The big Diwali winner at the Kollywood box-office is Ajith Kumar’s action masala entertainer Vedalam directed by Siva. The film has grossed approximately Rs 50 crore in its first week from Tamil Nadu alone, and is also doing well in the international market.
Tamil film trade has anointed Ajith Kumar, known as the “king of opening”, as the next Rajinikanth due to his phenomenal reach. Ajith, or Thala as he is popular known, has been in the Tamil film industry for nearly two decades. Vedalam is his 56th film and is also his biggest hit. Apart from Ajith, trade analysts have also touted his rival Vijay as the next big superstar. Both actors specialise in commercial entertainers, which still has a huge reach across Tamil Nadu, especially in smaller cities and villages.
The Ajith –Vijay feud to get the so-called ‘Kollywood throne’ has been going on for the last few years. It is quite similar to the battle going on between the Khans (Aamir v/s Salman v/s SRK) for supremacy in Bollywood. The two actors started their careers around the same time in the mid 90s, and are usually very formal and friendly when they meet (in the rare sightings over the last few years). But an impending battle is being furiously discussed on social media among Ajith and Vijay fans. At the time of any of their releases, you can see hoards of tweets and massive trolling.
Ajith started as a romantic hero due to his good looks and charming ways. Soon he graduated to action hero roles. His films are larger than life action movies where the character he plays has a sinister side, for example Mankatha, Aarambam and his most recent Vedalam .
Ajith has sported a salt and pepper look (almost a spitting image of George Clooney) in many of his recent films. The characters he plays on screen always seem to have the right attitude and he always says the perfect punch lines. Possibly the actor’s huge fan base among the youth has helped him garner terrific openings for his films.
The basic premise of Vedalam is Ajith’s love and affection for his sister, who is played by Lakshmi Menon. Vedalam became a super hit thanks to the family audiences, and especially his female fans. In Tamil Nadu, the core strength of a Tamil superstar has always been his female fans. Meanwhile, Rajinikanth’s biggest strength has always been his acceptance among family audiences.
After the phenomenal success of Vedalam, Ajith went in for a long overdue knee surgery. The actor has been struggling with injuries sustained from action scenes he had been doing over the years. Ajith will now take a six-month break from films and take rest at home before starting his next film and therefore may not have any releases in 2016. At the same time Vijay’s next release is slated for summer of 2016. Meanwhile the see-saw battle for the Kollywood throne between Ajith and Vijay fans would be fought more on social media.