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RIP Actor Politician Vijayakanth: 1952 – 2023

Vijayakanth Tamil Actor Movie

In the realm of Tamil cinema, there have been many actors who have left an indelible mark on the industry and one such actor is Vijayakanth, fondly known as “Captain” by his fans, was a force to be reckoned with in the Tamil film industry. Image source: Quora

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One of the most famous songs in the 1980s is this Rasathi Unna Kanatha Nenju song composed by Maestro Ilaiyaraaja from the movie Vaidehi Kathirunthal directed by R. Sundarrajan and starring Vijayakanth and Revathi. Vijayakanth plays the role of Vellaisamy, a homeless man with a golden voice. This song is in the form of a waltz or what some have said mimics a horse galloping in a natural rhythm.

The Versatile Actor

His career spanned over four decades, during which he showcased his versatility as an actor. From action-packed roles to emotional portrayals, Vijayakanth captivated audiences with his powerful performances.

Some of the famous movies acted by Vijayakanth and the awards he won are:

  • Sattam Oru Iruttarai (1981): A crime thriller directed by S. A. Chandrasekhar, where Vijayakanth played the role of Vijay, a vigilante who seeks revenge for his sister’s death. The film was a blockbuster and established Vijayakanth as an action hero.
  • Amman Kovil Kizhakale (1986): A family drama directed by R. Sundarrajan, where Vijayakanth played the role of Chinnamani, a village head who falls in love with a city girl. The film was a musical hit and won Vijayakanth the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil and the Cinema Express Award for Best Actor – Tamil
  • Senthoora Poove (1988): A romantic drama directed by P. R. Devaraj, where Vijayakanth played the role of Durai, a widower who raises his daughter with the help of his sister-in-law. The film was a commercial success and won Vijayakanth the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor.
  • Pulan Visaranai (1990): A crime thriller directed by R. K. Selvamani, where Vijayakanth played the role of DCP Raja, who investigates a series of murders committed by a psychopath. The film was a blockbuster and was remade in Hindi as Ravan Raaj: A True Story (1995).
  • Vaanathaippola (2000): A family drama directed by Vikraman, where Vijayakanth played the dual roles of two brothers who sacrifice their love and happiness for their family. The film was a mega hit and won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment in 2001. It also won several other awards, including the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film.

These are some of the famous movies acted by Vijayakanth and the awards he won. He was also known for his roles in other films such as Sivappu Malli (1981), Oomai Vizhigal (1986), Chinna Gounder (1992), Sethupathi IPS (1994) and Captain Prabhakaran (1991), which was his 100th film.

Vijayakanth passed away on December 28, 2023, at 71. He was admitted to MIOT Hospital in Chennai for pneumonia and tested positive for Covid-19. He was on ventilator support but could not be saved despite the best efforts of the medical team.

His death was mourned by many political leaders, film personalities and his followers. His mortal remains were taken to his residence and then to the DMDK office for public homage. He was given a full state honour and laid to rest at the DMDK headquarters with 72 rounds of gunshots.

Vijayakanth Ramana Movie

Ramana starring Vijayakanth still holds a score of 8.2 at IMDB which is impressive considering it has been 22 years since the movie came out. The scene at the hospital may sound far-fetched for some but there is some truth considering how some private hospitals charge patients for petty & minor things. I was even charged additionally for the front desk to print my hospital bills & receipts when it should be part & parcel of the admin tasks. Image source: IMDB

Vijayakanth & Ramana

Ramana is a 2002 vigilante action film starring Vijayakanth, Simran and Ashima Bhalla. The film was written and directed by A. R. Murugadoss, who later made blockbuster movies like Ghajini, Thuppakki and Sarkar. Ramana is considered one of his best works and won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film in 2002.

The film revolves around Ramana, a college professor who leads a secret group called the Anti-Corruption Force (ACF) that kidnaps and kills the most corrupt officials in various government departments. Ramana is motivated by his personal experience of losing his wife and daughter in a building collapse due to the negligence of the construction company and the bribe-taking officials. He recruits his ex-students who are working in different fields to join his mission and expose the corruption in the system.

The film was praised for its gripping storyline, realistic portrayal of corruption, powerful performance by Vijayakanth and the social message it conveyed. The film was a huge hit at the box office and inspired several remakes in other languages, such as Tagore in Telugu, Vishnu Sena in Kannada and Gabbar is Back in Hindi.

Political Aspirations

While Vijayakanth’s acting career was illustrious, he also ventured into politics, leaving an indelible mark on the political landscape of Tamil Nadu. In 2005, he founded the political party Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), to bring about change and serve the people.

Vijayakanth’s political aspirations resonated with the masses, especially those who felt disillusioned with the existing political system. His charisma and ability to connect with people helped him gain a significant following. He stood as a strong opposition to established political parties, advocating for the rights and welfare of the common man.

Vijayakanth’s political career was marked by his unwavering commitment to the welfare of the people. He used his platform to address issues such as corruption, unemployment, and social inequality. His speeches were known for their fiery rhetoric and his ability to capture the attention of the masses.

However, with his demise, there is a high chance that the party may combine with others or maybe dissolve as it does not hold any seats in the state assembly.

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It was reported that when Vijayakanth took over as the president, Nadigar Sangam was neck-deep in debts amounting to Rs 4.5 crore. In 2002, he organised fund-raising events in Singapore and Malaysia. Top actors including Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth and several other big stars entertained the fans in the two countries. The events became a huge success enough to repay the debts with the funds which were raised from these events. Info source: India Today

Contributions to the Cinema Industry

While Vijayakanth’s foray into politics may have shifted the focus away from his acting career, his contributions to the Tamil film industry cannot be overlooked. He acted in over 150 films, leaving a rich legacy of memorable performances.

One of his notable contributions to the South Indian artists’ welfare was his presidency of the South Indian Artistes’ Association (SIAA), also known as Nadigar Sangam, from 2000 to 2006. During his tenure, he transformed the SIAA from a heavily indebted organisation to a charitable trust that provided benefits and pensions to low-income members. He also surrendered all management quota seats at his private engineering college to the government so that students didn’t pay extra fees. He was widely respected for his philanthropy and empathy towards the poor and needy.

Vijayakanth’s dedication to his craft and his ability to bring characters to life on the big screen inspired many aspiring actors. He paved the way for future generations, proving that talent and hard work can lead to success in the highly competitive world of cinema.

Final Say

Vijayakanth’s journey from being a versatile actor to a political icon is a testament to his determination and passion. His contributions to both the cinema industry and politics will be remembered for years to come.

As we bid farewell to this legendary figure, let us celebrate his achievements and remember him as a man who used his platform to make a difference. Vijayakanth will forever be etched in the hearts of his fans and remain an inspiration for those who strive to create an impact in both the entertainment industry and society as a whole.

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