Updated: June 22, 2021 2:24:15 pm
Tamil superstar Vijay is celebrating his 47th birthday today. Unlike his predecessors, he does not have a deep relationship with his directors. Except for AR Murugadoss and Atlee, he has steered clear of doing back-to-back films with the same director. God knows whether it was by accident or design. But, in hindsight, that has worked in favour of Vijay’s career.
Vijay has played safe in terms of the kind of movies and characters he has picked so far. But, judging from his filmography spanning about 30 years, it seems he has been very willing to put his faith in different kinds of filmmakers, who could use his talent to provide a slightly different kind of cinematic experience within the confines of his comfort zone.
Take, for example, Vijay’s last movie Master. For the first time, he took one for the movie and shared the spotlight with other characters. People bought the tickets for Vijay, but they came out in awe of Vijay Sethupathi. As a matter of fact, director Lokesh Kanagaraj gave a sort of a mythological heft to Vijay Sethupathi’s Bhavani, the pragmatic villain, while Vijay’s JD, the good-natured professor, doesn’t even get a proper backstory.
Master was sort of a fresh start for Vijay at the beginning of the new decade. One can only hope that Vijay continues to find scripts that keep pushing him out of his comfort zone, giving the audience a wide range of cinematic experience as opposed to repeating the same heroism in different clothes.
Vijay is currently working with another new talent Nelson Dilipkumar, who is technically just two films old (Kolamavu Kokila, and yet to-release Doctor). The first look posters of the film, which has been titled Beast, promises a sleek action thriller, unlike any other Vijay film we have seen so far.
Here is a wishlist of filmmakers who we believe have the required mastery to deliver the commercial success expected from a Vijay film.
Vijay in a Mani Ratnam film. It sounds dreamy and, of course, impossible given that artistically they both are at opposite ends of the spectrum. But, remember, we are talking about Mani Ratnam. He is the man who got Rajinikanth to underplay his role in Thalapathi. So we can believe he can pull another rabbit out of the hat with Vijay. Imagine, a sober performance by Vijay under Mani Ratnam’s direction, and seen through Santosh Sivan’s magical lens. And a soulful, impressive score by AR Rahman, would simply be the cherry on the top.
Pa.Ranjith has already proven his ability to deliver a film that discusses social issues in a way that could turn a profit at the box office. He was just two films old when he took on the responsibility to direct Rajinikanth in Kabali. Even as the 2016 gangster film came with issues, it gave us one of the most stylish and memorable gangster characters that Tamil cinema has ever produced. And he directed Rajinikanth in Kaala. Again, the jury was divided on this 2016 crime drama that examines the caste divide in modern-day Mumbai. But, you can’t deny it was a sober film in Rajinikanth’s career after a long time. Ranjith could mount a big scale political drama, where Vijay plays a hero from a downtrodden community. Who wouldn’t see that movie?
Remember, how not many years ago, there was debate about who would replace Rajinikanth as the apex star of Tamil cinema? Many argued that Vijay was the worthy successor to Rajinikanth at the box office. And the recent success of Vijay’s movies suggests that belief is well-founded. So it is only fair, Vijay works with directors who have delivered big hits with the likes of Rajinikanth. And Karthik Subbaraj is definitely one of the filmmakers we hope to see collaborate with Vijay. Karthik’s narrative and visual style fall within the range of Vijay’s idea of a wholesome entertainer. One can only hope it is only a matter of time before these two find their way to each other and give us a cool film.
Vetri Maaran has shown a distinctive finesse when it comes to making gangster movies, starting from his directorial debut Polladhavan. Who wouldn’t like to see Vijay in Vetri Maaran’s universe? A film where Vijay gives up the classy demeanour, which he has assumed in recent years, and embraces the ruthlessness and brutality of the seedy underbelly of Vada Chennai in all its glory and gives us a realistic performance unlike we have ever seen.
Vijay is the superstar with the best comic timing. And we only get to see a few flashes of his deep grasp of humour in his movies. Have you seen his movie Vaseegara? In a coming-of-age comedy, Vijay had delivered a full-length comedy performance. And this film remains the last of its kind in Vijay’s filmography. We would like to see him shed his serious avatar and get in touch with the Chaplin in him. Don’t you want to see Vijay in a full-fledged comedy movie again? Of course, you would. And director Vignesh Shivan would do a solid job in whipping up a comedy that suits the larger-than-life image of Vijay and make us laugh hard at the same time. Remember, Naanum Rowdy Dhaan? How many films in Tamil that have been released since have made you laugh so hard?
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