Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Star qualities

Action hero Vishal will play a gallant cop for the first time in his career in the forthcoming film Sathyam, directed by Raja Sekhar. KK Moidu writes

Young and vibrant Vishal, the current sensation of the film industry, has been granted the title Puratchi Thalapathi. His movies' success at the box office and the new honour has given him the image of a commercial hero.
In the short span of a three-year, spotless career, Vishal has played lead roles in only six films. But his name features in the list of "top ten" heroes of the industry. His distinct style, dances and actions has made him one of the most popular among the two dozen young Tamil heroes.
All Vishal's films, except the box office flop Sivappadhikaram, has been dubbed in Telugu. This has made him a favourite in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh where the junior action king has gained many fans.
His aim is to run his films like the other superstar movies and his status in the industry is growing with each film.
Tall and dark Vishal dons an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) role in the forthcoming bilingual film, Sathyam in Tamil and Salute in Telugu. His leading lady of the film is Nayanthara, the highest paid actress of South Indian cinema. She will play a TV reporter in the film. One of the highlights is the duet with the hero and Nayanthara. Kannada actor Upendra plays the antagonist and Harris Jayaraj scores music for the film. Sathyam is produced under the banner of GK Films Corporation.
Vishal is very happy about his new ACP role and the film gives him the opportunity to bare his physique. He had done a lot of groundwork for the role and watched many cop films for the perfection of his encounter specialist role in the film. His role model for the film is Sylendra Babu, former Assistant Commissioner of Chennai City Police.
Vishal has undergone a training programme for changing his body language for the ACP role. He also sports a cropped hairstyle to look like a smart and brave policeman. He does not want to be stereotyped as an action hero and he is doing the best for giving life to the ACP in every frame, instead of actor Vishal.
Sathyam gained media attention not only for Vishal's cop role but also for the highly expensive chase scene. The producer lavishly spent an amazing and unbelievable price of one-and-a-half crore rupees for a single scene. The police officer takes the witness to the court and the goons are trying their best to kill the witness. This scene was filmed in Poonthamalli in the outskirts of Chennai. Four cameras were used for shooting the scene and it was set up in a foreign jeep.
Vishal Krishna Reddy, known as Vishal, was born on Aug. 29, 1977 in Chennai. He is the son of noted producer GK Reddy. He has made films with top actors and has retired from the field due to the failure of the business.
Vishal hails from a noble family and he is a graduate of Visual Communication from Loyola College. He never dreamed about an acting career and has a strong passion for direction. His role model is director Ram Gopal Varma.
Although his passion for direction got him an apprenticeship with Ram Gopal Varma, he compromised for his parent's desire to have him closer to home. But his thirst for direction took him to actor-director Arjun's production house. He worked as an assistant to him for films like Vedham and Ezhumalai.
A chance encounter with GJ team (Gnanavel and Jayaprakash) re-wrote an aspiring director Vishal's career — as an amazing actor. Many hero's knock on the doors of producers for a chance, but luck knocked at the doorstep of Vishal. He made his debut as a hero in the superhit Chellamey, produced by GJ Cinema and directed by Gandhi Krishna.
Vishal landed on the set after completing a three-month acting course from a Koothupatrai troupe. This was because he did not have previous experience in acting and never performed in school or college dramas. He also learned dance and action, an unavoidable talent for a hero and without these skills, a hero cannot survive in the industry.
In his debut film, Vishal performed as a seasonal hero and not as a newcomer. However, everybody's effort was rewarded and the film shaped up very well. The success of the film not only earned profit for the producers but also made Vishal a superstar over-night.
Chellamey also boosted the career of Reema Sen, the heroine of the film. The film was a turning point in Vishal's co-star Bharath's career. Chellamey was dubbed into Telugu as Prema Chadarangam.
After Chellamey, followed Sandakozhi and Thimiru too were big hits and dubbed in Telugu as Pandam Kodi and Pogaru respectively.
Meera Jasmine played the lady love of Vishal in Sandakozhi directed by Linguswamy. Thimiru directed by debutante Tharun Gopi was a front runner of 2006 in Tamil Nadu. Shreya Reddy won acclaim for her role as Eswari in the film and the dubbed version Pogaru was a runaway hit in Andhra Pradesh.
Vishal scored a hat-trick, a rare luck in cinema and that catapulted him to super stardom. Sandakozhi and Thimiru was produced by Vishal's brother Vikram Krishna Reddy, who tried his luck as an actor earlier under the name Ajay.
Vishal also made a cameo appearance in Jeeva starrer Dishyum, a musical hit.
Vishal's fourth release Sivappadhikaram directed by Karu Palaniappan, didn't come upto expectations. Malayalam actress Mamta Mohandas made her debut as a heroine in the film. After playing the heroine of Vishal, Mamta gained fame in Telugu as an actress, playback singer and won a Filmfare award as a playback singer.
The success of Vishal's last two releases Thamirabharani and Malaikottai regained his crowd pulling status. Thamirabharani was the Pongal festival release of 2007 and won rave reviews and achieved box office success by competing with strong opponents like Pokkiri and Aalwar. Thamirabharani was dubbed in Telugu as Bharani.
Malayalam actress Muktha made her debut as a heroine in Thamirabharani. She has changed her name as Bhanu during this film. The success of the film earned her lead roles in Telugu and Kannada films.
Malaikottai was an above average grosser in the box office and the lack of competition continued its run till last Deepawali. Vishal has tried comedy for the first time in his career in the film. Director Bhoopathy Pandiyan, an expert in mixing comedy with action himself provided the racy and spicy script of the film.
Malaikottai was also a turning point in heroine Priyamani's career. She only played village belle roles in earlier films. After Malaikottai, she got a release from playing village girl roles. Malaikottai did well in Malaysia and its dubbed version in Telugu Bhayya also earned box office revenue.
Vishal, who made his entry into filmdom as an assistant director, has grown up as a full-fledged action hero within a very short period of time. However, Vishal didn't give up his dream for directing films. Although his films never harmed the producers, he will not play the lead in his film — his choice for the hero is Vijay.

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