Kaushik L M



Banaraswala Dhanush deserves a toast, dhanush, tanu weds manu


Ever since Kolaveri Di became a worldwide sensation, Dhanush’s reach and popularity became unbound. As proof of his newfound nationwide celebrity status, he was roped in for his first Hindi movie, Raanjhanaa, to be directed by the man behind 2011’s sleeper hit Tanu Weds Manu, Aanand.L.Rai. Aanand had worked with another Southern actor who had crossed over, Madhavan, in Tanu Weds Manu.

Dhanush’s 3 was actually touted to release in Hindi as well, after a few months of its Tamil release but somehow that didn’t materialize and only fans in the South got to enjoy the movie in Tamil and Telugu.

Raanjhanaa was destined to be his first taste of the Bollywood world and the movie has been unveiled in a phased manner to the public with a few stills of Dhanush with his on-screen pair Sonam Kapoor followed recently by the nearly 3 minute long trailer. Dhanush had informed his fans a few days back that he is dubbing in his own voice for Raanjhanaa and this only upped the curiosity levels to see the trailer even more. His pairing with Sonam also made the right connect as they looked good together in the stills.

Now that most of us have seen the trailer, one thing is certain. The effort invested by Dhanush on his Hindi diction is absolutely praiseworthy. He also looks the part as the happy go lucky Banaras lad hopelessly in love with his childhood sweetheart. In fact, Dhanush has clinched such roles quite a few times down South and he is an expert at playing the Roadside Romeo with ease.

Kudos to director Aanand and the casting department for selecting Dhanush to play a role which he can do even in his sleep, given his proven caliber. Whether there is more to the role than the trailer leads us to believe has to be seen.

Coming back to Dhanush’s Hindi diction, we have had other Tamil stars speak in Hindi quite fluently such as Kamal and Rajini in their numerous Bollywood films a few decades back and even Vijay in certain scenes of Thuppakki. Madhavan and Vikram have also proved that they can speak Hindi with ease onscreen.

Like all his predecessors, Dhanush has also come out unscathed as he has got the accent and the dialect right. He mirrors the way an UP youngster looks, talks and behaves. There have been many comments on the net from even hardcore Hindi speaking people that Dhanush has indeed nailed this one.

There are talks already that Dhanush might be seen in another Hindi movie in the near future, based on the life of mountaineer Dasharath Manjhi and to be directed by Ketan Mehta. This movie has run into a legal roadblock now and a resolution is awaited.

Even respected actors from neighboring Kerala, like Prithviraj and Mohanlal have made an effort to speak Hindi authentically in some of their Bollywood appearances. Watch out for Prithvi’s upcoming Aurangzeb, a much awaited Yash Raj Films venture, in which he plays a cop. Prithvi was first seen in Bollywood opposite Rani Mukherji in Aiyyaa and he will also play one of the three main leads in Farah Khan’s big upcoming project, Happy New Year. Avenues are opening indeed, for this hunky actor.

Some of the promising young stars from Andhra, like Ram Charan Teja and Rana Daggubati, are also making their presence felt in Bollywood films and their prior knowledge of Hindi, as a result of being based in a city like Hyderabad, only makes it easy for them to pass the Hindi diction test.

Ram Charan’s upcoming Zanjeer is in fact the remake of Amitabh Bachchan’s legendary yesteryear movie and this is a huge opportunity for the youngster to break into the Bollywood market. With great title value, hype and with a superstar like Priyanka Chopra for company, Ram Charan has everything going in his favor to strike it big.

Kannada star Sudeep is also regularly seen in Hindi movies and he is a professional in the way he easily shifts between industries. Who can forget his villainy and histrionics in Naan Ee when he dubbed in his own voice? Some of his notable Hindi films include Raktha Charithra 1 and 2, Rann and Phoonk 1 and 2 and he dubbed in his own voice in all these movies as well.

On the one hand, we have a promising scenario, where a number of young Southern actors are crossing shores and trying to make a sincere mark for themselves in the Hindi market with their hard work and professionalism. On the other hand, there is also the unrelenting crass stereotyping and clichéd portrayal of South Indians in mainstream Bollywood cinema and in some national ads.

There are countless examples in almost every other recent Hindi movie, done by some of the biggest stars in the country, where South Indians have been portrayed as uncivilized, gross and over-the-top. This regressive aspect of Bollywood warrants a separate column and hence I’ll just stop at this.

For now, let’s raise a toast to our Kolaveri dude, Dhanush, for proving again that with effort and hard work, languages will seize to be a barrier.

Respond to kaushik@behindwoods.com
Behindwoods is not responsible for the views of columnists.



This page hosts the views of the authors of the column. The views are generally about films, movie reviews, movie news, songs, music, film actors and actresses, directors, producers, cinematographers, music directors, and all others that contribute for the success or failure of a film. People looking for movies online, movie reviews, movie analysis, public response for a movie, will find this page useful.