March 5, 2021 10:11:36 am
Filmmaker Selvaraghavan is celebrating his 44th birthday today. And he is busy working on a new chapter in his career. He is making his acting debut with director Arun Matheswaran’s Saani Kaayidham. There is little doubt about his ability to ace as an actor. It is because he has for years extracted the best performances from actors he has worked with as a director. Take Danush, for example. Selvaraghavan shaped the artistic sensibilities of Dhanush very early on, which has helped the latter to scale great heights. So much so that Dhanush is an international star in his own rights.
Here are the top five films of Selvaraghavan that established him as a force to reckon with in the south Indian film industry.
A team of top Indian officials undertaking an epic search to find the lost Chola tribe is by far one of the most underrated movies in the history of modern Tamil cinema. The trippy adventurous drama deserved a lot more love and accolades than it received when it released for the Pongal holiday in 2010. The film has since developed a cult fan following, which seems to be growing bigger with the film’s every re-release. The film had a theatrical re-release in 2019 and again in 2020. Both times, it managed to draw crowds exceeding the expectations of the trade pundits. You can stream Ayirathil Oruvan on Sun NXT.
It must be Selvaraghavan’s most personal work to date. He has poured his heart out imagining the suffering of an artist, who is drowning himself in self-pity and alcohol. The director takes us to pretty dark places as he explores the depths of the hero’s despondency. Dhanush’s Karthik takes his sweet time to come to terms with an act of betrayal and appreciate all other blessings he has in his life. Especially his wife Yamini, played by a wonderful Richa Gangopadhyay. Mayakkam Enna is streaming on Sun NXT.
7G Rainbow Colony
Selvaraghavan’s tragic romantic drama speaks to people from different generations. The film set in the backdrop of a crowded housing colony in Chennai is replete with the director’s rich observations that accurately depicts the challenges of working-class households. In fact, the correctness of Selvaraghavan’s observations is unsettling at times, as if he wrote some scenes after he peeked through our curtains. In particular, the difficult relationship and emotionally charged exchanges between the father and son. 7G Rainbow Colony is available on Sun NXT.
It is the film that announced the arrival of a new actor in Tamil cinema. The film became Dhanush’s calling card in the show business. Again, the realism of this and the courage of Selvaraghavan to put this story on the big screen, in retrospect, is inspiring to say the least. The unrequited love of an orphan mathematical genius, who turns dangerous in the name of love took everyone by surprise when it was released in 2003. The film introduced us to the concept of friend-zone way before it became part of popular memory. Kaadhal Kondein is streaming on Sun NXT.
It won’t be wrong to say it is the film that made Dhanush an overnight sensation (and his electrifying performance with Chaya Singh in Manmatha Raasa in Thiruda Thirudi, which released the same year). The film is a very derivative Godfather-style epic mob drama. Without taking a moral high-ground or passing a judgement, Selvaraghavan provides a very objective view of the people who inhabit the underworld. The movie sequenced the romance out of the Tamil cinema’s gangster genre and laid bare the brutal and unforgiving world of criminals. Dhanush as Kokki Kumar is a revelation. Pudhupettai is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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