Dhanush And Vetrimaaran, the Alliance That Never Fails To Create Magic

Nobody was surprised when director Vetrimaaran’s most recent film, Asuran with Dhanush, opened to a raucous love from both critics and audiences. The movie became the first Dhanush film to reach the 100-crore club at the box office within 10 days of its release.

Vetrimaaran has solidified his position as one of the most intriguing directors in Kollywood over the past ten years. With five films under his belt, the director has already established a cult following.

But Dhanush could be equally responsible for the early Vetrimaaran movie’s success. It is no secret that the pair have a very close working relationship; they are both National Award winners. The actor starred in every other Vetrimaaran movie except Visaranai, including Polladhavan, Aadu Kaalam, Vada Chennai, and Asuran.

Over the past 12 years, the director and the actor have praised one another’s achievements in the industry. In 2005, while working as an assistant on the late director Balu Mahendran’s Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam set, Vetrimaaran had his first encounter with Dhanush. Vetrimaaran composed Polladhavan for Dhanush two years later. The actor agreed right away, and the movie quickly became a big success.

Vetrimaaran waited another four years before his subsequent release, Aadukalam in 2011, following the success of Polladhavan. Nobody had any doubts that this movie would succeed and receive praise. Dhanush excelled in a role that required him to portray an assistant to a Madurai cockfighting legend. At the 58th National Film Awards, Aadukalam went on to win six awards, including Best Actor and Best Director for Vetrimaaran and Dhanush, respectively.

Leaving Visaranai aside, for the time being, commercial films like Vada Chennai and even Asuran exist. Despite their overblown approach, they stand out as quality films. We are immediately taken to the seedy underbelly of the slums of north Chennai in Vada Chennai.

Asuran, on the other hand, is about a poor family’s fight and defeat against the exploitative rich. Despite the violence in both movies, they don’t glorify it. They are direct and blunt, and every aspect of the movie including the background music, the cinematography, and the editing works together to move the plot along. In circumstances like this, Vetrimaaran’s brilliance shines.

The unconventional way Vetrimaaran approaches cinema sets it apart from other styles. There seem to be two things you can expect from a Vetrimaaran film: excellent writing and, to boot, equally excellent performances, after 12 years and five high-calibre movies.

In Kollywood, very few director-actor teams are as successful as Vetrimaaran and Dhanush. It strongly resembles the collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro. We can only hope that the duo keeps providing us with excellent movies for years to come.

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