Since the cinema came into existence, varieties of films have been coming out to the audience from the nook and corner of the globe. Indian cinema plays the biggest role in producing films and generating revenue from it. As we all know Indian cinema involves many other national as well as regional film industries which popularly include Hindi Cinema, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, and Assamese among others. Above all, Tamil cinema is an integral part of Indian cinema. It has been very content since its origins. Tamil cinema has produced many legendary directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, actress, musicians, and writers and so on.
The year 2018 proved to very significant for the film industry as in this year films from art house cinema to mass cinema created a buzz in the country. On one hand, when films like “2.0,” made history by being one of the highest budget Indian film of all time, at the other hand, films like “To Let” created history by changing the course of the Tamil cinema by its content and representation.
Here, we will be discussing about six most important Tamil films of 2018 which can’t be left behind by a true cinephile. The list of these films is based on the writer’s own taste and understanding, however, your suggestion is welcome. Feel free to share your list of Tamil best films from 2018.
This is one of the finest, genuine and intense movies I have watched in the year 2018. As said by K.R. Narayanan, “inherited caste system still remains with us”. The movie brilliantly portrayed the harsh reality of our society, about the ideologies of caste, inequality, life of oppressed people and honor Killings. It’s hard hitting and thought provoking. No hero build ups, no lengthy dialogues, no taking revenge, no blame games, everything is portrayed in a subtle way, carefully balanced from all the aspects.
The film boldly asks major questions revolving around the caste system and beautifully portrays a message for the same without ever sacrificing the story-line. Very depressing yet very eye opening movie brilliantly acted out by the majority of the cast, mainly by the protagonist Kathir, who played his role with ease and precision and aptly captured by Sridhar. Some of the songs bring out the emotions pointing to the evils of the rotten system. You feel exhilarated and empowered by the end of the movie.
Vada Chennai lives up to the expectation and hype it created since it was announced years back. The movie is raw yet so refined; the story telling is complex yet simple. The movie in itself has badness with goodness. It’s a perfect mix of things you never thought would sync together. The camera work and realistic feel is incredible. Very well edited and acted out by a talented cast, this movie which portrays a natural north Chennai slum not only is a masterpiece but also an eye candy for the viewers.
However, what works great for this movie is its attention to detailing, strong characterization, art direction, background score and the non-linear story telling that keeps us engaged and intrigued throughout the film. This film is directed by one of most promising young breed of Tamil film director called Vetrimaaran – who got name and fame by making one of the most radical, realistic, original and authentic film ‘Visaranai’ in 2015 which was India’s official entry for the Oscars. Vada Chennai is undoubtedly the finest work of Vetrimaaran.
The opening frame of this film will remind you of the Korean classics ‘Memories of Murder and I saw the Devil’. It is one of most nerve wreaking thriller in a long time in Indian Cinema, you will be in the edge of the seat for the entire movie. You can’t even imagine that this movie was directed by the same guy who has directed Mundasupatti (a hard-core romantic drama). Such a strong story line and he has handled with ease. Each and every character in the movie has done a fabulous job.
The unpredictability is another major element that you will fall for while watching it. BGM was right there bringing you the much needed anticipation throughout the movie. Psycho thriller genre is not very successful in Tamil cinema as very few directors have explored this area. However, the director of the film Ram Kumar has definitely done justice to his work bringing us an ambient visual treatment. Climax of the films more intelligent, terrifying, and hypnotizing and the entire team made sure that there are no logical flaws or whatsoever in the movie.
Love is an abstract word that no dictionary can define but its effect on humanity and life as such is astonishing. Some died, sacrificed themselves and some lived for it. This movie has brought out that beauty which made us realize that the word love is not just a few late night calls, letters and gifts; it’s all about giving a bit of you to another person. This film strokes all the right string of emotions with its artistic subtlety. The 90s, the dying years of the ‘simple life’ and perhaps the one snapshot in time that most people over 30 today would want to relive forms the premise of this story.
Each and every frame in the movie is admirable. Clear cut scene delivery. Sound effects are brilliant from the bird’s chirping when Ram and Janu are talking in the school campus to the rain sound when they are having conversation at Ram’s apartment, audience immersed into the film very easily. It’s a very simple yet hitting film which showcases how humans are trapped into social norms lose their own self in between. In some of the scenes you will get glimpses of ‘In the Mood For Love’. It has been executed flawlessly.
Merku Thodarchi Malai
‘Poetry in Motion’ describes this film in a completely pure way. Story of the film revolves around a group of landless workers living along the foothills of the Western Ghats in India. It depicts how the introduction of commercialization creates conflicts in the lives of villagers. There are very few Tamil films which has this level of cinematography. The camera simply goes from one place to another and you too as a viewer travel with the camera. Characters and locations look as natural as these could be. Legendary music composer, Illayaraja has composed the background Music of the film which makes the visuals look more appealing, engaging and impactful.
The film ends with a series of shots that show the helpful nature of humans who go beyond religion, caste, creed and region to help on another. In one scene, a Muslim man provides land to the hero without asking for money. In another, the heroine takes debt for the marriage of a girl who is not related to her. Tamil Superstar Vijay Sethupathi has produced the film under his banner and he should be appreciated for supporting such a radical and experimental film.
One of the most radical and new age film maker Karthik Subbaraj has already made a name of himself in the Indian film industry, especially in Tamil cinema with films like Pizza, Jigarthandha and Iraivi. Mercury is an addition into his filmography which clearly indicates the versatility of his film making style. Rommance, horror, reality and brutality are the elements that his films consist.
Mercury is undoubtedly another master piece from Subbaraj. It is a Silent movie and there is also a strong reason for the film being silent. You can understand that within five minutes of the movie. The story revolves around five people who are accidentally driven in to an old abandoned mercury factory and their attempts to escape from there. This film speaks about the environmental abuse by the corporate and also the emotional complexities of life. The cinematography, color tone and Background music is amazing. The film is described as silent but ends up being loud, noisy and disturbing.
The list and its sequencing are based on cinematic sensibilities of the writer. However, you are welcome to give your suggestion.