Santhanam, the lone silver lining...


By Kaushik

In 2013, Tamil cinema has got off to a shaky start thanks to the seemingly never-ending legal struggle that Vishwaroopam has been subjected to. Other big movies like Aadhi Bhagavan and David have also been dragged by other political outfits which are seeking to gain mileage based on religion and community.

But amid all the thorns, one man continues to march on to more glory. He has been having a dream run for quite some time and looks like 2013 would turn out the same way as well. We are talking about the unofficial ‘Comedy Superstar’ Santhanam, who’s Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya has raked in the moolah and has turned out to be the first outright hit of 2013. In addition to being the lead actor he also produced the movie and turned out to be a really smart businessman as well. Though Powerstar Srinivasan stole the limelight from Santhanam for a change, still the handsome comedian more than held his own with his typical punch-lines and sarcasm.

His presence in the other Pongal release, Alex Pandian, was the only solace to the audience in a below-par movie while his lineup of movies in the coming months is also impressive to say the least.

He is not just a part of Vijay’s Thalaivaa but has also lent his vocals for a song along with Vijay himself. Then he has Suriya’s Singam 2, along with Vivek and Powerstar again. The roof ought to be brought down by this madcap trio. Trust director Hari to use all this comic potential to the core. Santhanam and Powerstar will complete their comic hat-trick with another biggie in the form of Shankar’s I starring Chiyaan Vikram. Ajith’s project with Siruthai Siva, STR’s Vaalu and Vishal’s MGR to name a few will also have Santhanam’s impressive presence.

That Santhanam is an indispensable part of Tamil commercial cinema is an almost unwritten rule now. The star works round the clock, is disciplined, accommodating and has his own trusted team of writers with whom he brainstorms on his comedy tracks. According to his wiki page, he is currently having up to 21 films in hand, big and small, and more will be falling in his kitty in the coming days as public patronage for him is overwhelmingly positive. “Book Santhanam first and then think of the story, screenplay and other cast” seems to be the mantra nowadays. 

A few years back we had the likes of Vivek and Vadivelu ruling the roost and now Santhanam has carried the baton and is navigating impressively along the dicey waters of Tamil cinema. We don’t know for how long this Santhanam era would continue but, as long as it lasts, we can be assured of ‘laughter therapy’ from this former ‘Lollu Sabha’ rocker.

To end on a lighter note, they say “Laughter is the best medicine” and looking at his track record over the past few years, Santhanam is fit enough to be bestowed with a doctorate.



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