Kerala

A star, fans and the cult of celebrity

A still from Pokkiri Simon.

A still from Pokkiri Simon.   | Photo Credit: NP;NP -

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A new Malayalam film about fans of Tamil actor Vijay is ready for release

Tamil cinema has always had a good market in Kerala, even before the advent of nationwide release for regional language films. Most Malayalis understand Tamil fairly well. You never see a Tamil film getting dubbed into Malayalam for a theatre release, unlike Telugu or Kannada.

And some Tamil stars have huge fan following in Kerala. Vijay is one such star. So much so that a Malayalam film has been made about the fans of Vijay in Kerala. It is titled Pokkiri Simon – the reference is, of course, to Vijay’s 2007 blockbuster Pokkiri.

The film is directed by Jijo Antony and features Sunny Wayne in the title role. K. Ampady, a doctor-turned civil servant, has written the script.

“It was during a visit to Chenkalchoola in Thiruvananthapuram that I first thought that there was scope for a film on fans of Vijay in Kerala,” says Ampady, whose first film Ayaal fetched Lal the State Award for the best actor three years ago.

“Though I was aware that Tamil stars are loved by a large number of Malayalis, I was surprised by the way his fans adored Vijay.”

Many of the characters in the film, he adds, are based on real people. “There is even a man called Pokkiri Riyas,” he adds. “I met many Vijay fans before I started writing the script. His fans, I have found out, do a lot of social work, such as donating blood.”

Some of the fans appear in the film too. “For the sequences involving crowds, we did not have to employ junior artists; we had enough real fans,” says Ampady. “The film has the blessings of Vijay; we had met his father S.A. Chandrasekhar in Chennai. The veteran director was happy to learn that a Malayalam film was being made about Vijay.”

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 2:27:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-star-fans-and-the-cult-of-celebrity/article19699583.ece

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