Dilani Rabindran



Trisha's half century, Trisha, Trisha's half century


The queen bee of South Indian cinema, Ms. Trisha Krishnan, is fast approaching her 50-film mark! When many actresses nowadays have a career span of less than 5 films, it is almost surreal to hear that Trisha’s latest release, Sakalakala Vallavan, marks her 48th feature film role.


It goes without saying that she still looks amazing and almost as young as when she first debuted, even after 16 years, in the industry. She is a popular powerhouse brand herself and continues to remain one of Tamil and Telugu cinema’s most beloved leading ladies. Her longevity in a primarily superficial business for heroines is certainly deserving of applause, but, in my humble opinion, it is not fair to say that this longevity is on account of her obvious outer beauty alone.


Maybe because it’s been so long that we’ve seen her in a performance-oriented role, many filmgoers have come to primarily associate her with her stunning looks and style alone. It’s almost as though some people have forgotten what a phenomenal actress she is! Her dramatic turns in films like Mani Ratnam’s Aayudha Ezhuthu, Gautham Menon’s Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa and Prabhu Deva’s Telugu film Pournami are clear evidences of her artistic talents and ability to wow us with more than her looks. In fact, it’s her performances in these films that have helped to make them some of my favorite movies of all time. 


Trisha made the transition from modelling to acting almost seamlessly at a young age. Even from her earliest roles, such as a rebellious, love-torn student embarking on an affair with her professor in Lesa Lesa, we could see the markings of a great performer, whose innocent looks were supported with true talent. Most other actresses, who have entered the field in a similar way since her entry, have not had nearly as much success, because her level of screen presence, in any script – either above or sub-par - is hard to match. Unfortunately, now it is a ‘catch 22 situation’ where productions that can afford her range don’t often provide her with scope for true performance. Critics & audiences agree that Sakalakala Vallavan is beneath her mettle, but here’s hoping that her forthcoming releases, like Thoongavanam, Aranmanai 2 and Bhoologam suit her dramatic talents.


Another reason she has reached this half-century mark with such an extraordinary track record and no signs of slowing down is her public professionalism. As a heroine it’s one thing to stay in this industry for as long as she has, but it’s another commendable achievement for her to have stayed at the top with such a firm demand for respect of her private life and a mature public persona. As fans looking in we can see her responsibility as a role model shines through in her management of her publicity, social media presence, brand endorsements and philanthropic and humanitarian efforts, especially for the welfare of animals. Trisha has become a celebrity pro at knowing how to engage her fans and promote her career without jeopardizing or losing her own handle on her privacy. Earlier this year she went through, what we can all only assume was, a very difficult breakup and cancellation of her engagement, and yet we, as the public saw very little negativity or ‘airing of dirty laundry’ on her part, on social media or in her media engagements. She sensibly confirmed rumors when she was ready to, and respectfully avoided sharing any details with the public, citing the truth that it was not her story alone to tell, and it was unfair for others involved in the circumstances to have their private lives drawn into the media. When I read her honest and sensible answers in a recent interview I couldn’t help but feel my admiration for this reigning cinematic queen increase a few notches. Trisha rose above and proved once again that she didn’t make it this far by being irresponsible or unprofessional with her personal image.


So, dear Trisha, please consider this my tribute and advance congratulations as you will be celebrating a half-century in Indian cinema! Your success and the strength of your public brand is truly a praiseworthy achievement!



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