Cinema

Action thrills Vincent

Vincent Asokan  

Remember the television commercial for an online shopping portal which asks in Hindi “Real life mein aisa hota hai kya?” Similarly, do fisticuffs happen in real life at the drop of a hat? Does a lanky youngster manage to beat up scores of well-built thugs with his bare hands? Well, that is celluloid for you. Everything that happens on the silver screen is larger than life and meant to entertain the masses. After all, don't we all need an escape into a world of make-believe from the drudgery of a humdrum life?

And, that's precisely what actor Vincent Asokan is good at. He would rather chase the good man (read: hero), rough up the damsel (read: heroine) and eventually get smashed to a pulp by the hero. For, that's what he gets paid for — villainy!

Since his introduction to the silver screen in 2004 in director A. Venkatesh's Aei, Vincent Asokan has played villain in close to 30 films. That's an average of three films a year! But, 2013 was different for Vincent as it must have been for the other villains in the industry. That was the year when romance and comedy pushed villainy to the background. “For the first time in my career, it was a dull year with no releases, except one in Kannada, Lakshmi. But six films are getting ready for release this year,” says Vincent. And, he is quite upbeat about them.

“In Thottal Thodarum, directed by Cable Shankar, I have no dialogues and convey terror through menacing looks and expressions. I was quite apprehensive when Shankar narrated the script to me, but there was some uniqueness in this characterisation which gave me the confidence to do the role,” says Vincent. Thaman Kumar is the hero of Thottal Thodarum, with Vincent playing a hired assassin.

While Vincent's role in Thottal Thodarum will come in for much acclaim, the one he plays in director Ramesh Selvan's Thalaivan should take him back to mainstream villainy. “ Thalaivan is a big budget film in which I play a don. BAS Bhaskaran is the hero. Ramesh Selvan has etched an extremely powerful character for me and the action sequences have been shot in Goa and Ooty/Coonoor,” says Vincent.

What about his roles in the other four films? “In Eppodum Vendraan directed by Sivashanmugham, I appear in a cameo as a cop. In Ennamo Nadakkuthu, director Rajapandi has cast me as a boxer; I spar with actor Prabhu. There are two other films, ready for release, in which I play the main villain. I play a thug in director A. Venkatesh’s Killadi featuring Bharat as the hero. In director Arjunaraja’s Mayyam Kondein, I play a village baddie.”

Do the changing trends in the industry worry him? Vincent feels that, as in any other industry, trends keep changing. “There have been instances when villains took to comic roles, and heroes took to negative roles. Mainstream heroines have done item numbers too. Clearly demarcated roles are never the order of the day and we as actors have to understand the needs of the audience and re-invent ourselves. But, when it boils down to hard facts, villains have to beat up the hero and in turn get beaten up.”

Does he perceive a change in trend from mainstream movies to critically acclaimed small-budget films with comedy and romance as the theme? “While that may be the case with so many comedies, romantic films and realistic stories doing the rounds, we must understand that films are meant to entertain. And, to entertain the masses, there must be commercial elements — songs, dances, fights, good man, bad man, comedian, item numbers, car chases and the works. Obviously, these will be big budget films with big action stars, giving mass entertainment value. Films are larger than life and so will be the hero, heroine and villain. As long as there are good directors who come up with exciting scripts, all of us will have our work cut out,” concludes Vincent, on a positive note, as he looks forward to his first Bollywood film with a current favourite director from the South.




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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 12:40:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/action-thrills-vincent/article5693200.ece

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