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When words fail, a mere glance can convey a thousand words. Such is power of eyes and Tamil cinema has no dearth in maximizing their potential.

Most actors experiment with their physique. Topping the pack is Kamal(ofcourse) who has played roles that is worthy only of legends. A dwarf (Aboorva Sagotharargal), limp (16 vayathinile), Nanny (Avvai Shanmughi) and everything pot-lucked in Dasavatharam. Suriya following his footsteps excelled as a hunchback in Perazhagan and six pack in Ghajini. Vikram leaps into the list for altering his calories for Sethu, Saami, Anniyan and Pitha magan. While we struggle to lose a few pounds, these actors spend days dedicated to the gym and consume diets worthy of only sages. Their dedication to the task at hand is truly noteworthy. 

Some of the iconic roles in Tamil cinema have been when one of the vital senses go mute. Sridevi in Moondram Pirai stole the show right from under Kamal, Vikram has many accolades in his kitty but Pitha Magan where he hardly spoke 2 lines gained him irrefutable applause. Mozhi is credited as Jothika’s best performance. Although Kamal’s deaf man act bombed in Mumbai express, being a born actor he carried Pesum Padam to dizzying heights.(Pesum Padam is a silent movie, but from my perspective it experimented on muting all senses except the eyes).

We have seen how Prithviraj tried to live Jothika’s deafness by tying his ears in Mozhi. While that evoked a few laughs, any actor attempting to play such roles is treading a less travelled path. While many of them try to learn from real lives, some attend workshops to learn the sign language. Acting in front of the mirror to gauge your performance is a time tested learning mantra. 

An actor with a zest for perfection and zeal for experimentation, would accept how arduous playing a blind man would be. Vishal takes it a step further by playing a squint in Avan Ivan. If you are not in agreement try squinting for a minute. Now continue to do that for a whole duration of a film shoot(not just 3 hours). While Bala known for straying away from the herd, will give us a movie to remember, one has to appreciate Vishal for having accepted the role, eyes wide open. Tamil cinema has one more to be proud off. 

Many can still recollect Kamal’s ease of playing a blind violinist in Raja Paarvai, Vikram scaled heights to perch high as a blind singer in Kasi. Pooja’s performance in Naan Kadavul was laudable, Jothika in Perazhagan scored, Revathy(Kai Kodukum Kai), Simran(Thullatha Manamum Thullum) have all played blind. However, this is the first time somebody is trying the squint act.

Daring to go beyond his action hero image, Vishal has done what many leading heroes have failed to attempt. His quest to don a different hat is worthy of appreciation. Coming from Bala’s camp one can be assured that this would be Vishal’s best. Avan Ivan is eagerly awaited.

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