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Vijay is arguably the King of a certain beloved genre in Tamil cinema called masala films. The said genre can be counted on to cater to all palates and the audience is offered a little of everything. Over the years, Vijay has become a specialist of sorts in delivering this particular brand of entertainment to his fans. Ghilli, Pokkiri, Thirupachi, Sivakasi, Velayutham are some of the biggest hits in his career and have established him as the Masala King.

Masala films hardly get the recognition they deserve as critics tend to see it as lowbrow stuff. But getting all the ingredients right is a tricky job and very few get it right. In these films, the senses are revved up with an awesome introduction scene for the hero that sets the tone for the rest of it. The heroine is introduced next to provide a little sugar and spice. The comedian makes an entrance to induce a few guffaws to get everybody to lighten up a little. A suitably evil villain thoughtfully sends bad guys after the hero providing the perfect setting for some adrenaline - packed action sequences and then bumps off someone beloved to the hero leading to powerful drama en route to an explosive climax where the hero exacts his vengeance. And since no masala film is complete without awesome music, some rocking numbers shot in exotic locales are squeezed in. These films are guaranteed to show you a good time only if they manage to hit all the right notes. Which is why Vijay deserves praise for delivering consistently entertaining fares served up with his unique blend of charisma and star power.

Thuppaki directed by AR Murugadoss, promises to be a treat for Vijay fans with the regular ingredients but hopefully delivered with more pizzazz and panache. The film faced some rough weather while the shooting was going on and later got embroiled in a title war but everything seems to have panned out. The ruling was favorable and the publicity has created a massive buzz around an already mammoth project. As D – day approaches, fan can barely wait to see Thuppaki.

It is always a pleasure to watch Vijay do what he does best but one cannot help but hope that he does not get stuck in a creative rut for there are unfathomable depths to this wonderful actor’s talent. Before taking to action roles in a big way, Vijay had excelled as a romantic hero in memorable films like Poove Unakaga, Thulladha Manamum Thullum, Kushi, Love Today, Once More and Kadhalaku Mariyadhai.

Vijay tends to play it safe as a rule, but he has been known to get experimental on occasion. Films like Piriyamudan and Piriyamanavale saw the actor delight fans with unconventional performances that were so nuanced and rendered with so much gusto that one could not help but ask for more. Friends, Vijay’s dramedy with Suriya is another example where the actor showed off his magnificent acting chops to good effect.  But a few misses later, Vijay retreated into his comfort zone which yielded more mixed results.

In recent times, Vijay has been attempting to strike a balance. Consequently, fans have been treated to Kaavalan where Vijay was at his subtle best, followed by Velayudham, an unabashed masala film which proved that the star was in fine form and Nanban, in which Vijay reprised Aamir Khan’s role and made it his own. With Thuppaki, Vijay will be hoping to rock the world of his fans as well as the box – office.

Now if only he would go back to pushing the envelope with a vengeance, his fans cannot possibly ask for more. We want to see him do a Moonru Mudichu or Annamalai, a Nayagan or Sivappu Roja. And given his dancing skills how about a Grease or Chicago? We want to see him play a serial killer, a psychopath or an unapologetic villain with absolutely no redeeming qualities. We want him to blow our minds completely with the awesomeness of that colossal talent which is yet to be tapped to the fullest. Go Vijay!

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