Mar 2, 2007

Tamil vs Hindi Cinema: 7. Villains

(Pics adopted from musicindiaonline and Galatta)

The movies released in the couple of weeks (e.g., PKMC and Mozhi) made me think about the role of villains in Tamil cinema and compare it with Hindi Cinema. For instance, I was surprised that three of the leading characters in the feel-good movie 'Mozhi' have recently appeared in notable -ve roles. As was done earlier, I am gonna limit the comparison to the post-2000 era.

Tamil cinema:

If you take a look at my post on the most notable villains in Tamil, we have had quite a good amount of versatility in the recent past; but has it been top-class? For that, the list of notable recent villains are:

1) Nasser: Though he was terrific in the early-mid 90's, his recent -ve performances have been forgettable. He appears more often as a loud villain (e.g., Thamirabharani, etc.) than the brainy subdued one he was famous for. His last notable performance was in 'Anbe Sivam'.

2) Raghuvaran: Where is he now?

3) Prakash Raj: Though talented, most of his roles after 'Aasai' were similar, until probably 'Ghilly' and after that, they are mostly similar in 'Chellam' style. Had couple of different hero-resisting roles in 'Vasoolraja MBBS' and 'Anniyan' but apart from that, he is one talent largely being wasted.

4) Pasupathy: Similar to the earlier mentioned, had a rollicking start early in his career (Dhool, Virumandi) only to become loud and irritating later (Arul, Sullan, Madurei and Thirupachi). Majaa and Veyyil suggest that he is better off as a character artist and probably likely to appear so in the near future.

(A point off-the-topic: The exceptional movies that I mentioned above Kamal's influence.. He really brings out the best from his co-artists).

Rest of the others, like 'Kaadhal' Dhandapani, 'FEFSI' Vijayan, Ponnambalam and Aashish Vidyarthi are so-so.. They look, act and shout like villains.. thats all. Rarely have we got the heroes embracing -ve roles. Even if it happens, more often than not, the hero makes up for it by appearing in a goody dual role (e.g., Indian, Aalavandhan, Amaidhipadai and Vaali) . So, he is the loser and he is the winner as well.. Once in a bluemoon we get a Kadhal Konden (Dhanush), or Kaakha Kaakha (Jeevan) and Ayutha Ezhuthu (Madhavan).. here again, the former werent established heroes when they performed the -ve roles.

Hindi Cinema:

(Pic adopted from BBC and Yashraj films)

The situation in the recent past in this aspect has been pretty encouraging and versatile. Almost all the main heroes have appeared in a negative role and have done reasonably well also. For example, Shahrukh (Don-though a bit different and KANK- a gray character), Aamir (1947 Earth and Fanaa), Amitabh (Aankhen, Aks and the forthcoming Sholay), Saif (Omkara), Ajay Devgan (Khakhi and Deewangee), Akshay Kumar (Ajnabee), Abhishek (Yuva), John Abraham (Aetbaar), Sunil Shetty (Main Hoon na) and Akshaye Khanna (Humraaz).

Even the actresses turn out to be interesting villains. Priyanka Chopra (Aitraaz), Kareena (Fida), Esha Deol (Ankahee), Isha Koppikar (Girlfriend), and Bipasha (Jism) to name a few.

In addition to that, the mainstream villains have been reasonably good (e.g., Manoj Bajpai, Ashutosh Rana, Irfan Khan, Mohan Agashe, and Mukesh Tiwari) too of late. The legacy of Pran and Amrish Puri has been passed on and continued well by many others. They usually stumble whenever they portray some Jihadi or Pakistani bigwig as the loud villain but otherwise they are OK. Even renowned actors like Nasirudeen Shah (Krrish, Sarfarosh), Om Puri (Dev, Yuva), Nana Patekar (several) and Boman Irani (Don, Ekalavya, and, to some extent, Munnabhai) appear in -ve roles and add flavor to it. They, IMHO, make the Hindi villains more dislikable than Tamil ones

So, the lead for Tamil cinema is reduced to 3-2.

Previous posts in this thread:

6) Music directors

13 comments:

ada-paavi!!!! said...

nice post raju, enakku hindi pathi onnum teriyadu so no comments. but in tamil u missed an upcoming future villian, that is in another 5 yrs will become top anti-hero - namely me :D

Sonata said...

wow perfect analysis!! i can see how much of a movie buff u r!!maybe in hindi ppl weigh roles depending on the how much they have scope 2 perform.. whereas in tamil heroes r afraid of the fact they'll be cast in similar roles in future???

Raju said...

Vatsan, thanks..

LOL on the 'upcoming' villain.. and all the best to you for becoming the deadliest of all.. When I write such a post 5-6 down the line, you alone should be responsible for tilting the scale towards the Tamil villains.. :)
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Brindha, thanks to u too..

Yeah you can say I am a movie buff.. and in case you have any doubt, you can visit this old post of mine...

You were spot on when u mentioned about the scare our heroes have. I saw somewhere that Sarathkumar is gonna act as a villain in one of his forthcoming movies.. That would be interesting.

Anu said...

Good analysis.. though I would like to point out that when mainstream hero's play villains it more a shade of grey .. and most times they "Villainess" is justified which takes away from the truth of story told

Nag said...

good job again raju!!

Me too said...

In addition to not utilising the talented 'Villain' Actors, the Tamil film industry would 'promote' good Villains to Heroes vera(Old movies of Rajnikanth, Satyaraj when they played the villians make me sigh)!!

Your Hindi listing shows how much I am lagging behind!!

Raju said...

Anu, thanks.. I agree with what you said. The perfect example is the case of some underworld dada movies released recently (e.g., Pudhupettai).
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Nag, welcome back.. How did the defence go?
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Aparna, yeah.. everywhere thats the case.. Shahrukh's some of the best performances came in the -ve roles he did early in his career.. 2 weeks later, I will have the chance to watch 'Anjaam'..

Only way of killing time in Florida in the first year was by visiting the Indian grocery store and watching each and every available movie from the shelf.. including some of the junkest ones.. hmmmm.. those were some days..

Princess of Arabia said...

Raghuvaran appeared in Sivappathigaram (2006)

Janani said...

aha....aha...aha... Enna oru comparision. Asathiteenga ponga..

KK said...

Nice analysis, IMHO I feel Ajith will be a good villian, lets see how he does in Billa :)

Raju said...

Princess, mmmm.. he did appear in Sivappadhigaram but not as villain.. I was searching for Raghuvaran the villain..
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Janani, romba nandri..
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KK, Ajith did well in Vaali and in Asoka.. To replicate the style of the famous persona who have acted in Don and Billa, would be easier said than done, IMHO..

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