Tamil superstar Ilayathalapathy Vijay is commonly billed to be the next big thing in Kollywood, after Rajinikanth. With fans’ constant support and adulation, Vijay rose from a normal looking boy next door to the level of Thalapathy, from Ilayathalapathy.
As Vijay turns 45 on June 22nd, his fans and admirers have a thing or two to celebrate. Vijay’s latest movie, his 63rd, is in shooting stages. As a birthday gift to Vijay, the title of this Atlee directorial was revealed and it is Bigil.
Vijay is from a filmy family, with his father S.A. Chandrasekhar being a well known director and producer. Vijay started his filmy career as a child star in his father’s films, then switched on to playing an action hero late in his career. His career is marked by many hits, which also included Tamil remakes of Mahesh Babu’s movies, including Okkadu (2003) and Pokiri (2006.)
As Vijay celebrates his 45th birthday, let us have a look at his five important career defining movies.
1. Poove Unakkaga (1996)
This romantic comedy film, for the first time showcased Vijay’s impeccable comic timing, with an ensemble cast. As a crossbreed born into a Hindu-Christian families, Vijay donned the role of Raja, a youth who reunites his maternal and paternal families. The movie was the first biggest hit of Vijay’s career, which made him a lovable guy in the Tamil families. This was a stepping stone which gave Vijay the license to dive into action image. The movie was remade into Telugu as Subhakankshalu (1997.)
2. Kushi (2000)
This S.J. Suryah directorial gave Vijay an undisputed position in the commercial market of Kollywood as the ever bankable star. The Jyothika-Vijay pair literally created a huge impact on the youth. Vijay’s persona as a dancing star was firmly established in this movie. He played a college youth, Shiva, who falls for his childhood sweetheart, Jenny (Jyothika.) The way Vijay emoted his role, with the required panache, spawned an array of remakes, including the Telugu one with Pawan Kalyan, Khushi (2001.)
3. Ghilli (2004)
The official remake of Mahesh Babu’s magnum opus Okkadu (2003,) Ghilli gave Vijay a place in the Tamil hearts, next only to Rajinikanth. Vijay suddenly found himself being worshipped as a demigod, with rituals and ceremonies on the day of his movie releases. In fact, Mahesh Babu was an unseen force in making Vijay a superstar in Tamil Nadu, as he is the only Tamil hero who made the largest Tamil remakes of Mahesh Babu’s.
4. Pokkiri (2007)
Telugu legend Mahesh Babu’s Pokiri (2006) inspired Vijay to remake it in Tamil, with Asin as the main lead pair. The special aspect of any Vijay film is the fact, one identifies the movie with Vijay and not with any director. This aspect was achieved by only Rajinikanth previously. The movie cemented Vijay’s place as the next superstar, after Rajinikanth. It is another fact he still remains ‘the prince in waiting.’
5. Thuppakki (2012)
This film by A.R. Murugadoss, an action thriller, added a unique aspect to Vijay’s film oeuvre. The film still remains the highest grossing movie of Vijay till date. The cop drama, featuring Kajal Aggarwal and Vijay, is particularly noted for its great screenplay. Vijay’s role as an Intelligence officer in Army who fights for the nation’s cause was a big hit with the audience and Vijay became a deified god by now.
2019 will see Vijay add another dimension to his repertoire, in the form of Bigil, the name of which indicates it is a sports drama. In fact, Vijay plays both an elderly man in his 60s and a young football player, who is the patriarch of the household.
Fans’ frenzy for Bigil has started and will not die down till the ‘bigil’ is blown about the release date.