Six months have passed this year and Kollywood is ready for the half yearly evaluation. A lot of water has flown down the Kollywood River. Expectations going sour, doubtful starters winning the race it all happened in the past six months.
January started with much expectation as one of the much expected and much delayed film ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’ releasing on Pongal day. The very first day of the year had three releases but they weren’t the harbingers of hope. Pugaipadam, Nil Kavani Ennai Kadhali and Thinichal opened on the first day of the year with much publicity but the advertisements weren’t enough to life up the film.
All eyes were on Pongal day which saw only four releases. Brothers were pitted against each other with ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’ and ‘Kutty’. But both the brothers lost the race. In fact there was no winner at all. Expectations turned out to be a burden and Selvaraghavan was named confusing director for his ‘AO’. The fate of the film even denied credits for the superlative performances of Remma Sen and Parthiban. ‘Kutty’ was fresh but it wasn’t a Dhanush film and failed for having spiced up with too much Telugu flavor in the Tamil version. The other two Pongal films ‘Naanayam’ and ‘Porkkalam’ were different but didn’t have the star value to make it. ‘Naanayam’ was sweet, suave and savvy but still failed.
The other big day in January was not the Republic Day but January 29. Goa, Thamizh Padam, Jaggubai, Kathai and Dhairiyam. ‘Goa’ was a mixed wine and the debate is still on. But the dark horse ‘Thamizh Padam’ was a hit and a massive hit. It deserved the success for introducing the genre spoof in a gravely polarized Tamil market. Kudos to the producer and director. ‘Jaggubai’ was in news more for it’s release on the internet even while it was in the labs. The proven successful duo of Sarath Kumar and K S Ravikumar sadly couldn’t make it this time.
February had only four releases in the whole month and the month belonged to Gautham Menon’s ‘Vinnaithandi Varuvayaa’. The silky soft romance blew away all competitors including Vishal’s ‘Theeradha Vilaiyattu Pillai’ and Sreekanth’s ‘Rasikkum Seemane’ that were released in February.
March saw the pouring of all that were delayed or postponed for ostensible reasons. Every body wanted to catch in the summer holidays. The twelve releases of the month were assorted. From stars to starlets to new faces the month had variety. From outright commercials like Jeeva’s ‘Kacheri Aarambam’ and Bharath’s ‘Thambikku Intha Ooru’ to offbeat ‘Aval Peyar Thamizharasi’ and ‘Karunai’ to fresh ‘Mundhinam Parthene’ and ‘Yadhumagi’, the month of March had a variety. But… but ‘Angadi Theru’ releasing at the end took all the cake and is still going strong. The Vasanthabalan film managed the rare act of striking a chord with both the masses and critics. Called a human film ‘Angadi Theru’ will cross 100 days in a couple of day.
April was a kind of significant month of the first half of this year. It started with Lingusamy’s ‘Paiyaa’ and ended with Vijay’s ‘Sura’. Both became diagonally opposite at the box office. ‘Paiyaa’ reiterated the stardom of Karthi and ‘Sura’ questioned the box office power of Vijay. All the films in between these two in April were sandwiched including the legendary star cast ‘Rettaisuzhi’. Some blamed it on the IPL Cricket matches between March 12 and April 25 for the poor show of films.
All those who feared the killer bite of ‘Sura’ bravely showed up in May. Thirteen films were released in May and Suriya’s ‘Singam’ ruled the roost. The other one to make a decent outing was ‘Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam’. The message here is even the summer holidays weren’t attractive to film makers which is a dangerous signal to the Tamil film industry.
The last month of the first half June also wasn’t a great shake. Other than the most anticipated film of the year ‘Raavanan’ the month had ten other releases. ‘Raavanan’ took a massive opening thanks to the hype and expectations created around it. The high run continued and ‘Ravaanan’ remained on top with the help of unexpected holidays for the Tamil conference.
Of the 58 films released only five were unanimous super hits. That is not even ten percent success. And all the five winners were very different from each other. ‘Thamizh Padam’ is a spoof. ‘Vinnaithandi Varuvaya’ is a romance. ‘Angadi Theru’ is a reality. ‘Paiyaa’ is a road. And ‘Singam’ is a spicy hot masala. So you can’t even say people like only a particular kind of film. Much expected films backed by big names like ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’ and ‘Raavanan’ did not elicit the desired response.
On the whole the first half yearly report card of Kollywood has very little to cheer but a lot of introspect. Wishing a happy second half!