CHENNAI: Of the over 200 Tamil films released this year, there were a few that may not have necessarily created an impact at the box office but they appealed to a mixed audience with their unique storylines, talent and formats.
Here are 10 such movies that stood out in 2015:
"Kaaka Muttai": M. Manikandan's debut feature "Kaaka Muttai" is not a children's film. It's a movie for adults and relates to children oblivious to the growing social divide, capitalism and elitism. It's also a film you can watch with your children without a doubt, and be assured that they will enjoy it.
"Rajathandiram": A.G. Amid's "Rajathandiram", hands down, is the best heist film to have come from Tamil cinema. Made exclusively for the kind of audience that appreciates original content and doesn't like to be spoon-fed, it's hard to believe it's the work of a newcomer. An extremely well written, edge-of-the-seat thriller, this is a small film with all the potential that big films lack.
"Uttama Villain": Kamal Haasan's semi-autobiographical take on stardom and mortality could easily be the most underrated, star-studded film of the year. While the film may have turned out to be a dud at the ticket windows, Haasan proved once again why he's one of the best writers we have in the country.
"Kuttram Kadithal": This was perhaps this year's dark horse. Revolving around events that take place in a school in a single day, this extremely well-written docu-drama encompasses multiple themes ranging from motherhood to religion and humanity.
"Naanum Rowdydhaan": A story about a wannabe rowdy and a woman he wants to help avenge the death of her father, this is the most entertaining Tamil film of the year. It also brought back two highly talented actors -- Vijay Sethupathi and Parthepan -- to glorious form.
"Trisha Illana Nayantara": An A-rated sex comedy that may have not done full justice to the genre, but introduced us to a young filmmaker, Adhik Ravichandran, who isn't afraid to go against the tide. With an 'adults only' certificate, the makers had the licence to go all guns blazing, and I wish they didn't restrict themselves.
"Thani Oruvan": A film that made its audience root for a villain! How many times does that happen in Indian cinema, given the kind of villains our films produce? In a comeback role, Arvind Swamy was terrific in this extremely stylish thriller that made us take notice of its underestimated director Mohan Raja.
"O Kadhal Kanmani": It doesn't matter if you're a Mani Ratnam fan or not, his "O Kadhal Kanmani" will leave you with an everlasting smile on your face. The movie, which marked the auteur's comeback to the romance genre after a decade, was a refreshing take on contemporary romance and relationship.
"CSK: Charles Shafiq Karthiga": A low-budget thriller that unfolds in a single night in a shopping mall, the entire story of the movie rests on its female protagonist, and that's not something you see often in Tamil filmdom. While the film attempts something offbeat but doesn't quite succeed, it still manages to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
"Kallappadam": Closely following in the footsteps of meta-films such as "Jigarthanda" and "Kathai Thiraikkathai Vasanam Iyakkam", debut filmmaker J. Vadivel's "Kallappadam" is another honest and brave attempt to shine a spotlight on the trials and tribulations of struggling first-timers in filmdom by walking a tightrope between satire and tribute. What we get to see may not be exceptional, but something far offbeat than the mainstream garbage.
Other notable mentions include "Indru Netru Naalai" and "Yennai Arindhaal"