For the Tamil cinema lover, there’s action, family drama and horror-comedy to end the year

NARAYANAN V Chennai | Updated on November 22, 2019

From 'Sanga Thamizhan' to 'Action' and 'Jada', there's much variety in Tamil cinema this season

It's the time of year when film producers jostle with each other to get screen space for their movies. Crazy fans end their long wait to watch their icons on the silver screen. Movie releases are an inseparable part of festivals in Tamil Nadu. While the box office success of Diwali closes the year in style, Pongal releases (in January) set the tone for the year ahead.

The year so far has been akin to a full length entertainment movie in more ways than one. It started-off with a bang, slowed down in the middle and has picked up the pace ahead of the climax.

The year opened with two blockbusters (Petta, Viswasam) for Pongal, but the momentum did not sustain too long. Although numerous releases between February and July, very few fared well at the box office. Industry experts attributed the slowdown to the impact of the IPL, General Elections, the Cricket World Cup and lack of quality content.

But a host of big titles and solid content in August and September, has turned the tide for Tamil cinema. Ajith’s Nerkonda Parvai, Jayam Ravi’s Comali, Surya’s Kaappaan, Sivakarthikeyan’s Namma Veetu Pillai and R. Parthiepan critically-acclaimed Oththa Seruppu Size 7 - all released in quick session within two months.

While Dhanush’s Asuran, which released in early October, helped to sustain the momentum, Diwali releases Bigil and Kaithi reclaimed the lost josh, and continue to dominate a good number of screens three weeks after release. Asuran’s theatrical run also continues even after its OTT release.

So, the year 2019 has been a tremendous year for Tamil cinema, both in terms of box office collections and content-based offerings. But can it sustain the momentum till the climax? Only the box office performance of these movies can tell:

Darbar: Pongal 2020 release

Rajinikanth films don’t need a festival. Whenever his movies release, it’s a festival in Tamil Nadu. After delivering a Rs 100-crore blockbuster last Pongal, the superstar is all set to dominate the silver screens once again in January. The much-awaited Darbar is expected to hit the screens for Pongal 2020. Directed by A.R. Murugadoss, the movie will see Rajinikanth playing the role of a cop once again, 27 years after the release of the 1992 action movie, Pandian. The movie, which was originally to be produced by Sun Pictures, is currently bankrolled by Lyca Productions. Darbar also features Suniel Shetty, Nayanthara, Prateik Babbar, Nivetha Thomas, Dalip Tahil and Yogi Babu in important roles.

While there is no official word yet on the exact release date, the Lyca Productions website has a scheduled release date of January 9, 2020. So, it’s going to be yet another Thalaivar Pongal for movie fans across the world.

But in the meanwhile, here are our top picks in Tamil Cinema for November and December.

November releases

After hitting multiple roadblocks, actor Vijay Sethupathi’s latest film Sanga Thamizhan saw the light on Saturday. The film, which was scheduled for release a day earlier (November 15), was postponed as financial issues continued to dog the movie till the last minute. But this isn't the first time the movie has run into serious financial troubles at several stages of production, which has delayed its release multiple times. The movie was also expected to hit the screens during the Diwali weekend, but pulled out of the race in the last moment, thereby, paving the way for a direct fight between Vijay's Bigil and Karthi's Kaithi.

The movie, directed by Vijay Chandar, also features Nivetha Pethuraj, Raashi Khanna, Soori and Nasser in pivotal roles. If you are looking for a commercial action film-cum-family entertainer, then Sanga Thamizhan will not be a disappointment to you.

As the title suggests, director Sundar C's latest venture starring Vishal and Tamannaah, Action, is a full length jaw-dropping action film. The story revolves around Colonel Subhash (Vishal), an army officer and son of the Chief Minister, who goes after the mastermind of a terror attack, which claimed the lives of his fiancee (Aishwarya Lekshmi) and elder brother (Ramki). In his pursuit of the perpetrator, which takes him on a trails across Istanbul, London and Lahore, Vishal is helped by Diya (Tamannaah), who also fancies him. From Hollywood-inspired car chase sequences, to gravity-defying stunts, the movie has all the necessary elements to justify its title.

The debut movie of actor Vikram’s son Dhruv Vikram, Adithya Varma is scheduled for release on November 22. It has faced several roadblocks and has missed several release dates. In September 2017, E4 Entertainment bought the rights to remake the Telugu film Arjun Reddy in Tamil and Malayalam. Bala was to direct the movie, which was originally titled Varmaa. But in February 2019, Bala opted out of the project, after a spat with the producers, who said they were unhappy with the final version of the movie. The producers then decided to re-shoot the whole movie with debutant director Gireesaaya, who completed the project titled as Adithya Varma with Banita Sandhu and Priya Anand in key female roles.

The original version Arjun Reddy and its hindi remake Kabir Singh were widely criticised for glorifying toxic masculinity and violence against women. The trailer of Adithya Varam shows suggests that much of the toxicity is retained in the tamil version as well. But the real question is will Adithya Varma catapult the debudant Dhruv Vikram into the limelight as the original version Arjun Reddy did for Vijay Deverkonda? One has to wait and watch.

One of the long-delayed projects of actor Dhanush’s career, Ennai Nokki Paayum Thotta, scheduled for release on November 29, is a romantic-thriller written, directed and originally produced by Gautam Vasudevan Menon. The movie ran into several delays following its launch in March 2016, due to financial challenges, legal issues, and shooting delays, which pushed back its its release on several occasions.

In November 2018, Lyca Productions bought the film's rights, but soon opted out it. In August, Menon announced that the film would be released on September 6, 2019, but financial issues came in the way of the planned release. On November 2, Menon took to Twitter to thank producer Isari K. Ganesh of Vels Films International, who bought the film rights. The movie is expected to hit the screens on November 29 without further delays.

December releases

In yet another sports film, this time based on the life of a football player, Jada, scheduled for release on December 6, will see Kathir, of Pariyerum Perumal fame, doing a slice-of-the-life story of a football player from North Madras. The movie will see newcomer Roshini in the female lead and has Yogi Babu and Kishore playing important roles. The movie is expected to be released alongside Sundar C’s horror thriller Iruttu, where the actor-cum-director plays the lead role.

The G V Prakash Kumar-starrer Aayiram Jenmangal, scheduled for release on December 20, is a remake of 2016 Telugu horror comedy film Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada. The original Telugu film starring Nikhil Siddhartha, Nandita Sweta, and Hebah Patel was a big hit despite its release during demonetisation. Musician-turned actor, G V Prakash, expressed his intention to buy the movie rights in December 2016. Although Escape Artist Motion Pictures initially bought the rights of the movie, the remake could not be launched due to various issues. In February 2019, the project was relaunched under new producer Abhishek Films. The movie has Telugu actress Eesha Rebba playing the female lead.

Incidentally, Darling, which is G V Prakash Kumar’s debut movie as a hero, is a remake of another Telugu horror comedy movie Prema Katha Chitram. So will GV Prakash Kumar be second time lucky with a horror comedy? Hold your breath and watch this promising laugh riot to find out.

Published on November 22, 2019

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