The year 2006 belongs to Kavya Madhavan and Padhmapriya. Kavya knew how to pick her films up. Padhmapriya was the most visible actress- she was in almost every other film that was released this year.
Meanwhile, all other actresses were busy running away from Malayalam. Bhavana made her debut in Tamil earlier this year with Chittiram Pesudadi (it seems so long ago now!). The film became a big hit and so did Bhavana. Mamta Mohandas' debut film in Tamil was a very average performer at the box office. But she is getting plenty of offers from Tamil and Telugu now.
Laila got married early this year. Her only film in Malayalam was Mahasamudhram. Next to get married was Laya, the heroine of films like Alice in Wonderland. Then came a lull. Renuka Menon, Diya and Gayathri Raghuram soon followed suit.
This time around, there weren't that many newcomers- Nitashri and Poornima Bhagyaraj's daughter Sharanya made their debuts in Malayalam. The film, Photographer, flopped miserably. And that was the end of their stories.
Kavya Madhavan remained the undisputed No 1 in Malayalam thanks to the phenomenal hit Classmates. The film had a whole bunch of heroes but there was only one heroine- Kavya. Until now, she was seen very often only with Dileep, but this year, Kavya managed to form a very successful team with Prithviraj.
Padhmapriya was her biggest threat with a whole lot of films. Meera Jasmine appeared in Rasatantram. Otherwise she was busy with her Tamil films. Gopika made a regular appearance with both Mammooty and Mohanlal this year.
That brings us to the star of the year for all the wrong reasons- Nayantara!!!
In the year 2005, she had signed up a film with Simbu named Vallavan. The film's posters, in which Simbu passionately bites her lower lip, became a big controversy. Soon, rumors began that the two were passionately involved in a romance. But that didn't stop many others from signing her up for their films. Finally, on Diwali this year, she had atleast three films of hers hitting the theatres.
Soon after the film's release, she announced that she had broken up with Simbu. Frankly, nobody was surprised. But, the Tamil media made huge noise about how grief-stricken Simbu had become. Many reasons were cited behind the breakup- she was getting very close to a Telugu hero who had presented an expensive BMW car to her, she was tired of Simbu's over-possessive streak...
Her fans in Kerala were very excited when director Joshi announced that she was going to appear in an item number in his new film Janmam. The actress arrived at the sets and soon walked out because she said that the director had treated her with disrespect. Finally, it was Sadha who had appeared in the song sequence.
It's a different story however that the film still hasn't hit the theatres.
The year saw the passing away of two legendary heroines of yesteryears- Padhmini and Shrividhya. We pray that their souls rest in peace.
The actresses to watch out for in the year 2007- Kavya Madhavan (what is Malayalam film industry without her?), Padhmapriya and Gopika. There might be a newcomer or two.