Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2008 Tamil Cinema - The Bottom 10

Here in reverse order - best of the worst to worst of the worst - are my choices for the 10 worst Tamil movies of 2008...

10. Dhanam
Unrealistic characterization and an unbelievable plot erased the anticipation raised by the film's central character - a prostitute. Unable and unwilling to exploit the uniqueness of the character, the film manufactured a conflict through a series of coincidences and some unbelievable behavior on the part of the supporting characters. Predictably, the situation - and its solution - failed to have an impact on us.

9. KaaLai
Simbhu's next entry in his quest to become the next Vijay was DOA with a start that was more confusing than suspenseful. The familiar revenge saga with a cliched flashback had all the elements that go into a masala flick but the action was routine and unexciting, the romance was silly and the song sequences were unimaginative.

8. Seval
Hari joined the brigade of directors resisting Tamil cinema's advancement with this rural tale that was completely regressive and shamelessly manipulative. After a predictable father-son relationship and a passable romance, the film turned into a manipulative, disgusting tearjerker as it made its heroine Poonam endure one humiliation after another.

7. Pazhani
Director Perarasu continued his mission of sending Tamil cinema back to the Stone Age with this entry. A movie that set expectations by starting off with a farewell day in prison, it had everything we've come to expect from Perarasu's movies - regressive sentiments, shoddy technical aspects and a complete absence of logic.

6. ULiyin Osai
While one can overlook few missteps in a period film considering how rare entries in that genre are, this entire film felt like one giant misstep. Poor production values doomed the film right from the start while the stilted acting, horrendous comedy - quite possibly, the worst of the year - and unnecessary fillers, like a dance competition between Manorama and Kovai Sarala, further compounded our misery.

5. Indhiralogathil Naa. Azhagappan
A rare entry in the socio-fantasy genre, this film was so ineptly made that it could make one swear off films in that genre forever. Stuck between feeding Vadivelu's ego, incorporating his brand of comedy and conveying a message, the director made a complete mess of the film as it alternated between cheap comedy, artificial sentiments and confusing messages.

4. Vedha
The funniest emotional movie of the year, the film appeared to be aiming to incorporate every single cliche in Tamil cinema and in that aim, it succeeded admirably. The overload of cliches, poor characterization and silly way in which the sentiments were handled ensured that we were laughing during most of the movie, inspite of its serious theme, downbeat plot developments and lack of comedy.

3. Pandhayam
Director S.A.Chandrasekhar did his son Vijay a favor by not casting him in this film, which made Vijay's other films seem like classics. The preposterous plot, which had Nitin Satya plan Prakashraj's downfall while being inside his group, made Prakashraj look like a dumb villain and so there was no energy or tension in the clashes between him and Nitin Satya.

2. Nenjathai KiLLadhey
Director Agathiyan(of Kaadhal Koattai fame) fashioned two of the most outrageoous characters to ever headline a love story in this film. There wasn't a single believable moment in the interactions between the leads and their handling of the so-called romance was completely silly.

1. Thenaavattu
Jeeva, who seemed to picking some good, offbeat roles recently, dashed our hopes in this terrible masala cocktail. The film gave us ridiculous characters in a predictable storyline and then proceeded to bore the daylights out of us with a fashion show and song sequences set in a community of transgenders.


At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God i didn't see any one of these movies.Good write up balaji !


At 4:03 AM, Blogger Rubbiny said...

hehe..nice reviews..i agree to it 99.9%.. Out of that ten I watched the movie Seval and Pazhani..hhmmm, i always liked Bharath since his Boys days..and his movie Nepali was an awesome treat..but these two movies were a let down though..

At 4:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Director Perarasu ... to the Stone Age.." - one of your best lines ever :-D

At 4:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dasaavatharam miss pannitteengale balaji.

At 4:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so which is the worst movie of the year? Dhanam or Thenaavattu? Looking at your list, I just cannot make any assumptions because they are all just fundamentally bad movies :)

At 4:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't rent a Dhanam DVD expecting Great Stuff but Kuselan ....? It was the mother of all duds in 2008.
Avatharam just stayed afloat yet a dud by Kamal's standards.

At 5:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I suggest that you at least watch one of the movies in balaji's list to get a sense of what "worst" means :)


At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

usually i've never even heard of the movies in your worst of lists, but i actually saw indiralogathil na azhagappan, and while i would not say it was great, it was not that bad. the pace was relatively brisk, it wasn't belaboredly pretentious, it didn't try to make vadivelu into a superman successful in a 1000 different ways. i didn't sit there twitching for the movie to get on with it, as i have in many many movies. cheap comedy is better than serious pretentions, loud techno songs and endless fights.

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I agree to the list ... But i would just like to comment that these movies are WORSHT list from some what decently made movies ...
I have had the misfortune of watching B grade Worsht movies this year ... which will definitely not make ur list cos i am sure you havent even heard or even kno that those were also made in kollywood ...
examples : Velvi and Pathu Pathu ...
PS: please don't ask how i managed to watch them ...

At 7:36 AM, Blogger D.E.V said...

"dhanam" the worst movie of the year, i thought it had a pretty good message in it, it was not that bad and the climax was kinda stunning...It was worth a watch but definetely not for repeated viewing...

Why was not "kuruvi" in the was also bad and also Mahdavan's "valzthugal" and "sathyam" as well..

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

sri, thanx!

rubygal, he was one of the few actors who seemed to be picking different projects. but his latest films have disappointed :)

gal, thanx :)

bharath/anon/skanda, 'kuselan', 'dasavatharam' and 'kuruvi' are all part of another list I'm working on :)

anon, that'll be 'thevaavattu'. list is in descending order - best of the lot to worst of the lot :)

anon, i guess we'll agree to disagree on 'INA'. i thot it was really boring and vadivelu got on my nerves though his other movies made me feel that he had grown on me :)

ree_mathi, wow! i've heard of 'pathu pathu'(a thriller, right?) but haven't even heard of 'velvi'. am defly curious as to how i managed to watch them :)

skanda, 'dhanam' was best among the worst. 'thenaavattu' was the worst :)

At 9:50 AM, Blogger karthik sp said...

in dhanam .. comedy part is good. and it made to sit and watch.. other than that.. its waste..

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, I think you missed "Yaarukku yaaro". Believe me, it can take atleast the 2nd spot if not the first in the list of all-time(not just 2008) duds.

If you have not seen it yet, please do watch. you will then be able to really appreciate the quality of movies that you had listed. Grapevine says that Kamal cried for 2 days after watching this movie. such a classic.

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You left out a pathbreaking movie...Yaarukku Yaaro...It is undoubtedly the worst movie of the century

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

of the bottom 10, i managed to watch "nenjathai killaadhey" solely because i've always liked the complexity of agathiyan's dialogues in the past

a cpl of samples - "vayasoda mariyaadhaiya kaapaathikarthuku manasu nadichu thaan aaganum" in "vidukathai" and
"kettu poganum-nu nenaikara ponnungalode neenge pazhakam vechurupeengaley thavira, neenge endha ponnayum keduthuruka maatinga" in "gokulathil seethai"

but man, I watched Nenjathai Killaathey and I felt like throwing up...that guy Vikranth...ammaaa...characterization sodhappal-na adha ivan 100 madangu keduthaan ivan acting vechu!

At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to hear that kuruvi is in another list..

worried and wondering, if you had missed it

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

karthik, can't say I liked the comedy in 'dhanam' :)

anon, thats the film with sam anderson, right? will take ur word for it on its quality :)

ram, yep I watched 'nenjathai killadhey' with some expectation cos of agathiyan. what a disaster! :)

nathan, but it was still better than the movies on this list :)


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