The rise and rise of Vijay Sethupathi: Tracing the star's journey from a junior artist to Dharma Durai
The rising star of the Tamil film industry, Vijay Sethupathi, is on a roll. His new release Dharma Durai, directed by Seenu Ramasamy, has turned out to be a hit at the Tamil Nadu box-office.
It has grossed around Rs 8 Crore in its first week and will turn profitable from Tamil Nadu theatricals alone. This is great news for Sethupathi at a time when films are falling like nine pins.
Dharma Durai is an out and out Vijay Sethupathi show. He has been appreciated for his performance as a drunken doctor and his romance with three heroines in the film. Trade experts have said that the movie is working very well in Tamil Nadu’s B and C markets.
The common man likes him because he rose from a junior artist to a star, while elite audiences loves him for doing different type of roles and not sticking to the stereotypical hero characters.
Currently Vijay Sethupathi is rocking at the TN box-office. He had four releases in 2016 – Sethupathi, Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum, Iraivi and Dharma Durai. Out of four releases three worked at the box-office - Sethupathi , Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum and Dharma Durai, which is an awesome strike rate.
In an earlier interview to The Hindu, Sethupathi had said, “ I’ve never consciously done ‘safe’ commercial projects; luckily, they have done well. Planning bores me. I like to go with the flow. Being whimsical is nice, occasionally. It keeps things fresh, there’s no expectation.”
According to a leading Tamil film producer, “Vijay Sethupathi is currently the hottest star in the circuit, as he has a solid following in smaller film markers, and is also being liked by the multiplex audiences for his off-beat roles. He's not bothered about his star image.”
Today, a Sethupathi film will work if it is made on a budget of Rs 7 to 8 Crores. The star is said to be charging a modest Rs 2.50 cr to Rs 3 cr, though offers are pouring in with producers tempting him with Rs 5 – 7 crores. One of the reasons for his success, is his accessibility and willingness to do films with newcomers.
Unlike other heroes, he does not interfere in the script once it is cleared. He also does not insist on introductory song or needless action scenes to boost his star image.
The actor has no call sheet to spare till 2017 end. At the moment he has two long delayed films due to financial issues to be released — Mellisai and Idam Porul Yaeval. Coming up for release on 23 September is Aandavan Kattalai directed by Kakka Muttai director Manikandan, and on 7 October there's Rekka, his first action entertainer.
Vijay Sethupathi is currently shooting for KV Anand’s big budget untitled film and is also doing an extended cameo opposite Dhanush in Vetrimaran’s gangster flick Vada Chennai.
The big question being asked in Tamil film trade is whether the actor will go up the ladder of stardom. Will he be featured among the top five commercially viable stars, by end of this year ?