Punch Dialogue Movies

A good day for bad guys

Water cooler conversations between two fanboys who take their cinema way too seriously... and are unapologetic about it

SR: How do you like the first look of 2.0? Wasn’t it awesome?

VM: Thalaivar looks awesome, no?

SR: I was talking about Akshay Kumar bro. Rajini himself said that the villain role will be the talk of the town. I’m not sure about his Tamil, but knowing Shankar, the character will surely be interesting.

VM: Hope he’s better than Danny Denzongpa was in Enthiran.

SR: Maybe AK will become the new thala...

VM: Dei, NO ONE can ever match the original AK…

SR: Stop gushing… I know you are a big Ajith fan. But seriously, how many villains do you remember in Tamil cinema? The industry is so hero-centric that villains end up becoming mere props.

VM: In our enthusiasm to complain about poorly-written heroine roles, I think we forget how villains too are getting a raw deal. Until now that is.

SR: Directors are now waking up to casting stronger actors to play villains. I loved Parthiepan in Naanum Rowdy Dhaan. It’s one of those rare films in which you feel a little bad that the villain died.

VM: That’s a good way to judge a well-written villain role. I liked Victor from Yennai Arindhaal too for that reason; that character wasn’t just pure evil… he had a back story and there was reason behind his rage. He stood out in the presence of a bigger hero in the film.

SR: Trust you to bring in an Ajith reference every chance you get. Next you’ll want to reference his film… Villain?

VM: LOL. I’ll talk about all-time blockbusters later. But do you think good actors are finally looking at negative roles as ‘cool’? If so, did the trend start with a film like The Dark Knight? Villain roles have never been the same since.

SR: Who can forget that? The thing about villainy is that a good actor can really add layers to it. Even in Tamil. Even for Rajinikanth. I’m sure the evil Chitti is remembered more than Vaseegaran.

VM: Evil Chitti was easily the best part about Enthiran. I can think of hundred others who could have played Vaseegaran, but I can’t think of a single other actor pulling off, ‘Who’s that black sheep?’

SR: I’m not even sure if Vaseegaran is a part of 2.0. My guess is that the film would be about Chitti being called back to take on the terror unleashed by an army of crows led by Akshay Kumar.

VM: Woah, who’s your source for all this inside info?

SR: No way I’m telling you that! By the way, did you watch Kodi? I thought it was a well-written female role as well as a villain role. Or a ‘villi’, as Vijayakanth would probably call it.

VM: Yeah, that was a pretty great role. But I must admit, she’s just walking on the path laid by someone else… someone bigger.

SR: Nilambari? She is, hands down, the best villi.

VM: Until now, the only time we saw big actors playing negative roles was when they were themselves the hero.

SR: What do you mean?

VM: Like Rajini in Enthiran, or even Suriya in 24. I’m glad that more heroes are coming forward to play villains. Do you think actors look at it as a fall in ego if they play villain to another star?

SR: I’m sure they do. But they should be able to look beyond that. The hero might win the on-screen battle, but the villain is walking away with the glory. Thani Oruvan is a classic example; everyone remembers Arvind Swami as Siddharth Abhimanyu. Quick, tell me Jayam Ravi’s name in the film.

VM: No clue bro.

SR: Exactly my point.

VM: Honestly, I’m happy that Prakash Raj has been relieved of his villainous duties – he was doing too many of those roles. He’s taken on all our leading stars.

SR: I’m also happy that villains are getting younger, and better-looking. Vidyut Jammwal, Sudhanshu Pandey, Amitash Pradhan, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Sonu Sood. So, it’s not just the heroines who come from Mumbai anymore…

VM: I only wish they worked more on their Tamil though…

SR: So you’re saying that I – with my good looks and even-better Tamil – can enter Kollywood and become a hero? Err, villain.

VM: Of course, chellam.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 10:56:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/A-good-day-for-bad-guys/article16706248.ece

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