In Tamil commercial cinema heroines are mere show pieces and they are expected to be glamorous, sing songs and be totally bowled over by the hero. This rigid format set by masala film directors has had some changes in recent years.
Today the heroine has to not only be glamorous but also should be able to emote and be a craze among the youth and family audiences. She should have some on-screen chemistry with the hero, be a good dancer plus her rapport and image with her fans is of prime importance.
It was an extremely tough choice to select the 'Numero Uno' heroine of Kollywood for the year 2007. The obvious was to give the crown to Shriya, as she featured with the superstar Rajnikanth in Sivaji a super hit, and every hero worth his rating in tinsel town wanted to be featured with her. But by the year end, her ATM turned out to be a failure which was a major setback for her, and with critics like Suhasini Maniratnam blasting her for her wooden performances, the scale tilted.
Asin has piped her to the post and walked away with the crown at the last minute! Asin is the queen of Kollywood with her impressive strike rate at the box-office and popularity with the youth and lady audiences. In 2007 Pongal, she had a blockbuster Pokkiri and a flop Aalwar, but redeemed herself with a super hit Vel, by the end of the year. No other heroine has a better hit ratio than the girl from Kochi. Another plus point is that she is loved by the city and rural audiences and her smart choice of films and the demure characters that she portrayed has also helped.
Shriya looked glamorous in both her releases, in the trailer of Kanthasamy, and is the pin-up girl for the youth audiences, who swears by her and is the runner up heroine of the year. The dark horse who emerged a winner this year is Priyamani with a blockbuster like Paruthiveeran, where she came out with a stunning performance as Muthuazhagu and a an average hit in Malaikottai. The icing on the cake was when she was chosen to light the lamp at the prestigious India International Film Festival in Goa, in the company of King Khan.
Nayanthara's solo release Billa turned out to be a smash hit and her new daring look has paid off handsomely. She also made a cameo song appearance in Sivaji which was also appreciated. However it is Billa that has made her so hot with the young audience, which has created a big buzz in the industry and she has an impressive line up of releases next year.
Trisha had a solo release in Kireedam, an average grosser but Divya, the mischievous character she played became a hit with audiences. If only her Bheema had released, it would have taken her to new heights.