By Mithun
Is Veeram a loose biopic of Ajith?, Veeram, Ajith


When a labourer, Mayilvaganam (Appukutty), in his house gets married, Vinayagam (Ajith) gifts him a portion of his land. A teary-eyed Mayilvaganam takes the property documents with gratitude.

This scene, in Veeram, primarily set to pump up the protagonist, works - not just because it is well executed, but also because the man it elevates is Ajith, not Vinayagam.

Elevating Ajith, rather than Vinayagam, is what I believe marks Veeram’s success – for the movie does not build a new hero, it just rolls out instants that honour the real-life hero!

Ajith, recently, had built houses for his staff in Old Mahabalipuram Road, Chennai. And, more importantly, all the houses were registered under the respective staff’s names.

To Siva, the director of Veeram, about this generous act, Ajith had said, “Nammala suthi irukkavangala namma paathukittaa, Kadavul nammala paathukuvaar. (When we look after our people, God will look after us.)” And, the director uses it as Vinayagam’s dialogue in the cited celluloid replica of this generous act.

The entire movie is structured this way. It embeds the real life heroics of Thala into the story, and is greeted with ear-splitting screams and whistles, as expected.

Forty isn’t that old an age, but still Ajith does not hide his years. He, in fact, makes it explicit, yet again in Veeram. “It requires guts. I don’t think any other actor would do that”, Venkat Prabhu had said, in a show.

In another scene, when offered flower garlands, Vinayagam teasingly nods his objection – another stated policy of Ajith. He avoids felicitations and functions, and disapproves it unequivocally, as well.

When certain fan boys sing praises about his success, Vinayagam condemns them. It is to be noted that Ajith, on the eve of his 40th birthday, disbanded his fan clubs. He said that just as his fans wish him a better life, he wants them to have a better life. And, for that, he asked his fans to serve their family, rather than engaging in fan club activities. Hence, Vinayagam’s disapprobation, directed at the screen, was not just for the onscreen fan boys, but also for the off-screen fans who were celebrating Vinayagam’s success inside the theatres, and for the fans who celebrated Veeram’s release, with Paal Abhishekam and Crackers, outside the theatres.

Furthermore, Veeram also has scenes on Ajith’s passions: Racing and Biriyani. If Arrambam had him dashing in a Ducati and a Cruise, Veeram has him in a Bullock Cart.

Veeram, thus, bundles ‘Why-Thala-Ajith-is-a-real-life-hero’ facts and the necessary Thala elements - an opening shot (the gently waving salt-and-pepper hair, the slow-motion walk, the simple white attire, and, finally, the face), stunningly delivered punch lines, daredevil train stunts, and family sentiments - and plays to the gallery.

Finally, just as Veeram’s Vinayagam is, Thala Ajith is a self made man. He made it in the filmmaking business, donned primarily by families and organizations, on his very own. He instils hope in every youngster who strives to achieve. And, just as Vinayagam inspires his brothers, Thala inspires the audience, his brothers and sisters.

So - Is Veeram a biopic of Thala?



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Tags : Ajith, Thala, Veeram


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