Not many would have predicted that the skinny boy from Thulluvadho Ilamai (2002) would go on to become a top star of the Tamil film industry. But, here we are. Thirty-eight films later, Dhanush has emerged as one of the most successful commercial actors of Indian cinema.
Dhanush, who is celebrating his 37th birthday today, has a lot going on for him. He is at the prime of his acting career. Not just that, he has also written and directed a movie (Power Pandi), he is a world-famous lyricist (“Kolaveri Di”), and if the rumours are to believed, he is one of the highest-paid playback singers in Kollywood.
Over the years, Dhanush has transformed into a brilliant actor and he has turned all his features that were deemed as a drawback, to becoming a viable star, into his advantage and gone from strength to strength. While he has delivered a slew of films that showcases why he is one of the best physical actors, there was a time when he did over-the-top, cheesy, loud crowd-pleasers.
Here are Dhanush’s top mindless movies (All movies are available on Sun NXT):
Thiruda Thiruda: This is the film that made Dhanush an overnight box office sensation. His dance performance with Chaya Singh in “Manmadha Raasa” song expanded his fanbase. The romantic comedy about two rivals falling in love with each other is dated but has its charms.
Pudhukottaiyilirundhu Saravanan: The adventurous road movie earned Dhanush the nickname ‘Indian Bruce Lee.’ It has action sequences, which felt cutting edge at the time.
Sullan: The story about a young boy with a quick fuse added to Dhanush’s growing reputation as an ‘action hero.’ The film is loud and deeply formulaic, but you have to give it to Dhanush for his conviction to deliver a ‘high-decibel’ performance.
Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam: This film is a variation of Superstar Rajinikanth’s Mr Bharath. So much so that director Boopathy Pandian borrowed and remixed popular “Ennama Kannu” from the 1986 movie for this 2006 film.
Padikkadavan: The success of Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam emboldened Dhanush to explore more cinematic properties associated with Rajinikanth. While director Suraj lifted the title from Rajinikanth’s filmography, he borrowed ideas for the movie from various other films. However, the comedy track, involving Vivek and Dhanush, that put a funny spin on over-the-top Telugu movies, ironically, brought in a lot of entertainment value to this movie.
Mappillai: Maybe director Suraj felt that it was too much work to make a movie with borrowed ideas. So this time, he straight up went for the remake of one of Rajinikanth’s films, Mappillai (1989). He did not even bother to rework the plot and gender dynamics to match 21st-century sensibilities. The 2011 movie promotes the same outdated views about male superiority, and honestly, we don’t know why Dhanush even agreed to it. And it is by far, the cheesiest movie in Dhanush’s career.
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