Superstar has always been a Demi-God for most of the Tamil Audience. I belong to the majority cadre. Every little move that man does has always been appealing to me. He set a standard in the mass hero category by breaking the cliches of what being a mass hero means.
Thaliavar's charisma and style attracts a wide range of audience to watch his films. From throwing a cigarette and catching it with his mouth or his play with the towel in Muthu, his style sure has a fan base of it's own. To be honest, I have myself tried Thalaivar's style of handling the towel (Muthu) a number of times, but could never match it to his perfection. This way, that man makes ultimate use of the properties around him to show his swag. Can we ever forget the scene where he brings the swing down using his dupatta from Padayappa??
Of all the properties I feel Sunglasses are best utilized by Thalaivar. I'd often felt that they communicate more than just style. So I decided to discuss some of my favourite sunglass swags of Thalaivar, in this blog.
I don’t exactly know when Thalaivar started his play with sunglasses but the earliest movie I remember and admire is K.B. Sir’s Avargal. I am a great fan of Thalaivar's negative roles and in this movie he would have played the role of a Chauvinistic Patriarchal male. The way that man uses his Sunglasses to show his power over others is an interesting phenomenon. I never thought one could bring an association of power to the way he uses his glasses.
Mannan has a very sarcastic aspect associated with the Sunglass. In the first act of the movie he would be shown with the sunglasses that breaks after his struggles to win a Gold chain from the heroine (who is also the owner of the company). Eventually he gets out of the car with a cozy glass as the owner of the factory with the same heroine welcoming him with a bouquet. The Sunglasses were used as a metaphor to show Thalaivar’s journey in this context.
Annamalai is the definite Rag to Riches story, where Thalaivar showed his Vengeance and Rage through the use of Sunglass. Scenes where Thalaivar replaces Ashok's chairman post or gets up the escalator while Ashok gets down, is sure to give you goosebumps. In fact, Thalaivar's sunglasses added more feel to these scenes. And that Iconic still of his where he is sitting on a Rolling chair in the brown suit, sunglasses and smoking… Wow!!!
The ultimate Superstar moment comes from Baasha. I feel overwhelmed with excitement when I think of this movie. It’s undoubtedly Suresh Krishna’s best work with Thalaivar. I still remember fighting with my parents to get me those rimless sunglasses. The movie had two innovations in Sunglasses, one was the frame less one and the other was the glass less one. I loved the look that he gave to Nagma, sitting in the car, sliding his glasses down in ‘Azhagu’ song.
Padayappa is that one movie which I know by heart and can recite the dialogues. Thalaivar's entry in this film is a killer one! With a drum in his hand, black trousers, blue shirt over a white tee and obviously the coolers and his smile. He also effortlessly pulled off the old-age look. I fell in love with him as he grooved to ‘Oh oh oh kick earuthey’ in his suit and sunglasses. What a style?!
Sivaji (being a late 90s kid) was the movie that got me Rajinified to the core. That interesting perspective added to the sunglasses by wearing it back of his head was stunning! The fierce use associated with the sunglasses not just showed his style but also the emotion attached to it. He uses the sunglasses in that way only at the climax part where he is represented as MGR. Isn’t the different use of the sunglasses shows he is a different person and his rebirth??
Likewise there are a number of situations where Thalaivar has used sunglasses like the Cuckoo imitation along with sliding the coolers in 2.0 or the ‘I am Bad Cop’ dialogue. This man and his swag is something that'll never stop fascinating me and something that'll live through the ages!