Avatar more or less marks the end of a shaky and capricious year, 2009. It’s ironic that the visually stunning Avatar, undoubtedly the world’s most expensive movie, should release towards the end of a depressing year that shook world economies and reduced some of them into rubble. Nevertheless, it’s being raved by critics and viewers and may well usher 2010 in style while still ruling the box office collections all over the world. For after all, it’s just not enough you watch it once and almost all reviews seem to suggest to watch it a couple of times to relish the detailing of the fluorescent, endearing Na’vis that make Avatar what it is.
The prospects of releasing another Tamil movie during the same weekend might not be the brightest of ideas. But if it’s a Vijay starrer, Vettaikaran, chances are that it might override all influences and emerge unscathed; if not in the cities, at least in the other less prominent centers.
With that, it’s time for stocktaking for we have reached the fag end of yet another almost uneventful year in Tamil movies.
Notwithstanding a few real-good Indie gems, this year is also mostly devoid of any hits. The only blockbuster of the year remained Surya’s Ayan that released during the beginning of the year although his Aadhavan also topped collection lists all over.
Other than the Suriya fare at the BO Dhanush’s Padikkathavan, Nadodigal and Unnaipol Oruvan also made money. Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, Yaavarum Nalam, Siva Manasula Sakthi, Pasanga, Achamundu Achamundu, Eeram and Kanden Kaadalai were among the movies that grossed decent returns. Recently released Renigunta may well join the surprise hit league soon.
And the year’s big losers remain the much-hyped Kanthaswamy and Villu.
What’s unique about this year is probably the surge in the number of independent films that also attained commercial and critical acclaim. These down to earth movies are often raw and on-the-face, precisely the reasons why they connected well with the audience. These include Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, Pasanga, Nadodigal, Achamundu Achamundu, Eeram and Renigunta.
But what came as a surprise this year is the fact that the top grosser among Tamil movies is indeed a dubbing movie. 2012 that released in the beginning of December reportedly seized that honor from the native Tamil movies. The Tamil dubbed version of 2012 walks away with the honor of the highest grosser in Tamil Nadu. And it’s not easy to forget that Arundhati, a dubbed Telugu flick, also ran to packed houses in Tamil Nadu, only a few months ago.
There are no more promising releases during the last few weeks of December either. That leaves us with more or less a clear picture. If the Tamil dubbing version of Avatar goes on to win the hearts of Tamil fans, it could just become the top grosser this year, even surpassing the collections of 2012.
Long live Tamil movies!