A column by Jyothsna on actor Dhanush’s meteoric rise


When a scrawny adolescent boy named Dhanush made his entry in a film titled Thulluvadho Ilamai more than a decade ago with a clueless look, audiences were equally clueless. Where would they slot this new ‘unheroic’ hero? In their template of heroes, would he find a place? Those that wondered who this skinny lad was that looked like one ready to be blown away by the slightest whiff of air, did notice the sparkle of his eyes and his performance.

If somebody had told them that this lean teenager was here for a long stay and that too an emphatic one, breaking the set norms of looks and physical appearances of Tamil heroes, there was little chance that the theory would have been bought then.

People who are initiated into Tamil films and its happenings would be aware that Dhanush’s entry into films was accidental and it was providence that brought him on board his brother Selvaraghavan’s film. That said, the actor was fortunate to have been groomed and associated with makers like Selvaraghavan, Balu Mahendra and Vetri Maaran who made him realize what he is capable of, his plus and minus. 

When I met Dhanush just before Aadukalam, he stood out as a person that reflected more on his negatives than positives, which I believe, gives an insight into his mantra for success.

Besides this, there is an important contributing factor to his meteoric rise - his FANS. Of course all the stars have their loyal followers who are ready for anything for their idol. But in Dhanush’s case, he is extremely lucky to have admirers who give him the space and freedom to choose his roles, experiment with the characters and traverse the wide gamut of histrionic talents.


At a time when even a newcomer is quite keen to have his intro scene cut out in a powerful way, here is Dhanush who has no such guidelines! Right from his earlier films, he has never slotted himself, but only bowed to the demands of the script. That’s why, he had(s) no qualms about getting slapped by women (Sonam Kapoor in Raanjhanaa, Richa in Mayakkam Enna) or having an intro scene that has his dad Samuthirakani trying to wake him with abuses (Velai Illa Pattadhari). Yet, his fans cheered and enjoyed the scenes.

His fans are happy to see him in any role and welcome his attempts. They support the star in all his acting endeavors be that hardcore commercials like Padikathavan or Uthama Puthiran or intense performance oriented films like Aadukalam or Mayakkam Enna. They are game for anything and have no objection about their hero getting bullied or jeered at because they know its reel and they come to see him PERFORM. There is no controlling force. This paves way for the star to negotiate in new unchartered territories, push the boundaries higher and higher resulting in a different cinematic experience for the audience every time.
Cinema is a director’s medium but when there is Dhanush’s name in the cast, he makes sure that he gives an all new color to the director’s vision making it richer, more poignant and purposeful. This is definitely made possible, thanks to his ever supportive fans.

More than twenty five films and still going stronger with varied projects, Dhanush HAS come to stay for a long long time and here is to the roaring career and success of Dhanush and his FANS!!!! 

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