Not the top grossers. Not the popular choices. Here’s the 15 tamil films we felt made the cut from 2014.

15.Inam
The audacity to touch the Srilankan Tamil subject and to focus on elements that are guaranteed not to appeal to the average cine-goer, Santhosh Sivan (and Lingusamy) needs to be applauded for returning to a Tamil film genre that many of the chest-thumping, hardcode Tamil nationalist filmmakers hesitate or cannot seem to make happen.

Read our review of Inam

14.Naan Sigappu Manidhan
Almost a ‘Pandiya Naadu’ sequel, both in terms of how masala entertainers have rehashed David going after Goliath and Vishal hitting these roles out of the park. Great to see a thirsty underdog get his due. It’s a Vishal movie no doubt, but how he submits unconditionally to his directors and the script is refreshing, especially when the movie works.

Read our review of Naan Sigappu Manidhan

13.Mundasupatti
Today’s rash of short film makers have a litmus test when they are called upon to go feature length. Ram comes through with ease ’cause he has a way with visual gags, body language quirks, prop comedy and slapstick. All the comic build-ups have a worthy payoff. His obsession with minor characters and finding a funny (twisted) closure for every character, even minor ones works great.

Read our review of Mundasupatti

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12.Sathuranga Vettai

Read our review of Sathuranga Vettai

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11.Yaamirukka Bayamey
Absolutely simple approach with the script and a likable blend of comedy, boo-thrills and suspense makes ‘Yaamirukka Bayamey’ a good time-pass. Running just under 2 hours, ‘Yaamirukka Bayamey’ starts off lame, but quickly gets its acts together to keep you laughing and riveted to your seats (with some tense moments) in equal turns.

Read our review of Yaamirukka Bayamey

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10.Jeeva

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9.Arima Nambi
For a debut, Anand Shankar (an A R Murugadoss protege) takes an ambitious bite and almost chews it all off. His understanding and employment of the video surveillance, computer networks, mobile telephony and social media lets him turn worn-out, familiar sequences into edgy and intriguing ones.

Read our review of Arima Nambi

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8.Thegidi
Thegidi offers Tamil movie-goers a wonderful opportunity at a suspense thriller that takes it viewers very seriously. The technical finesse pleases us enough to draw us in; a tight script places us at the edge of the seat almost all the way. Somewhere after the interval, Director P Ramesh stumbles and lets us out of his grip. He does steady his film just in time for the climax, but not in time to get our unqualified approval.

Read our review of Thegidi

7.Kayal
Re affirming his faith in a love story that deals with the less of romance and more of the longing.

6.Pisasu
It may be practically impossible to recall a Tamil director who has emerged from a string of flops with his confidence intact, faith in his craft solidified and endure it all with an unwillingness to compromise his vision of filmmaking. Mysskin, follows up his remarkable ‘Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum‘ with another genre-bender in ‘Pisasu’.

Read our review of Pisasu

5.Velaiilla Pattathari
Velraj picks a time-tested archetype for Dhanush, a loser who goes through a load of crap until he finds his true calling, proves everyone around him wrong…kicks some butts…delivers a few punch dialogues…walk in slow-mo, cigarette planted firmly in lips and smoking away to glory.

Read our review of VIP

4.Madras

Listen to our podcast of Madras

3.Kadai Thiriakathai Vasanam Iyakkam
Radhakrishnan Parthiban’s intelligent reimagining of his brand, where he comes to terms with his strength as a Director who shines in his short format of story-telling. He turns his story-within-a-story meta movie to check off every creative advantage he possess. KTVI bucks the old school story narration tricks and breaks in with the freshness of the new wave tamil cinema.

2.Pannaiyarum Padminiyum
There are few tales of love that can be a challenge when it comes to keeping an audience captive with. Where and how do you begin to explain falling in love with a Car (a Premier Padmini), to a post-Maruti generation! How do you write to pit a plain-looking fiat into the center of many universes! Apparently Su. Arunkumar does have a way with it and he almost does very well for over two hours.

Read our review of Pannaiyarum Padminiyum

1.Jigarthanda
Three ways young directors follow-up a brilliant debut – the first arrive as a spent force, after making a single film. The second kind sell-out the promise they once held and settle for a compromise. The third takes license from the first hit, gets ambitious beyond its talent and crashes out. Then there are directors like Karthik Subbaraj who win over all these odds and go from strength to strength.

Read our review of Jigarthanda

About The Author hemanth