Analyzing Ajith , Ajith, Vijay


In the tradition of the great Pasamalar, Ajith Kumar’s new venture Vedalam is said to be about the relationship between the star and his sister played by the cute Lakshmi Menon. Siruthai Siva is the latest in the long queue of directors who have turned to this trope in Tamil cinema and has looked to rework it. At least that is the buzz now. We will know for sure, come Diwali.


After Veeram, which was a modest hit, expectations are sky high for this movie. Ajith is often said to have the most devoted fan base in Tamil Nadu and the openings of his movie have always been good. So what is it about the actor that drives audiences, especially girls, wild even when the actor sports a salt and pepper hairstyle and a beard? Is it possible to look beyond the aura and demystify the star? Here’s a valiant attempt.


I missed Amaravathi, Ajith’s first shot at stardom in Tamil. He had acted in a forgettable Telugu movie Prema Pusthakam and the only thing that was good about it was that singer SPB took notice of him. I didn’t miss the songs of Amaravathi though, which were quite good, and the Ananda Vikatan article hailing the arrival of a hot new talent. Soon, Aasai was released and every girl I knew was swooning over this handsome actor. If the movie had the acting chops of a young Prakash Raj, it also had the breezy, casual air of a really young and earnest Ajith. It was also to Ajith’s credit that he was not stereotyped as a chocolate boy although he had done many soft romanctic roles early on. 


As years rolled by, the hesitant actor and ardent racer Ajith, because of the popular role he played in AR Murugadoss’ film Dheena, became Thala, got married to the young and upcoming Shalini and has a daughter and son with her. In all these years, he had movies which drew audiences across centres and ages to the theatre: Aasai, Kaadhal Kottai, Varalaru, Billa , Vaali, Amarkalam, Dheena, Villain and Mankatha to name some. So why is his audience fanatical about him?


Most of Ajith fans recognise that he made it in filmdom all on his own. He didn’t have a producer father or a godfather to launch his career. Also, the actor has forever been on the comeback trail and has twice been bedridden after racing accidents. People who wrote him off have been proved wrong with the actor’s popularity surging like never before.


Another point to consider is the star’s professional rivalry with actor Vijay. The Thala versus Thalapathy debate rages on with neither actor establishing a clear lead over the other. While Vijay relies on dance and action, Ajith relies on his good looks and charm. Fans have always been polarised in Tamil Nadu. First there was MGR and Sivaji Ganesan, then Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan and then there is Vijay and Ajith. 


His acting in movies like Kaadhal Kottai and Mankatha is restrained and an example of how good Ajith really could be when he had a good director helming the project.


We are sure Ajith will continue his success streak with Vedalam. Like Bob Dylan sings, there is no success like failure and failure is no success at all. I guess this applies to Ajith too.

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