To every movie goer who regularly watches South Indian films, who loves the mass masala entertainers, a year is not complete without a Vijay film. Let it be Pongal or Deepavali, the release of a Vijay film adds colors to the festival. Ilayathalapathi Vijay is only next to Superstar Rajinikanth in terms of box office collections, he has a huge fan range across South India. A Vijay film will always be one of the highest grossers in Tamil Nadu box offfice every year regardless of the reviews. In cities like Cochin, Bangalore and Hyderabad, Vijay movies enjoy a really long run in both multiplexes and single screens and they get the biggest opening, probably a better one than any other regional star. The success of the actor is not something that happened over the night or it is not something that he earned because his father is director, the charm of the actor possess is not something that can be developed or acquired, the way the actor conquers the heart of the audience is magical. In the span of 25 years and 60 films, Vijay has grown to be formidable force in the face of Tamil Cinema.
Vijay started acting as a child artist in his father, S.A Chandrashekhar’s films. He made his debut as a lead in the film Naleya Theerpu in 1992 which was also directed by his father. He did few more films but a proper recognition and a good commercial success came his way through Poove Unakkaga in 1996 which was directed by super-hit director Vikraman. Vijay played a family hero or more appropriately a lover boy there onwards in most of the films. 1997 blockbuster Kadhalukku Mariyadhai directed by Fazil earned the actor his first Tamil Nadu State Award for Best Actor. Thulladha Manamum Thullum released in 1999 is still considered as one of Vijay’s biggest hits. In the start of the 2000s, Vijay did a few romantic comedies like Kushi and Friends. Vijay tried his hand in action with Badri and Tamizha, both films did well at the box office but the actor was not completely accepted as an action hero. Thirumalai in 2003 was a game changer. The film gave Vijay a totally fresh image of a mass hero. The fights, the punch dialogues and the actor’s rugged look were all very well received by the audience.
Ghilli in 2004 is considered as an all time blockbuster. It was a remake of the Telugu film Okkadu. Ghilli ran in Tamil Nadu theatres for over 200 days. Vijay had become a super star by now. Few more movies like Sachien and Sivakasi followed. Now Vijay had a heroic commercial value in the business. Pokkiri in 2007 was another instant blockbuster. Even though the film was a remake of the Telugu film with the same title, it was Vijay’s screen presence and heroism that boosted the film. The actor had cool yet rough style for the film which was appreciated by the critics and also loved by the fans. Vijay attempted a double role by playing both the hero and the villain in Azhagiya Tamil Magan but the film didn’t do as well as expected. The following years had films like Kuruvi, Villu and Sura. The films didn’t fail at the box office but they weren’t good hits. From 2011, things again started to become better with Kaavalan which was a remake of Malayalam film Bodyguard. Velayudham in 2012 was one of the top grosser of the year. Vijay joined hands with director Shankar for the Tamil remake of Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots. Shankar is both critically acclaimed and commercially successful and it was his immediate next after Enthiran. Nanban became a successful film, Vijay was appreciated for his acting. Thuppakki in 2012 directed by A.R Murugadoss was not just a big high in Vijay’s career but it was for the entire Tamil film industry. The film is the third industrial hit after Sivaji and Enthiran (both staring Rajnikanth). The film is considered as the most stylish action film made in Tamil Cinema. It was a face of change for the industry. After Thalaivaa and Jilla, Viajy reunited with A.R Murugadoss for Katthi which also turned out to be a blockbuster. Vijay was widely appreciated for being the ultimate performer. The social relevance of the film also gained praises. The next release Puli was an experiment in the fantasy genre which didn’t work out well. Theri in 2016 is the biggest blockbuster in Tamil Nadu after Kabali. In fact in the Chennai box office Theri is above Kabali. 2017’s Pongal had Bairavaa which is counted to be a superhit.
There’s a dialogue in the actor’s last release Bairavaa, the villain asks ” Nee enna periya vasool mannana? ” [ Are you the king of collections (money)] and Vijay replies ” Theriyala, appadi thaan sollikaraanga” ( I don’t know but the people are saying so). The fans were whistling and clapping when this line was said on screen and when we look at records, yes, it is true, Vijay is the ‘Vassol Mannan’. The actor has his own specialities, he is adorably cute and his smile is the favorite part of all the girl fans. He has amazing comic timing, there are only few heroes who can naturally do comedy. He is the only big star after Rajnikanth who handles comedy well. His dancing skills are well known to everybody. People look forward for the songs in the film to see Vijay dance, many heroines have said that they feel nervous to dance with Vijay as he is such a wonderful dancer. The actor can create great chemistry with all his heroines, he looks perfectly in sync in with the female lead. A major part of Vijay fans are kids. Kids just love Vijay! It is unknown that what is the special element that attracts kids to Vijay but they just want to see him on screen. Children dress like him, dance like him and mimic him, they make the fanfare even bigger.
From early 2010s Vijay had stopped giving interviews, we now see him only in his audio launch functions and some award functions but whenever he makes a public appearance the event becomes huge. The fans never consider Vijay as an actor but as their own brother. They try and make every event related to the actor bigger and better. The actor is known for his calm and down to earth persona. He always dress up simple and keep smiling. When he walks in, you can feel the Star presence. Vijay is the perfect star material, he has the inbuilt charisma that can charm people. People affectionately call him Ilayathalapathi and Vijay has always been truthful the love and affection he receives. Being a star of the masses is not an easy job and therefore Vijay truly deserves his position because he never disappoints his fans. And as we said in the beginning, for the lovers and even for the haters, a year is incomplete without a Vijay film and that is the success of the Man!
Hardcore Film Lover and Ardent Movie Goer, Aspiring Film Maker.