My sister: I am saving all Nayanthara’s Kaashmora pictures as reference for our next jewellery shopping mission!
Me:*Awestruck by the picture* I really wish we manage to find them! (But wait, is it just all about her accessories and dresses? No! Nayanthara’s charishma glorifies all that she is wearing. I should probably decode her travel)
Manassinakkare, a Malayalam film which released in 2003 marked the debut of an actress who was oblivious to the extent of her growth in the next 13 years! Yes! Nayanthara has been in the industry for the past years and a microscopic view into her career graph stands as a case study proving the myth of “Shelf life of heroines” wrong! In an industry where women lose their prime form and time quickly and take the backseat or enter the small screen, this 13-year (and continuing) feat is something inspiring and reassuring to aspirants.
I choose to study her career by splitting it into 4 phases
1. The new girl in the town!
Be it her first few Malayalam films or the popular Sarath Kumar starrer Ayya and Superstar’s Chandramukhi, Nayanthara came across as a girl with appealing dravidian features who could help filmmakers reform the 80s trend of village based films. Her innocence and lack of awareness added a genuinity to her performance. However the industry was confident that she has arrived to stay for a good period of time.
2. The explorer
From Suriya starrer Ghajini, we saw Nayan getting explorative and breaking all the stereotypes around her as she took up modern and glamorous roles. This was the phase where she checked almost all A listers off her list in terms of technicians and stars in the South Indian industry. Soon she became the go-to person for all big projects to elevate its’ position in the market.
3.The matured performer
Director Atlee’s Raja Rani marked the return of this actress in many ways. Apart from professional aging, she had a solid personal learning that transcended in her persona. This maturity slowly reflected in her performance and choice of roles. The scene in Raja Rani where she breaks down while sitting with Sathyaraj in the car is a real soul-stirring moment for any viewer!
She again became part of films and stood as a significant reason for their performance in the box-office and the acclamation they received.
4. 2015 - The golden period!
There comes a time in every artist’s life when an opportunity arrives to change every single thing about his/her life, and it’s up to the artist to clinch it and elevate themselves to greater heights than ever. He/she has to grab that opportunity by the balls, and in my honest opinion, I do not think any other artist has so successfully reinvented and redesigned her own career graph with this phase, and this phase is the sole reason behind this article. In fact, it won't be wrong to say that she owned 2015. Here are my stats:
5 Tamil, 2 Malayalam.
4 Blockbusters and 1 hit.
Maya featured Nayanthara in the lead and she shouldered the entire project forward to make it a memorable debut for director Ashwin Saravanan. This extremely successful year came to closure with Vignesh Shivan’s Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (NRD), the most wonderful goodbye to the year any artist could wish for. Kadambari’s character sketch was pure, pristine and extremely nuanced. Playing a deaf character is an extremely grey area, wherein one can tend to go overboard.
Now we’re not sure whether we could attribute the triumph more to Vignesh Shivan or Nayanthara, but this creative collaboration gave rise to an immensely memorable character. Complemented well by Vijay Sethupathi’s performance and Vignesh Shivan’s direction, Nayanthara’s “Kadhu ma” avatar became our favorite. Not to forget the wonderfully restrained performance she delivered, especially in a few emotional scenes like the one where she walks out of the police station after learning about her father’s death and the extreme close-ups in the interval block. Big artists have agreed that it is very difficult to hold a straight face in comedy scenes and she walked through such scenes too like a boss!
Today, as fans celebrate 1 year of Naanum Rowdy Dhaan, decoding the phenomenon called Nayanthara is inevitable. After having a sneak peek at the promotional materials of the Karthi and Nayanthara starrer Kaashmora, we can certainly expect another exceptional work from the Lady Superstar. To reiterate, if you are stunned by Nayanthara's recent pictures, it is not just because of her well designed clothes or the make-up; it is the reflection of her remarkable journey in the industry both professionally and personally.
And whether you’re wearing a red t-shirt or otherwise, you cannot escape her charm.
Written by D Meera Chithirappaavai