For the current generation, Vijay, who is celebrating his 46th birthday today, is just a big superstar. But, for kids, who were born in the 80s and saw him make his screen debut in 1990s, the connection with him is more personal. We grew up with him. It is safe to say that Vijay was a highly influential actor as he shaped fashion sense and core characteristics of the young audience back in the day. We understood what was the meaning of love, friendship and other qualities required to be a bonafide hero through his movies.
While mostly he has remained unchanged in terms of formula-based movies since the 1990s, the fact also remains that he is a fine entertainer. Here is a list of movies which supports the observation about Vijay.
Ghilli: This Tamil remake was way better than the Telugu hit Okkadu (2003). Director Dharani added an extra edge to Ghilli by making the father-son relationship in the movie a bit complicated. The original Telugu version had a warm and strong father-son relationship. Also, something changed after this movie in Vijay’s career. A) the success of this movie took him to the next level of stardom. B) this movie turned a significant cluster of non-fans into fans of Vijay. And his fans became superfans. (Ghilli is available on Sun NXT)
Thulladha Manamum Thullum: Talking about movies which expanded Vijay’s fan base, we can’t leave Thulladha Manamum Thullum out of it. An aspiring playback singer’s last shot at redemption received a unanimous thumbs-up from critics and the audience. The soul-soothing tunes in the movie by composer S. A. Rajkumar is a big plus. (Thulladha Manamum Thullum is available on Sun NXT and MX Player)
Friends: This movie is slightly different from the kind of movies Vijay does these days. Director Siddique’s script and direction allowed other actors to shine, instead of making everything about Vijay. Suriya has also played a key role in the movie, which has some evergreen comical moments featuring Vadivelu. (Friends is available on Sun NXT)
Shajahan: Shajahan showed the 1990s kids the methods to approach a girl: make eye contact, don’t hesitate to seek help if needed, and tell all your friends about your crush just to weed out the competition and be patient. It taught us not to rush and do something stupid that we may regret our entire life. The subtext dealt with the issue of consent. (Shajahan is available on Sun NXT)
Youth: Youth was another movie that defined an urban romantic hero, who respects a girl’s space. He doesn’t impose his will on her. Instead, he professes his love to the girl of his desires and waits for her to reciprocate. Of course, this movie is hopelessly romantic, and that’s what made this movie click. (Youth is available on Sun NXT)
Kushi: SJ Suryah’s romantic comedy revolves around the complicated relationship between two stubborn individuals. Kushi is everything you want, to make summer enjoyable. (Kushi is available on Amazon Prime Video)
Thuppaki: A soldier on a holiday comes to know about a terror plot in Mumbai, and he races against time to take down the terror network. In between, he finds time to sing duets with his girlfriend. Thuppaki is the perfect holiday movie. (Thuppaki is available on Hotstar)
Jilla: A corrupt cop is hit by conscience after a terrible incident on his watch. And turning over a new leaf means going against his father. Jilla features Vijay and Mohanlal, so what more do we want? (Jilla is available on Sun NXT)
Bigil: As Vijay’s stardom grew, he stripped himself of mild natured traits to assume an aggressive avatar. In the process, he also did movies like Sivakasi that involved slut-shaming and threatening a girl into professing her love to him in public. And Bigil is Vijay trying to atone for Sivakasi. (Bigil is available on Amazon Prime Video)
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