When versatility meets good looks, you get R. Madhavan! The first image of Madhavan that comes to your mind may be the chocolaty Karthik from Alaipayuthey or a rougher Siva from Run or even from any of his Bollywood flicks, that doesn’t matter but you surely know him and I’m sure this man has got no haters. Also, as an actor, his career and his filmography is very interesting. He has done a bunch of really good films and they are entirely different from each other. So Maddy is definitely an actor who deserves our attention. And of course, the Irudhi Suttru/Saala Khadoos makeover had dropped many jaws with awe. From Alaipayuthey to Vikram Veda, Maddy didn’t just improve his game but he also set an example on how a good actor can adapt the changes in cinema. Let’s glance into some of the milestones in his career and some best performances.
“Naan unnae virumbalae, un melae aasappadalae, nee azhaga irukkaenu ninaikkala aana ithellam nadanthudumonu bayama irukku!” I don’t think the guys have found a better proposal than this one since 2000. Even though Madhavan had done some small roles in a couple of films before Alaipayuthey, the Mani Ratnam directorial was his big ticket to the movie business. Maddy had gained both the critics’ and the audiences’ love for the film. With Minnale and Dum Dum Dum, he had become the poster boy of Tamil-Urban romantic hero.
With the Hindi remake of Minnale, Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, Madhavan made his Bollywood debut as well. When the guy was slowly getting stereotyped, Mani Ratnam gave him a new role, a matured writer, a married man with three children! Kannathil Muthamittal is easily one of the best films made in Tamil Cinema, it went on to win six National Awards and is considered as a classic.
Madhavan’s portrayal of Thiruchelvan was widely acclaimed, he didn’t give a chance to the audience to question on his changeover. The next film also had something new to offer, some really mass action sequences. The film was Run, directed by Lingusaamy. No one would have expected Madhavan to pull off that character with the conviction he had. Maddy’s comic timing was discovered in Anbe Sivam, he did an important character alongside Kamal Haasan. Nala Damayanthi, which was written by Kamal Haasan, proved that Maddy can carry off a full-fledged comedy film. Madhavan had done most of his films as a city boy and in very few films his character had a village backdrop, but no one could have imagined him as a cold-hearted rowdy from Chennai. It was Mani Ratnam again, Inba in Aayutha Ezhuthu was a major turning point in Madhavan’s career.
Rang De Basanti directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra was a path breaking film in Indian cinema, it was a film that had some serious takes on social issues and changing generations of India. Madhavan was a part of RDB as well, his character was a very important one and he did it very well. He did a character role in Mani Ratnam’s Guru and his acting in that film alongside Mithoon Chakraborthy gained praises all over as the film got a lot of attention from international audiences. Maddy then did a few more Tamil films but they weren’t very impressive. 2009 witnessed one of the biggest successes of Indian cinema, 3 idiots. The Rajkumar Hirani film starring Aamir Khan in the lead with Madhavan and Sharman Joshi as two of the other main characters had one of Madhavan’s best performances.
The film was narrated by his character and he received extremely positive response to his performance. After a short break, Maddy appeared in Manmadhan Anbu, the film was a superhit and his comedy worked out really well. Anand. L. Rai’s Tanu Weds Manu was a film that stayed away from the conventional commercial elements but received a lot of love from the viewers and was a sleeper-hit. Vettai directed by Lingusaamy starring Aarya and Madhavan was also a blockbuster. But after Vettai in 2012 we saw Maddy in 2015 in Tanu Weds Manu Returns, the film was brilliant, Madhavan was fantastic, it gained critical acclaim and was commercially successful. But Maddy had changed, in terms of appearance. The film definitely proved that Maddy can continue acting but it gave no hopes to see him as a hero again. But we were proved wrong within an year, the first look of Irudhi Suttru created a storm in the social media platforms.
All of a sudden, Maddy- the beast was in front of us! The man who once gave relationship goals was now giving fitness goals. The trailer and posters of the film created an unexpected hype. The film directed by Sudha Kongara opened up well in theatres. It became a huge hit with the power of word-of-mouth. The film industry welcomed a new heroine, Ritika Singh was the show stealer. But it was also sure that Maddy is back with a bang! He was taking his time to reinvent himself, he presented himself in a never seen before avatar and successfully managed not to resemble any of his previous characters. He won awards for the film including the Filmfare and his name is back in the A-list.
When the audience and his fans were excited to know what will Maddy be doing after Irudhi Suttru, he comes with Vikram Veda, with another powerful actor with him, Vijay Sethupathi. More than the stunts or looks, Vikram Veda is looked forward for some power packed acting!
Thankfully cinema is constantly evolving. Every industry is producing something new, something fresh. In the current stage, movies have protagonists of different age groups. Being a hero is not just a young man’s game now. So obviously we need actors who have the capability to fit in any role. Madhavan is one such actor, he can do movies of all genres. We would love to see him do comedy again, we would love to see him do romance again, surely he will be doing more of good content like Irudhi Suttru we hope and of course we would love to see him in a Mani Ratnam film again!
Madhavan has created an impression, a very strong one indeed, in movie-goer’s of the early 2000’s, he was the prince charming of thousands of girls. He proved himself to be a better actor during the mid 2000’s with some amazing performances. He wasn’t planning to give up in the beginning of the 2010’s and now we are pretty sure that he is not going anywhere, he is here to stay! And who doesn’t enjoy watching Madhavan on the silver screen?! 😉
Hardcore Film Lover and Ardent Movie Goer, Aspiring Film Maker.