Our actors are known for taking up challenging roles and performing them to perfection. The latest example is Vijay Sethupathi, who is playing the role of an aged drama and film artiste in ‘Seethakathi’.
The trailer of the Balaji Tharaneetharan-directed film has gone viral and has won the admiration of fans and critics. Interestingly, other top actors had also played aged characters in their movies and Mykollywood.com goes down the memory lane.
In 1981 itself, Rajinikanth played an aged man in ‘Netrikkan’. The film directed by S P Muthuraman and produced by Kavithalaya featured Rajinikanth in double role as father and son with Saritha and Menaka in key roles.
The film revolves around Chakravarthy, a businessman who is a womaniser. In the process, he rapes a girl Radha. How his son reforms him forms the rest of the story. In ‘Nalalvanukku Nallavan’ also, Rajinikanth played an aged role, that of a businessman and father to a young woman.
‘Nayakan’ and ‘Indian’ are the landmark movies in the career of Kamal Haasan and both featured him in aged characters.
The former, directed by Mani Ratnam, was loosely based on the real-life Bombay underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar, and sympathetically depicted the struggle of South Indians living in Bombay (now Mumbai). ‘Nayakan’ was released on 21 October 1987 on the occasion of Deepavali and received critical acclaim. Haasan’s performance earned him the National Film Award for Best Actor.
‘Indian’, directed by Shankar, focused on an ex-freedom fighter turned vigilante bent on rooting out corruption, and his son, who is at the other end of the spectrum by facilitating corrupt practices leading to some unfortunate events. He is well trained in Varmakkalai, an ancient lethal martial art used for close counter combat.
In 2006, Ajith played the protagonist in ‘Varalaru’ directed by K S Ravikumar in which he played three different roles including that of an aged man.
The film had Ajith as a father and his two sons, alongside Asin and Kanika. The film’s soundtrack and score were composed by A R Rahman. This movie was remade in Sandalwood, titled ‘Godfather’ starring Upendra, Soundarya Jayamala and Catherine Tresa.
Prior to release, the film was known by its original title ‘Godfather’, but following the Government of Tamil Nadu’s motion to exempt tax on films titled in Tamil in 2006, the film’s title was changed.
After two years of production, the film released on 20 October 2006 and emerged as the biggest grosser of the year, collecting 55 crore at the box office, which is now worth over 100 crore.
Suriya played a dual role in Gautham Vasudev Menon-directed ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’. The characters were that of a father and a son.
The film illustrates the theme of how a father often came across his son’s life as a hero and inspiration, whose death was deeply mourned in the end.
As a tribute to the father of the director, the film opened in several countries with critical acclaim. The film was produced by Venu Ravichandran and has musical score by Harris Jayaraj.
It won many awards including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil. The film was also a commercial success, eventually becoming the biggest hit in Suriya’s career at that time.