Speedy,spectacular physical feats have made Arjun an action king.But truly, his acting stuff is made up of much more talent than mere action segment.He has been a charming romantic hero and a great artist capable of both underplay and sensitive display of emotions.In expressing filial devotion,sibling attachment and ire against injustice of any kind Arjun has established a special place for himself in the Tamil film industry.His graceful smile is the other winning factor about him.
The starting years of Arjun's career mostly went unnoticed.It was the AVM banner that gave him the status of an actor through its films 'Sankar Guru' and 'Sondhakkaaran'. The first of the two films revealed Arjun's Karate expertise more than his acting credentials.Then came two films 'Sevagan' and 'Pratap' directed by Arjun himself.Both the films set a solid ground for Arjun to grow further in directorial and histrionic dimensions.But it was Shankar's debut movie 'Gentleman' that made him a grand hero overnight.It was the combined might of Shankar and Arjun that made 'Gentleman' a film of epic grandeur.Action, sentiment, comedy and social concern all mixed in right proportion and narrated in a manner that Tamil Film audience had not witnessed till then, made the film not just a regular hit but an extraordinary product to be preserved in the annals of Tamil film history. Arjun's popularity as action king and an assiduous hero began to swell, with this role of a Robin hood type of gentleman.
'Gentleman' was followed by 'Jai Hind' from Arjun's own direction.It was not just another police story, but a tribute to patriotism made in earnest form and spirit, through dedicated narration.It was not lacking in entertainment component too, thanks to the enjoyable comedy show provided by Goundamani and Senthil. The movie became a spontaneous hit and added additional feathers of pride to the growing popularity of Arjun. Two other later releases of Arjun also celebrated patriotic themes both in title and story value and they were 'Thayin Manikkodi', directed by Arjun and 'Vandhe Madharam' a Malayaalam movie dubbed in Tamil, in which Arjun and Mammooty were seen as police officers with unquestionable devotion to the motherland. 'Karna' which hit the screens after 'Jai Hind',continued the success journey of Arjun, because of its impressive story line and the dual roles neatly performed by Arjun. Like many other heroes, Arjun also faced the risk of being typecast in stereotyped roles.
He played another cop story Sengottai,a moderate success. When repeated roles were offered and performed, Shankar once again enrolled Arjun for his most refreshing film 'Mudhalvan' that made Arjun play a one day match as Chief Minister accepting the challenge thrown by the existing corrupt Chief Minister, played by Raguvaran. Shankar- Arjun combination repeated the success of 'Gentleman', though not to that stupendous level. 'Mudhalvan' reestablished Arjun's sagging career. Following the success of 'Mudhalvan', many films continued to project Arjun, as a staunch fighter for justice, in a variety of roles.However, two films came to make the audience breathe afresh, the breezy delineation of romance;one was Vedham, directed by Arjun and the other was Rhythm, from Vasanth's direction.
Besides directing about eight of his movies, Arjun has acted in the films of many reputed and commercially successful directors, apart from Shankar and Vasanth. Arjun has been the hero of P.Vasu's 'Sathu',K.S.Ravikumar's 'Kondaattam',Vikraman's 'Gokulam', R.K.Selva Mani's 'Adimaichangili',R.V.Udhayakumar's 'Subash',Marudhamalai directed by Suraaj, Perarasu's 'Thiruvannamalai' Barathi Raja's 'Bommalaattam' and the three films 'Durai,' 'Vathiyaar' and 'Vallakkottai' directed by A.Venkatesh. He has also acted in in the recently released Kadal, from Manirathnam's production house.The other successful films of Arjun include 'Ayutha Poojai','Otran', Sundar.C's 'Giri' and 'Chinna', Sriram's 'Kuruthippunal' with Kamal, Manoj Kumar's 'Vaanavil' and 'Ezhumalai' directed by Arjun himself.Of the films listed here,Sadhu, Giri,Vaanavil, Otran,Vadhiyaar and Marudhamalai created a greater impact than the others. The freshness and twists in narration made Otran and Vaanavil specially captivating .In addition to these, Arjun has done the role of a match fixing,gambling police officer along with Ajith, in the most casual movie 'Mangaathaa', directed by Venkat Prabu.
As far as his performance is concerned, Arjun has effectively demonstrated filial devotion in films like Gentleman, Mudhalvan Vaathiyaar and Vaanavil. The last in the list showcased a heart warming, extraordinary father-son relationship portrayed by Manivannan and Arjun. Arjun's love for his parents in 'Mudhalvan' was also beautifully narrated.His sibling attachment was witnessed as a wonderful experience in 'Ezhumalai' like that of Rajinikanth in 'Dharmadurai'. In stunt scenes, his dedication and level of participation, have always remained as something closer to his heart and soul.
Arjun is not wanting in natural comedy sense and humour content.He has provided spontaneously laughable comedy scenes, teaming up with Vadivelu, in films like Giri,Vadhiyar and Marudhamalai .As a police officer, he not only fits into the uniform in all perfection, but also carries on the role with utmost sobriety,dignity and smartness required for the role.One major positive feature about his acting, is his beautifully controlled voice modulation, that simultaneously preempts any attempt at reflecting tendencies of sentimental melodrama, leading to overacting. This fundamental voice control, also effectively suppresses needless outbursts irrelevant to the situation.Consequently, his acting turns out to be less dramatic and more realistic. Beyond all these,there is always an inherent, all pervading sense of patriotism that becomes part and parcel of this great actor, who is not just an action king but a fine blend of commendable human emotions like love for mankind and fury born of concern for human values and impeccable dedication to the motherland.