Chennai: Sensitive subjects and out-of-the-box ideas - of the 143 Tamil films released in 2012, only a handful of content-rich movies impressed the audience.
Of these, IANS lists five notable ones that were unanimously welcomed by critics and fans alike:
Aarohanam: Directed by debutant Lakshmy Ramakrishnan, 'Aarohanam' is about free-spirited women, who under the pretext of gender, are subjected to suppression. In a male dominated industry, Lakshmy successfully weaved a heart-warming story about the search for a missing mother by her children without exploiting the condition of any character. Viji Chandrasekhar, who played the lead in the film, swept everybody off their feet with her performance as a mother suffering from bi-polar disorder. One of the highlights of the film is that it addresses a domestic issue with unparalleled sensitivity. The film is all set to be remade in Hindi by Lakshmy herself.
Pizza: One of the highly successful low-budget films of this year is debutant Karthik Subbaraj's horror-thriller 'Pizza'. Very few must've realised that the opening few minutes of the film subtly puts forth what is about to unfold in the next 100 minutes. Set mostly around the lead character, played by Vijay Sethupathi, the film revolves around a pizza delivery boy, whose life undergoes dramatic changes whilst on one of his delivery trips. A deft screenplay by Karthik and haunting score by Santosh Narayanan elevate the experience of the film to insurmountable heights, while Vijay's performance was impeccable. The film's rights have been bought in Telugu, Kannada and Hindi. Bejoy Nambiar of 'Shaitan' fame will produce the film in Hindi.
Neerparavai: This seabird couldn't have soared high had it not been for the strong backing of director Seenu Ramaswamy. Without diving in deep into the suffering of fishermen, 'Neerparavai' sensitively addresses a burning issue. Seenu intelligently marries humor with tragedy to provide a sense of relief overall, while his cast, apt to the context of the film, performed with ease and composure. Raghunandan's music was soothing to the ears and his re-recording in particular demands a mention. Balasubramaniam's cinematography captures the splendour of the fishermen's hamlet and sea adeptly and leaves behind strong impression in the viewers. Nandita Das' brief performance breathes life into the seabird.
Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom (NKPK): An all new cast and a highly entertaining creative script make NKPK one of the best comedies of the year. Never before in Tamil cinema, was male bonhomie celebrated like it was commemorated in this film. When one among four friends happens to forget the last few years of his life along with short-term memory loss after suffering a fatal fall, it is up to his friends to cover the truth and get him married. Despite being close to three hours long, NKPK didn't let the audiences down with its overall comical presentation. Laced with non-stop humour, this film is proof to the expertise of debutant director Balaji Tharaneetharan. A simple story concocted with humour and friendship worked brilliantly in the favour of the film.
Marina: Despite the presence of lead actors Sivakarthikeyan and Oviya, director Pandiraj's 'Marina' boasts itself as a no-hero, no-heroine film. Set against the backdrop of Marina beach in Chennai, it's the story of those who depend on the beach for a livelihood. Some may complain that this film has too many stories to tell, but the crux of this film lies in the malodorous reality that's aptly captured through lens of the cinematographer Vijay. In essence, this film presents you with the opportunity to look at the once healthy environment that we've polluted over the years.