We can hardly observe any change in terms of storytelling and concept when it comes to the films in Tamil Cinema or the colloquially known Kollywood.

The films produced have a common trait of being more commercial than artistic which is disappointing because Kollywood has produced brilliant filmmakers in the past like Mani Ratnam Subramaniam, Gautham Vasudev Menon who is more popularly known as GVM, Mysskin, Selvaraghavan and Ram, to name a few. Having said that, we can also state that most of the films that were made after 2010 brought a certain air of freshness and introduced completely new concepts that blew the audience’s mind. We have to credit Mani Ratnam’s style of filmmaking, GVM’s narration and musical flow, Mysskin’s raw techniques and Selvaraghavan realistic emotions on inducing light to Tamil cinema’s finest works.

Even though the audience has been accepting and more in favour of commercial cinema that repeats the cliché elements and plotlines, there are a few artists who have completely rebelled against it and turned the Tamil industry upside down.

Here is a list of directors who are modern revolutionaries in Kollywood:

Karthik Subbaraj

Karthik is known for making films at his own pace but whenever he has produced something, he has given an incredible visual experience. His first film ‘Pizza’ was a horror flick which had a different treatment in terms of storytelling and cinematography. The film is a one-time watch, but the first time you do, it will rip your soul off. His other film, ‘Iraivi’ fared average at the box office, but it opens our mind and speaks about freedom of the mind while sketching the liberated thought and ideology of a woman. It is a film that is vocal about feminism but is discussed from a man’s perspective.

Karthik is certainly a director who is ahead of his time.

Karthick Naren

Karthik Naren was just 21 while filming his debut feature film ‘Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru’ which is a crime thriller inspired by Hollywood’s ‘The Prestige’. The film is rich in emotions and tells us about the decisions we take. The suspense thriller keeps us hooked to the screens and contributed to Naren being one of the promising directors of Tamil Cinema.

Raju Murugan

The writer-journalist turned filmmaker is one of the most promising filmmakers in Kollywood, at the present day. He is proficient with black humour and sarcasm which hits the gut. He won the National Award for his second film, ‘Joker’. The director’s brilliant ideas can also be observed in his written compositions like ‘Vatiyum Muthalum’ and ‘Ondru’.

M Manikandan

This director rocked the whole industry with his debut film ‘Kakka Muttai’. Manikandan is known to be a director who tells the most complicated issues and narratives in a very simple manner. Most of his works are critically acclaimed, and works like neo-noir crime thriller ‘Kuttrame Thandanai’ was a super hit. The National Award-winning director began his career as an assistant cinematographer in Tamil films before switching to direction.


Vetrimaaran’s debut film was a commercial success after which followed his revolutionary works that hit the right chords from the philosophical prospect. His brilliant work ‘Aadukalam’ depicted cockfights while the focus is on the life of backward classes. The realistic filming and the excellent acting delivered by Dhanush is the reason why it’s unforgettable and among the gems of Tamil cinema.

His magnum opus ‘Visaranai’ got an official entry from India to participate in the Oscars. The crime thriller deals with the cruelty of the police force upon the suppressed ones.


Ram who is not a novice in the industry is applauded for his pleasant technique of storytelling. His latest work, ‘Taramani’ was inspiring and soul gritting. In a feministic appeal, the film talks about male chauvinism and a budding romance in the city of Chennai. Before making films on his own, he assisted maverick Hindi directors like Rajkumar Santoshi. He was critically acclaimed and won three National Film Awards for his second film ‘Thanga Meengal’.


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