“Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him.” - FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY
As far as cinema is concerned, we are used to watching certain combinations that never seem to break. Be it Mani Ratnam and Rahman or Vetrimaaran and Dhanush in Tamil cinema, Tarantino - Samuel Jackson, Scorcesse - Robert De Niro/Leanardo Di Caprio in Hollywood, we aren’t new to combinations that never fail to entertain us, and combinations where the director-actor / technician seem so comfortable with each other.
That compatibility and the comfort they share is evidently healthy for the business of cinema. Combinations itself will bring in people. But I personally don’t feel it’s healthy for the progress of the industry.
Combinations subconsciously build a vicious cloud of expectations which restricts an artist to tell a certain kind of story to cater to the expectations of the audience. The soul of a creator is to be unbridled, it should always flow with inexplicable turbulence.
A new combination or a collaboration gently pushes a creator to come out of his comfort zone and guides him into the crazy wilderness of experimentation. That is when new stories come out and that is precisely when Tamil Cinema will take the next big step.
Stars in Tamil Cinema have a face, an image to be more precise and the writers/directors who pen the scripts for them find it so difficult to work a story that breaks the image the actor has. There are only a handful of films that have successfully contradicted the star image of the actor.
With “Expectations” acting both as a boon and a bane to the industry, we thought of a few combinations that could possibly begin a new healthy age in Tamil Cinema.
THIAGARAJAN KUMARARAJA - DHANUSH:
Dhanush is an actor who could blend in easily to any character given to him. He is one actor who literally shut down the critics who mocked at his looks with his sheer brilliance and performances. Now, even though he has attained a base of his own and a star status he is seen experimenting with the characters he chooses to play.
Thiagarajan Kumararaja who enthralled us all with “Super Deluxe” has once again proved his immaculate narrative ability, alluring taste in cinema and his never-ending obsession with the evidently existing grey in a human mind. Dhanush playing a Kumararaja character will undoubtedly be a treat to watch!
KARTHIK SUBBARAJ - AJITH:
Won’t it be awesome to watch Ajith play someone as ruthless as Assault Sethu?
Karthik Subbaraj is a master when it comes to composing a shot that establishes the character’s power, the opening shot of Assault Sethu and literally every shot of Thalaivar in Petta stands as testimony to the fact.
Ajith is an actor who has this amazing charisma, where he could just walk and make his fans go crazy. To watch this charismatic actor in a well written, flawed but equally menacing Karthik Subbaraj Character will be something really exciting.
VETRIMAARAN - KAMAL HAASAN:
Vetrimaaran is known to make great emotional, rooted, violent dramas with a touch of irony here and there. Kamal Haasan is without a doubt the greatest actor alive in India who has done almost every character in the book.
Imagine, Vetrimaaran making a movie about a rooted, violent, aged gangster featuring the universal hero. Exciting! Isn’t it?
MANI RATNAM - VIJAY:
The energy and dynamics Vijay brings on screen is unmatchable and the aesthetic visual brilliance of Mani Ratnam is something hard to put into words.
Mani Ratnam is one director who has made some cult political films which are straight to the point and real. Vijay, in a role like Michael (Aayudha Ezhuthu), would be fiery and dynamic!
SHANKAR - VIJAY SETHUPATHY:
More than the Sci-Fi phase of Shankar, I am a huge fan of the Shankar who created these crazily entertaining and enriching Vigilante Films like Indian, Gentleman, Anniyan and larger than life movies like Mudhalvan and Sivaji.
Vijay Sethupathy known for his versatile choice of roles have mastered the art of tweaking a complicated character and breaking it down to his sensibilities and presenting it in the most charming of ways to the audience. Be it great philosophies, facts about reality or heroic punch line, Vijay Sethupathy has his own way of saying it. This trait of him is what makes the combination exciting to me, a man as simple as VJS in the glamorous, alluring world of Shankar, Shankar’s heroic punches at the society and government, said in Vijay Sethupathy’s style which is usually sugar coated with subtle humour. It indeed will be such a new thing to watch and cherish!
An American Essayist puts it, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better!”
This ideology is inevitable in the entertainment industry to elevate the excitement and enhancement it intends to create. Perhaps, someday, sometime, very soon these combinations will make their way to the best benefit of the filmmakers and the audience.