Planet Bollywood
Madhavan - a pan India star in true sense
- Pankaj Kumar Sinha, Special Correspondent           Let us know what you think about this feature article

We have a lot of male actors from South Indian films trying their hands at Bollywood but nobody has made a mark like R Madhavan. He is a pan India star in true sense. Despite doing films in multiple languages, he has not stuck to an image as an actor. In his career of more than two decades, he has done different genres of films and has tried his hand at playing different kind of characters. Madhavan began his career with successful television shows like 'Sea Hawks', 'Ghar Jamai' and 'Banegi Apni Baat'. He has a charming personality with chocolate boy looks. He is a well read actor with intelligent personality. He is one of most media savvy personalities from South India film industry and is brilliant public speaker.

Madhavan debuted with Kannada film 'Shanti Shanti Shanti' as a lead hero. It was the Mani Ratnam directed Tamil film 'Alaipayuthey' that made him a big star. His role as Karthik, a romantic lover boy and caring husband earned him lot of praises. The film is one of the most romantic films of India and is regarded as a classic in Tollywood. It was followed by another cult classic romantic film 'Minnale' directed by Gautam Menon. The film was very successful at the box office and he was becoming touted to be the Shah Rukh Khan of Tamil film industry. The film was remade in Hindi as 'Rehana Hai Tere Dil Mein'but it did average business at the box office. It was followed by another successful romantic film 'Dumm Dumm Dumm'. He has getting stuck to a romantic lover boy image as an actor.

In Tollywood, his turning point as an actor again came with Mani Ratnam's 'Kannathil Muthamittal', where he played father to an adopted child who wishes to return to her native homeland during Sri Lanka civil war. He gave a matured performance. 'Anbe Sivam' with legend Kamal Hassan was another landmark film in his career and one could see his growth as an actor. He won best supporting role award in Filmfare for this film. With these films, he was also doing his regular dose of romantic films in between. 'Run' was his first action film and he was effective as an actor in action scenes. The film did good business at the box office and made him a bankable star at the box office in Tamil films. He was never considered par with younger stars like Vijay, Ajith, Vikram and Surya.

'Aaytha Ezhuthu', directed by Mani Ratnam, had Madhavan as a rustic goon. It was his first negative role as an actor. He did a brilliant job as an actor. 'Yavarum Nalam' is one of most intelligent horror films made in India. In the character of helpless 'Manohar' was impeccable. His successful films have been 'Jay Jay', 'Nala Damayanthi', 'Vettai' and 'Priyamana Thozhi'. 'Irudhi Suttu' saw him in interesting role of boxing coach was a well-made film and his performance in the film got a lot of critical acclaim. His latest release 'Vikram Vedha' has been doing very well at the box office and got rave reviews from critics and audience. He was playing a tough intelligent cop in a Tom and Jerry kind of a battle with an intelligent criminal in the film. The film is based on mythological 'Vikram Betal' and the story telling in the film is different in this action thriller.

Madhavan has grown as an actor and filmmakers should push him to take up challenging roles consistently. He has always done a lot of multi starrers which shows he is a good team player and is secure as an actor. His Bollywood journey as an actor has been interesting. He has been a part of successful critical films which have also done good business at box office like 'Guru', 'Rang De Basanti', '3 Idiots', 'Tanu Weds Manu' and 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'. He strikes a good balance in doing films in different languages. He has been one of the most relevant popular male actors from South India. Madhavan is pan India star in true sense.


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