No longer limited by the barrier of language, the southern superstar is a force unto himself when it comes to his acting chops.
Few actors transcend the boundary between superstar and artiste — two attributes that tend to exist mutually exclusive of each other in India. Dhanush is one actor who has managed to blur that line. No longer limited by the barrier of language, the southern superstar is a force unto himself when it comes to his acting chops. Dhanush first burst into pan-India consciousness with the viral Why this Kolaveri di? almost a decade ago. Since then, he has endeared himself among film buffs, won several awards — including two National Awards — and was one of the nicest persons on Instagram.
As the actor turns 38 today, we take a look at some of his landmark roles that turned an everyman into an icon.
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Padikkadavan: Starring as a school dropout, Dhanush firmly established himself as a bankable actor with this in this 2009 flick, widely regarded as one of his finest works. An action-comedy, the film’s name is the same as one starring Rajinikanth, his father-in-law.
Aadukalam: The film about rooster fighting, with its socio-political undertones and realistic narrative, won Dhanush a National Award. Any lingering doubt that still persisted over the actor’s talent well and truly disappeared after this.
Raanjhanaa: Dhanush broke into the Hindi film marker with this 2013 film that saw him excel in the role of a lovelorn young boy who turns into a stalker. With his unique talent to move between the serious and the comic, the film’s ending was one of the most iconic in recent years.
Vada Chennai: Years in the making, the film finally saw the light of day in 2018 and features Dhanush as a talented carrom player who ends up becoming a leader of the people.
Karnan: The action drama saw Dhanush deliver one of his now-trademark intense performances as a fearless man fighting for his people’s rights. The film’s gripping narrative helped at the box office as well.
Jagame Thandhiram: His latest release sees Dhanush star as a local goon and parotta shot owner who ends up in a gang that has connections to the United Kingdom. A full display of Dhanush’s acting range helped the film, which mixed reviews from critics.
Dhanush has already shot two films that are awaiting release, one each in English and Hindi, while a Tamil film is on the floors and will release next year.