The year is 2011, a movie hall in Trivandum, it’s the first day, evening show of the film ‘Traffic’. In the film, the car that carries the heart of the character played by Vineeth Sreenivasan has reached the hospital and audience finally breathed the air of relief, many of the audience were applauding and celebrating the great success of the mission in the film. When every one thought it’s done, there arised another huge round of cheer for a young man’s appearance, the youngsters in the audience had identified the man who gave a lift to Asif Ali’s character within a fraction of a second, he was Nivin Pauly!
It was his second appearance on silver screen after ‘Malrvadi Arts Club’, this time it was just a cameo appearance but the people were extremely happy to see him. He had created an impact which has got stronger and stronger with each film. Today, Nivin Pauly is an inevitable presence in not just Malayalam cinema but the South Indian cinema.
Nivin Pauly had completed his engineering in Electronics & Communication and also worked in Bangalore for two years, however he resigned the job and returned to Kerala. He auditioned for ‘Malarvadi Arts Club’ and interestingly he was NOT shortlisted! He got the part when the person who was fixed to play the part dropped out of it! Now that’s something we can call destiny. Vineeth Sreenivasan’s directorial debut was a huge success as the youngsters were able to instantly connect to the film and it’s characters. Nivin Pauly then acted in some multi starers, but they didn’t give the actor much limelight.
Nivin Pauly achieved stardom with ‘Thattathin Marayathu’. His body language and dialogue delivery received a lot of appreciations, even today the dialogues are used in casual talks amongst people. Still there were a few more dull days, but 2014 became Nivin’s year with 3 blockbusters, ‘1983’, ‘Ohm Shanthi Oshana’ and ‘Bangalore Days’. He also won the Kerala State Film Award for the best actor that year. Then the ‘Premam’ storm happened and now, when we are nearing the release of ‘Sakhavu’, Nivin Pauly will get a festival season’s massive opening at the theatres, not just in Kerala but all over South India and the major cities of North India. So what makes this actor so special? How’s has he managed to race ahead of many other actors in terms of popularity, fan base, commercial value etc?! Let’s take a look at why is it so…
In the “cinematic” terms, Nivin Pauly is an outsider, someone who has no film background or connections and that is his primary X factor. He can be the ‘boy next door’, you don’t know from which background this actor is coming from and you have no prerequisite notions attached to his image, when his character is rich, he is rich, when his character is struggling, he is struggling, the audience accepts him as the character. And thankfully, the actor has managed to keep this factor strong as we don’t find ‘Nivin Pauly’ in Sub Inspector Biju Paulose or Jerry Jacob (names of his characters from his last two films). As he moves from one film to the other, we see him growing as an actor and that gives a rise to his stardom. The actor in him is so good that he can play a very less talkative and serious Giri (Ohm Shanthi Oshana) and the cute and innocent Kuttan (Bangalore Days) in the same year. When he was 29 years old, he could very convincingly play a 40 year old man (in the film ‘1983’). He chose characters or the characters came in his way in such a manner that no one could question his acting abilities. Another plus point about the actor is that his stardom is always an advantage for his films but he never misused it, he never had an extra song or an unwanted boosting for his character. After ‘Premam’, it won’t be difficult task to make use of this star status but the actor belongs to the league that understands the film is more important than the actor.
His collaborations with Vineeth Sreenivasan and Alphonse Puthren are much loved by the audience. When Vineeth Sreenivasan gets Nivin Pauly transformed to his characters, Alphonse Puthren gives his characters Nivin’s face and brings out the actor’s charm. Abrid Shine successfully made use the wonderful actor that Nivin Pauly is. On screen, Nivin creates great chemistry with all his heroines. Another combo that includes Nivin which conquered audience’s heart is Nivin Pauly – Aju Varghese, the duo shares an incredible rapport that can instantly bring smiles on faces. Nivin Pauly can smoothly perform songs, all his super hit numbers carry his charisma.
Naga Chaithanya, the actor who played Nivin Pauly’s part in the Telugu remake of ‘Premam’ had said that he could play the first and third portions of the film with ease but the for second portion, the college portion, he had to completely depend on the original version. It was the ‘Kalippu’ performance, the swag and the rugged look was the most popular part of the film. Premam became popular all over India. Nivin Pauly gained huge fan base of non Malayalees as well. This is something that the actor acquired like no other South Indian actor. Today, a Nivin Pauly film gets a huge release in the outside Kerala theatres and people rush in just for the actor! Nivin has a huge fan following on social media as well, the actor’s personal accounts are followed by several thousands and even the fan pages gets a lot of followers. In social platforms like instagram, where the actor is not present but fan page like @nivinpauly_official gets close to 100k followers. All through the journey, Nivin Pauly has become one in the family from the boy next door.
Currently, Nivin Pauly is one of the busiest and most popular actors in India. He is doing films not just in Malayalam but also in Tamil. An actor getting so much acceptance in the short span of seven years is really a big deal and in case of Nivin Pauly, it can never be called an overnight success. The man’s passion, understanding of films, hard work and talent is transparent enough to call him one of the most promising actors of the current lot in Malayalam cinema. He didn’t hesitate to play a 40 year old, he collaborated with the big star casts and still pulled the limelight, he has charmed people of all ages, he was ready to start his production house with a film that had a high experimental value, overall Nivin Pauly is an undisputed Superstar!
Hardcore Film Lover and Ardent Movie Goer, Aspiring Film Maker.