The Top Tamil Directors of 2010
Here's looking at the best Tamil directors of 2010, who cut through the competition and told some of the most intriguing tales of the year.
Movie: Angadi Theru
Shankar's assistants have always made a name for themselves, and Vasanthabalan is no exception.
He started out with Album, then made Veyyil which explored tangled emotions in a satisfying way. But it was with Angadi Theru that he made himself a name to reckon with.
Following months of research and plenty of threats to himself, Vasanthabalan set out on a journey to expose the ghetto-like conditions of the employees of Chennai's super-stores in Ranganathan Street. His characters were poverty-stricken girls and boys, fresh out of school, who made money their one driving force. The film traced the trials and tribulations they faced, their horrible living conditions, no freedom to fall in love, and yet, they allowed human spirit to win. It was the triumph of good cinema over commercial fare.
With the right mixture of songs, dark humour and intriguing plot-twists, this director managed to make a meaningful movie, giving a distressing situation its due.
Image: A scene from Angadi Theru
In Nandhalala, Mysshkin has proven that he can take unconventional, marginalised characters and weave intriguing stories around them.
A film traces the journey taken by a mentally challenged man and a schoolboy, both in search of their mothers, and the bond that gradually forms between them. The people they meet and heartaches they share form this poignant movie, ably assisted by maestro Ilaiyaraja's excellent score, and Mahesh Muthuswamy's camera.
Image: A scene from Nandhalala
Movie: Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya
Gautam Menon's Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya had tinseldom talking about it for months.
Romance has been done to death in films but this director found a new way to present the modern romance between an aspiring filmmaker and a software techie, throwing in contemporary lingo, behaviour and unique ego problems.
His protagonists found that the greatest obstacle to their love was not an outside cause, but themselves. With A R Rahman's excellent music, Jessie and Karthik struck a chord with the younger generation making it an unqualified hit.
Image: A scene from Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya
Undoubtedly one of Tamil cinema's most creative directors, Shankar's strengths lie not just in his ability to think up snazzy special effects or dazzling sets but to take a unique plot and spin it out into fully-fledged commercial fare.
For the first time in Tamil, science fiction was taken up, and with the help of writer Sujatha, made into a mass commercial extravaganza, all the right ingredients intact in Endhiran.
Endhiran managed to make use of a lot of scientific jargon without wandering into unknown territory. Shankar's intelligent use of human emotions and a clear path that the script could take made him and his film a winner.
Image: A scene from Endhiran
Movie: Naan Mahaan Alla
Suseendran first made his mark with the quaint rural film, Vennila Kabaddi Kuzhu. This year, he had the hugely successful Naan Mahaan Alla. Both were set in vastly different locales.
A sharp dose of realism, mingled with a never-say-die spirit has been Suseendran's modus operandi. Both his stories have an ordinary hero taking on extraordinary odds to climb over obstacles, being a part of an ordinary milieu, speaking dialogues that are completely realistic, with the capability of yanking audiences right in.
Suseendran's next venture is even more ambitious than his previous two: he's currently filming Azhagar Saamiyin Kudhirai, the tale of a horse and its owner.
Image: A scene from Naan Mahaan Alla