Kids love him. They always have. Families thronged to see his films in theatres. They always have. But looking back in time, Thalapathy Vijay’s popularity is something that was confined to the walls of Tamil Nadu alone, with only a few blockbusters transcending boundaries. After delivering one of his career’s most memorable films with Pokkiri, Vijay suffered a downward slide for the next three years, where nothing worked out for him. Azhagiya Tamizh Magan flopped, Kuruvi was an average outing, Villu bit the dust and Vettaikaran managed to please only a few. And his 50th film in Sura, don’t even care talking about it. Vijay faced one of his toughest phases with trolls and critics getting belligerent at his choices, criticizing his ability to pull off one proper film. But little did he know that after the lowest lows, come the highest highs.
Going back to the drawing board, Vijay joined hands once again with director Siddique, who delivered the comic blockbuster Friends which was pleasantly revisited in recent times through the Nesamani wave. Through Kaavalan, Vijay was able to win some love back, at least from his fans, who were quite bobbed down with the progress in his career graph. Along came Velayudham and Nanban, which brought out very likable performances from the actor if not anything else. While the former can be called a fine kick-starter to his socially-charged image, the latter was a neat remake that did what it could have.
2012 was the year where everything changed in style. Vijay went up to the north for a special guest appearance in Akshay Kumar’s Rowdy Rathore, in the song Chinta Ta. Maybe, just maybe, Akshay Kumar addressing him as ‘Superstar Vijay’ in the song was the start of all good things to come, as the star went on to sign Thuppakki with AR Murugadoss. The rest is history.
One thing that Vijay always lacked as an actor was his inability to pull off something special in the upper tier as well. As always, he had a strong base amidst the mass audiences, but impressing the A center wing and the overseas was a little bit of a bother. Thankfully so, Vijay stuck to his celebrated combinations with directors Murugadoss and Atlee, who were able to bring out the shinier side of the actor successfully and will mostly continue to do so.
Look at Vijay’s films before the 52nd one and the ones after that, and there is a staunch difference between the quality of the visuals, the outlook, the technical team, and even the casting choices. This showed that there was a solid revamp in the entire thought process and the passage of play that took place at that point of time. From there on, Vijay’s graph has been bestowed with a pattern of one solid blockbuster and one decent-average performer, back to back. Though some choices and experiments have gone wrong (Puli, Bairavaa, etc), the star hasn’t given the audiences a chance to write him off, and rightly so, his following has multiplied into large numbers.
Another important tool that has helped his growth is the Hindi dubbed market, which is now the first must-have on the list for any film made in Kollywood. Many of Vijay’s films, both recent and old, have been dubbed into Hindi, receiving a terrific response that gets the buzz about his upcoming films flying high in the north as well.
Despite the numerous innovative promotional measures taken up by every producer for his films, the publicity always comes in the form of controversy either before or after the release. Vijay’s films have been put up with so many issues every single time, much to the extent that fans are now confident of him coming out clean however big the problem is. When they said ‘rise like a phoenix from the ashes’, this is probably what they meant.Read More