Tracing the journey of Thalapathy

Time will answer. The BJP protested against Mersal, seeking a ban on the film for its politically-charged dialogues. They made him stay at the top. Vijay tried his best to break the tag eventually trying ‘formula films’ like Deva (1995), Chandralekha (1995) and Coimbatore Mappillai (1996) that catered strictly to his fans. Theaters witnessed violent protests and the makers were forcefully made to delete certain scenes in the film. Popular Photos

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Vijay followed it up and takes a ‘mass-ier avatar’ with Thirumalai (2003), Ghilli (2004), an official remake of Mahesh Babu’s Okkadu, Madhurey (2004), Thirupachi (2005) and Sivakasi (2005). Vijay appealed to the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to ensure a ‘smooth release’, but nothing really worked. In recent years, his Iyakkam has been active on the ground, executing philanthropic activities. Later, a government order was issued saying the ‘U’ certified film had too much violence, besides Hindi and English dialogues. The film projected him as a ‘leader’, which didn’t go well with the ruling party. Ever since Thalaivaa, Vijay continued to face struggles for most of his films. And who can forget Prabhudheva’s Pokkiri, which was released in 2007? It was banned in Tamil Nadu and nobody knew why. He was comfortable in his own skin. Vijay anna is a reigning youth icon and I personally want him to take the huge plunge. It is incredible how soft-spoken Vijay transforms into another being when the camera is on. You witness ‘the actor’ in Vijay in Kaadhalukku Mariyadhai (1997) where he shared screen space with Shalini. “Vijay Makkal Iyakkam helps the underprivileged. The permission was, predictably, denied. Despite these, one may recall how Kaththi opened to positive reviews from both audience and critics alike. The film, a Deepavali release, clashed with Surya’s 7aum Arivu, emerging as a ‘commercial hit’. It was widely said the film strongly critiqued Jayalalithaa and her government. Slowly, Vijay shifted genres once again. After all, Tamil cinema is unapologetic about ‘heroes’ and ‘hero worship’. Songs composed by SA Rajkumar were a major hit. The actor’s yet another unsuccessful film came in 2015 with Chimbudevan of Imsai Arasan 23 am Pulikesi-fame. A Chennai-based political analyst doubts. More Explained

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2013 was an important year for Vijay as Thalaivaa got released. Cited as one of the best romantic dramas in Kollywood, the film was also popular due to songs by Ilaiyaraaja. The power of a pen determined the fate of the State way back then.”


Will Vijay come to politics? He’s a socially-conscious person. (Reports suggested Sarkar earned over Rs 200 crore worldwide within a week of its release, surpassing Baahubali 2’s record). Watch Thuppakki’s hero-introduction scenes and you will understand what I meant. He not only spoke up on the Jallikattu issue but also took part in the protests. In 2002, he did Bagavathi, Thamizhan and Youth that put him on the pedestal as the saviour of the masses. But do they translate into votes? Vijay’s career graph actually has a lot of misses than hits, but his fans have always stood by his side. Mass-ier, in a way, naturally means ‘more misogyny’ in a Tamil cinema context. “As for now, all eyes are on him, who is expected to make an official ‘political entry’ after Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. Advertising

Subsequently, Vijay switched over to love and action genre where he dabbled with subtle acting in Love Today (1997) and Kannukkul Nilavu (2000). Directed by Ezhil, Thulladha Manamum Thullum is still close to Vijay fans for its climax portions. Vijay’s latest films—Theri (2016), Bairavaa (2017), Mersal (2017) and Sarkar (2018), reflect his political ambitions. Their characters are real and totally rooted in life. Everything was in equal measure and the film keeps you guessing throughout, which played to its advantage. Some told the delay was due to the tax exemption, but others said the crew faced threats by various groups. “Unless Vijay makes his stance on various issues clear, we can’t guarantee anything. However, Vikraman’s Poove Unakkaga (1996) turned out to be his first massive hit. Vijay’s portrayal of an innocent youngster trying to unite a Hindu-Christian family clicked with the audience. If yes, will he change the paradigm of Tamil Nadu politics? I remember how I was eagerly waiting for the release, but the film, originally scheduled for an Eid-release, failed to show up in theaters. Actors should not enter politics citing a vacuum in the State. They mostly act as someone who is the representative of the average middle class or lower social economic strata. There are 50 lakh members,” he notes. Advertising

In 2019, undoubtedly, Vijay is the king of Tamil box-office after Rajinikanth. This AR Murugadoss-directorial (2012) was surprisingly good that it appealed to all centres—A, B and C. Jilla (2014), in which he collaborated with Mohanlal, put him back on track. That’s what Tamil ‘masala’ cinema teaches the audience. Similar things happened with Sarkar. An SJ Suryah-directorial Kushi spun money at the box-office. Aspiring for power without engaging with ground politics won’t do any good,” he says, adding, “The link between Dravidian politics and male superstardom can’t be undermined. A renowned filmmaker, who doesn’t want to be identified, points out Vijay “cleverly uses films as a powerful means of propaganda the way MGR and Rajinikanth did.” At the same time, the director acknowledges the good work done by the actor’s fan club. Look at the role both did in general. Of course, Vijay’s humungous fan-following helps. For example, an autowallah, a fisherman or a car mechanic. Almost half his films worked as a manual guideline on what women should do and should not do. The same year, he teamed up with AR Murugadoss for Kaththi, which was fairly successful. The actor collaborated with his father for initial films as a child artist followed by Senthoorapandi (1993), Rasigan (1994), Vishnu (1995), and so on. 0
Comment(s) In between, he did the ever-popular Thulladha Manamum Thullum (1999) with Simran, and Kushi (2000) with Jyotika, as those films earned him the image of a romantic hero. Additionally, he visited the NEET victim Anita’s parents. Like his peers Suriya, Ajith and Vikram, Vijay never ‘experimented with characters’. Further, Vijay had no inhibitions doing multi-starrers. I think he believes in applause and box office figures rather than ‘art’ and awards. Additionally, Gopi Nainar filed a case against Murugadoss claiming that the plot of the film was lifted from his Tamil novel Mootha Kudi. The film, which had catchy songs, ran for 200 days and was later remade in several languages. It was Suryah’s second film after the successful Vaali, starring Ajith in the lead. The film, which had a 175-day run, is famous for the ‘Nesamani comedy track’ featuring Vadivelu. This film earned Vijay a credible fan-base at that point in time. We have had politically-driven dialogues since Kalaignar’s Parasakthi. It’s interesting that Vijay brought out variations in his acting skills — slightly ‘anti’, which was evident with Priyamudan (1998) and Priyamanavale (2000). You can easily say they were somewhat lighthearted comparing to his ‘preachy’ films loaded with either amma or sister sentiments. If not for the female leads, you can’t differentiate between these films as they all follow the same template. In real life, Vijay is a man of few words, opposite to his larger-than-life persona, observes Rhevant Charan, executive director of Rohini Silver Screens. Vijay started giving lessons (literally) on ‘how women characters should talk, walk, behave and eat’. Meanwhile, Vijay did Sachein (2005) and Aadhi (2006). We don’t know. Though Azhagiya Tamil Magan (2007), Sura (2009), Villu (2009), and Kaavalan (2011) failed at the box office—they never reduced the mass appeal of the actor. Directed by Fazil, it became a smashing hit, bringing Vijay his first Tamil Nadu State Award. Puli saw Sridevi in a powerful antagonist role. Finally, producers, director and music composer of Thalaivaa sought permission from the police for one-day token fast. After Nerukku Ner (1997), he teamed up once again with Suriya on Friends (2001). Besides, Vijay is into charity, educating kids and conducting free weddings,” he adds. That was the last film which saw Suriya and Vijay together on screen. But with action, this time. The film, however, ran into trouble. After a hiatus, Vijay hit gold with Velayudham (2011), directed by Mohan Raja. The first look motion poster drew comparisons to an ad campaign run by a Turkish newspaper. Vijay chose the safer path—like Rajinikanth and continued to do commercial films. But none of them quite fetched Vijay an identity of his own. He was always SAC’s son.