Vikram, where art thou?
not only his birthplace that Vikram shares with
Kamal; he’s also often measured up to the
legendary actor. Or should I say, used to? The multifaceted
Vikram, who hard-earned his due after almost a decade
of his existence in films, seems to have stuck in
a mismanaged whirlpool of choices. The past five
years have been unbelievably uneventful for a senior
and established actor like Vikram and it does seem
like a matter of flawed choices.
Very few actors have been successful as Vikram who
struck a balance between commercial cinema and serious
cinema at the same time. He is synonymous with experimenting
with his roles, breaking away from the stereotypes
without being cagey about the hero-image. This is
also something very unique about Vikram similar
He managed to pull off a commercially successful
potboiler Dhill in 2001, in which he played an aspiring
student who wants to become a police officer entangled
in a web of ego clashes with an official. In the
next year, in his next film, he turned himself into
a melancholic blind singer who sings his
out poignantly, seeking alms to run his family. Although
the Filmfare best actor was bestowed upon him, his next
big critically acclaimed successful role came only with
Pithamagan in 2003. Needless to say, he won both the National
level and the State government awards for best actor for
his portrayal of an orphaned graveyard caretaker. His
most recent success seems to be in 2005 with Anniyan,
the Shankar directed fantasy thriller.
Ever since 2005, Vikram seems to have had banked too much
on a few projects, the choices that have created a void
in his career graph. The choices that have made him stay
away from other possible ventures. Not to nitpick at those
choices, but 2 years for an oh-so-ordinary Bheema and
one whole year for Kanthaswamy were grossly miscalculated
choices. I’m sure Vikram has had his reasons to
believe in those projects, but sadly nothing path breaking
evolved out of those.
Over and above, two announced projects that have turned
out to be drop outs, do not definitely look good. There
is Maniratnam’s Ravana that will serve as a launch
pad for Vikram in Hindi as well. It is slated for a June
release which hopefully will bring us a refreshing dimension
of Vikram to the fore.
There is no denial to the fact that movie making is only
a guessing game and it’s only natural that calculations
slip. More often than we assume in fact. But that is all
the more reason to be chary about taking chances with
predictable scripts. These are the coming-of-age times
of Tamil cinema and whoever refuses to grow up with it
gets to stay behind.
So why do we anyway need Vikram back in action? It is
because we need challenging actors to save us from the
crushing monotony of regular movies; because we hate to
see Vikram go back to his straggling days; because Vikram
exudes a boyish charm that is almost irreverent to his
age and is unseen in any other actor and also because
Vikram has a salt and pepper voice (although not exactly
right for singing) and the most perfect modulations, thanks
to his expertise in dubbing.
In the end, let’s just hope it’s a phase in
Vikram’s career which will fade out soon. Here is
to good movies and better choices.
PS: His website (I assume it’s his official website),
seems to be in an abandoned state as well. It says Kanthaswamy
to be his upcoming movie and lacks updates.
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