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Rashmika Mandanna beats Samantha, Vijay Deverakonda, Yash to top Forbes list
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I haven't seen Thalapathy Vijay's movies in the 90s, and I haven't seen Bigil yet either. So these thoughts have emerged after watching Theri and Mersal, mostly.
First let's establish that in Indian cinema, irrespective of the region, leading male actors aren't cast in accordance to the role. The roles are written to suit their public persona.
That's a fact.
We got the King of Romance SRK as an excellent example. He predominantly essays roles which require emotional vulnerability. The good, loving son/father/husband. The ideal man. Who expresses his love/anguish with tight hugs and glistening tears.
On the other end of that spectrum we have Sallu Bhai who's claimed the poker faced, one-liner spewing 'action' hero. His hero has one single way of expressing any emotion he might feel. Fighting the goons. Fighting to save the city, fighting cause he loves his family, fighting to save his love interest etc.
Stars in Indian Cinema have carved an archetype of sorts for themselves. A niche they stick to.
Now let's look at Vijay's filmography.
If we skip the formative years of his career and consider the early 2000s, when he skyrocketed to stardom, it's easy to chalk up the archetype that was created for Vijay.
The og action hero. Easy going but headstrong in Ghilli. Poker faced and determined in Pokiri. He is endearing when he's with well wishers, but lethal when facing off with the villain. It doesn't matter if he's a poor fisherman, he can always outsmart the filthy rich villain.
So we can gather some recurring traits in his roles:
He's ✨charming✨ He has a good sense of humour, great comic timing, can make anyone laugh and joke at any moment. His swagger impresses anyone. He's beloved by all.
He's the people's man. He fights for the poor and the oppressed. For the greater good. For justice, lawful or otherwise.
The romance is always syrupy sweet. He's the Chivalrous one. Won't be chasing the girl like a street dog (except in Kaththi).
But most of all he is inevitable. A stone cold fighter. Once he decides to achieve something he gets it. He never looses. Wits or fists, no-one can out do him.
But as we move to the next decade, his niche of the bold and reckless action hero evolved into something I like to call the Social Superhero. Vijay did try his hand at a handful of actual Superhero roles. But in the 2010s he mostly did roles where he's battling a social evil. Being the One Man™ who would right all the wrongs in the world.
This brings us to his collaborations with Atlee, and why they're always special.
Arguably one of his biggest hits. He plays a doting Dad, a dashing DCP, a beloved son and a besotted boyfriend.
All of the aforementioned traits still apply to IPS Vijay Kumar. But there's much more to him than any previous character.
He is vulnerable, he cries, he's scared. He steps away from the fights, he acts meek. He's still a protector, but he protects his daughter by hiding away.
We see him helpless as his family is slaughtered.
The scenes with his daughter are heartwarming and heart-wrenching in turn.
The romance track shows him not just a playful beau, but also a thoughtful man. He open up his heart in front of the Mithra's father. Honest and fully expecting to be rejected, shut out.
Even his interactions with his mom go from frivolous to tear inducing. He's ready to give up on the girl he loves just on the whims of his mom.
All these things are in contrast to his previous popular characters. Think of Ghilli where he didn't realise the girls feelings until it was too late. His deadpan gaze in Pokiri even as the girl he claims to love cries her heart out in front of him.
The male leads always have superhuman strength and smarts. But here we see Vijay humbled to a regular human. A common man.
A man ready to compromise on his duty as a police officer to fulfill his duty as a father.
Even if it was done temporarily, it is a rarity in India cinema.
Something has to be said about Atlee envisioning Vijay in multiple roles, always. In Theri, the duality is baffling, even the poster suggests there are two different people.
In Mersal he's essaying a triple role. That seems kinda ott. The difference between the brothers is not as well established here as it was in Theri, between IPS Vijay Kumar and Joseph.
Vetrimaran (the Dad) was established better as a distinct character. But all the three characters were more or less the same, imo. Like father like son. Perhaps that's what Atlee was going for.
I haven't seen Bigil, but I know there's some stark duality going on there too.
Double roles are an effective way to showcase the strong points and weaknesses of the characters. It was used better in Theri, but Mersal could've been better in that respect.
Wife in the Freezer
Or whatever that trope is called; when the sole purpose of the love interest is to end up dead to motivate the hero into taking up the fight. You know what I mean.
Atlee sure loves to direct Vijay holding his (fictional) dying wife in his arms.
This same trope is applied in both Theri and Mersal. With drastically varying results.
That scene in Theri is unintentionally funny. If you've seen it you know what I mean. Like Mithra's soul just left her body the moment she was shot. No sound of pain or even the slightest movement. She (apparently) just drops dead? It's not like she was shot in the head or anything.
Now I'm not a medical expert or anything, but it appears she dies from blood loss, because the bullet ruptured her spleen. That's just what I think 🙌
And I imagine, it would not be an instantaneous death as depicted (initially).
But like she just stays wide eyed and unmoving, dead to the world just until the moment the villains leave the house.
And then she suddenly comes back to life??? Like???
What was even happening???
Atlee makes sure every frame is a feast for the eyes. The colour palette is bright and vibrant in both movies. The locales are gorgeous, the costumes are well co-ordinated.
Mersal in particular is an extravagant beauty. The MV for Alaporaan Thamizhan is everything Indian Cinema is known for: Well choreographed dance sequence, colourful costumes, festive music.
Theri has scenes that stay with you long after the movie is over. Even if they're not visually stunning, they make you wanna whistle/cry/swoon/laugh out loud.
Mithra's entry in the saree
Vijay's transformation in the rain
That Bridge scene
The second bridge scene
Everytime someone says 'Theri Baby'
Vijay putting on his sunglasses
Vijay walking away after saying he killed the minister's son to his face
The background score is Perfect™.
G. V. Prakash for Theri and the man the myth the legend A. R. Rahman himself for Mersal.
Theri had a song for everyone, for the kids, the moms, the love birds, for Thalapathy fans. Not a single song disappoints.
The background score elevates even a basic scene to an iconic moment.
Vijay pulling out the stick from above the blackboard at the beginning of the flashback. That slight, knowing smirk is charming enough, but the Theri theme in the background is what makes it special.
Baby's theme has a sweet but haunting melody. Expressing both the innocence of a little girl and the tragedy of her life being in constant danger.
Vijay and Samantha's meet cute; the scene in the hospital, in the bus, they all seem lacklustre visually, but the music makes them dreamy.
Which brings me to my next point,
Vijay's characters always have an easy and fun dynamic with the female leads. Be it in Mersal or Theri. They exchange good humoured banter. They're playful. It's all cute and endearing.
Another thing that I admire is that the female leads are never shy damsels in distress. They're independent, strong willed women. Thye can match the hero in a battle of wits, and do not hesitate to speak their mind.
Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal – விரைவில் திரையரங்குகளில்
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Bài viết này được dịch từ 1 bản thảo tiếng anh còn một số lỗi dịch thuật xin quý bạn đọc thông cảm. Win To Win Marketing cảm ơn bạn đã ghé thăm! ——————— Myntra đã đăng ký Hrithik Roshan, Vijay Deverakonda và Dulquer Salmaan làm đại sứ thương hiệu mới nhất của mình, cùng với các đại sứ nổi tiếng hiện có, Kiara Advani và Samantha Akkineni. Nền tảng thương mại điện tử sẽ mở ra một dòng quảng cáo…
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