2015: year of comebacks and controversies
2015 witnessed many comeback efforts in Kollywood, some off-beat movies getting worldwide acclaim, controversies and floods.
The trend of last few years witnessing release of many horror films continued unabated in 2015 as well with Darling, Kanchana 2, Maya, Demonte Conoly and Maasu Engira Masilamani.
Though Kanchana 2 was the most successful film among these films, Maya and Demonte Colony were lauded by critics for the innovative scripts. Darling, which pitch-forked music director G.V. Prakash Kumar as hero, was known for more its comedy-plus-horror content than as his launch-pad.
Year of comebacks
‘Jayam’ Ravi, who had a solitary release in Ninirndhu Nil (average hit) in 2014, came back strongly as Kollywood’s most successful hero in 2015 with three huge hits in Romeo Juliet, Thani Oruvan and the recently-released Bhooloham.
Nayantara, the ‘comeback queen’ of Tamil films, continued her hold over the masses and her fans with a hat-trick of hits in Maya, Thani Oruvan and Naanum Rowdydhaan.
Ace director Mani Ratnam, who was down and out after the colossal failures of his last two ventures (Raavanan and Kadal), managed to redeem himself with a successful yet controversy-ridden O Kadhal Kanmani. Jyothika, mother of two who is still looking great enough to play heroines, made a comeback with the successful 36 Vayadhinile which was a Tamil remake of the Malayalam hit film How Old Are You.
How did other heroes fare?
Kamal Haasan’s Uttama Villain wasn’t a success at the box-office but Kamal, who had three of his films releasing in a single year after a long time, bounced back strongly with the super-success of Papanasam and the average success of his home production Thoongaavanam which released on Deepavali.
Vikram had a 50:50 record as his Shankar-directed I was a huge success; however, true to his career graph for the past 25 years, Vikram followed it up with a non-starter 10 Endradhukulla directed by Vijay Milton of Goli Soda fame.
Suriya delieverd a lone film as hero in the failed venture Maasu Engira Maasilamani which didn’t do any favour to its director Venkat Prabhu’s reputation. Suriya also made a significant ‘guest appearance’ in the year-end release Pasanga 2.
Among other heroes, Dhanush had a mixed bag with his Anegan, Maari and Shamitabh doing well at the box-office but his home production Thanga Magan wasn’t upto the mark in theatrical collections.
G.V. Prakash, who debuted as hero early this year, delivered two hits in Darling and the highly-criticized Trisha Illana Nayantara. Ajith’s Vedalam once again proved that he is the king of ‘box-office opening’ while Vijay’s fans were left high and dry as his fantasy-adventure Puli failed miserably.
Arya’s miserable spell continued with 3 failures in Yatchan, Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga and Inji Iduppazhagi. Vijay Sethupathi kept his flag going with the super-hit film Naanum Rowdydhaan and even signed up a film opposite ‘milky beauty’ Tamannaah in Dharmadurai.
Sivakarthikeyan’s Kaakki Sattai was a moderate hit and his Rajini Murugan missed its release date at least twice. It is now scheduled to release on Pongal in January. Simbu’s lone release Vaalu was a moderate success but his ‘beep song’ controversy has out-shadowed its effect.
Critical acclaim and controversies
Kaaka Muttai was an exception as it received critical acclaim as well as huge success at the box-office. Other off-beat films which received kudos were Rajathanthiram, Kirumi, Kuttram Kadidhal, etc. However, satellite broadcasting rights of many films haven’t yet been acquired, creating huge distress in the minds of many producers.
October’s Nadigar Sangam elections and the no-holds-barred campaign witnessed by the warring factions headed by Sarathkumar and Vishal were highly controversial and offered reems of news to the print media.
Legends of Tamil films such as ‘Mellisai Mannar’ M.S. Viswanathan and the irrepressible, Guinness-record breaking actress ‘Aachi’ Manorama passed away.
Kollywood showed is social concern as leading heroes plunged themselves whole-heartedly into the relief and rescue operations during the floods which inundated Chennai and its suburbs in the first week of December. Simbu courted huge controversy with his year-end ‘beep song’, released unofficially.