Dhanush marks his 25th film Velaiyilla Pattathari

Dhanush marks his 25th film Velaiyilla Pattathari

Dhanush marks his 25th film with Velaiyilla Pattathari, Deepa Gauri writes

As competition goes, it could be argued that Dhanush is in his own league. No other actor among his peers might have travelled as exciting and as unpredictable a journey as the 30-year-old, who also rose to international recognition with his song Why this Kolaveri Di.

From the confines of Tamil (in addition to remakes in Telugu fetching him legions of fans in Andhra Pradesh too, and a cameo in the Malayalam film Kamath & Kamath with Mammootty and Dileep), Dhanush also effortlessly strode the Bollywood turf with Raanjhanaa.

Now, with Velaiyilla Pattathari, he marks his 25th film, having debuted in Thulluvadho Ilamai, a youth flick that bordered on titillation. Dhanush has consciously or subconsciously integrated the best career practices of the two legends in Tamil cinema – Rajnikanth (also his father-in-law) and Kamal Haasan.

If Kamal had a Sigappu Rojakkal, where he plays a psychopathic killer early in his career, Dhanush played the violent social misfit in Kadhal Kondein. He then switched effortlessly into mainstream masala, starring in a remake of Rajnikanth’s Mappillai.

But with Aadukalam, which won him the Indian National Award for best actor, he returned to Kamal Haasan mode. It is the effortless straddling of both worlds – action masala and acting-oriented serious movies – that has set Dhanush apart from his peers, and defines his own space.

In Velaiyilla Pattathari, Dhanush brings a bit of both Kamal and Rajni. While the film, in which Dhanush plays Raghuvaran, an unemployed youth, is reminiscent of Kamal’s Varumaiyin Niram Sivappu, as a breezy action-comedy, it also has him flaunting his six-packs and putting on the Rajni-style when it comes to dialogues and action.

Unlike other heroes, a Dhanush film release is not reason for undue pressure. He is largely regarded as a safe actor. His two earlier films – the critically acclaimed Maryan (that earnedhim Filmfare critics award for best actor) and the heavily panned Naiyaandi (inspired by the superhit Malayalam film Meleparambil Aanveedu) – were only moderate grossers at the box office.

With Velaiyilla Pattathari, Dhanush also wears the producer’s hat, in addition to being the lyricist and playback singer. The film also marks the enviable world of camaraderie that the actor has built in the industry.

So, we once again have music composer Anirudh Ravichander (of Kola Veri fame) joining hands with Dhanush.

The movie also marks the directorial debut of Velraj, the cinematographer of Dhanush’s blockbuster hit Polladhavan, Aadukalam and 3, among others. Having given the word that he will act in Velraj’s debut film, Dhanush went on to produce it. And this week will reveal if the movie can make box office history.

Also starring Amala Paul, Samuthirakani (a director of trend-setting films) and Saranya (another National Award winner), Velaiyilla Pattathari boasts of a talented line-up.

Essentially the story of Raghuvaran, who is taunted by his dad for being unable to find a job, the film charts his transition from a simple boy-next-door to a compelling adult. As with most of Dhanush’s films, this also depicts his amazing transformation – in body language and character evolution.

Irrespective of the box office success, if Dhanush has put his money into this project, the very least you can expect is a good, enjoyable film.

Timeless love

Ennu Ninte Moideen, a film that has generated heavy buzz even before shooting commenced, has now been officially launched. Directed by RS Vimal, the film stars Prithviraj and Parvathy Menon, and is inspired by the real-life romance of Moideen and Kanchana.

Living through the 1960s, their relationship was staunchly opposed by their families. They would exchange love letters in a unique code that only the two could read. Following Moideen’s untimely death in an accident, Kanchana lives the life of a widow.

Ennu Ninte Moideen sees Prithviraj returning to another period story after Celluloid. He is currently also wrapping up Picket 43, directed by Major Ravi, in which he plays a solitary solider stuck along the border. Shot in Kashmir, the film is scheduled to be the big Onam release.

For Parvathy Menon, Moideen’s story comes after having earned overwhelming praise for her role in Anjali Menon’s Bangalore Days. She will also be seen shortly in Kamal Haasan’s Uttama Villain.

Hit combo

The success of Ordinary, Seniors and Romans had firmly positioned Kunchacko Boban and Biju Menon as the pair that could not go wrong. They were a perfect foil on screen; Kunchacko being the ‘good boy’ and Biju, always up to something unexpected.

The poor show of 3 Dots, which was billed to recreate Ordinary’s success, saw the actors take a hiatus from appearing together on screen. While Biju found consolation, as usual playing supporting actor roles, Kunchacko could not fire up the box office with a clutch of solo-hero films.

Now, the two are back again in Bhayya Bhayya directed by Johnny Antony, who returns after a film-less 2013. The lackluster show of Masters and Thappana in 2012 had dented his rather unblemished track-record as a superhit maker.

This time, he is not taking a chance. Having proved his flair for action-comedy through films like CID Moosa and Thuruppu Gulaan, Johnny is banking on the script of Benny P Nayarambalam, and the on-screen chemistry of Kunchacko and Biju. Will the pair recreate box-office magic is anybody’s guess.

Meanwhile, it is reported that Kunchacko is trying to revive the Udaya Studios, set up by his grand-dad, and is planning to produce a youth-star studded extravaganza. To add some fuel to the speculation, he wistfully posts photos of the studios, which was once the cradle of Malayalam cinema.

More news from Bollywood