Happy Birthday Thala Ajith: 5 films that showed the actor's varied dimensions

It is Ajith’s birthday today (May 1) and in an imposing career spanning close to three decades, the actor has done quality work in many of his films. Till date, fifty-eight of his films have been released and the fifty-ninth Nerkonda Paarvai is in its post-production phase. Ajith has mostly been associated with commercial genres and within this framework, the actor has given many enjoyable films which have been liked by the audience. On his birthday, let’s scan through his best few films.

Vaali directed by SJ Suryah is easily, one of the actor’s best. Essaying twin brothers, one who is the protagonist and the other is the antagonist, the actor had aced both the roles. Surprisingly, people loved the villain brother Deva. The role provided enough fodder for the star whose performance was much talked about.

Directed by AR Murugadoss for whom this was the first film, Dheena released in 2001. The film had Laila as Ajith’s on-screen pair in which the hero had essayed the role of a henchman for Suresh Gopi. Dheena fetched Ajith the current moniker Thala. The film was known for its comical track as well as action segments. Dheena was responsible for making Thala familiar among the mainstream commercial audience and also, thereby expanding his market in the industry.

Varalaaru in 2006 had Ajith in triple roles, of a father and his two sons. The film directed by K S Ravikumar had one of the Ajith in an effeminate Bharatnatyam dancer role.  AR Rahman had scored music for the film which was a hit. Ajith's makeover and body language in the film were highly talked about during its release and the film showcased the actor's dedication in bringing life to a character.

Billa in 2007 was a remake of the Rajinikanth starrer of the same name. This film directed by Vishnuvardhan showcased the actor in a highly stylish avatar of an underworld don. Ajith’s suits and shades were the talking point when the film was released. The film reaped in huge moolah and was also selected to be screened at the 61st Cannes Film Festival.

Mankatha in 2011 marked the golden jubilee film of Ajith and was a perfect fit for a landmark film. Directed by Venkat Prabhu, Ajith’s character had grey shades. Defying all the templates of a hero character in Tamil cinema, Ajith was cool and nonchalant. He had done a superb job of a con man Vinayak Mahadev. Mankatha was the first film which glorified the salt and pepper look of the actor on the lines of Hollywood actor George Clooney which had become a trend.

There are also other notable films in his career such as Mugavaree which dealt with the ambitions of an aspiring musician; Kandukondein Kandukondein where he scales from a struggling director to reach a top place in the film industry; Kaadhal Kottai a film that glorified love without meeting; Amarkalam, his 25th film where the hero played the role of a small-time thug and Yennai Arindhaal in which the actor played a middle-aged cop. In this diverse spectrum of work, his last release was Viswasam, a commercial potboiler that emphasised family values and sentiments. Viswasam is a huge hit this year and Ajith has moved on to Ner Konda Paarvai directed by the young H Vinoth. There are various speculations as to what his next film going to be. Whatever it is, the phenomenon called Ajith is here to stay for a long time entertaining his audiences.

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