The rise and rise of Dhanush, Maryan, Dhanush


When the announcement came about Dhanush signing a Hindi film, there were quite a few raised eyebrows. Dhanush in a Hindi film? It was quite unexpected as the actor’s physical appearances are different from heroes north of the Vindhyas. Of course his talents in the emoting zone are well known and there was no apprehension on that count.

However, with the release of Raanjhanaa, Dhanush had silenced all his naysayers and is being drenched in hosannas for his power-packed performance.

When Dhanush entered the film industry a decade back in Thulluvadho Ilamai, what caught the attention was his unconventional looks. For an audience who was used to STARS with handsome faces and chiseled bodies that were far removed from reality, here was someone who looked straight away plucked from one of us. He completely belonged to us and in no way was part of the orbit where ‘stars’ inhabit. He struck the raw chord right from the beginning.

While his debut film showcased him as a gauche teenager, his second flick Kaadhal Kondein had garnered all the applause for his brilliant portrayal of a young man who is mentally and physically abused. For any artist to do justice to this kind of a role (it is undoubtedly a dream role), it would take some time and experience in the industry but Dhanush shocked people with his brilliant delineation.

Although there were a few lapses in his choice of roles early in his career, he quickly made amends with the apt selection of scripts later on.

His ‘boy next door’ countenance is one of his major plus points. That is the reason his famous dialogue from Padikkadhavan- enna maadhiri payyanai paakka paakka dhan pidikkum- caught on with the youth instantly. When Dhanush comes on screen, there is no ‘HERO’ but it is only Kokki Kumar or Vinod or Karthik Swaminathan or Kundan or K P Karuppu. He brings in so much of depth to his role that we start rooting for him mindless of the flawed nature because that’s how all of us are made of. This relatabilty factor accounts hugely for his popularity and increasing fan base.

His total submission to the character and the intensity that he brings on to his role is remarkable. In Aadukalam, when he gnaws his lungi and breaks into a rambunctious ‘otha sollalae’, his joy is infectious enough to transmit itself across the screen to the audience in the hall who break into a blissful frenzy. And when he questions Pettakaarar about his betrayal, you cannot but feel his pain with the same fervor. No wonder he won the National Awards for Best Actor for the film.

An artist is said to be complete only when he excels in making his audience laugh which comes naturally to Dhanush. Padikkadhavan and Thiruvilayadal Aarambam are a few such samples.

In Raanjhanaa, he could have let someone else speak for him but Dhanush was averse to it. His dedication and passion towards his work had made him learn the language and mouth his lines with earnest sincerity.

According to the legend Balu Mahendra who had directed the actor in Adhu Oru Kanaa Kaalam, Dhanush is one actor who can effortlessly handle intentional silence in scenes. To come from such a respectable auteur, it sure requires an amazing talent.

It is just not performing in front of the camera that the young actor is proficient in; we have heard the astronomical success of his voice in Kolaveri, his lyrical tryst with Mayakkam Enna, 3, Edhir Neechal and Maryan.  

When I had met him during Aadukalam days, to my question on his strengths as a performer, he admitted that more than his strengths, he knows his weaknesses too well. Perhaps this sums up the reason for his triumphs.  

Maryan would hit the screens soon and his fans can’t wait to see more of him thanks to the imposing trailer. Sarkunam’s Nayyandi is also happening and here is wishing the actor more success on whatever he chooses to endeavor and many more entertaining years in the tinsel town!

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