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Dhanush: 5 Finest Movies!



Tamil superstar Dhanush made his Hindi-screen debut in Raanjhanaa.

Dhanush’s  5  Finest

Enai Noki Paayum Thota

Dhanush, playing a 20-year  old is a  bit of stretch  but this is where the  age-old convenient  suspension-of-disbelief comes in handy. The  mating games are  played with  an enchanting elegance. This is romance  in the purest cinematic sense, ethereal and  unattainable, cadenced and  magnetic, shot with an eye  and ear for  workaday sublimity. Director Gautham  Menon lets  the couple  find and  celebrate idealized  love in  routine places.

Even as we  savour the couple’s  moments together  the narrative takes a sharp swerve into  violence. The restless narrative shifts to Mumbai  for action scenes which are as  elegantly  shot as  the romance.  Menon never allows  any awkwardness  to  seep into his  cinema  even as he negotiates  impossible genre  jumps like  a seasoned trapeze artiste. There is something uniquely  ingratiating  in  the  clasp of courtship and  mayhem that Menon here. While Dhanush  thinks  a clean-shave look entitles  him to ever-youthfulness, his co-star has  a much less challenging role.

Megha Akash reminded  me of Urmila Matomdkar   in Ram Gopal Varma’s Mast. The exploited actress locked in a  gilded cage, pining to be  liberated through love… Enai Noki Paayum Thota is  a film of many  virtues  about characters who  do not shy away from their  vices. There is a remarkable sense of  headlong apprehension in the scenes. Both the romance and  action are perched dangerously in a steep space where they can easily topple  over into an abyss. The fluency of  director Gautham Menon’s  directorial language  holds together the  disparate  dimensions  of life that we  sometimes weigh against the  powers  of love  to heal rather than hurt.

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Vada Chennai

Dhanush  has the  Tamil audiences eating out of his hands.  He can do anything, ANYTHING, he likes. The fans  are with him. The slobbering  raves for his  new film are  proof. In Vada Chennai  he plays  Anbu, a carrom player(like Siddharth in Chandan Arora’s Striker)  who repeatedly ends  up  in jail where he  befriends  dons gangsters and dons’ and gangsters’ cronies .The brutality is  kept at bay. The director  Vetrimaan has  had enough of it in his last film.

To give the  very routine gangster  drama an epic feel, director  Vetrimaaran(who earlier directed that  raw  Vissaranai about  police atrocity)  spreads  the  narrative and  the characters into a stretched-out sprawl. The  mounting is  impressive.

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So is Dhanush’s changing hairstyle over the decades. He is lanky enough to carry off the  role of a teenager  in  the  first flush of love. The object  of Dhanush’s adoration  is Padma(Aishwarya Raj) who  plays that emboldened  impassioned street-smart  sweetheart whom  Dhanush loves to kiss in his films.When a  local goon(there are so many of them  it’s impossible to  keep track) heckles  the  couple Dhanush’s Anbu gets murderous. The  scenes of  gangwar and internecine rivalry are  shot on suitable dark dingy desolate locations so that glorifying violence  is never an  option.

But celebrating it, is. Director Vetrimaaran seems  suitably awed  by the  antisocial world that  his characters inhabits. Every characters is a potential  law breaker. This fact we are given to ingest from the start. Dhanush’s character  is constantly in a crowd of potential rioters and murderers. He  is  the  Common Man  with an axe to grind. He gets to grind it in grating leisure. We  are  often invited to  participate  in  the  wages  of  lawlessness.


Aanand Rai’s Varanasi-based love story was volatile  vibrant and vital, brazen and brilliant. The film captured the essence of  a mismatched chalk-and-cheese alliance through vivacious vignettes from the lead pair Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor’s lives as they sang their way through  some of A R Rahman’s finest songs in recent times. The film marked the coming of age of Sonam Kapoor as  an actress worth watching. Anil Kapoor just can’t stop beaming.

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Dhanush’s synchronicity with the Big B, so crucial to the plot, proves him to be an actor of remarkable resources. Thankfully, like Balki Dhanush is a Big B fan later, an honest artiste first. The writer-director takes the voice of Mr Bachchan (in other words, the voice of the nation) and puts it on Dhanush, that intelligent Tamil actor who is rapidly emerging as the inheritor to Kamal Haasan.It really can’t any more audacious than this…though admittedly there’s no telling what Balki would dare to do next.

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I have seen innumerable seething simmering films about social injustice. None   so tense and  implosive.  I’ve seen  any number  of  angry heroes. None as  angry as Karnan. As played by Dhanush he is the voice of a voiceless village. The hand that won’t  hold itself back. The  face  of  the  social protester who  is no posterboy. He  will act.

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He  will kill. He  won’t be stopped. Dhanush  is  so volatile  I  have never felt more compromised,  more  a part of  socio-economical system that allows  a handful to have all the wealth and  power. To be  honest I have never seen film like Karnan. It  rambles and roars, dances and  writhes  as  it explores the  dynamics of exploitation with a straightforwardness that eschews any  kind of  cinematic deceit. And yet  strangely enough it is filled with  allegorical  allusions and metaphors including a  masked girl  child indicative  of  the faceless victim, and  a  donkey with its two front  legs tied which Karnan frees before the  climactic violence(get it?)

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