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On MODIfying, Developing and Changing INDIA

There was a country, a country of spirited and adept men, finding itself in the path of recovery from the heavy blows of imperialistic pas...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Life is like a horse race.Whether you are an untrained brute wild horse or a thoroughbred race horse or a highly sought after Arabian horse or a plain donkey,it makes really no difference. What matters is whether you touch the finish line first or not.You earn respect based on that.(If not how can you explain donkeys swaggering and Arabian horses getting abused in the society today).The horses which fall behind by just seconds are considered as losers no matter what potential they have.That's our world for you..That's how it works...But the unsaid truth is that there are always exceptions.Some gifted people falsify the above and make that horse race theory a-stupid-little-joke with the kind of influence they have on people despite their success or failure.These personalities can puppet the emotions of the masses with their slightest of gestures.People say the innate and inexplicable aura that surrounds them as a reason

As the dictionary meaning of the word aura suggests, these men/women have that distinctive  intangible quality in their very make that charms others.   What I say is entirely different from the the craze that people have when someone goes to top. This is rather more of a recognition given even before the world accepts them.It may be the charm and attraction that K.Balachandar saw in Rajni when he was working as a conductor,it may be in the manner Sachin Tendulkar was celebrated like their own dear child by the whole of Mumbai in the days of him playing for Shardha Vidhyashram. Even few contemporaries like Michael Jackson, Roger Federer and to an extent some pop stars like Selena Gomez too fall under the category of receiving excessive love from people.You might wonder,why am I suddenly talking about all this?.The reason is that this blog is about one such person.

He may not be as big or grand as the above people but on that front of enjoying unconditional love he more than fits the bill to be in the above league.He for sure has that distinct intangible quality that charms others that he is loved beyond what can be termed as admiration and affection.Its not even craze or frenzy.It is much more than that like a kind of madness or mania.His is a curious case where his fan base increased proportionally to the number of flops he gave every time.Even though he was not a winning horse lot of times and at times when he was the last horse in the race he enjoyed the treatment he deserved by fans and common man.Success or failure never had an effect on the love his fans had on him.May be being a professional racer himself,he knows what makes one tick in races, be it this horse race or car race. ;)

After all this, it is needless to say  whom I am talking about.Yet let me pronounce.This post is about Ajith Kumar as a dedication for his Birthday earlier this month.For those people not from Tamil Nadu and for those few people from Tamil Nadu who don't know to recognize talents and honest men,let me say who actually is Ajith?.Ajith is an actor(I mean for real,he acts) from Kollywood-the Tamil cine industry.He is a  modest person,a highly courageous and straight forward personality to an extreme extent,an honest gentleman, so daring personality who never backs off from calling a spade a spade,man of simplicity and above all a wonderful contemporary actor who can let his facial expressions and body language do the acting than employing stupid punch dialogues and insipid cinematic artificial expressions. Simply he is a cult figure to me and a million other fans.

First let me brief about Ajith as an actor and what aspects do I admire in him.He is one of the few actors who had done really a wide variety of movies in his growing stage of the carreer.But do not ask me whether he does it still after consolidating his position as a star.Sadly he doesn't.The different genres were spread across ranging from roles in movies like  Kadhal Mannan, Vaali, Amarkalam, Kadhal kottai, Citizen,Mugavari etc.Each of them brought different dimensions out of him.A person with out sheer guts and extreme belief on skills could not have chosen such variety,which he did effortlessly.Personally I was spell bound by 3 films in his different stages even though he has belted out mind-blowing performances in lot of his movies.

Mugavari was the first of the movie that made me notice him.It shed light on his deep and intense acting skills.There are two roles that are hard to perform even for a skilled actor.One is to do a role that is not ordinary like a mentally disturbed person and the other is to act as a very ordinary person.Oddly most difficult thing for a human being is to be human and be ordinary.That is why Vishnu's incarnation as Ram is respected a notch above as that of the incarnation of Krishna simply because Vishnu as Ram did not use his holy,divine power.Him being  normal human, which is difficult, made Ram a thoroughly worshiped and most revered god.As such Ajith with out punch dialogues and without his Sweet-teen like handsome look purely marketed his acting skills in that movie which made me follow him. Eventhough Vaali and Amarkalam were mutli-million grossers,in my opinion, I would say Mugavari was his turning point as an actor.

How far would one go and to what extent one would commit himself for doing something he loves?.Ajith simply answered that question after some 12 years of a carreer marred with ups and lows and an in-fame racing escapade that kept him out of cinema for a brief time through an epic movie Varalaaru aka Godfather.He came back with that movie all guns blazing revising the benchmark for class acting.He reaffirmed himself as a star,a star that is much more big and shiny than what it appears through 3 different roles including an-eyebrow-raising classical dancer (being a bad dancer )character with  a predominant feminine demeanor.Cross-Gender acting is not a famous form and not many have succeeded even internationally, but he did it in style .

That role, done with almost a near perfect technique by all standards was nothing short of a master piece.But personally I was astounded by the psycho character who wants to avenge his father.If you look at the above clip you will know it.Especially the close up shot from 3.13 to 3.53.Portraying  mentally disturbed characters demonstrates an actor's deep acting skills. Right from Guna Kamal to Moondram Pirai Sree Devi to Anniyan Vikram to Internationally acclaimed I am Sam(original version od Dheiva thirumagan) Sean penn everyone who wanted to go to the next level of acting did such roles.Ajith has done that twice in Varalaaru and in Villain with greater poise.

More to add, in the above clip with regard to the close up shot one can notice the tapestry of emotions displayed like rage,frustration,childish joy, hardheadedness, sense of revenge expressed in a 7-8 year old child's mannerism.Out and out his face and its expressions induces all those emotions without any annotation or any other external emotions.Ajith slowly transfigures close to 4 emotions  in a matter of 40 sec .That is what you call real acting.If there is one thing for which I'm his die hard fan then it would be for this kinda depth and complexity in his acting.

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In 2007 he elevated his acting skills into the next level with Billa.Billa and acting?..What did he do in the movie than donning a sun glass and ramp walking here and there with babes on his side might be your comment.But if you take a closer look Ajith as David Billa is more than a style-icon.Of course his looks and mannerisms were exotic and it redefined style in Tamil cinema.But more than style his silent awe-striking display of hidden negativism in action than through hysteric venting of  emotions made the character all the more watchable.

Perhaps his role in Vaali had assisted him.I have seen Billa portrayed by a number of artists like Amitabh,Rajni,Shah Rukh,Ajith and Prabhas.In that I can say Ajith's was the best Gangster Billa performance among his contemporaries like Shah Rukh and Prabhas.of course he can not be compared with giants like Amitabh,Rajni and his brilliance of not letting Rajni's performance cross the spectator's mind while watching Billa 2007 itself was a big success.Its laudable to give a new dimension to a role already done by 3 to 4 established heroes. What I mean is he has not tried to imitate Rajni in an era where Jeyam brothers and our "Remake hero" insist on wearing the same color underwear that was donned by the hero in the original  Telugu movies while remaking them.Coming back to Billa, its huge setback that Vishnu Vardhan has dropped out of Billa-2 who is the master mind of Billa-2007's success.(No big deal Vishnu's always rock... :P :P).

Finally let me say about Ajith as a person.To be candid in the initial days he was a blunt  hard- spoken guy depicting a tough brat.But as the time progressed he seemed to have changed a lot and in his every action and word there was an intense maturity and sense.At the same time he has not lost his subtle arrogance,the best part is he has beautifully channelized that arrogance to use it at right time ,at right place and for right cause.His honest and courageous talk against the ruling government's continual pressure of asking Actors to participate in all functions, in the presence of karunanidhi was one such.That speech was nothing more than a tight slap in the face of shameless manipulative people.

Even the recent installment of disbanding his fan club was one such decision that shows his subtle arrogance used in an appropriate way.To do such a thing knowing that he gets grand,unprecedented opening for his movies only because of his fans is valiant. The reasons he gave as press statement on disbanding exemplifies his belief in action than mere sweet talk.It is a selfless example setting deed which other actors would even fear to think about.

All positives about Ajith has been discussed and if I say I don't see any negativity in him then it will be an utter lie. Let me do justice by sharing them too.One of the things I really hate about Ajith is,his choice of competition.Not only friends, its very important to choose your enemies or competitors as we are judged by our competitors too.I mean if you wanna be the king of the jungle you have to compete with Tigers and cheetahs not with rats and pigs.If you wanna be the King of sky you have to compete with eagles and vultures not with crows.But Ajith unfortunately indulged or was pushed into such a worthless contest.

I think movie like Thirupathi was as a result of this contest, especially the decision to work with perarasu.I think he should have someone like Vikram( who can act) as a competitor.I would have suggested Surya too,had he not lost his way by sinking to the bottom of commercialism.And one more thing is his choice of scripts.Even after his 15 years of being in the industry he seems to not have picked up the knack of selecting stories.Especially movies like Asal showed his wrong notion of ramp-walking and exotic looks will make the movie a hit like Billa.It will be good if he does movies with good acceptable scripts and characters that brings out the best in him rather than tiresome commercial movies.

I have titled this as "Thala-The race horse" not because he is a racer but because he is one such horse that is racing well in defying the horse race theory.A horse which is racing hard to be a good actor and to do good movies.A horse which is racing to top in becoming a good human being and a responsible person in the society.Like they say,"the older the wine is ,the better the taste is", Ajith is becoming more matured and sensible with his age.Let this addition of one more year to his life bring him more success and laurels.Wishing him a wonderful year ahead so that he keeps on entertaining us and set example for his peers.HAPPY BIRTHDAY THALA...THALA POLA VARUMA...Hu-hmmm.. Varaadhu...Varavum mudiyadhu... :)..Proud to be an Ajith Fan.

Apart from the occasion of his birthday there is one more reason which contributed in writing this post. Already couple of months before I decided to write a post about Ajith(and how he is better than his fellow actors) when few senseless comments were passed on,in Facebook.I had plans to bring out what makes him the actor he is and what his real caliber is.But by then I could not give a slot to this with my foray into short stories. Now with his birthday around I revived the idea.And half way through writing I was confused on how to proceed. In a birthday special post what would I write on him?..Should I write about him as a person or as an actor?.He is one of those rare breed of actors who has credentials as an actor and as a persona well.Big deal,Do we have rules here in this blog?..Hell no,so finally I decided to write on both his dimensions.Hope you like it.. :)
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