Kaushik L M



Siva gives Thala Ajith the vital missing link, Vedalam, Thala Ajith


Vedalam is the current talk of the town with its furious opening collections and widespread talk of being Ajith’s biggest grosser in his 2 decades plus career. The film’s director Siva has made it 2 on 2 with Ajith after Veeram last year and now this. The duo is joining hands again in 2016 for a film post Thala’s surgery recovery. So what is it with Siva that makes Ajith go back to him again and again? We’ll find out.
In the initial stages of Ajith’s career, he progressed from being a lover boy to an action hero. His fan base predominantly comprised of male youngsters while his lover boy image and handsome looks also endeared him to young females. Films such as Kadhal Kottai and Aasai to name a few, also had widespread patronage from the family audiences thereby making Ajith a young upcoming hero in the 90s with audiences comprising all age groups.
In the 2000s, Ajith’s image strongly shifted towards the mass action hero prototype and his fan base was now majorly dominated by passionate male youngsters. This wasn’t to say that family audiences totally stayed away from his films, but heroes like Vijay and Suriya were more preferred by this big audience subset. Of course, Rajini and Kamal were evergreen favorites when it came to family film outings.
Movies such as Poovellam Un Vaasam, Villain, Thirupathi, Varalaru and Kreedom gave Ajith some momentum with all age groups of audiences while his other mass films such as Red, Dheena and Attagasam were patronized mostly only by male youngsters. Gradually during this period, Ajith lost out on his family audience base, and even his blockbusters such as Billa, Mankatha and other successes like Arrambam were majorly driven by the male youth crowd. To give it to Ajith, he commands the most loyal and wide fan following among the male youth who are unwavering and unflinching in their 'Thala love'. This lot is also growing in number, with every passing year!
Now with all this backstory and history on Ajith’s career and audience base, we look at Siva and what he has brought to Ajith’s table with Veeram and Vedalam. After speaking to theater owners and other people in the trade, they opined that these two films have been the only ones which substantially drew in the family crowd and ladies to theaters, for Ajith in the recent past. 
Unless ladies, kids and families come to theaters in sizable numbers, a film can’t sustain beyond the opening fan frenzy and become an outright hit. This is almost an unwritten rule in the film trade and was proved in Vijay’s case with his films like Ghilli and Thirupachi which strengthened his family appeal in the early 2000s.
For Vedalam, it seems, family audiences started coming by the first day evening itself and the film’s idea of positioning women in good light and the subtle propaganda on women empowerment have only helped its cause. So for all of Siva’s cliches in story, screenplay pattern, the typical commercial elements that he packs in his films, the flashback spike and the unfavorable reviews from ‘learned’ critics, it is undeniable that the family crowd somehow connects and identifies with his films’ content. And for Ajith this connect is mighty important as he gets into the next phase of commercial superstardom in his career.
With the male youth audience firmly in his hold, Ajith is starting to make inroads as a hero for the entire family with Veeram and Vedalam. So has Thala finally found the missing piece in his jigsaw puzzle with Siva’s films?
Kaushik LM

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.