/_Q3BhwsNJvc/s1600/5508_tamil-film-pizza-poster.jpgDirector: Karthik Subburaj
Vijay Sethupathi, Remya Nambeesan

Overview: And yes, Pizza fetches the top spot of this year which proved that small is big by coming up with a different thriller which is not only visually spellbinding but psychologically intense, infringing a slow death fear over the audience. Vijay proved once again his calibre by bringing us to an unforgettable journey with his dedicated performance. Debutant Karthik Subburaj successfully brought us a new age thriller which became a stupendous box office run.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Trade Value: Super Hit

Special Mention: Vazhaku En 18/9

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zkvJaI-OuDk/UNro_uswFLI/AAAAAAAAANk/ujj_PGnS6nw/s1600/vazhakku_enn_18_9_audio_songs_release_posters_169.jpgI felt that it will not be right to rank such a gem like, Vazhakku En 18/9 in this list as it is in a class of its own. There are countless of film makers in the industry who add commercial values to different degrees of extent which includes exaggerating reality. But there are only few gems in the list that show reality as it is and Balaji Sakthivel is one if the prominent gem. The maker’s soul and anger on the society is evident in the film throughout. The last scene and shot of the film will never be able to be forgotten by the audience for at least for two nights. Even though the film was not celebrated as it deserved, it certainly made Kollywood proud.

Other notable box office hits:

Manam Kothi Paravai
English Vinglish

Fresh/novel attempts:


Poda Podi
Thadaiyara Thaaka
Neethane En Ponvasantham

Finds of the year:

Director Karthik Subburaj (Pizza)

Director Pa Ranjith (Attakathi)

Director Balaji Mohan (Kadhalil Sothapuvadhu Yeppadi)

Director Balaji Tharaneetharan (Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom)

Director Prabhakaran (Sundarapandian)

Director Lakshmy Ramakrishnan (Aarohanam)

Director Vignesh Sivan (Poda Podi)

Actor Vikram Prabhu (Kumki)

Actor Siva Karthigeyan (Marina, 3, Maram Kothi Paravai)

Actor Dinesh (Attakathi)

Actress Lakshmi Menon (Kumki, Sundarapandian)

Actress Varalakshmi Sarathkumar (Poda Podi)

Music Director Santosh Narayanan (Attakathi, Pizza)

Music Director Anirudh (3)


CelluloidCritic Awards 2012

Best Actor - Dhanush (3)


Best Actress - Samantha (Neethane En Ponvasantham)


Best Film - Vazhaku En 18/9

Best Director - Balaji Sakthivel (Vazhaku En 18/9)


Best Story/Screenplay - Karthik Subburaj (Pizza)




Best Comedian - Santhanam (Oru Kal Oru Kannadi)



Best Villain - Sudeep (Naan Ee)




 Best Supporting Actor - Sunder Ramu (3)




Best Supporting Actress - Viji Chandrasekhar (Aarohanam)




Best Debut Actor - Vikram Prabhu (Kumki)





Best Debut Actress - Lakshmi Menon (Kumki, Sundarapandian)




Best Cinematographer - Sukumar (Kumki)




Best Editor - T S Suresh (Kadhalil Sothapuvadhu Yeppadi)




Best Music Director (Background Score) - Anirudh (3)




Best Music Director (Soundtracks) - D.Imman (Kumki)




Best Lyricist - Na.Muthukumar (Oru Paadhi Kadhavu, Thandavam)




Best Art Director – Vijay Murugan (Aravaan)




Best Costume Designer - Falguni Thakore (Thandavam)




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