The few others who could carry a stubble graciously, in
my opinion, in Tamil movies, include Abbas (remember,
Kaadal Desam?), Prithviraj and errr… nobody else
actually. And a moustache-less existence is only possible
for Dhanush or Madhavan in my opinion.
On the other hand, it’s not really difficult to
understand where our enduring affiliation to moustaches
comes from. From time immemorial our literatures and movies
have portrayed men with moustaches and considered them
(moustaches) symbols of pride and valor (imagine Veerapandiya
Kattabomman without a moustache). And as moustache is
considered to be the symbol of manhood, it’s easy
to see why it appears on top in the ‘must have’
list for a man – an actor, by all means. So traditionally,
we have mustachioed heroes since movies were discovered
with very few exceptions.
Bharathiraja could have shown Karthik without that funny
little pencil moustache in Alaigal Oyvathillai but he
perhaps did not want his hero to be labeled ‘not
man enough’ for the lack of a moustache. When Prashanth
made a debut (with Vaigaasi Porandachu), while he was
still in his teens, he hardly had a moustache. Although
the movie was a hit Prashanth was forced to take a career-endurance
decision of growing one. So his subsequent movies like
Chembaruthi, Thiruda Thiruda and Kalloori Vaasal featured
him with one until Shankar came along to break the myth
While the case of facial-haired heroes are more common
in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada movies, Telugu movies
seem to be doing away with that phenomenon. The popular
Gen-Y ones, Mahesh Babu, Siddharth, Allu Arjun, Ravi
Teja (even Junior NTR) do not consider it necessary
to have one. The Failure to Launch of Siddharth’s
career in Tamil could be the effect of his non-facial
hair, which was also the case with Abbas or say, Kunal.
Even baby faced Shaam is growing one to try his luck
a second time in Tamil. The only exception to this rule
But the case with moustaches is not to be written down
so easily. Should everyone take down their moustache
and step into the world of smoothness? Not really, I
suppose. There are also the few who would look unimpressive
without a moustache, like Subramaniapuram Sasi (he did
make an attempt at getting rid of that bush on his face
in Nadodigal but only in vain).
So does Karthi belong in that list? Well, we will only
know that when he takes the extreme step of introducing
his face to the smooth world of Gillette.
PS: The writer sports a proper moustache and would
like to think that societal pressures have no influence
on the decision!
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