From Mammootty to Dinesh and SA Chandrasekhar, Tamil cinema is embracing common man heroes

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Aug 04, 2018 17:26:51 IST

In an industry where everything from Rajinikanth’s slow-motion walk to cold stare is celebrated by his fans and general public alike, it is rare to find heroes play common people and not pander to a section of the audiences. We take a look at heroes – from Mammootty to choreographer-turned-actor Dinesh and SA Chandrasekhar – who are embracing common man roles and understand why it is a big deal.

 From Mammootty to Dinesh and SA Chandrasekhar, Tamil cinema is embracing common man heroes

A still from Peranbu. Image via Twitter

In Ram’s upcoming Tamil drama Peranbu, superstar Mammootty will be seen playing a father struggling to take care of his spastic child, played by Thangameengal-fame Sadhana. It took director Ram two decades to realise his dream of working with the popular Malayalam star. At the film’s audio launch earlier in July, Ram revealed that he wanted to work with Mammootty ever since he saw his 1994 film Sukrutham. “When I wrote this story, I couldn’t think of anyone else other than Mammootty sir. I was in class 12th when I saw his film Sukrutham, and I had decided that day I’ll work with him if I ever become a director.  He’s someone who is a star and at the same time can take up simple roles and own them,” Ram told Firstpost.

The film has already earned its share of praise from its international festival run (it had its world premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam) and is due for release in India. “It’s a story of a father who rediscovers himself through his spastic daughter. Any actor could’ve played the father but I was hell-bent on roping in Mammootty sir because he’d make the character stronger than it actually is.” Ram went on to add that the film’s theme is compassion and he wants audiences to understand it from the perspective of a helpless father.

Popular choreographer Dinesh made his acting debut via Tamil film Oru Kuppai Kathai, in which he played a garbage collector. Talking about playing the character, he told Firstpost, “It’s a story that needed to be told. I didn’t have any qualms playing a garbage collector because I had no inhibitions as an actor. We actually shot scenes in real landfills. We went around a few places in the city and actually collected garbage.”

Dinesh added that he took pride in playing a garbage collector. “By playing such a character on screen, we’re also reminding audiences that there’s nothing to be ashamed about this profession. We always talk about dignity of labour and that’s exactly what we portrayed through this character.”

Actor-filmmaker SA Chandrasekhar was recently seen playing real-life social activist Traffic Ramaswamy in the eponymous titled film. At the audio launch of the film, Chandrasekhar said, “Whenever I’ve read about him in the newspapers, I’ve always been surprised by his courage. I could relate to his character because I’m also socially responsible. So when I got the opportunity to play him on screen, I was glad to accept the offer.”

Filmmaker Shankar, speaking at the audio launch of Traffic Ramaswamy, said he had plans to make a film on Ramaswamy’s life with superstar Rajinikanth. “Traffic Ramaswamy is a very inspiring character. He’s someone filled with heroism. I saw him in my films in characters such as Senapathy from Indian and in Ambi from Anniyan. I wanted to make a film on a character inspired by him. I wanted to make it with Rajini sir as I felt age-wise, he’d be apt for such a role. Unfortunately, the plan didn’t materialise when I learnt somebody else had announced a film on his life.”

Actor-producer Udhayanidhi Stalin was last seen playing a simple, no-nonsense photographer in Priyadarshan’s Tamil drama Nimir, which released earlier this year. It was a role sans any heroism and follows the hero’s quest to avenge his public humiliation.

Updated Date: Aug 04, 2018 17:26:51 IST