Vanakkam! Here's a definitive list of Tamil Films released or to be released in 1997, arranged alphabetically! Do email (Sandya) and let us know what you think of this article. Your feedback helps us serve you better!
Compiled by Sandya Sitaraman
Abimanyu.. Hopefully a whole new approach adopted by so-far BONDI director K.Subash.. To date, peyir sollum padiyaa-ga, he only has "Kaliyugam" in his resume.. Everything else including "Pavithra," and "Nesam" have been crushed at the box office.. Now, Subash directs Parthiban who stars in the lead role as Assistant Commissioner Abimanyu, while Ravali, Raguvaran, Manivannan, Anandaraj, Chandrasekar, Vijaykumar, Malaysia Vasudevan and many others join the cast.. Deva composes music, as K.Subash handles story, screenplay, dialogues and direction..
Adimai Sangili.. Whether R.K.Selvamani's films are 'A' class or not..his film titles surely begin with the letter "A".. "Adimai Sangili" was RKS's latest masala offering with Arjun, Roja and Ramba leading the cast!.. Deva composes music and as always RKS directs the film!.. M.N.Nambiar, Vadivelu, Anandharaj, Ponnambalam co-star!.. The story was taken in forest areas and is based on a true story where a small community fights the violence.. A rather shabby and sloppy piece of work by RKS, which critics blamed had a lot of "Captain Prabhakaran" influence in it!.. Major Balti at the Box Office + Disappointment for RKS = Permanent shandai between Ramba vs. Roja&RKS koottani..
Adraa Shakkai.. Adraa Shakkai.. After the distinct success of "Gopala Gopala" in 1996, Pandiarajan has fallen in love with word repetition titles like "Kabadi, Kabadi" and now "Adraa Shakkai 2".. This happens to be V.C.Guhanathan's 148th film in his 30 years in the film world.. The film has Manivannan, who is the father of 12 children, and brother of Pandi.. Pandi has a wife, Sangita, who in turn, doubts that he is having an affair with Anusha (K.R.Vijaya's niece!).. The turn of events and plenty of hilarious moments are the supposed highlights of AS..AS.. Dialogues are by Selva Bharathi ("Ullaththai Alliththaa," "Mettukkudi") and Music by Sirpi.. "Adraa Shakkai.. plans to make its landing in theaters in July '97!..
Alex.. Nammoda Thalaivaru ennaallum Super Staaru Rajinikanth's next venture to be directed by Suresh Krishna ("Annamalai," "Veera," "Baadhshaa").. Ilaiyaraja will most probably be composing music, as both Arunaachala nadigai (aka Rambha) and Meena have filed official applications to be considered for the heroine role.. (Simran-ukku luck adikkumo?!)..
Amaiththi Poonga.. One of the many films in Kodambakkam that has been said to be in production for over 2 years.. Ippo varudhu.. appo varudhu-nu solli, finally this M.S.V. Murali-M.S.V. Gopi production starring Prabhu, Suresh Gopi, Heera, two top models from Mumbai (one named Ujala), Raguvaran, Janakaraj, Thilakan, Saratbabu and many others are expected to join the cast.. Most recently, a song, "Nanba Nanba" was picturized in Pollachi by Cinematographer Sanjeev Shankar and directed by Sibi Malayil..
Annan.. Ramarajan's latest 'gramam' film.. after the dud "GopuraDeepam" and the not-so-greatly-talked about "Vivasaayi Magan".. "Annan"goes into production co-starring Swathi, R.Sundhararajan, Manivannan,Ponnvannan, Aboorva (the girl that Napes tossed out of "Puli PirandhaMannu" because she looked more like his sister than his pair!) and others star!.. After quite a long break, 'Isai Gnaai' Ilaiyaraja composes music!.. Story, Screenplay, dialogue and direction by Anumohan ("Ninaivu Chinnam," "Mettuppatti Miraasu")..
Arasiyal.. Obviously, the title tells it all.. except for the fact that Mammooty plays an amalaakka pirivu officer and Northie Shilpa Shirodhkar plays his wife!.. Actress Jeeva (who danced with Vijaykanth in "Raaja Raajan Naane" in "Alexander") and RKS's sweetheart Roja also star in the film.. with Mansoor Alikhan, Charanraj, Anandharaj and others.. Music by Vidyasagar.. RKS has already decided to get into censor trouble again.. padaththin title-ai paarththaale theriyalai?..On a side note.. we have always thought about how RKS has been able toafford taking films.. when duds like "Raajaali" and "Asuran" getmanufactured constantly.. Add another something for us to think about: RKSrecently opened this own production company: "Sai Roja Combines".. the function was attended by Saratkumar, Mammooty, Ramki and Napes!..
Aravindhan.. Today, nobody can question that T.Siva is the official bondi producer of Kodambakkam.. with duds like "Nandhavana Theru,""Raasaiya," "Seedhanam," and "Maannikkam"(though Rajkiran would claim otherwise)..Siva has created an image of the ultimate dabba producer, who somehow or the other manages to make films constantly!.. His present to audiences a few days after Pongal was "Aravindhan" with Saratkumar, Nagma, Oorvasi,Parthiban, Visu, Prakashraj, Anandharaj and others!.. Yuvan Shankar Ilaiyaraja had the sad opportunity to debut in this film as the music director!.. Vimarsanams and film critics were not kind.. and it appears that the box office will not continue to be kind either!..
Arunaachalam.. "Andha kadavul (varushathukku oru padam yedukka) sollaraan.. indha Arunaachalam mudikkaaran (adhodu box office competition-ai murikkaraan)".. That seemed to be the agenda for the next Rajini film which will serve as a tool to help 8 of Rajini's close friends and colleagues of yester years, who are currently not faring well financially.. We know 7 beneficiaries of the film.. but the 8th person still remains the big suspense!.. Soon after the film released, the list was expanded to include another 3 or 4 people besides the initial 8!.. The film seems to have easily reaped a lot in the first few weeks!..
Annamalai Cine Arts' "Arunaachalam" had stirred up so much anxiety and curiosity among Rajini fans and others.. because of the strong Kodambakkam factors working in the film!.. Crazy Mohan worked with Rajini for the very first time, as the dialogue writer for the film, while Sundhar C.("Ullaththai Allithaa," "Mettukkudi") directed his biggest venture to date!.. Aasthaana Deva made his reappearance for the film's music.. as Soundarya ("Ponnumani"), Ramba ("Ullaththai Allithaa,"), Janakaraj, Senthil, Vadivelu, Raghuvaran, Raja, Anju Arvind and huge huge Kodambakkam pattaalam starred in the film!.. After almost an 1 1/2 year break.. Rajini re-entered the field in April '97.. adhanaal.. Chennai-yin kolaa-kala reception-ai sandhega pada vendaam!.. "Arunaachalam" avar dhaandaa!!!!!!".. and despite mixed reviews and beliefs that the film failed miserably, "Arunachalam" did NOT disappoint producers, stars or directors in its box office collections..
Aththai Ponnu.. Among kutti budget and in general, kutti padangal this year, this film starring Vignesh, Reshma("Poomani"), Vijaykumar, Radha Ravi, Vinu Chakravarthi, Vadivelu and Sri Vidya, also appears on the list.. Music by Deva and Direction by newcomer Mani Priyan..
Aadi Maappile.. A new venture by Rajalakshmi Cine Medias starring Livingston as hero.. Vishnuhassan who directed "Pudhu Nilavu" will direct the venture.. In a recent padap-poojai, Prakashraj, Parthiban and Director Bharathiraja attended to add glamour to the event..
Aahaa.. Suresh Krishna's puththam pudhu attempt at a film without Rajini.. Hopefully, this one will fare better than "Siva Shakthi" last year.. The stars include newcomers Chandresh and Sulekha.. plus Bhanupriya (after a long hiatus) in a special role, Raghuvaran, Srividya and Delhi Ganesh..
Dialogues are by Crazy Mohan (the asset that SK hopes will nilai niruththu-fy the film!) and Music by Deva..
Aahaa Yenna Poruththam.. Director C.Ranganath, famous for his jagadaa with producer M.S.V. Murali has begun his next project "Ahaa Yenna Poruththam" with Ramki and Sangavi.. Usually soaked in vulgar comedy and insensitive dialogues, Ranganath's films, especially his last film, "Tata Birla," have made audiences and critics more likely cringe than smile at his films.. Hopefully this movie produced by K.B.Films (also producing Saratkumar, Sundhar C. venture "Janakiraman") co-starring Goundamani, Senthil, R.Sundararajan, Balu Anand and M.S.Vishwanathan's son M.S.V. Gopi (in a special role) will bring more smiles than usually expected.. Music by Vidyasagar..
Aasai Thambi.. In many ways.. Abbas-in make or break padam!.. After the distinct success of "Kaadhal Desam," Abbas became terribly popular, especially amongst the female audience.. Public-il ivar-ai paarththaal.. women viraindhu vandhu kannaththil muththam kodukkiraargal yendru kelvi!.. So, if Abbas still wishes to keep all the joys of being successful, films like "Aasai Thambi" produced by Ibrahim Rauthar will have to make its mark!.. Since Adithyan's soundtrack hit stores recently.. you can expect this Abbas, Arunpandian, Anju Arvind flick (Directed by N.K.Vishwanthan) to release sometime in 1997, though details on its progress are rather sketchy.. As expected, Abbas' "V.I.P." beat this film to the theaters!..
Bhagavath Singh.. Paavam Napolean.. his nilamai today is either veech-aaruva or thuppaakki.. He never seems to dance or sing.. but rather spends time dodging the bad guys!.. What a life!.. This films stars Sangavi and Rasika ("Poonjolai").. Music by Deva!.. Direction by newcomer Chandrakumar!.. Napes "Seevalaperi Paandi" mayakkathth-ilirundhu eppodhu meendu varuvaaro?..
Bhaarathi.. Babu Ganesh, who also currently produces and stars in "Naan Oru Indhiyan" began this project with Kushboo playing the title role!..Kush also plays another role as herself!.. This movie began production in March '96.. innum saththa-thaye kannum!.. Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, Music, Direction, the hero role, all done by Babu Ganesh (aka T.Rajendar?).. The interesting aspect of this film was the beginning ceremonies were held in Calcutta (somewhat unofficially) when BG and Kush met Mother Theresa to receive 'nal aasi' for this project!..
Bhaarathi Kannamma.. This film has left such a deep impression on Chennai and sutrupurangal.. that it still remains the top film among pongal releases!.. The focus on the 'jaadhi' issue which separates Parthiban and Meena in the film.. seems to have brought a considerable number of thaai-kullams to tears!.. (a la Rajkiran?).. Whatever be the case, new director Cheran has impressed quite a few people with his work.. Despite vehement protest by Parthiban to the sad ending in the film.. Cheran stuck to his original ending!.. Now, Parthi and Cheran bask in its box office glory!.. Cheers to one of the first successful newcomer directors of 1997!..