Kaushik L M



25 Years Of Chiyaan Vikram - The epitome of dedication, 25 Years Of Chiyaan Vikram, Chiyaan Vikram


We are in an age when internet milestones are celebrated for every damn little trivial and absurd thing. But when an actor (in this case Chiyaan Vikram) completes 25 years in filmdom, it definitely calls for a toast. If I had access to Vikram's number, I would have called him and wished him heartily for all the moments that he has given us. Though I had a memorable meet and greet with him at his residence some time back, I don't have the luxury of calling him at will. Alas, I resort to my tried and tested way of eulogizing someone - a tribute column in the hope that the said person reads it. 
When Vikram entered cinema in 1990 with an unknown film named En Kadhal Kanmani, Hansika and Amy Jackson weren't born, Samantha must have been 3, Tamanna 1 and the likes of Shriya, Trisha, Nayanthara, Asin and Shruti Haasan still little girls running around in tiny frocks (I am just trusting their ages found in the internet here). Vikram has paired with most of these women and looks fit and young enough to pair with any other happening young heroine around town now. Not to forget that Katrina Kaif is a big fan of him, thanks to his work in Bollywood in films such as Raavan and David, and also the huge reach that Anniyan got him through TV telecasts.
His was a career which took off after many hard years fraught with struggle, personal crisis and little baby steps as a professional. There were countless little known films that he did in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam and the odd Ullasam and Housefull which earned him some name. He had the looks and the talent but life decided to give it all to him only after he really toiled. The success that followed is history ... 
He didn't think of dubbing as something below his dignity and gamely voiced over for actors such as Ajith, Abbas and Prabhu Deva. And see where he is today! A true example for aspiring professionals in any field to not scoff at little chances that life offers us. It may just lead to bigger and better things.
His big breakthrough Sethu (and the resulting pet moniker Chiyaan) wasn't an overnight success and the film had to go through 100s of trade screenings before even releasing. It had a very slow pick up, but good content can't be curbed for long, right?. The film also faced a lot of production issues, further frustrating Vikram who was already going through hell in his career till then. Justice delayed, but not denied!!
With Sethu, Vikram also proved that he was someone who would do anything for a role - be it blinding himself, scarring himself, shedding weight, putting on weight, beefing up some muscle, growing hair, chopping it off, styling his hair in different ways, experimenting with his masculinity, tanning himself and what not .. What began there, took various other forms and stages in films like Kasi, Pithamagan, Anniyan to finally take the form of a monster in 'I' - a film which will go down in history as one where the lead actor did something which no one has ever done or will ever do again. Vikram sits pretty along with Kamal as the actor with the most faces, each distinct and trend setting.
After Sethu, Vikram had his share of commercial blockbusters such as Dhil, Gemini, Dhool and Saamy. This streak amazed even the Superstar and there were widespread talks at that time that Chiyaan was indeed the next Superstar in waiting. Not to forget all the awards that his performances in films such as Sethu, Kasi, Pithamagan, Anniyan, Raavanan, Deiva Thirumagal and the awards which await 'I’.
Dancing is another underrated aspect of Chiyaan's persona, and more than his moves, the energy and attitude that he showcases for his numbers is refreshing. Sample the songs in 'I' such as Mersalayitten and Aila Aila, and his early chartbusters in Dhil, Gemini, Dhool, Saamy and Anniyan. With a potentially life threatening accident, early on as a youngster, which severely compromised his legs and movement, what he does today is truly remarkable.
Despite all this acclaim and highpoints, there have also been many forgettable blips in Chiyaan's career. Fans have questioned his choices when he did films like Rajapattai, while even some of the films where he put his heart and soul, such as Bheema and Thandavam, didn't work out as desired. Such films have prevented him from claiming the throne, which was all his for the taking in 2003 when he had Dhool, Saamy and Pithamagan all in the same year !! Still, at almost 50, Chiyaan looks as young and dashing as ever, and with consistent releases with a certain amount of quality, he is sure to sit on top pretty soon. After all, no one hates him! 
Lets hope that he uses the 'I' momentum and races ahead to success within the count of 10, with his next release. Wishing this epitome of dedication and a true all-rounder another 25, and signing off here !!!
Kaushik L M

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