Thamizh Talkies: Familiar actors, unfamiliar light
The writer is a former journalist who has worked in the film industry for several years and is passionate about movies, music and everything related to entertainment
Recently, I had thrown open a question on Twitter, asking for three unconventional or new star-pairs people had seen and liked in Tamil cinema. I’d define unconventional with Hindi examples like Irfan Khan and Deepika Padukone in Piku, or Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal in Raazi, or Madhuri Dixit and Naseeruddin Shah in Dedh Ishqiya.
The answers I got from Twitteratti ranged from films released in 1975 to now. Just reading the names of the actors and films is enough to give any film buff a nostalgic high. Also, what’s wonderful about a fresh pair of actors uniting for a film is proof that the oft-repeated word ‘chemistry’ (which certainly was not my favourite subject in school) was put to good use. This chemistry is what keeps emotions alive long after a film has seen its box office run.
It’s this chemistry between actors that makes an entire film worthy of our time. Usually, this amalgamation (sounds like we are really in a chemical lab, right?) of acting talent is relegated to romantic pairs, but chemistry is crucial even between actors who play friends or family. For purposes of the first round on this chemistry list, I’ve listed a few popular hero-heroine pairings that created a big buzz around their films. Why these pairings worked is self-explanatory.
- Kamal Haasan-Srividya in Aboorva Raagangal
- Rajinikanth-Phataphat Jayalakshmi in Mullum Malarum
- Sivaji Ganesan-Radha in Mudhal Mariyadhai
- Kamal Haasan-Saranya in Nayagan
- Kamal Haasan – Kovai Sarala in Sathi Leelavathi
- Livingston-Rambha in Sundarapurushan
- SJ Suryah-Simran in New
And more recently ...
- Rajinikanth-Radhika Apte in Kabali
- Prakash Raj-Leela Samson in OK Kanmani
This is not to forget, of course, the Yogi Babu-Nayanthara angle in Kolamaavu Kokila. Another first time pairing that made a mark recently is Arvind Swamy and Jyothika in Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. The upcoming Kaatrin Mozhi has a star performer like Jyothika play the wife of a character played by Vidharth, a good actor. Getting the cast right is often half the battle won when it comes to giving life to a script.
And for you, ardent reader of this column, I have a small quiz (don’t cheat) on some unusual hero-villain pairing. Can you guess the names of the actors who played these characters?
1. Balaji and Prasad in Moondru Mudichu
2. Anu and Ramanathan in Avargal
3. Aadhi and Badri in Kurudhipunal
Answers: (1. Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth 2. Sujatha and Rajinikanth 3. Kamal Haasan and Nasser)