Monday, July 24, 2006

Another One Bites the Dust

Megaserials have become the de facto next step for Tamil cinema heroines past their prime. Following in the footsteps of actresses like Radhika, Devayani, Kausalya, Suganya, etc., Meena too has turned to television now that her film career is, for all practical purposes, over. She is the heroine of Lakshmi, Sun TV's new megaserial that premiered today. I guess megaserials have now become quite respectable since they now seem to be attracting heroines before their careers have completely died down and they have been completely forgotten by the public.

Meena is probably the most popular heroine so far to take the jump from movies to television. She was among the top heroines not too long ago, being the heroine of choice for Rajni, Kamal and many other heroes. But ironically, that proved to be her undoing as she came to be seen as a 'mature' heroine and younger heroes like Vijay and Ajith didn't want to be paired up with her. She herself was quite vocal about this too, complaining that though she was young enough to act as their heroines, her image went against her. Not that her complaining changed their minds though. All it got her was an item number with Vijay in his Shah Jahan.

Meena's career went through the same downslide that the careers of most Tamil heroines take. After being the heroine of all the top stars, the first signs of the decline in her stock came when she started acting with second-rung heroes. The fact that her career was on its last legs was clear when she showed up as Amman in devotional movies. And the final sign came when she began acting as the heroine in Malayalam movies. From there it was a short step to acting in megaserials.

Not that acting in a megaserial is such a bad thing. Knowing the length of most megaserials, Lakshmi will probably keep her in the public eye for quite a while. Consequently, it will serve as a steady source of income, more than making up for the lack of film roles. She gets an important role in a story that revolves around her (she got an introduction befitting a Rajni or Vijay in today's episode as the camera showed us glimpses of her hands, eyes, etc. before introducing her!) and so, will get to polish her acting skills. And it will keep her in the limelight so that a director looking for an actress to play Vijay's anni a year down the road will remember her!

With megaserials showing no signs of decreasing in popularity, it is quite possible that Lakshmi will turn out to be a hit like Chithi, Selvi or Kolangal. For Meena's sake, lets hope that it is...

21 Comments:

At 11:42 PM, Anonymous leo said...

r u a vijay fan.....

 
At 12:07 AM, Anonymous ram said...

what a pertinent question, leo!

neways, yeah, it does look like mega serials are the natural "next step" for these heroines...

bb, u forgot to mention bhanupriya...if i remember, her "Shakthi" (with the title song, "poovum pennum ondraa," co-*ing the Late Jai Ganesh) was among the first TV serials in Sun TV outside of KB's serials...Shakthi used to be pretty involving...that villain was terrific...dun remember his name though.

poor devyani- from all that she's earned thro' kolangall, she's spsed to be thinking of *ing in a movie with her hubby as the hero! of course, avangaley thaan producer...ena koddduma rajakumaran idhu?!

 
At 2:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a ponder...did Meena ever starred with Kamal? Can't seem to recall anything that spectacularly noteworthy...

 
At 3:16 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

Hi Balaji,

Quite an interesting blog you have here...

 
At 4:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,

Meena was paired with Kamal in Avvai Shanmugi.

 
At 4:28 AM, Anonymous leo said...

the question being pertinent here is because balaji talks about vijay more than meena...he says meena starred with vijay, kamal, rajini so and so...it seems the blogger here wants to glorify vijay thru meena.....

 
At 4:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor ladies.

At least, after their run end, heros can join politics!

-Kajan

 
At 9:23 AM, Anonymous ram said...

"it seems the blogger here wants to glorify vijay thru meena"

--> i'll only have to quote kamal hassan from "kadhala kadhala." the scene where soundarya looks at a modern painting (that he claims was drawn by him) and says, "raamar pakkathula anil...anil pakkathula yaaru?"

and kamal replies, "Idhelaam Ungalukku Yepdinge Theriyudhu?!"

 
At 10:36 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

Nothing to regret much here. Compared to other heroines like Devayaani, Meena has had a long run as a film heroine-like what 16 years? Her "en raasavin manasile" came way back in 1990. Its about time. Plus for the last 8 years or so, the only heroes who would have been compatible with her on screen(from looks/appearance point of view) would have been the likes of Prabhu, Satyaraj etc.

On the other hand this is a good trend, as it means seeing less of the likes of Devayaani on screen. She should have been on one of these azhumoonji megaserials right from the beginning.

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

By the time, Meena started complaining that she wasn't being paired with Vijay, Ajit, etc., she was already too old anyways (or more appropriately, she looked way too old for them!). People who were saying that Tabu looked like Ajit's Akka in Kandukondain2, would not deny Meena was no different in "Anandha Poongaatre".. The max that Meena could have asked for was acting in a full heroine role with Vijay.. but then again, her role in AP with Ajit didn't exactly fire up her career much, nor did it send any hearts aflutter. That said.. if you ask me, that only thing Meena has left to do is get married, settle down and have kids (and probably continue a megaserial career.. which usually yields between 1 to 2 lakhs per episode for 'retired' cinema heroines. Probably Meena goes for more per episode, but 1 lakh was what Devyani demanded when she started Kolangal. Devyani probably gets more now as the serial's popularity has picked up sizeably!)

 
At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

vijay does not deserve a fine actress like meena. i would love to see some heroine-centric non-amman movies with meena (who is a fine actress) and ramya etc, preferably with some good-looking boytoys. serials are too slow and weepy, meena and older actresses should like at the heroine-centric 40s hollywood movies for ideas, a thamizh all about eve would be fantastic.

 
At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He he, Tabu looked like Ajit's akka because she was taller than Ajit:-)

Actually, Meena has maintained herself well for a heroine who has been in the industry for so long.

Ajit looks worn out after his extreme weight loss and Vijay, well, ahem...

I do wish to see Tamil films that are not hero-centric(doesn't mean it should be heroine-centric) and are not produced for the so called mass or youth audience. I am sure they will get more viewers if they stop targetting just youth or mass.

If TV can give variety, in terms of programs(comedy, drama, fantasy) and if it grows technically, I think it will eat into films anyway.

-kajan

 
At 10:59 PM, Blogger மு.கார்த்திகேயன் said...

It's nice that they have some backup source, where these things are not available for old time heroines.. And As u said, Meena did some Amman Movies which all heroines did, when their market is low. And a game show conducted in Jaya TV is not so popular like Kushboo's..

 
At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Personally, I was never a big Meena fan as such. I found that she may have been a pretty decent actress, but somehow, I found some of her attempts at being mischievous and vivacious very over the top. She overacted a lot as a child artist(which could easily be blamed on directors of those respective films!). But I have noted that she has mistaken 'over the top' to mean 'attractive' and 'bubbly.' Might have worked well in B & C Centers for a while, but frankly, people got tired of that kind of 'fake' acting that she is so used to presenting. There is something so flaky and unpredictable about Meena, that she could never be termed as an actress with the right foundation or even one with a good layering of emotions and a thorough understanding of the art.

She's been and continues to be 'okay' at best. That should be more than enough for TV.

 
At 11:39 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

leo, wouldn't go so far as to call myself a fan. but yeah, i do like him. but there was no intent to glorify him here. i mentioned him as one of the younger heroes, thats all...

ram, i don't think i've seen 'shakti' but i do remember it as being very popular.

kajan, well-said. actors, whether top-rung heroes or not, seem to have the option of jumping into politics. so its nice that heroines have something to fall back on...

vijay, yes she did have a pretty good run considering the short lifespan of most heroines...

sandya, i think her argument was that people just 'thot' she looked too old for the younger heroes since they'd seen her paired with rajni and kamal. in the cine field its all perception. so there may be truth in what she said :)

 
At 4:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

meena is not in the least bit fake or bubbly in parai, on the contrary she is almost unrecognizably plain and worn. she's not that fake or bubbly in avai shanmughi either.

 
At 4:38 PM, Anonymous ram said...

anon, i've liked meena a lot in these movies...and, hated her in pretty much everything else!

- anbulla rajnikanth
- ejamaan
- bharathi kannamma
- unnarugil naanirundhaal
- vaanathai pole
- rhythm

 
At 4:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Meena is absolutely a fantastic actress. She is so sexy and attarctive especially her expressions of love and desire. And even now sheis so young - she's yet to touch 30! Its a pity she that actor down south are not taking movies opposite her. I think given a chance she can look more attractive and beautiful than most current day actresses. Look at her in Shock..she looks so hot in those trendy outfits. Yes, Meena now needs to experiment with her wardrobe, her roles and her entire get up. I think its time that she changed her image to a more modern and glamourous one. This will go down well with todays youth who sometimes fail to see beyond the sexy skin and the tempting gestures of the heroines. And Meena's foundation is 'rock solid' - she didnt reach this pedestal in a day!!
I was personally dissapointed with her looks in the serial "Lakshmi' on Sun. She needs to be given a more contemporary modern woman look with silky hair and crisp clothes!!!

Meena needs the support of some good directors who can give her some real off beat and meaty roles - maybe even roles with grey shades or punches or erotism and adult fare.

So all the best to her.

 
At 2:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 1:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

meena is the super star of the heroines in india she is the sexy,beauty,no:1 heroine in india.
everybody eants to marry girl like meena if she accepts i will marry her
she is ever green no:1 heroine in south

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meena is one of the finest actress of all time and there is no doubt. Even now she can attract lot of youngsters to the theatre by her beauty and naughty. She has a huge fan following and prabhu deva and rajini almost survived in 90's because of meena's grace. There was a huge contest to opposite meena. Let us not dump one of the greatest actress tamil industry ever seen. She knows how to attract young men by fine and little movements of her body. Don't have any words to praise Meena madam but bow down in front of her talents. Hail Meena and beg her to come back to silver screens. I know there are lot of fans but shy away to praise her publicly. I request all ardent fans of Meena to support our everlasting queen & great emperess of our hearts.

-- Meena & Only Meena fan forever

 

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