Looking Back at 2016 – Tamil Favorites of the Year

When I was done jotting down my list of my 20 best Tamil films of 2016, all I could see was the astounding amount of mediocrity and missed opportunities which hit Kollywood. The year had a lot of scope and whacky material, but unfortunately, very few directors were able to hold on to the core concept without succumbing to commercial compromises or stale storytelling. However, here is my list of the best Tamil films of 2016, ranked according to how memorable my film viewing experience was. Read on,


1) Visaaranai

High: On-the-face, ruthless assemblage of truths and reality.

Low: Nothing, barring minor niggles with the continuity.

2) Irudhi Suttru

High: Hardcore team effort, led by the performances.

Low: Slight rush in the second half.

3) Sethupathi

High: Best mass moments in a cop film since Singam in 2010.

Low: More family bonding than its need.

4) Aandavan Kattalai

High: Screenplay of the year.

Low: Dialogue-oriented proceedings occasionally get a little monotonous.

5) Appa

High: Striking dialogues and situational storytelling.

Low: Preachy!

6) Metro

High: Unbelievable level of detailing from a debutant.

Low: Heavy load of violence.


7) Kodi

High: Great mix of politics and entertainment. Dhanush, wow.

Low: Needed more energy.

8) Kathakali

High: Twists galore. And yes, amazing night cinematography.

Low: First 30 minutes.

9) Ammani

High: Never goes over-the-top.

Low: Slow-paced.

10) 24

High: Hollywood range technical standard.

Low: The inconsistent screenplay lacked fire.

11) Maaveeran Kittu

High: Brave take on caste discrimination.

Low: Becomes a social activist docu-drama in the second half.

12) Oru Naal Koothu

High: Lovely shades of romance and relationships.

Low: Unwanted tangles at the end.


13) Dharmadurai

High: Fabulous display of family dynamics.

Low: Little bit of a TV serial feel.

14) Thozha

High: A honest remake, with bright visuals.

Low: The Telugu feel was unavoidable.

15) Picchaikaaran

High: What a story.

Low: Over-dramatic maybe?

16) Uriyadi

High: Memorable action scenes.

Low: Budget issues.

17) Joker

High: The impactful second half.

Low: The watery first half.

18) Kutrame Thandanai

High: The climax reveal, where the title makes sense.

Low: Content wise small, should have been an extended short.

19) Zero

High: Writing was just at another level.

Low: Lost the believability factor in the second half.

20) Iru Mugan

High: Vikram, visuals.

Low: Lost the opportunity to crack some wholesomely exciting scenes.


Justu Missu: Theri, Kidaari, Accham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada, Chennai 28-II, Velainu Vandhutta Vellakaaran.


PS: I feel gutted to miss out the hugely raved Dhuruvangal 16 from this list, but unfortunately, the film has not made it to Dubai and hence I could not see it. There are a few more films such as Pazhaya Vannarapettai that I have missed, so it’s natural that you would not see them on this list.


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