India is a land of rich heritage of several kinds.But it is also a land of inheritance of positions in politics and films. This blog is not meant for speaking about political inheritance.However,a special mention has to be made about the heirs of film personalities occupying powerful positions as actors,music directors and choreographers.Though this phenomenon is applicable to the Indian film industry in general I am confining myself to the Tamil Film zone in particular.
Children and grand children of film personalities of the last millennium have added prouder moments to Tamil Cinema. Prabu Ganesan, Karthik Muthuraman,Suriya,Karthik Sivakumar, Prasanth, Simbu Rajender and Arun Vijay, as actor heirs,Danush as actor son of a film director,Jeyam Ravi as actor son of a film editor,Yuvan Shankar Raja and Karthik Raja as music composers and Prabu Deva and Raju Sunadram as choreographers have beautifully carried on the onus of responsible film inheritance.But not all in this category have been able to sustain their glory and withstand the competition at various levels.Only a few could weather the storm and establish themselves as constant stars shining in eternal grandeur. We have seen quite a few sons and daughters of famous actors,directors and producers, breaking down permanently after a healthy start.Some are still at the starting point.This makes one thing very clear. Whatever be the parental backing one gets, it is one's own individual talent and charismatic appeal that always put one in a winning position.It is in this respect the Tamil film industry today is celebrating the dynamic and impressive show of a younster who is the sum total of energy, confidence and understanding of the intricacies and nuances of his acting career.
The specialty of this inheritor of a film career is his inbuilt levels of competence meant to grow extensively and vigorously, making a victory march, least sagging over a period of two decades and doing more than fifty films ,almost half of them creating mass appeal.It is Vijay,son of S.A.Chandrasekar,one of the prominent directors of Tamil films I am talking about.I also cherish it as a matter of personal pleasure,to write about him because,despite myself being an old timer I truly belong to the group of hard core fans of this wonderful actor.
With an ever captivating native smile,with a clear voice carrying the charm of a winning modulation and singing potential,with agile limbs capable of innovating stunning choreographic movements and with genuine speed never failing to make an impact in stunt scenes, here is an actor well known for innate histrionic credentials to emote at various levels, taking the audience attraction ever in his favour. No doubt it was his father who introduced him in his own film Nalaya Theerpu after showing him as a child artist in 'Vetri.' There were about ten movies that followed.The list included Rasigan, Vishnu,Coimbatore Mappillai, Chandralekha, Rajavin Parvaiyile [the only movie he and Ajit acted together] Nenjinile and so on.But it was Vikraman's Poove Unakkaaga that put him on the significant growth trajectory, as an actor with delicate and subtle dimensions, willing to learn and lead the screen for an endless period of time. Besides, with this film,Vijay was recognized as a great romantic hero with subdued masculine glamour and controlled delivery of emotions.
Vijay travelled pretty long on the romantic road taking sudden unprecedented diversions here and there in films like Priyamudan, as an anti hero and as a foreign returned youth with vagaries and misconceptions in Priyamaanavale,as a playboy in Once More, as a love obsessed man ever willing to help others in love, in Shajahan and as a mature adult with a practical approach to love and life in Youth. He was a dreaming chocolate boy in Love Today, Ninaithaale Inikkum and Enrenrum Kaadhal Vaazhga. As most of the films released during the Nineteen Nineties were love stories told vigorously in various modes,Vijay conveniently fitted into such narrations with tendencies of being typecast as a routine romantic hero.
Luckily, Fazil gave fresh looks for Vijay in his Kaadhalukku Mariyadhai by his clean narration of a love story blended with the dignity of romance reflecting innocence and firm filial bond, rooted to family traditions and values.The movie boosted the image of Vijay's romantic face. Then came Ezhil's blockbuster Thulladha Manamum Thullum that brought out the higher energy levels and hidden capacity of Vijay for expressing deeper emotions like uncontrollable grief and sorrow.No one could forget the scene showing Vijay's emotional outburst on hearing the news of the death of his mother that reached him only after the cremation rites were over.This scene became a sample of the extraordinary acting stuff that Vijay was capable of delivering, under the effective stewardship of talented directors.Thus Poove Unakkaga, Kadhalukku Mariyadhai and Thullaadha Manamum Thullum proved to be the early milestones in his career.
The other most popular film that made waves on account of stylish narration was S.J.Surya's Kushi which was known for its all pervading juvenile gusto of romance with a theme of love ignited from babyhood by a touch feel between two kids destined to become lovers later. The periodical spurt of bickering between the lovers made the film a worthy watch.The tug of war between the male pride and female ego, with a sustained unrelenting temper, coupled with the humorous presentation of events, made Kushi an exclusive entertainer for youngsters. Vijay and Jyothika contributed their best performance to make the movie a memorable and most desired trip to the theatres. The duo continued their combined show of acting mettle for Kavithalaya's Thirumalai another love story that took the credit of projecting Vijay as a full fledged action hero for the first time.This movie should be considered as a turning point in the career of Vijay,for imbibing fire, rage and fury to be reflected in his later movies as an action hero girding up his loins, to fight injustice and brutality.With this film, Vijay became the unstoppable mass hero .
The new trend continued throwing on the way, like a spell of fortune, a series of hits like Badri,Thamizhan Baghavadhi,the grand movie Gilli, followed by Perarasu's Thiruppachi and Sivakasi, Prabudeva's Pokkiri and later the fast moving Vettaikkaran. It was like a windfall for Vijay and happily did he essay his roles with jet speed and astounding sense of vivacity.In the midst of these great action movies, Vijay also did a breezy romance like Sachin and a rare film that eulogized the theme of consummate love for human beings and carried the most beautiful title Pudhiya Geethai. However,as a blow of Jinx, something happened all of a sudden, staggering the march of victory. A few failures like Azhagiya Thamizh Magan [a film casting Vijay in dual roles that had raised high expectations] Kuruvi [from the maker of Gilli]],Villu [a film from Prabudeva who gave the Silver Fubilee hit Pokkiri] and Sura, switched on the alarm bell at the right time, making him more alert in choosing themes and characters .
Once bitten twice shy,goes the famous saying.Caution began to govern our hero's choice for his prospective roles as well as his future creative hands that should lead his line of growth. Malayalam director Siddique who had already given a hit with Vijay and Soorya in the most talked about film Friends was ready to re- book Vijay for remaking his Malayalam hit The Bodyguard. Kaavalan,the Tamil version, re- installed Vijay on the right track at the right time. The victory march resumed. M.Raja's Velayudham, Shankar's Nanban and A.R.Murugadoss' Thuppaakki have all regained the victory march that got stunted for a while.The release of his upcoming venture Thalaiva under the stewardship of a promising director and Vijay's namesake, is eagerly awaited, because the director's earlier hits like Kireedom, Madrasa Pattinam, Deivathirumagal and Thaandavam have already established a sense of quality of a very high order.
Very few heroes have ever been so conscious about their choice of characters and story line that would ensure substantial career growth so as to establish a lasting name in the industry.The amount of sincerity and dedication to projects on hand have always remained Vijay's additional positive traits.The striking difference between his gusto on screen and his reticence outside makes him a unique person. He has a right sense of humour remarkably displayed in films like Vaseegara,Kushi,Thamizhan,Friends and Velayudham and he has been equally comfortable with all leading comedians like Vivek,Vadivelu and Santhanam. His most intimate and appealing film fathers were Manivannan and Raguvaran. His capacity for sibling emotion has been beautifully demonstrated in Thiruppachi and Velayudham. His perfect heroines so far, were Simran,Trisha and Asin,
No other new generation hero has portrayed the umpteen dimensions of the romantic hero as Vijay has done.As an action hero he has made a clean sweep.He has been creditably effective in displaying mixed emotions like love,anger,joy and grief.The only negative thing that I could see in him is the absence of sync in lip movement in song sequences,that too,only in the long shots.To me he is a hero of personal preference and I hardly fail to watch any of his movies.The only sad thing is he has not so far given a hit under his father's direction. All the movies like Rasigan, Deva,Vishnu, Nenjinile, Aadhi and Manbumigu Maanavan directed by his father were just modest shows.Even Sukhran in which Vijay made a cameo did not do well at the box office.But then, among the new generation actors,other than [late] Murali,Vijay alone got a chance to act with Chevalier Svaji Ganesan. This agile hero, whose name means and continues to make victory, would certainly have made his dear dad proud of his significant growth and enviable position as a mass hero in the Tamil Film industry, closely following the charismatic track of [late] M.G.Ramachandran and the living legend Rajinikanth.