Monday, March 26, 2007

More Chances Please...

Last week, I wrote about actors who I thought had little chance of sticking around for the next generation of Tamil cinema. That was a fun article to write but I'd be the first to accept that it was also a little mean-spirited. After all, its not very nice predicting the ends of actors' careers. So to make amends, I thot I'd write about something more positive today.

Tamil cinema is pretty mean to its actors and actresses. It doesn't take a lot for a performer to get the 'jinxed' label and lose out on chances. In our hero-centric industry, actresses have to depend on things like their chemistry with the hero and the success of their films together with the hero rather than their own talent. So its not surprising that Tamil cinema is filled with deserving actresses who never made it big. Looking at just the last few years, here are 5 actresses who I think deserved another chance or better breaks.

Sneha
My vote for the best actress working today goes to Sneha. Homely, beautiful and completely natural when it comes to performing, she is one actress who can make us forget that she is acting. But she has never gotten her due. She got great roles in films like Parthiban Kanavu and Autograph and has been paired with top stars like Kamal(Vasoolraja MBBS) and Vijay(Vaseegara). But though she has been around for a while, she has never made it to the big league. She has been considered an unlucky actress for most of her career since her films with stars like Vijay and Ajith(Janaa) flopped. Not being particularly suited to glamor and without many woman-centric roles available to make use of her talent, she is all but out of Tamil cinema with only a couple of movies(Naan Avanillai, Pallikkoodam) in her hand. Its definitely our loss...

Pooja
Pooja's position today is much better than it was a year ago but I think she deserves even more. She easily stole the show from heroine Amoga in Jay Jay but since the movie didn't do too well, she didn't make as big a splash as I thought she would. But unlike other actresses who completely disappeared after their first film, Pooja has managed to hang around and land some good films too. That by itself is proof enough that she has the goods. She too had the 'unlucky' tag but I'm hoping that recent hits like Pattiyal and Thambi have helped her throw off the tag so that she can land some big movies and really get noticed. We do need to see more of her...

Gajala
Very cute and pretty, Gajala has so far not managed to make it big. A big reason for that has to be her selection of movies. She shared the screen with Simran(never a good idea!) in Arjun's Ezhumalai and in University, it was the hero Jeevan who was more noticed (and not for the right reasons either!). Her lone hit so far has been Raam (and her character was probably the weakest part of that movie!) and that didn't help her much since she was reduced to playing the second heroine in an Arjun movie(Madrasi). With such a spotty resume, her career has never really taken off and like most heroines who can't make it big in Tamil or whose career in Tamil is all but over, she is headed towards Malayalam films. But I for one, wouldn't mind seeing more of her.

Madhumita
Looks and talent... One would guess that a girl with the combination of those two would do decently in Tamil cinema but Madhumita proved that that's not always the case. She was terrific in a very tough role in Kudaikkul Mazhai but her talent didn't open many doors for her. She was again great playing the headstrong girl in Amudhe but understandably, not many noticed her in that. Her career seems to have completely stalled after that and there's not much news about her. Wish she gets another break...

Chaya Singh
Chaya Singh's state is even sadder considering that her first movie, Thiruda Thirudi, was a hit. Having to fight with Dhanush for almost the whole movie, she was very funny and expressive, a rare feat for a debutant. But film's success did not help her career much and she quickly went from leading lady to item number girl in movies like Arul and Thiruppaachi. She doesn't seem to have any movies other than Solli Adippen(with Vivek) lined up and so her prospects look rather dim. Too bad...

24 Comments:

At 6:13 AM, Blogger skanda said...

Not everyone can be on the top. There are really some undeserving actresses( Asin,Nayanthara,Trisha) who are doing well while the deserving ones(Meera Jasmine, Snegha, Bhoomika) are still struggling.

 
At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how come u nvr blog abt the leaked sivaji songs????Have u heard it???

 
At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To each his own perspective, Bhoomika is struggling?? Meera Jasmine is struggling??

Bhoomika's rate for a movie is 50Lakhs I do not think that's struggling.

Again they may not be acting in Tamil movies They may be busy in Telugu. Make no bones, Telugu industry is the moola one, most heroines prefer it there, they just have to suffer the brightness from their clothes they wear:).

Pooja has been acting in more movies then the others in the list, some how I do not think she fits in this list. She has some coming up.

I am not sure how many of you saw her(Pooja) episode of Coffee with Suchi, she was the spontaneous and down to earth actress I have ever seen. Her smile and her wonderful screen presence makes it a treat to watch her.

-KP

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous ram said...

BB, wonderful write-up...my picks would be Sneha and Madhumitha, in that order...one think I like about Sneha is that she always brings a degree of sanity and realism to the most insane and unrealistic of characters...she plays it just right. a movie like ABCD was watchable only coz of her performance. you have to watch the way she expresses happiness after reading that friendship card...seeing the initial "unakum enakum endha uravum illai" her face crumbles...and then realizing that shaam had signed it off as "un dhukkamum thuyaramum" those lovely eyes express joy and ecstasy of a person in love...Autograph pathi sollanumaa...here's what I wrote abt her way back in '04:

"Especially the Sneha portions really touched a chord in me, not just because she is the best among the current crop of actresses, but because she is given a fabulously etched character that reminds us how great it is to have true friends."

her Divya character is the stuff of legends...even yesterday a great friend of mine wrote to me--"btw- jus finished watching autograph with swati... so u can imagine how emotional i am rite now....:)
one of the best made movies illa...
kept rewinding that sneha dialogue again n again.. felt so good to just hear it :) :)"

the line she's referring to is, "Frienship mattum thaan naamala, namaku pudichavanga kooda pazhagardhu...nee enaku apdi kedaichavan thaan, Senthil."

Nyabagam Varuthey Nyabagam Varuthey...!

(will write abt the rest of 'em including another favorite, madhumitha, once i come out of the autograph-haunted phase!)

 
At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya good one.. In the list I will definetly pick pooja & Gajala...
Both are really pretty and good looking in screen..
Gajala is very good in Em-Mahan and Nee Venunda Chellam....

I think both of them will do more films and rock kollywood..

 
At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

except for sneha, i think these are nobodies... i didn't even realize i'd seen them in any movies.

i'd say more chances for sandhya and abhirami. ramya krishnan too -- not that she hasn't been in lots of movies, but she's never gotten as good as she deserves.

 
At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gajala was in em-magan??? wasn't it gopika??

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

BB,

Ungalukkum thamizh makkal madhiri Sneha than pidikum pola :)

 
At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gajala is there in Em-Magan. She acted as friend to bharat..
small role but did it well. She is currently acting with shaam in some movie..

 
At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Balaji, I somehow don't think that Pooja belongs in this list, Balaji.

She has been relatively more lucky than Sneha, I would say, considering she has picked so many flops to act in: Attagaasam, Pori, Thagappansamy, Jithan and Jay Jay.

Sneha's career took a hit thanks to the Nag Ravi incident. It was going great guns until then. Of course, she picked some major duds to star in too: Aayudham, Chinna.

But I also think Sneha has more age lines that your average heroine her age. If you look at her in Virumbugiren and at her now, you can see the marked difference in appearance. She has, on the average, aged a lot faster than other heroines.

Trisha entered movies the same year as Sneha, but I do feel that Trisha has aged less than Sneha (there's probably only about 2 or 3 years age difference between the two, I would think!).

Also, as you mentioned, Balaji, glamor not suiting Sneha was a major setback for her. If you want to make it in Tamil movies and stay at the top, you got to look glamorous. Unfortunately, even when she acted with Vijay and Ajit, Sneha couldn't bring in the oomph factor.. Gone are the days when actresses could look pretty, act like a doll and get away with it. And gone are the days when actresses can wear skimpy clothing and look bad in it and get away with it too!.. :-(

 
At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Prin said...

Balaji, great work per usual! A couple of points I would like to make that are:

* Lakshmi Rai of 'Kundakka Mundakka', 'Karka Kasarara' and 'Dharmapuri' fame has been selected to play a leading role in director Jeeva's next project, 'Dhaam Dhoom' starring Jayam Ravi and Bollywood beauty, Kangana Ranaut. Apparently, Jeeva thinks that she has not been given a chance, I found myself laughing only to realise it could be true since she had about 10 mins in Kundakka Mundakka and about 5 mins in Dharmapuri.

Any thots on her?

Pooja, is a top 10 actress and has delivered hits recently barring Pori - so , I personally wouldn't put her in the leagues of Madhumitha, Chaya.

Also, any thots on Swarnamalya as an actress?

 
At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Technically speaking Trisha came before Sneha in Jodi which was 2 years earlier then Virumbugirean.

-KP

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger skanda said...

I just wish that Bhavana leaves the tamil cinema cinema. she is just all out to copy Trisha in terms of looks, dressing and expresions. "Deepavali" was a good example of that. she is just too fake for my liking.

Does anyone know what happen to Abirami who starred opposite Kamal in "Virumandi"? it seems that she has disappeared into thin air already...

 
At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Balaji,

I have been a regular reader of your blog for the past year, just thought that I would let you know that thalaivar's Sivaji songs (3) have had an illegal release on the internet.

Arun

 
At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nooooooo.......

i likke bhavana.....not her problem that she kinda looks like trisha......when trisha first came out people kept on saying she acts like jyothika and looks like reema sen....besides bhavana is prob more talented than trisha could ever be

 
At 8:18 PM, Anonymous sriram said...

BB, My First choice would be Asin. She speaks with her own voice.
she is homely,cute and also bubbly.


How can you ignore her. You dont even have her in top 5 .

 
At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sriram, read the post again, several times, you are totally missing the point, lol

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Bart said...

I would want to point at Abhirami like Skanda did.. She has vanished into thin air.
Madhumitha is again deserving.
Rest of them either have some hope to look fwd to or the other few do not deserve yet...

 
At 11:06 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

skanda, wouldn't call them (esp. asin) undeserving. i'd just say there r others deserving a break too :)

KP, oh yeah, moving to telugu alone can't be taken as a sign of the career ending. but moving to mallu movies is usually a sign of that.

haven't seen that episode. but remember seeing an interview with pooja a couple of yrs back. looked gorgeous and spoke very well too...

ram, yep she's one of the few actresses who can rise above the quality of the film. looking back at my reviews, i've always had nice things to say about her even when the movies sucked :)

anon, i hope so too :)

anon, "i didn't even realize i'd seen them in any movies." - i think that was the point of the post... they have the looks and talent but havent been noticed...

not so sure about sandhya but yeah, abhirami deserved better...

sandya, i just felt pooja should've gotten better breaks (maybe cos i'm such a big fan of her!). though she has a few films now, she's been around for a while and that may work against her since our heroes goes for either new faces or actresses who are at the top. and she doesn't fall into either category...

prin, can't say i remember lakshmi rai at all. so she didn't make much of an impression. and the movies u listed kinda tell me why! lets see if 'dhaam dhoom' makes me notice her any more :)

i think swarnamalya is past playing the heroine. but she could do the 'heroine's friend' role though i don't think she too good at emoting...

sriram, this post is about actresses who didn't get enuf breaks. i'm pretty sure asin doesn't fit in there. but the post on next gen heroines did have asin at the top :)

 
At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Senthil said...

How come everyone says Sneha is a good actress and so natural, deserves to be in Top slot etc... Am I missing something

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

senthil, I guess thats relatively speaking. If you look at the so-called numero unos in Tamil cinema right now(like Asin, Trisha, Bhavana) and then put Sneha alongside, it might make better sense. Dont look at it in absolute terms.

 
At 11:48 AM, Anonymous ram said...

senthil, ungaluku autograph-la sneha performance pudikaliyaa?

 
At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Senthil said...

Vijay, you have a valid point. But still, I think her acting is somewhat artificial.

Ram, enakku autograph-la sneha performance unmaiyave pidikkalai. She did better in Pudhupettai though.

Anyway, opinions differ:)

 
At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notwithstanding real acting chops, most of today's leading ladies (if that term qualifies for kollywood!) are basically required to pout, dance w regular pelvic thrusts, hysterically weep, pout, mouth to dubbing, pout some more...and that's that. Character driven roles are a rarity - the case in point Abirami in Virumaandi - and the gloss with glamour seems the only constant...

 

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