BEST OF 1999

voted by Tamil Thirai Valai readers and avid Tamil cinema fans..

Winners of "Best of 1999" TTV poll

Winners will intimated by email within the next few days. Now for the results of the Poll...



2000: The first six months (Some thoughts!): Tamil Cinema Kadhaa naayakargal have had a pretty miserable 2000 so far.  Usually, the second half of every year brings substantial gains.  Hopefully 2000 will as well.   How fortunate for Vijaykanth and how unfortunate for us that he seems to be the most sought after hero in tamil cinema today.  Vaanaththa Pola and Vallarasu has made this red-eyed paunchy (I have my own flag) hero, some kind of a force to contend with.  People really weren't kidding when they called him the poor man's Rajinikanth.  Despite its mixed reviews, Maniratnam's Alaipayuthey has really made a big heartthrob hunk of burning love out of Madhavan.  The bunny teethed guy (as he is known in some circles) is the only one among the young actors who can walk around claiming he actually has a decent-sized hit in his hands.  Prasanth (Good Luck), Prabhudeva (Yezhaiyin Sirippil and James Pandu), Kamalahassan (Hey Ram!), Karthik (Kannan Varuvaan and Sandiththa VaeLai) all bit the dust as each of their films plummeted at the box office.  

The Best Actor of 1999 is:

Ajithkumar and Shalini in AmarkaLam.  Ajith is 1999's Best Actor in the TTV Poll this year!1    Ajithkumar..   Shalini vandha neramO, ennavO, ivar thottadhellaam pOnn!.. Even a little before he broke it off with Heera last year, Ajeeth's lucky streak began with Director Ramesh Kanna's Thodarum (mediocre but earned him a few laurels!) followed by Director Sundhar C.'s Unnai Thaedi (a shabby remake of the hindi hit Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge!).   These were followed by a string of medium to big hits including Vaali (the big crown!), AmarkkaLam (Kaadhal arumbiya padam!), Nee Varuvaai Yena (a short and sweet cameo!), Anandha Poongatrae (a thankless role) and in 2000 with Mugavari (a worthy role of an unemployed youth). Kandukondain Kandukondain (very little screen time leading this Rajeev Menon flick to finally cause a slip for Ajith after quite a while!) and Unnaikodu Ennai Tharuvaen (a rushed, haphazard film by newcomer Kavi Kalidas) only show bad signs of things to come for Ajith in 2000. 1998-il Vijay meedhu serious-aa adiththu kondirundha kaaththu 1999-il balamaaga Ajith-ai paarththu adiththadhu.  Hopefully Ajith's 2000 will not become like Vijay's 1999-2000 season!.. (By the way, the gossip bug carries news that Aju&Shalu are somewhere in the Los Angeles area on their honeymoon!.. mOga Alai-yai kandu manam paayindhu kondirukkiradhu :-).. Long live Love Birds!..

Complete Results (Best Actor)

1. Ajithkumar (25.284%)
2. Vikram (24.431%)
3. Rajinikanth
4. Vijay
5. Arjun
6. Prasanth
7. Prakashraj
8. Parthiban

ThuLLaadha Manamum ThuLLum


2000: The first six months (Some thoughts!): For every Vasundhra Das (Hey Ram!) and Jyothika (Mugavari), there was a Riya Sen (Good Luck) and Mumtaz (Kushi) in tamil cinema. AND for every Shalini (Alaipayuthey) and Tabu (Kandukondain Kandukondain), there would be a little recognized Roja (Yezhaiyin Sirippil) and Bhanupriya (Annai).. That has been Kodambakkam's trend in 2000.   Given roles with incredible potential in 1999 including those done by Abitha (Sethu), Simran (Vaali), Ramya Krishnan (Padaiyappa) and even Devayani (Nee Varuvaai Yena), so far, 2000 has been radically mixed for the heroines.  Roja & Kausalya have been all over the billboards this year with Yezhaiyin Sirippil and Sandiththa VaeLai where they starred together with the two taking the honors for the most number of films (Kandha Kadamba KadhirvaeLa totalling 3 for Roja and Raajakaaliamman, Thai Porandhaachu; 4 for Kausalya!) Idhil evvaLavu padam Odiyadhu-nu kaetka koodAdhu! :-)  In a time where heroes are desperate to make films run, heroine paadu thindaattam dhaan.

The Best Actress of 1999 is:

Rajinikanth and Ramya Krishnan in Padaiyappa1    Ramya Krishnan..  The Neelambari of Tamil Cinema has had an incredible 1999-2000 season... Who would have thought of bringing Ramya back into the tamil industry and succeed in the venture, except for Rajini?..  All said and done, Ramya's Neela in Padaiyappa had the industry, critics and masses having a mook-in mel viral with her performance.  Despite popular rumours and thoughts, Ramya neither got a huge kuviyal of roles nor did she bag the Tenaali role with Kamal (her initimate relationship with Director K.S.Ravikumar did not seem to help her in the long run!)..  Ramya's role (in and as) Raaja Kaaliamman, a K.Balachandar/Kavithalaya venture, seems to have earned her a few box office honors in 2000 and her position as a 'worthy' heroine remains unchanged regardless of frivolous roles in films like PaattaaLi.  Hope her Minsaara KaNNa, Mr. KSR can really start helping her bag some good roles!

Complete Results (Best Actress)

1. Ramya Krishnan (28.125%)
2. Simran (23.58%)
3. Shalini
4. Abitha
5. Jyothika
6. Devayani
7. (tie) Suvalakshmi
7. (tie) Soundarya
9. Preethi
10. Priya Raman

Poovellaam Kaettuppaar
Nee Varuvaai Yena
Nesam Pudhusu


2000: The first six months (Some thoughts!): As far as laurels and accolades go, Director Maniratnam (Alaipayuthey) earned the most in the 2000 season alongside Kamalahassan (Hey Ram!) who happens to be Mani's arch rival and enemy :-)  Vikraman kept his name intact in spite of directing a 'goody-two-shoes' film with Vaanaththa Pola.   Newcomers Durai (Mugavari) and Maharajan (Vallarasu) looked like superstars because both their ventures did well.  When all seems so bright, we think of promising directors like Ravichandran (his successful debut, Kannedhiray ThondrinaaL) bombing in his second film, Sandiththa VaeLai, Selva continuing his somewhere between mediocre & atrocious filmmaking with James Pandu, Sundhar C. regurgitating his pointless, overblown and contrived storylines yet again in Kannan Varuvaan,  Manoj Bhatnagar losing 'some' ground that he had gained in Endrendrum Kaadhal last year with Good Luck in 2000 and the miseries continue... And yet, a director like K.Subash could repeat a good film in Yezhaiyn Sirippil after Ninaivirukkum Varai's success in 1999.  Rama Narayanan who proudly wore his 100th film hat with the very successful Thirupadhi Yezhumalai Venkatesa, bit the dust with Kandhaa Kadambaa Kadhivelaa this year (All in a "day's"?.. no! two months work!).  2000 promises to be yet another average year for directors and films; a few exceptions are expected: Appu by director Vasanth, Tenaali by the K.S.Ravikumar, Kamalahassan combo, Cheran's long overdue film with Parthiban and Murali, Vettrikodi Kattu, Pennin Manadhai Thottu by Ezhil, Paarthaen Rasiththen by Sharan (AmarkkaLam), Director Pandiyarajan's comedy Doubles (starring Prabhudeva & Meena) and a much anticipated final film* with Shalini (*or so they say!) and Prasanth, Piriyaadha Varam Vendum by director Kamal (a tamil re-make of a Malayalam hit, Niram!)

The Best Director of 1999 is:

Director Shankar1    Shankar..   Strange but true that Director Shankar has won every single TTV poll for Best Director since the first time we started polling in 1997.  (He didn't direct any films in 1997, but won for Jeans in 1998 and for Mudhalvan in 1999).  After vehement and direct protest for the characterizations of Arjun & Raghuvaran in Mudhalvan by Mudhalvar Kalaignar, Mu. Karunanidhi, Shankar found himself re-imbursing some cash to distributors who were losing money over Mudhalvan's controversial story, screenplay and dialogues.  After all, it was the highest (film rights) selling film, even beating Padaiyappa at that, for 1999.   After the pell-mell ceased, Mudhalvan continued its climb towards the 100 day mark and achieved its goal comfortably around the second week of February 2000.  With apt support from dialogue writer Sujatha; great masala music by A.R.Rahman, eye caressing camerawork by K.V.Anand, understandable lyrics like Shakalakka Baby by Vairamuthu and Shankar's imagination which never ceases to amaze the audience, Mudhalvan was guaranteed to be fifth straight success for Shankar at the box office since he first started his work back in 1993 with the success of Gentleman.   Shankar is currently busy sharing his 'life & times' in Kumudam magazine, even though rumours are abound that a film supposedly titled Anniyan will be his next project and will go on the floors soon.  Congrats again, Shankar Sir... You have successfully made us accept nothing but the very best (in masala fun) from you every single time! :-)

Complete Results (Best Director)

1. Shankar (23.295%)
2. Bala (20.170%)
3. S.J. Surya
4. Ezhil
5. K.S.Ravikumar
6. Parthiban
7. Rajakumaran
8. Krishna Vamsi
9. K. Subash

ThuLLaadha Manamum ThuLLum
Nee Varuvaai Yena
Ninaivirukkum Varai

Complete Results (Best Supporting Actor)

1. Raghuvaran (32.67%)
2. Manivannan (17.045%)
3. Sriman
4. Karthik
5. Sivaji Ganeshan
6. Kaka Radhakrishnan
7. Ranjith
8. Radha Ravi
9. Sonu

Anandha Poongatrae
Poo parikka Varugirom
Roja Vanam
Ninaivirukkum Varai
Poo magal Oorvalam

Complete Results (Supporting Actress)

1. Radhika (17.897%)
2. Aishwarya (13.068%)
3. Lakshmi         
4. Bharathi
4. (tie) Kovai Saralai
5. Sujatha
6. Sarada

Taj Mahal
Poovellaam Kaettupaar
Ninaivirukkum Varai

Complete Results (Comedian)

1. Vivek (40.909%)
2. Manivannan (19.318%)
3. Ramesh Kanna
4. Vadivelu
5. Vaiyapuri
6. Dhamu
7. Charlie

Ninaivirukkum Varai
Nee Varuvaai Yena
ThuLLaadha Manamum ThuLLum
Kannuppada Pogudhaiyya

Complete Results (Dialogue Writer)

1. Sujatha (32.67%)
2. Bala (14.772%)
3. S. J. Surya
4. Parthiban
5. Rajakumaran
6. Madhuravan
7. K. Subash

Nee Varuvaai Yena
Poo magal Oorvalam
Ninaivirukkum Varai

Complete Results (Cinematographer)

1. P.C.Sriram (25.284%)
2. K.V. Anand (20.170%)
3. Jeeva
4. Ratnavelu
5. Venkatesh
6. Vijay Milton
7. B. Kannan
8. Paneerselvam
9. Raghunatha Reddy

Kaadhalar Dhinam
Taj Mahal
Roja Vanam

Complete Results (Playback Singer - Male)                          Complete Results (Playback Singer - Female)

1. Hariharan (27.556%)
2. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam (21.590%)
3. Shankar Mahadevan
4. Unnikrishnan
5. Srinivas
6. Mano
6. (tie) Sukwindar Singh
7. Unnimenon
8. Krishnaraj

1. Chitra (22.727%)
2. Sujatha (12.784%)
3. Anuradha Sriram
4. Vasundhra Das
5. Harini
6. S. Janaki
7. Nithyasree
8. Swarnalatha

Complete Results (Lyricist)                                 

1. Vairamuthu (53.409%)
2. Vaali (12.5%)
3. Pazhani Bharathi
4. Vasan
5. K. Subash
6. Arivumathi
7. Thamarai

Complete Results (Song) 

1. Azhagaana Raatchasiye (16.193%) Mudhalvan A.R.Rahman
2. Varaaha Nadhi (13.636%) Sangamam A.R.Rahman
3. Inisai Paadi Varum ThuLLaadha Manamum ThuLLum S.A.Rajkumar
4. Manamae Manamae Roja Vanam Bharadwaj
5. April Maadhaththil Vaali Deva
6. Sotta Sotta Nanaiyudhu Taj Mahal A.R.Rahman
6. (tie) Maalai En Vaedhanai Sethu Ilaiyaraja
7. Thiruppadhi Ezhumalai Ninaivirukkum Varai Deva
8. Niram Pirithu Time Ilaiyaraja
9. Vennila VaeLiyae Varuvaaya Unakkaaga Ellaam Unakkaaga Yuvan Shankar Raja
10. Salaam Gulaamu Hello Deva
11. Thendralai Kandu KoLLa Maanae Nilavae Mugam Kaattu Ilaiyaraja
12. Chudidhaar Anindhu Poovellaam Kaettu paar Yuvan Shankar Raja
13. Mookkuthi Muthazhagu Kannuppada Pogudhaiyya S.A.Rajkumar
13. (tie) Siva Siva Siva Sankara Suyamvaram Vidyasagar

Complete Results (Best Music Director)

1. A.R.Rahman (72.302%)
2. Ilaiyaraja (12.589%)
3. Deva
4. S.A.Rajkumar
5. Bharadwaj
6. Yuvan Shankar Raja


2000: The first six months (Some thoughts!): Alaipayuthey, Kandukondain Kandukondain, Hey Ram!, Yezhaiyin Sirippil and Mugavari actually made us proud (at different levels!) in 2000 so far!..  It is better not to jinx this by talking about it too much.  After all, films like Unnai Kodu Ennai Tharuvaen and James Pandu, which insult our intelligence, are still being produced.  As long as Kamal and Rajini are still around in the industry, with support from Directors Maniratnam, Shankar, Bharathiraja (we will forgive him for last year's disaster, Taj Mahal :-), and even younger directors, Vikraman, Cheran, Vasanth and up-and-comers, Bala, Ezhil, Rajakumaran and others, Tamil Cinema won't fry in the burning Chennai heat!.. June to December 2000 will tell the rest of the story :-()

And the Best Film of 1999 is:

Vikram in and as "Sethu"1    Sethu..  Once in a very long while we are touched by a film that we have seen.  Our sympathies and feelings are brought forth by what we see and we continue to delve into the movie's finer points even after we walk out of the theater.  Sethu is such a film.  To some extent, you could even call it a landmark in Tamil film making and here's why.  For every era, there is a ground breaking film, a Kizhakke Pogum Rayil, a 16 Vayadhinilae, a Mouna Raagam, an Indhiyan.. a film that we ponder over even years after its run at the theater or on videotape.  These films stand the test of time for only one reason: they showcase characters, feelings and  emotions that we can all associate with as humans.  The cast and crew of Sethu contains a debutant director, Bala at the helm, with the almost unknown Vikram in the lead and apt support from an unbelievably new actress, Abitha, (with special mention to supporting actors Sivakumar (the only recognizable name in the bunch!), a well-versed T.V. actress Bharathi, yet another unknown, Sriman who plays Vikram's pal in the film, a scintillating background score by Ilaiyaraja and realistic camerawork by Ratnavelu).  Sethu was probably the last low budget film to make its presence known in December 1999, which the masses and critics gave a snowball's chance in hell of accomplishing anything sizeable at the box office.  Certainly nobody expected it to neither achieve great success at the box office nor instant interest and curiosity amongst the public.  The film blew people away by breaking interesting records throughout Tamilnadu. Sethu might not be original in its storyline (a film which handles the trials and tribulations of love!), but is extremely original and thought provoking in its treatment.  The characters, their emotions and dialogues are extremely true to life and Bala's decision to stick to a climax that is true to his heart as a director adds the knock-out punch to a brilliant film.  Incidentally, Sethu was one of the first films to raise the bar when it came to the describing a certain Tamil film as 'excellent or brilliant' when we supposedly began the 'new millenium' in January 2000.  This film should be watching material (on how to direct a good love story) for up-and-coming filmmakers in film institutes in Chennai - if it isn't, I don't know what is watch and learn material anymore. :-)

Complete Results (Best Film)

1. Sethu (21.875%)
2. Mudhalvan (17.045%)
3. Vaali
4. Padayappa
5. ThuLLaadha Manamum ThuLLum
6. Housefull
7. Nee Varuvaai Yena
8. Ninaivirukkum Varai
8. (tie) Andhapuram

My Sources: Cinema Express, Dhina Malar.