Season 2


Tamil Film Heroes: Attitude (Not Performance) Makes/Breaks Them

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Every human being’s desire in life is to stand out among the crowd, to be noticed, praised, followed and worshipped. Nobody hates the spotlight. Then why doesn’t all of them become stars around whom people flock? Why some of us are always the flock and some the star?

From a simple friends’ gang to the stupendous cinema world there is always an ultimate hero who is followed by others and upon whom all settle their interests. Have you ever wondered why one gets so much attention or why one pays so much attention to someone?

The answer to that is in the first line of this post. People earn stardom by standing out from others but how exactly do they do it?

When Saroja Devi, K.R.Vijaya, Saavithri etc.,  were ruling Tamil cinema, a young outsider with hardly 80 films in hand made it to the top of the political world and ruled the state she earlier settled in only for survival. Our Late. Chief Minister J.Jayalalitha was famous and praised for more than many things, but one thing that made her the spotlight till death from the start of her career was her attitude. Her attitude towards her life, her people, her films, co-stars and politics. She stood apart for this. I hope all of you have heard of the incident when the entire shooting spot got up as M.G.R walked in and she chose to sit being the female counterpart of the movie.

Someone who gains the spotlight becomes the hero and few instances like these made her the hero with a halo . One requires attitude to become hero, to be followed.

More than anyone heroes/heroines of Tamil cinema audience require this because we fall extensively for an amazing attitude. That explains why outsiders like M.G.R, Jayalalitha and Rajnikanth still rule our hearts, doesn’t it?

But even before we fall for these people, we misinterpret and judge them for their attitude, because majority of us think attitude is being big-headed and arrogant. We often quote someone as being an attitude filled person when they were actually being mean. Attitude is not when someone shows off and pulls others down.

So, What Exactly is Attitude?

Attitude is based on a person’s behavior to different things around him/her. It comes from within and is majorly influenced by what they believe. Jaya believed that being the co-actor M.G.R does not require any extra respect, while the other nodded and joined with the flock, see standing out among crowd can be done by not standing too.

When someone questions the common practice and voices out their own opinion and also manage to make people believe that the question after all was correct, they gain a spotlight for themselves through this attitude.

Attitude Both on and off-screen matters

Being a person with strong attitude is essential for heroes of Tamil cinema, because our audience never see the on and off screen of celebrities separate. A comedian is considered a funny person in real life, a villain a bad person and a hero, a hero. Also, heroes are by nature someone to be worshipped and without attitude people don’t recognize them. My previous article on Suriya spoke how his character’s personality plays important role in his career. The fact is we can’t accept Suriya as a smuggler who jumps sky scrapers because in real life he is soft- spoken, low -voiced person.

But we believe the same when 65year old Rajni does it or when Ajith does it because they are rebel in real life and we associate the character with the real person and acknowledge it. Rajnikanth’s old interviews show how much he questioned Tamil cinema practices being the outsider and one need not explain Ajith’s attitude. Addressing the Tamilnadu chief minister with the complaint that he was pulled to attend the show is unimaginably heroic.

Need not be a Rebel Always. 

This doesn’t mean one have to be rebel and question all the time to show he is a person with attitude. Vijay Sethupathi has an attitude. To choose films where the hero is actually just a failed rowdy (No, not Naanum Rowdy Thaan) or an old kidnapper or playing villain against a handsome man (VikramVedha teaser was fantastic!) while his counterparts beat up 20 guys at one punch is an amazing attitude too.

Kamal Hassan comes in as a handy example for quite few things. He is person with interesting attitude. The way he answers press, his choice of keeping his personal life his own way without the fear of judging and his recent take on Tamilnadu politics all prove how well an attitude person he is.

Heroines like Kangana Ranaut come under the very few female leads who have their own attitude. No wonder she is the queen of Bollywood.

Attitude Gets You Following More than Performance

To sum up, heroes very much require an attitude of their own because here in Kollywood one is not just hero, his words are heard, people vote for the person he points out or joins his banter in twitter without a second thought or even more, ask him to be their next Chief minister. Because heroes have fan clubs, leaders don’t, right?

However, one can’t force oneself to get this attitude, it has to come from within, no insecurities should stop one from questioning and trying. And when the hero is part of flock, the character he plays cannot rebel and make it look like real, we won’t get it.

I end with this scene from Payanam, which is very much similar to my point.

Lt final


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