Cinemimi [Tuesday, April 10, 2012]
Unconventional looks and not even a worthwhile screen presence, still Venkatesh Prabhu Kasthuri Raja aka Dhanush - an emerging superstar of Tamil films - exudes immense confidence and scores with his simplicity.
Be it winning the National Award for best actor, creating a ripple with the nation's new anthem Kolaveri Di, or pulling off string of successes at the box office, the Dhanush craze has only multiplied in recent times.
Married to superstar Rajinikanth's elder daughter Aishwarya, Dhanush has all the right ingredients to replace his father-in-law as the god of Tamil cinema with his right mix of talent, simplicity and confidence. Add to that the GenNext marketing skills and Dhanush is certainly a superstar in the making.
Rajinikanth is generally acknowledged as a god in this part of the world. But a recent serious ailment has put a question mark on the longevity of his godly status. Among other youngsters, Dhanush has emerged as the new god in waiting.
Dhanush has had his share of hits and misses at the box office but has grown as an actor with each performance. Many of his female fans skip a heartbeat when he appears on screen. Men look up to him, especially in their moments of frustration.
Kolaveri Di could not have come at a better time. Dhanush's fans must have seen this song as one more feather on their hero's cap.
His latest movie 3 also did not disappoint. As schoolboy Ram experiencing his first love, Dhanush gives what some say is his career-best performance. He gave a convincing spin as the shy yet determined boy out to get the girl.
Later, as a business tycoon, Dhanush conveys the character's dilemma aptly. The movie might have faltered in the second half, but Dhanush's performance stands out. 3 has been getting people into the cinemas, with Kolaveri Di and Dhanush being the prime reasons.
Following the super success of Kolaveri Di, Dhanush has been invited to many places to deliver lectures, be it at IIM Ahmedabad or the India Today Youth Summit.
He has tweeted about his lack of knowledge of English, but Dhanush comes across as the most confident and impresses clarity of thought. He has the charisma to connect with the crowd.
Like all Southern superstars, Dhanush is also looking for national recognition. He might have won the National Film Award for best actor for Adukalam, but Bollywood remains the ultimate test of popularity. He is all set to make his Bollywood debut with Raanjhnaa opposite Sonam Kapoor.
Dhanush's decade-long journey to fame
Having debuted in 2002, it has been 10 years since Dhanush appeared in his first movie and he has already lived a lifetime starring in 23 movies, tasting success and failure alike, getting married to Rajinikath's daughter and also becoming father to two adoring boys before he was hit by a tornado called Kolaveri Di.
For someone who was forced by his director brother enter cinema, Dhanush surely has come a long way. The shy, lean, just-past-teen, Venkatesh Prabhu Kasthuri Raja adopted screen name Dhanush and made his movie debut with Thulluvadho Ilamai, which was a surprise hit but nobody really gave him a chance. Critics dismissed him as a one film wonder.
Dhanush was only 20 at that time. He came from a film family as his father was a Tamil film director and his second film Kadhal Kondein was directed by his brother Selvaraghavan. Along with Thiruda Thirudi, Dhanush scored a hat-trick of hits on debut. And, it was apparent that a star had arrived.
Soon, Dhanush had started commanding a fee of Rs.3 crore per film. But his journey on the path of stardom also saw a few hiccups. Like his three back-to-back hits, Dhanush delivered back-to-back flops as well. He impressed critics with his ability to act but struggled to deliver blockbusters for almost five years.
Thiruvilayadal Arambam and then Polladhavan changed all that. Dhanush proved that he could not only act but he could strike a cord with the movie-goers. The success of Yaradi Dee Mohini only strengthened his star status.
A high point of Dhanush's acting career came in 2011 when Aadukalam won him a National Award for Best Actor. As a guy organising cock fights in the movie, Dhanush essayed a character he appears to have specialised in, that of an underdog.
In late 2011 Dhanush hit the jackpot with the song Kolaveri Di and the performance in the movie has only given credence to his talent. Dhanush clearly has created a slot for himself that of an underdog, making a virtue of his ordinary looks. And so for millions of star struck fans the attraction of Dhanush is also in the fact that he looks so like the lovable simple guy next door.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Cinemimi [Tuesday, April 10, 2012]