Saturday, December 8, 2012

Captain Vijayakanth's One Man Army.

          Vijayakanth is a name for magnetic victory. The spirit of the hero in Vijayakanth, is always a force to reckon with. He became a hero three decades ago, when the celluloid world was obsessed with norms of appearance and complexion, for the choice of actors doing heroes on screen. Like  Rajinikanth, Vijayakanth  should also  have faced the hurdle of fighting his complexion, for entry into the tinsel world.But unlike the Superstar, Vijayakanth did  not have a Balachander to introduce and groom him. Nor could  he stun the audience, with miraculous body language and freshness in dynamic,stylish expositions in acting,such as smoking,walking and talking differently. So the hurdles would have been more for him.But,Vijayakanth framed his own style, like every other actor and delivered his roles, with force and clarity in dialogue delivery and speed and  flow of energy in the stunt scenes. He needs a special recognition, for facing all the obstructions and surmounting them with grit to reach the position, he holds now. 
      Unlike all other heroes, Vijayakanth holds the unique distinction of acting under the direction of nearly sixty directors. I do not think any other hero had the privilege of working with so many people.It was M.A.Kaja who introduced him straight as a hero in his 'Inikkum Ilamai'. During the initial years,apart from this director,it was S.A.Chandrasekar who patronized Vijayakanth and established him as a formidable face with a fire for fighting injustice of any kind. Right from 'Sattam Oru Iruttarai',films like 'Saatchi','Vetri','Enakku Naane Neethipathi' and 'Neethiyin Marupakkam' S.A.Chandrasekar sponsored and utilized the talent of Vijayakanth in almost twenty films and thereby earned the title of the Captain's director. It is similar to P.Neelakandan directing about the same number of films of MGR.This was followed by R.Sundarajan, who directed about half a dozen films of Vijayakanth and gave Silver Jubilee hits like 'Vaidhehi Kaathirundhal' and 'Amman Koil Kishakkaale' [ for which the hero got State Government's best actor award].
    Think of a hero in police uniform and there comes this indomitable hero, as the only man born  to be a cop. Directors like S.A.Chandrasekar [Satchi and Vetri],Aabaavaanan [Oomai Vizhigal], R.K.Selvamani [ Pulan Visaaranai], Manivannan [Nooravathu Naal],Subash [Chathriyan] P.Vasu [Sethupathi IPS another film of AVM banner, after its earlier hit 'Managarakaval' with Vijayakanth as a cop ],Maharajan [Vallarasu],Shaji Kailash [Vaanchinathan] K.S.Ravi [ Honest Raj],] Udhayan ,[Perarasu] and Aru Pandian [Devan] have all used him for a grand show of the police department depicting this magnificent hero, as a one man army from the law enforcing, uniformed service. All the films mentioned here,were hits,in one way or the other.
    Vijayakanth who earned the title 'Captain' from R.K.Selvamani's 'Captain Prabakaran' in which he acted as IFS officer, fitted into the police uniform with pep and power and transmitted a lot of force and energy needed for a police officer. No other actor has contributed their histrionic might to this dignified uniform as Vijayakanth did.He deserves a special salute in this regard. In addition to this exclusive character,Vijayakanth has donned a variety of roles to prove his inherent capacity for displaying a distinct acting stuff.
    It was R.V.Udhayakumar who used him in a totally different frame as a village chieftain, endowed with a singular quality of justice in his blood, that made him a leading person of the village.The entire village looked upon his highly esteemed neutrality to deliver verdicts on many crucial issues. He was the mobile court  with its truest voice of justice.The trendsetting movie was 'Chinna Gaunder' in which Viajayakanth acted for the first time in a role full of poise, control and a calm frame of mind.It was an eventful film in the acting career of Vijayakanth. No doubt, there was an over doze of  of violence in the film ;but the over all impact of the movie was one of a Vijayakanth movie, in an unseen perspective.Following this, there were similar films centering round rural themes like 'Veeram Velanja Mannu' 'Thavasi' and 'Kannupadapoguthaiyya'
     K.Bagyaraj  joined Vijayakanth to direct the latter's 'Sokka Thangam' which became a clean movie with the passionate but controlled performance of both Vijayakanth and Prakashraj. Director Vikraman,the positive face of Tamil cinema produced a box office hit with Vijayakanth and the memorable film was 'Vaanathai Pola' It was another film of Vijayakanth in dual roles but was a grand show of united brotherhood and male sibling love.Later, new director Samuthirakani presented one more rural story,with Vijayakanth leading the action in 'Neranja Manasu' .Siddiq's 'Enga Anna' a remake of Malayalam block buster 'Chronic Bachelor' was yet another hit of Vijayakanth, with a neat story line and comedy element, making it a wonderful entertainer.
    Besides Police stories and rustic characters, the Captain has appeared as Chief election commissioner in 'Thennavan' and as District collector in Barathi Raja's 'Thamizh Selvan' .His role as a college professor in 'Ramana' directed by A.R.Murugadoss who has been making waves through his regular hits, was another extraordinary movie that showed our hero in a totally different perspective.The catchy story line and the captivating presentation made the film a block buster.It was a treat to watch the captain perform with the power of dignity as he did earlier in 'Chinna Gaunder'.This was another milestone in the acting career of Vijayakanth. We also saw him as an expert cardiologist in 'Sabari'  fighting in his usual style, the atrocities prevalent in the medical profession. His other hits include 'Ezhai Jaathi'  'Paatuukkoru Thalaivan'[Liaquet Ali Khan] 'Poonthotta Kaavalkaran.'Barathan' and 'Sendhoorapoove'
   The Captain is different in several aspects.As said earlier,he has acted with a vast variety of directors, of whom some belonged to the old school .He had been directed by the old stalwarts like K.S.Gopalakrishnan, [ 'Kaviathalaivan'] K.Vijayan ['Dhoorathu Idimuzhakkam'] P.Madhavan,[Sathiyam Neeye' ] K.Shankar ['Meenakshi Thiruvilaiadal' and 'Velundu Vinaiyilla'], S.P.Muthuraman [ 'Dharma Devathi', 'Nallavan'] A.Jeganathan [ 'Naalai Unathu Naal'] C.V.Rajendran [ 'Puthiya Theerpu '] and T.R.Ramanna.['Sattam Sirikkiradhu']. 
     After MGR,it is Vijayakanth for whom characterization has been framed with dedication to themes of social justice and relentless resistance against political and administrative corruption. This seems to have been done  with the conviction of creating a hero for a mass base. As in the case of MGR, this base has preceded the formation of a political front.Unlike most other heroes and unlike even MGR,Vijayakanth has hardly shared his screen space with other popular heroes [except Mohan in a couple of films, Murali in 'En Asai Machan',Soorya in 'Periyanna' and  Karthik Muthuraman in 'Devan'].Almost all  his films, have been of the action genre and speed in narration, has always remained the chief factor of success of his films.If logic is not insisted upon,majority of Vijayakanth movies were safely out of the boring category.It should also be said here, that it is Vijayakanth who can resort to  loud and forceful exhortation of values to the corrupt people of the service sectors and immediately bring down his voice to a modest appeal to them to think of what the society at large expects of them. The supremacy of the captain as an actor,  could be established only after a stout struggle to consistently portray himself as a one man army , with an independent vision, that would place him not just as a popular mass hero,but as the leading political voice of  millions of his fans.  


  1. He has also shared screen space with Ramki (Senthoora Poove), in what I believe is one of his best roles till date. I read somewhere that he was offered the role of villain in Murattu Kaalai, but he rejected it because he wanted to portray only hero roles.

    Occasionally, he has deviated from the norm of acting in commercial movies, such as Pudhu Padagan, Vaidehi Kathirundhal, Puthiya Sagaptham, Naane Raja Naane Manthiri and Engal Anna.

    1. I too enjoyed Sendhoora Poove.But I believe his performance in Poontdhotta Kaavalkaaran was still better.His unusual role performance includes Sokka Thangam too.Thank you for sharing your views.