If Vijay Sethupathi reads this article, he will not like being compared to some other actor. But his recent choice of films and scripts reminds us of Aamir Khan. We compare Vijay Sethupathi and Aamir Khan in terms of the quality of films these actors preferred to be a part of and their success formula in converting experimental films into huge box office hits.
Compared to mass heroes like Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan doesn't have much fan base but his recent film, Dangal is Hindi Cinema’s highest box office hit and he has been giving tough competition to the other Khans. The consistency of Aamir Khan is impeccable, just take a look at his list of films since 2000—Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, Mangal Pandey-The Rising King, Rang De Basanti, Fanaa, Taare Zameen Par, Ghajini, 3 Idiots, Dhobi Ghat, Dhoom 3, PK and Dangal.
Except a few films mentioned above, Aamir Khan films has consistently experimented with roles, picking films of different genres and excelling in all of them. They were embraced by critics and masses with open arms, which shows he is one of those rare actors, who found the perfect balance between commercial and art house cinema.
But unlike Bollywood, Kollywood only has a limited market and the industry is badly hit by piracy and recent GST issue. However, Tamil cinema is back on its feet thanks to Vijay Sethupathi and his Vikram Vedha in which he shared sceen space with Madhavan. Vikram Vedha’s success only reiterates the famous phrase ‘Content is the King’. Early prediction says that the final box office gross of Vikram Vedha would end around 35-40cr, which is huge considering the budget invested.
If you look at Vijay Sethupathi’s filmography, the biggest strength of the actor is his unconventional choice of scripts and how he made them into box office hits. There are actors who have worked extremely hard and give their life for the characters offered to them but if the film fails to yield profits to the buyers and couldn’t pull audiences to theaters, the effort and pain only go in vain.
In early 90’s and 80’s Kamal Haasan’s experimental films like Nayagan, Apoorva Sagothargal, Swathi Muthiyam, Moondram Pirai, 16 Vayadhiniley, Pushpaka Vimana (Pesum Padam), Sathya, Mahanadhi, Michael Madana Kamarajan and Indian were big hits but after that the actor’s films were considered to be ahead of its times, several experimental films of Ulaganayagan in 2000’s only brought huge loss to the buyers.
Vikram and Suriya are the other two actors in Tamil, who had the urge to deliver quality films but despite starting off well, they lost out and is now struggling to give a box office hit, as their films are shot at a budget beyond their market.They have also moved away from choosing good scripts and different genre movies and instead taken the commercial format template and started doing larger-than-life hero roles.
But Vijay Sethupathi has laid a new path and like Aamir Khan, the actor experiments only in films, which entertain audiences and most importantly, the budget of his films are well planned and content is of prime importance. Another interesting similarity between Aamir Khan and Vijay Sethupathi is that they are open to multi-starrers and is willing to share the screen with others and doesn't grab every frame for themselves.
He prefers to give importance to the script, not to any industry superstitions.
The continuous success of new-age films like Pizza, Soodhu Kavvum, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom, Idharku Thaane Aasaipattai Balakumara, Sethupathi, Naanum Rowdy Dhaan, Aandavan Kattalai and the recent Vikram Vedha only magnify the image of Vijay Sethupathi as an actor with substance, he is indeed the dream hero of young directors, who prefers to deliver quality hits.
Another major advantage of Vijay Sethupathi is the actor in not interested in the number game, he never insists on top music director, veteran cinematographers or Mumbai heroines in his films and saw to it that his remuneration is such that his films are made at a feasible cost.
We wish Vijay Sethupathi to continue his success journey forever and he is indeed our choice of the Star of the month for this July!
- Rajasekar S