2020 was a dark year. Incidentally, so were most of the Tamil movies that hit big and small screens in the last 12 months. A working class ex-army man leading a social revolution against a highly prejudiced business tycoon, to cops unleashing hell on a commoner to people hurting their loved ones for false pride, Tamil filmmakers probed the cultural, political and social evils facing our countrymen in this year’s movies.
Here is a list of the best Tamil movies that released in 2020:
The Sudha Kongara directorial, based on G R Gopinath’s autobiography Simply Fly, follows the struggles of an ex-airforce pilot, who wrestles with the country’s exhausting bureaucracy to start a budget airline service. Soorarai Pottru is Suriya’s show all the way. You cannot take your eyes off Suriya for a minute. He dominates every scene with his sheer screen presence.
With Ka Pae Ranasingam, one went expecting a Vijay Sethupathi film, but witnessed a surprisingly impressive show by Aishwarya Rajessh. Written and directed by P. Virumaandi, the film is based on real-life events. Aishwarya paints a very powerful picture of a woman who is willing to cross any limits to bring the body of her dead husband back to the country from Dubai, so that she can give him a proper good-bye.
Psycho is director Mysskin’s Psycho homage to Alfred Hitchcock, the creator of the original Psycho. The film is not a thriller about a serial killer. Instead, the director has given us a drama where he examines the contributing factors behind a murder. He even demands some sympathy for the killer.
Sethum Aayiram Pon
Written and directed by Anand Ravichandran, Sethum Aayiram Pon begins with a young film make-up artist going back to her native village. The ever-grumpy Meera has a bone to pick with her sharp-tongued grandmother Krishnaveni, who is a popular oppari singer. In other words, she sings mourning songs at funerals. There is a lot of drama that happens over the deaths in the village. One death brings festivities, the story of another makes you chuckle, and the next one throws a hard punch to the gut. Amid all tragedies and sorrows, the villagers never cease to have fun and celebrate life while they can.
Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban
Director RDM makes a movie about police brutality and abuse of power engrossing by keeping it very real. We want the hero to do something drastic that would turn the tables around. We hope at least for some level of decency from those in power. But, it will be too late before you realize that there is no escaping from this all-pervasive system that seldom favours the bold.
Paava Kadhaigal does a solid favour by pushing the Tamil film industry in a new direction. The Netflix anthology film discusses society’s obsession with the idea of honour that never really allows anyone to live his or her life freely. It also examines the varying degrees of horror that people are willing to commit in the name of honour.
Mookuthi Amman stars Nayanthara as an all-powerful goddess, who turns green with envy looking at the popularity of Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati. And she enlists the help of a working-class journalist Engels Ramasamy (RJ Balaji) to make her temple as popular and profitable as Tirupati. The film has several flaws, but what it doesn’t have is a dull moment. The jokes are very rooted and relatable. And RJ Balaji, who has written and co-directed the film, knows how to draw laughs from his audience.
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