Saturday, 19 March 2011

Who will fit Next superstar's suite!!!

We love our heroes in this part of the world, particularly in the Tamil film industry. And they simply do not make them bigger than our very own ‘Thalaivaaaaaa’, Rajnikanth. Every time a Rajni movie releases, most true – blooded fans are caught up in the hysteria that is generated and allow themselves to be enveloped by the Superstar juggernaut. Which Tamilian has not basked in the reflected glory when accolade after accolade is showered on him from being the highest paid actor in Asia and certainly the most beloved one to the recent ‘NDTV Entertainer of the Year’ award? But what if the unthinkable happens and the Superstar decides to take off his acting

boots and retire to the Himalayas or something? For fans of Tamil Cinema, it would be a terrible loss comparable to the grief every Indian must experience if Sachin Tendulkar were to retire from International cricket. There has been considerable debate and a spate of controversy over a worthy successor to Rajnikanth.

So this begs the question of who is the next Superstar. There are takers enough for the hallowed spot but perhaps it is time we all realize that there will never be another like Rajnikanth, ever. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. For we all know that there is no dearth of talent in the Tamil film industry. The Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan era has been a glorious one and the two behemoths are still going strong but the age of the superstars must draw to a close some time, and the new guard is no less impressive than the old one. The younger generation of actors have done impressive work and are sure to preserve the high standards of their predecessors. An examination of their credentials will surely help prove this point.


Vijay or ‘Ilaya Thalapathi’ as he is lovingly called by his adoring fans is an established star in his own right and one of the stalwarts of the industry. He is Superstar material simply because he does not blindly emulate the original Superstar and brings his own particular style to his portrayals. The man is charismatic, has screen presence, fantastic voice modulation, can totally rock a fight sequence, shake a leg with the best of them, and romance the pants off his heroines. And he sings pretty decently. In movies like “Gilli” and “Pokkiri”, he managed to find his groove and a permanent place in the hearts of the audiences.

The promising actor has faced his share of problems from a string of flops to clashes with political head honchos. But he has made a strong comeback with his latest “Kaavalan” which has been declared a smash hit and also won him critical acclaim for his restrained performance. Here’s hoping he picks his scripts with a little more care and makes great films that will do the industry proud.


There is no denying that ‘Thala’ has style, attitude, and oodles of charm. There are hordes of fans across the length and breadth of the state who simply refuse to give up on him, despite an unenviable string of colossal flops. Movies like “Vaali”, “Villain”, and “Varalaru” showcased his acting chops and proved that as an actor he has a wealth of potential.

However, Ajith seems to attract controversy like an industrial strength magnet. From his much publicized disagreements with producers and directors which have resulted in his being forced out of promising projects to inflammatory speeches on political harassment which led to him being hounded, he is no stranger to trouble.

If he were to simply focus on making awesome movies with talented people and steers clear of controversy and alternative career paths, he will be doing himself and his fans a big favor. “Mankatha” with Venkat Prabhu promises to be exactly what the doctor ordered for this beleaguered star.


When it comes to achieving a perfect blend between mass and class cinema, nobody does it better than Suriya. He seems to have gotten his hands on the long coveted secret to box – office success and he is in no hurry to relinquish it. In movies like “Kaakha Kaakha”, “Pithamagan” and “Perazhagan”, he gave brilliant performances than made him something of an icon in the industry. And then with pure entertainers like “Vel” and “Ayan” he proved that he could attract the masses as well.

This dude is a professional with a knack for picking out winning scripts and it is clear that he is dedicated to his craft. But what makes him fall just shy of perfection is the restraint and self - consciousness that comes across as something that is integral to his persona and which seeps into almost all his characters. And that is not something which delectable abs alone can fix. That being said, one cannot help but wait for his next offering as it is very likely that he will knock it out of the ball park.


‘Chiyaan’ Vikram was a late bloomer but he is a powerhouse of talent and a national award winner. There are few in the industry who can boast of similar prowess as an actor. Movies like “Sedhu”, “Pithamagan”, “Dhill”, “Dhool”, and “Saamy” consolidated his position as one of the greatest performers in this country. Recently, he did the south proud by delivering a thumping performance as ‘Raavanan’ and garnering box office glory while his north – Indian counterpart could not boast of similar results.

The sheer passion Vikram has for his chosen profession is apparent given the amount of preparation that goes into his roles. But constant unhealthy changes to his body mass index in his intense desire to get under the skin of his character has caused him to slow down mentally and physically and resulted in some of his films failing to hit pay – dirt. However, one can confidently assert that given his raw talent, it is only a matter of time before he hits his stride again and goes on to win more honors both for himself and his supporters. Perhaps, someday he will even go on to win an academy award!


Dhanush seems to be a hardworking young man and movies like “Kaadhal Kondaen”, and the recent “Aadukalam” indicate that he has the makings of a fine actor indeed. He chooses his projects with a good deal of care and evidently puts his heart and soul into them. He is the son – in – law of Superstar Rajnikanth. On paper this is considered an advantage but more often than not his famous connection has not worked out very well for him since it has only served to earn him unfair comparisons with the great man himself. If Dhanush were to focus on carving out a niche just for himself, odds are he’ll go places.


Simbhu is clearly the rough diamond in the Tamil film industry. He was a successful child artiste and is now an actor/ singer/ director/ lyricist/ writer/ dancer. But despite his many talents few took him seriously at the onset and insiders felt that his attitude was the problem. Even a hit movie like “Manmadhan” which was penned and directed by Simbhu could not reverse the tide. Blockbusters eluded him and big filmmakers steered clear of him. The moniker “Little Superstar” became something of an onus for him as it seemed ironic more than anything.

Silambarasan then took stock of the situation and decided to tone down the attitude without dropping it completely. He even stopped talking unnecessarily about the ladies he has loved and lost. This resulted in him joining hands with Gautham Menon and “Vinnaithandi Varuvaiya” happened. The rest as they say is history. A star had arrived and yes he can act with the best of them. With a little polish, this rough diamond is sure to shine brightly.


This powerhouse performer is a phenomenon who has taken the Tamil industry by storm. He has had only five releases to date and they have all been stupendous successes. Suriya’s younger brother made the most daring and unconventional debut of all time with Ameer’s “Paruthiviran”. He played a thankless character who was unkempt, uncouth and a devotee of violence when he was not in the company of sleazy women or getting smashed. And yet Karthi managed to endear himself to all who stepped in to the movie hall. After this dazzling debut there has been no looking back for the young star. Movies like “Aayurathil Oruvan”, “Paiyaa”, “Naan Mahan Alla”, and “Siruthai” have consolidated his enviable position.

What sets Karthi apart from the others is that he has talent, charisma as well as screen presence in abundance. There is a magnetic quality about him that is reminiscent of Superstar and which sends the masses into a frenzy. The crowds worship him already and the response to him in theatres has to be seen and heard to be believed. The audience laugh, cry, and love with him. He simply rocks their world with his livewire performances. In addition to this he experiments with his roles and has the confidence to carry them off with considerable elan. There can be little doubt about it – Karthi’s star is on the ascent and it is sure to shine brightest on the horizon one day.


Arya is the quintessential unconventional hero – from his looks to his choice of roles there is nothing remotely typical about him. He first grabbed eyeballs not with his own light eyes but with his breakout performance in “Arindhum Ariyamalum” and there has been no looking back for him ever since. Tackling risky projects which his contemporaries avoid like an encounter with the Income tax department, he has repeatedly delivered the goods. Movies like “Naan Kadavul”, “Madrasapattinam”, “Boss Engira Baskaran” have gone on to become cult classics defying all odds. He may be the dark horse of the industry but he is clearly a winner.

In addition to this fine crop, actors like Jiiva, Prasanna, Vimal, deserve an honorable mention. Given the abundance of talent in the Tamil film industry one need not worry about its future. For we may have to bid adieu to the Superstar sometime in the future but we will never run out of super stars.

Nobody deserves to be the next superstar,concluded :-)

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