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Bhavana2006 : A year of hits and misses in South
31st Dec 2006  15.30 IST
By P. Sreekumaran  


It was a year of hits and misses in Southern cinema. While superstars did well in Malayalam and Telugu cinema, their Tamil and Kannada counterparts had an indifferent run.

Again, Malayalam and Tamil films stood out in terms of quality and novelty of presentation. Telugu films also saw daring attempts at innovative presentation.





TAMIL

The year 2006 saw the rise of a few new stars and decline of a number of superstars.

As many as 98 films were released in the year passing into history. Some films sprang a surprise by becoming big grosser at the box office, while others expected to be sure hits, bombed. Chithiram Peshuthadi is one such film which became a superhit. The film starring Bhavana and Naren ran to packed houses and marked the arrival of the two new stars on Tamil film firmament.

A notable feature of the Tamil film scene was that superstar Rajnikant did not figure in any film in 2006. But his Chandramukhi , released in 2005, was a super duper hit and has completed 600 days in many theatres. Another film of his Sivaji is in the making and will be out in 2007 April.

As for Kamal Haasan , his flick, Vettayadu Vilayadu hit the jackpot. Kamal has also started working on his magnum opus Dasavatharam in which he will do 10 roles. A feature of the film is the presence of Bollywood bombshell Mallika Sherawat in it. Its music will be composed by popular singer-composer Himesh Reshammiya .

Among the superstars who had an indifferent year were Vijay whose film Aadhi failed to click. He is pinning high hopes on forthcoming flicks like Pokkiri and Azhagiya Tamizh Magan . If they do not do well, it could affect Vijay's number two status in Kollywood. Vikram too did not have a film in 2006. He cannot rest on the laurels of Anniyan success too long. Bheema which was supposed to be out in 2006 has been delayed.

It was a year of star weddings too in Tamil film world. Jyothika and Surya got married. Another star pair who tied the knot were Sonia Aggarwal and director Selvaraghavan. Heroine Laila also got married to her long-time beau.

The comeback of Ajit was another feature of 2006. His comeback vehicles were Paramasivam and Tirupathi. But Varalaaru put him back among the top stars. Its opening collections surpassed even those of 'Chandramukhi'.

The year saw the death of two veteran actresses, Padmini and Srividya as well. Tamil films did well in neighboring states of Karnataka and Kerala, too.

An interesting highlight of 2006 was the emergence of comedian Vadivelu as a hero in Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi .

Bharath and Vishal are the new stars who made their presence felt in Tamil cinema through Veyil and Sandaikkozhi respectively.


MALAYALAM

It was another year of superstar domination in Malayalam cinema. The two megastars Mammootty and Mohanlal called the shots in Mollywood this year also.

Mammootty scored a host of hits with films like Rajamanikyam , Pothen Vava , Karutha Pakshigal and Blessy's Palunku. Films like Prajapathy and Bhargavacharitham failed to impress the audience.

As for Mohanlal, he had a superhit in the Sathyan Anthikkad-directed Rasathantram and Thanmatra directed by Blessy. The film, 'Photographer', however flopped causing anxious moments for the star. But he has regained ground with Baba Kalyani doing well.

Action hero Suresh Gopi had a mixed year. His latest film, 'Smart City' is a hit. But movies like Pathaka and Lanka were only moderately successful.

Among the directors Blessy stood out with quality flicks like Palunku and Thanmatra. Roshan Andrews's 'Notebook' also attracted critical acclaim.

Lal Jose's Classmates did surprisingly well and went on to become one of the top grosser in 2006.

The younger lot of Dileep , Prithviraj and Jayasurya did not do too well in 2006. Among the heroines, Kavya Madhavan and Gopika emerged as the top two. Navya Nair also gave a good account of herself. The newcomer of the year was glamorous Mamta Mohandas who made a sensational debut in 'Lanka'.


TELUGU

The highlight of 2006 in Telugu cinema was the super success of Telugu megastar and popular icon Chiranjeevi . His latest film, Stalin became one of the top grosser of Tollywood. It firmly established that Chiru continues to bestride Telugu cinema like a Colossus.

Another star who enjoyed super success was Mahesh Babu . His film, 'Pokkiri' was the top grosser in 2006. It collected an astounding Rs 40 crore and ran for 175 days in 60 theatres. The film also saw the arrival of Ileana as an item girl.

More than 12 films became hits at the box office. Interestingly, films dubbed from Tamil flopped. Telugu films found acceptance in Chennai, Bangalore and overseas in North America and Canada.

The other hit films included Venkatesh starrer Lakshmi, Ileana's debut film Devadasu, Bommarillu and Nagarjuna's devotional film Sri Ramadasu.

Among the flops of the year were Siddartha's Chukkallo Chandrudu, Ram Gopal Varma produced 'Shock', Aasadhyudu, Balakrishna's Veerabhadra, Pawan Kalyan's Bangaram, Mahesh Babu's Sainikudu and Ravi Teja's Khatarnak.

NTR's 'Rakhi' has had a good start while Pawan's Annavaram shows signs of being a hit.


KANNADA

The Kannada film industry suffered the biggest loss in 2006 with the death of enduring film icon and legend Dr. Rajkumar. His death on April 12, 2006 has plunged Kannada film industry into deep gloom. It will take a long time to recover from the exit of the veteran actor.

Besides, the conflict between producers and cinema workers also resulted in fewer films being produced. Only 70 films were made in 2006 as against 75 in 2005.

The hit films of the year were like 'My Autograph', Jothe Jotheyalli, Sevanthi Sevanthi, Chellata, Ajay, Thavarina Siri, 'Honeymoon Express', Cyanide, Sirivantha, Hubballi, Suntaragali and Kannadadha Kandha.

The films that flopped were Gandugali Kumara Rama, Sri, Uppi Dada MBBS, 7 O' Clock, Ramya Chaitra Kala, Hatavadhi, Ambi, Julie, Miss California , Jackpot, Savira Mettilu, Shubam, Pandavaru and Thirupathi.

Sudeep was the star of 2006. He turned director with the remake from Tamil 'My Autograph'. Puneeth Rajkumar and Prem did well with 'Ajay' and 'Jothe Jotheyali' respectively.

It was a bad year for superstar Upendra. His films like 'Uppi Dada MBBS', 'Thandege Thakka Maga' and 'Aishwarya' proved duds.

It was a good year for Ramya with Thananam Thananam becoming a big hit, while Rakshita fared badly. Newcomer of the year Deepika Padukone attracted attention with a polished performance in 'Aishwarya'.



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Vijay
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