New Delhi: When Shankar first entered the Tamil film industry in 1993 with an action-drama titled ‘Gentleman’ little could anyone have known that in the years to follow that he would redefine the very tenets of Indian cinema courtesy some socially relevant yet highly entertaining big screen outings.
During his nearly two decade long association with the world of glamour and glitz the maverick filmmaker has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, tasting commercial and critical success along the way. Today, as Shankar turns a year older, here is a quick look at some of his most mesmerizing directorial ventures.
Kadhalan: Touted as a romantic-thriller, ‘Kadhalan’ is perhaps best remembered for its catchy music and gripping dance sequences. Featuring Prabhudeva and Nagma in lead roles, the film opened to a thunderous response at the box office and received tremendous critical acclaim. Released in 1994, it helped Shankar bag a Filmfare award.
Indian: Featuring Kamal Haasan in a double role, ‘Indian’ created quite a stir amongst movie buffs courtesy its bold theme and engaging screenplay. Touted as an action-thriller, it was also dubbed into Hindi as ‘Hindustani’. Revolving around a veteran freedom fighter’s attempts at punishing corrupt government officials, the film was India’s official entry to the Academy awards. However, it failed to get a nomination.
Jeans: Regarded as one of the most expensive film released in 1998, ‘Jeans’ created quite a buzz in the industry thanks to its fun-filled storyline and sincere performances. Featuring Aishwarya Rai and Prashanth in lead roles, it proved to be a success at the box office and was selected as India’s official entry to the Academy awards.
Mudhalvan: Boasting of some crackling chemistry between Arjun and Raghuvaran, this political-drama found itself in the midst of an ugly controversy when it was alleged that the film’s antagonist was modeled on none other than then Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi. However, despite these controversies, ‘Mudhalvan’ fared well at the ticket window. Interestingly, the film was later on remade in Hindi as ‘Nayak’.
Anniyan: The first southern film to make use of institutional finance, ‘Anniyan’ touched upon the sensitive topic of split personality disorder. Featuring a stellar performance from Vikram, the film set the box office on fire and bagged as many as eight Filmfare awards. Shot in Tamil. It was later on dubbed into Hindi as ‘Aparichit’.
Sivaji: Yet another hard hitting film from Shankar, ‘Sivaji’ highlighted a brave crusader’s fight against corruption. Featuring Rajinikanth in the titular role, it floored all and sundry thanks to its pulsating narrative and effortless acting. Interestingly, it was released in Hindi and Telugu as well.
Enthiran: Often described as Shankar’s most ambitious projecs yet, ‘Enthiran’ created quite a stir amongst movie buffs because of its unique plot and grand scale. Featuring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai in the lead, the film raked in over 2.1 billion dollars at the box office globally. Interestingly, its sequel is in the works at present.
I: A pulsating romantic-drama, ‘I’ created managed to create waves in the industry owing to its quirky title and grand music launch which was attended by the ‘Austrian Oak’ Arnold Schwarzenegger. Featuring Vikram in the lead, the film fared moderately well on the commercial front despite receiving mixed reviews.