Expecting a glorious comeback
Vikram's forthcoming movie Bheema can either make or break his career, observes KK Moidu
Tamil superstar Vikram's much delayed film Bheema, directed by Linguswamy will soon hit the screens. It's after a hiatus of one and half years that Vikram's new movie will be released. Actress Trisha Krishanan, who was his heroine in the superhit movie Saamy, is his female lead in this project.
Vikram had disappointed his fans without any movies in the previous year. His last movie release was Majaa in November 2005. But now his fans have a chance to rejoice with the release of Bheema and the news that he would start shooting for the Tamil film Kandaswamy, directed by Susi Ganesan. Actress Shriya Saran would be his heroine in this film.
Vikram aka John Kennedy was born in April 17 at Paramakudi in Ramnad district of Tamil Nadu (a place famous for the birth of versatile Indian actor Kamal Haasan). He completed his education from Mount Fort Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School at Yercaud, Salem and earned a PGDMBA from Loyola College.
Vikram's father is a small time actor who has made appearances in many movies and had appeared as Trisha's father in the mega hit film Ghilli.
There is an interesting tale behind his screen name Vikram. 'Vik' is derived from the name Vicky and 'ram' from his astrological sign 'Aries.'
Vikram is also affectionately addressed as 'Chiyaan,' a title given by Tamil Nadu after the success of his first blockbuster Sethu. Chiyaan was the nickname of his character in Sethu. The actor rose to super stardom by doing more than half dozen megahits like Sethu, Dhill, Dhool, Saamy, Gemini, Pithamagan and Anniyan and Kasi. Kasi is the remake of the Malayalam super hit film Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum.
Vikram's rise to superstar status was slow and gradual. He began his career by doing low profile roles and chance appearances. He has acted as a second hero in many Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil films.
In the Malayalam movie Dhruvam, Vikram was the second hero. The movie had Mammootty, Jayram and Gowthami in lead roles. Vikram has appeared in Malayalam movies like Indraprastham, Etha Oru Snehagatha, Indriyam, Sainyam etc. In Telugu, he has acted as the son of Nageshwara Rao Akkineni in director/writer Narayan Rao Dasari's movie Bangaru Kutumbam. Vikram has also proved his talent in Tamil movies like House Full, Meera, Ullasaam etc.
But success was elusive. It was Sethu which put Vikram on the map of South Indian film industry. Nearly a decade after his debut, Sethu rewrote his fortunes overnight. The movie directed by Bala was released in 1999 and grossed over Rs50 million at the box office.
After the success of Sethu, there was no looking back and the collection from his movies multiplied. His role as the police officer Kanakavel in his second blockbuster Dhill (2001), directed by his childhood friend Dharani, collected more than Rs100 million at the box office. The same height of success was achieved in his movies Gemini (2002), Dhool and Saamy (2003). In Gemini, he plays an illiterate goon who tries to woo his lady love by reforming his character and joining in an evening college. Actress Kiran was his heroine in this film. Vikram plays the rough and tough character Arumughan in Dhool. The movie was directed by Dharani and had Jyothika as the principal female character.
Saamy, directed by Hari broke the box office record and grossed over Rs300million. After this the film industry began to compare him with Tamil film's super megastar Rajnikanth.
The same year he won the prestigious National Award for his performance as an undertaker in Pithamagan directed by Bala. Vikram has also won four times the Filmfare Best Actor Award South.
After the success of Saamy, veteran director Shankar cast him in Anniyan. The film broke all his earlier records and grossed over Rs500 million at the box office. Anniyan played 150 days in Kollywood and 240 days in Tollywood.
Vikram made his Bollywood debut with Aparichit, the dubbed version of Anniyan. This movie was the first Tamil film to be dubbed in French. The concept for this movie was taken from the famous Sidney Sheldon novel Tell Me Your Dreams. One of Anniyan hit numbers Kannum Kannum Nokia was shot at the Nokia headquarters at Espoo in Finland.
In Anniyan, Vikram brilliantly portrays a person who suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). In this movie, Vikram's character has three personalities.
One of the personality is Ramanujam who is a lawyer, otherwise known as 'Rules Ramanujam'. He got his nickname because he reacts to the injustice in the society.
When his childhood friend and sweet heart Nandini (Sada) refuses his love, he shattered and loses his mind. Ramanujam's second personality Anniyan begins the website anniyan.com and acts as a parallel arm to punish evildoers in the society. The third personality is Remo, a charming supermodel. Remo easily wins Nandhini's heart.
The other noteworthy things about this movie is it's extraordinary visuals, breathtaking action scenes and catchy songs.
In his two decade career, Vikram has also appeared in duds like Majaa, Arul, Kaadhal Sadugudu, King, Samurai etc. Majaa directed by Shafi was a remake of superhit Malayalam film Thommanum Makkalum. The film tells the story of a father and his two sons, who were petty thieves living in a small town. Actor Manivannan plays the father's role in the remake. Actor Lal, who had major role in the original, is portrayed by actor Pasupathy. Asin plays the principal female character. Unfortunately, the Tamil version couldn't repeat its sister's success at the box office.
In Bheema, Vikram will portray the character Shekar and Trisha Krishnan will play Shalini. The movie deals with underworld. For the role, Vikram had to develop his physique. The actor who is known for his dedication and commitment to work, has taken the help from former 'Mr Tamilnadu' Rajendran.
Actor Prakash Raj plays an important role in this movie. The screenplay is by N Linguswamy, who is also the director. The dialogues are by Sujatha and the movie is produced by AM Ratnam.
Bheema will also be dubbed in Telugu. The renowned Tamil poet Vyramuthu is the lyricist and music is composed by Harris Jayaraj. Cinematography is by RD Rajasekhar and A Sreekar Prasad handles editing.
For keeping his career alive, Vikram has changed his previous decision of doing less than three films in a year. He has accepted new offers after Kandaswamy and also signed the dotted line in a project with director Selvaragavan, who had directed the superhit movie Pokkiri, starring Vijay and Asin.
After the success of Anniyan the hardworking star has had no hits to his credit. Hope, Bheema will redo Anniyan's magic and work wonders in his flagging career.
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