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The new stars on the block?

THE NEW STARS ON THE BLOCK?

By Kaushik L M

In the glorious history of cinema, we find that actors are aplenty, but stars are a rare breed. Till date, there are just a countable number of stars that have stood the test of time, in our Tamil industry. There have been the odd ‘one film wonders’ every now and then but, notching up consistent successes is a difficult task for most of these fledglings.

But, looking at the events over the past year or so, one feels that Tamil cinema has gotten itself two new promising stars, who are as different as chalk and cheese. While one is riding on his God-given comical abilities and charisma, the other is notching up an impressive run thanks to his interesting choice of scripts and faith in young talent. Though there’s a long way to go before they can be called a ‘star’ in every sense, they are definitely on the right track in the stardom-way.

Yes, we are talking about Siva Karthikeyan and Vijay Sethupathy, the flavors of the season thanks to their respective new releases, Ethir Neechal and Soodhu Kavvum. Both these movies have generated a solid opening and both these actors were greeted with whistles and claps when they appeared first on screen in these two movies. This was not in some swanky city multiplex but in a normal ‘single screen’ which is frequented by the ‘common man’ of the state. Definite signs indeed of the burgeoning mass appeal that these stars are building for themselves.

Siva Karthikeyan is blessed with a terrific sense of humor and he has a natural likability quotient that has floored the audiences in the state. Right from his film debut in Marina down to his appearances in movies like 3, Manam Kothi Paravai and the recent Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga (KBKR), his roles have been received positively by critics and importantly by the fans as well. He showcases a humble demeanor to the outside world and fans liken him to the sweet ‘guy next door’ that everybody loves. With such a positive buzz post the success of Ethir Neechal and with the evident efforts that he is investing in his grooming, dancing and other requirements expected of a hero, the signs are promising indeed for Siva K. Importantly, the handsome success, of movies like KBKR and Ethir Neechal, has given him a reach in all the three centers.

Vijay Sethupathy on the other hand represents the underdog who never gives up. He had a tough initial period in cinema and after doing minuscule roles in many movies over the past decade or so, he has finally struck gold with a hat-trick success. Each of these three movies, Pizza, NKPK and Soodhu Kavvum, enjoys a cult following among the critics’ fraternity and has also been welcomed by the layman for being something different and importantly, entertaining. Vijay Sethu is now being entrusted with many interesting scripts by promising newcomers with a foundation in the short film circuit, and producers are also willing to invest crores of money on his projects. And the recent wave of support that he is receiving in social networking circles has to be seen to be believed. His star seems to be definitely on the rise, particularly in the ‘A’ centers.

Now whether Siva K and Vijay Sethupathy continue their winning run, with the inevitable dips here and there, would be interesting to watch in the coming years. For now, all we can do is hope that they continue selecting interesting scripts that suit them and not grow too big for their boots and play the all-conquering mass hero so soon.

Good luck guys.

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