As the curtains close on 2023, we are making our favourite lists. From blockbuster hits to meaningful cinema, we have it all. This year was a mix of both, where on one hand we had the sensations Vijay and Rajinikanth bring out their Leo and Jailer, we also have movies like Farhana and Goodnight that gave us fabulous stories and progressive characters.
2023 was a year of story-driven cinema making an impact. Yes, we need the commercial hits but stays with the audience are the sincere performances and the content. Let’s look at the top 9 films that have become our favourite, and find out if they are on your lists as well:
Starring Sarathkumar and Ashok Selvan in the lead as police officers, they embark on an investigative journey to solve a series of murders that take place in the city. The movie captivates audiences with its gripping plot, masterful direction, and chilling sound design, it’s the film’s central message that truly resonates. The exploration of the devastating ripple effect of trauma, encapsulated in the statement “hurt people hurt people,” packs a powerful punch and deserves significant recognition. The movie sparked conversations about toxic parenting, empathy, breaking the cycle of pain and is one of the best films from this year.
This moving narrative delves into the lives of three couples grappling with the complexities of matrimony. A stark pattern emerges: two of the unions share a painful commonality – husbands who fail to respect their wives. This pervasive issue, often swept under the rug, is explored with raw honesty. Women, conditioned to “adjust” and “sacrifice” after marriage, find themselves adapting to new households and family dynamics. The film poignantly portrays the consequences of silenced voices, unacknowledged labor, and absent appreciation. Resentment festers in the face of unspoken expectations, where a woman must be everything: the perfect figure, the dedicated worker, the nurturing mother, the seamless home-maker – all without neglecting her career aspirations.Contrastingly, the husbands, often labeled the “breadwinners,” dismiss the invisible labor their wives tirelessly perform. This disconnect, this devaluation of the unseen, ignites a slow-burning ember of discontent.
Starring Kavin and Aparna Das, this is a coming-of-age drama that shows us a different side of single parenthood. Movies have more often shown single mothers struggling to make ends meet or be sidelined by conventional societal ideals, this movie deals with a single father and his journey. It’s refreshing to see the portrayal of flawed and real characters in this one.
A slice-of-life drama, this movie dealt with a common problem of snoring but the refreshing angle and the story is what was hugely loved by audiences. Starring Manikandan, Meetha Raghunath and Ramesh Thilak, the movie is a romantic comedy but with a twist. The central character is the ‘ snoring’ and how it impacts the newly married couple. The movie will make you laugh, make you think and make you connect with it in more ways than one.
The movie stars Aishwarya Rajesh, Jithan Ramesh and is directed by Nelson Venkatesan, it is about a Muslim woman from a conservative family who takes up a job at a call center and ends up in a nightmarish situation. Farhana, played by Aishwarya Rajesh, is caught between her dreams that are stifled within the large family, and the dangers of the world outside to which she has limited exposure. Though she develops an emotional connection with another man outside her marriage, the film takes the trouble of establishing why she feels the need without castigating her actions. The conflict and its resolution may have shades of the male gaze but this is still an interesting departure from conventional depictions.
6.Viduthalai Part 1
Directed and co-written by Vetrimaran, the movie is set in 1987 and shows us the stories and journeys of two men, Kumaresh, played by Soori and Perumal, played by Vijay Sethupathi. The movie will make you think, make you empathise but at the same time, make you want to squirm. The movie is raw, just like the director like it to be, but it is cinematic brilliance at the same time. The characters and their vulnerabilities, their cause, their story and their belief systems are what’s beautifully captured in this film.
The movie stars Sivakarthikeyan, Aditi Shankar, Vijay Sethupathi(voiceover) and Mysskin in this drama laced with humour. It’s the story of a coward cartoonist played by Sivakarthikeyan and how his life takes a turn when meets with an accident and a special superpower. It’s an entertainer that shows us how people’s lives are affected by politicians and their greed in a satirical way.
Movie is set in a small town near Palani. Chiththa ( Chiththappa – Father’s younger brother) is played by Siddharth as Easwaran aka Eesu, is someone who took over responsibility of taking care of his family consisting of his sister – in -law (Anjali Nair) and his niece Settai aka Sundari ( Sahasra Shree). Eesu is a government employee in the sanitation department, it is clearly shown that he adores his niece and she is his everything. Followingly, it is shown that he almost has a familial relationship with his friend Vadivelu, an undercover cop and his niece, Ponni.
9.Jigarthanda Double X
Starring powerhouses SJ Suryah and Raghava Lawrence in the lead, the movie is directed by Karthik Subburaj and is an ode to Western films like the ones made by Clint Eastwood. The movie takes us through the life of cinema cinema-loving gangster who wants to be the first dark-skinned hero in Tamil cinema. The movie is heavily inspired by the political climate of those days and how the lives of the tribal communities were affected in the bargain. It is a prequel to the cult classic Jigarthanda which was released in 2014.