Tamil cinema in 2021 was a mix of classy hits like Doctor, Master and Karnan releasing alongside hard-hitting OTT films such as Jai Bhim and Sarpatta Parambarai. Apart from these biggies, even films like Mandela, Thaen, Writer and Kadaseela Biryani made a mark, ensuring the year had a healthy mix of films despite the long lockdown in the middle.
As we move onto 2022, Tamil cinema is all set to have an even bigger comeback with wider releases, bigger star vehicles, comeback films of superstars and the consolidation of the OTT market. Here’s a list of 14 such films from every genre that can bring back some cheer.
Director: H Vinoth
Valimai has been on the news for so long that the film was a part of most-awaited lists in both 2020 and 2021. This H Vinoth film is Ajith Kumar’s comeback after late 2019’s Nerkonda Parvai and his second with the director. After its trailer release, the film was finally slated for a January release but even that was pushed after theatres announced newer restrictions. The police movie is among the most anticipated actions films of the year with Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music and Bonney Kapoor as producer.
Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj
Coming off the success of three hits Maanagaram, Kaithi and Master, Lokesh Kanagaraj’s new film with his icon Kamal Haasan is already a hot property in the trade circles. Add to his name superlative actors such as Vijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil and we get one of the best casts that is practically feasible. Anirudh’s music, a stellar supporting role and the first look only increases the expectations for this film.
Director: Nelson Dilipkumar
Superstar Vijay saw potential in this director even before Doctor released. But after the dark comedy’s success, the actor’s choice appears to have been perfect. Beast will feature some of the director’s favourite actors along with interesting casting decisions in Selvaraghavan and Pooja Hegde. Given that Vijay has rarely acted in a dark comedy will make this film even more intriguing.
Director: Mani Ratnam
The veteran director’s period magnum opus is one the industry itself has been anticipating for a very long time. With a powerhouse of talent enough to mark a dozen odd films individually, rarely do we get a film with so much going in. Apart from the director and AR Rahman the galaxy of stars includes Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Prakash Raj, Lal, Vikram Prabhu among many more.
The director, coming off two blockbusters, appears to shift away from his typical family dramas to make a more serious action film with this Suriya starrer. The first look and the first song adds to the film’s promise that is said to be based around the Pollachi sex scandal. Apart from Suriya, the film stars Priyanka Mohan fresh off Doctor . This could also be Suriya’s first theatrical release after direct-to-OTT hits Soorarai Pottru and Jai Bhim.
Director: Ciby Chakaravarthy
First-timer Ciby Chakaravarthy has managed to assemble THE most happening team that’s fresh off the success of Doctor. With Sivakarthikeyan, Anirudh and Priyanka Mohan coming together for a fun college comedy, the film might just the one to push to the star to the top league.
Director: R Ajay Gnanamuthu
This film might feel like it was long in the making but that hasn’t reduced the excitement for this Vikram comeback. With a first look poster featuring the star in seven outfits, his fans are hoping that Cobra will finally be the big hit he deserves. With Srinidhi Shetty, Miya George, KS Ravikumar and Irfan Pathan, apart from AR Rahman’s music, the film could just be the return of Anniyan levels of popularity for Chiyaan.
Director: Karthik Naren
Dhanush’s third consecutive OTT release (after Jagame Thanthiram and Atrangi Re) is said to be his first playing an investigative journalist. Directed by Karthik Naren, the film’s first look adds a lot of curiosity to this film which is also his first with Malavika Mohanan.
Director: Karthik Subbaraj
The hit director has already managed a casting coup by bringing together both Vikram and his son Dhruv for Mahaan. This gangster saga becomes even cooler because it brings back his regulars Bobby Simha and Simran in important roles. Expected to be an direct-to-OTT release, Mahaan should release in the first quarter of the year.
Director: Ravikumar R
Tamil cinema could witness its first full-fledged movie to feature the character of an alien if Ayalaan releases this year. Starring Sivakarthikeyan with AR Rahman’s music for the first time, the film is said to be a CG spectacle with a lot of excitement for children—Sivakarthikeyan’s core audience.
Kaatru Vaakula Rendu Kaadhal
Director: Vignesh Shivan
The much-loved team of Naanum Rowdy Dhaan returns with a major addition in Samantha. The film’s first single, by Anirudh Ravichander, is already a huge hit and the film promises the biggest romance of the year with both Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi coming together. The film is expected to hit screens in February.
Naai Sekar Returns
This comedy could be Vadivelu’s big comeback after many years of M.I.A. Based on his character from 2006’s Thalai Nagaram, this spin-off will feature a comedy ensemble of Lollu Sabha Seshu, Ababdaraj, Vigneshkanth, Sivaangi and Redin Kingsley. The many dogs in the film will also make it a hit among children.
The films borrows its title and lead actor from Mani Ratnam’s O Kadhal Kanmani and this too promises a nice, breezy romance like the 2015 hit. Starring Dulquer Salman and Aditi Rao Hydari, the film is said to be about a stay-at-home husband. Along with Kaatru Vaakula Rendu Kaadhal, this is the other major romance of the season.
Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu
Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon
STR finally seems to have regained some momentum with Venkat Prabhu’s superhit Maanadu after many years of duds. With the promising looking teaser of Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu featuring an amazing score by AR Rahman, it could just be the star’s big return to form and a much-needed hit for the director too.
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect
Director: R Madhavan
Although a bi-lingual, the film based on a scandalous spy case involving an ISRO officer, is special because it is Madhavan’s first film as director. Co-starring Simran, Gulshan Grover among many others, the films could be the best biopic of the year too.
Which films would you add to this list?