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Vijaykanth's new film woos viewers - and voters
By Chitra Prakash, Indo-Asian News Service
Chennai, March 15 (IANS) "Sudesi" starring Vijaykanth is a throwback to the 1950s and 60s, and brings back memories of legendary actor and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M.G. Ramachandran to old-timers.
Vijaykanth, 'Captain' to his flock, floated a new political party, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), seven months ahead of the assembly elections in May. He has now come out with his propaganda film two months before the polls.
On screen he has always tried to be the dark complexioned descendant of MGR, as Ramachandran was popularly known. He has been a celluloid saviour of the masses, including damsels in distress.
In most of his roles, he has sought to identify himself with rural Tamil Nadu.
"Sudesi" tells the story of a patriotic citizen who happens to acquire a CD that records the role of a villainous chief minister in a murder. The politician moves heaven and earth and mobilises hoodlums to recover the CD.
The hero, on the other hand, wields it as a weapon against the corrupt establishment and a shield for the poor.
The ageing actor relies less on stunts and more on one-liners to deliver his rather cryptic political message. One example: "Solli adippaan Sudesi" ("Sudesi strikes after a warning"). Another: "I don't want to come late and make others wait for me. Nor do I want to come early and wait for others."
As his admirers see it, this alludes to the accurate timing of his advent in politics.
The film and its hero assail, among other things, government officials who send their kids to private schools, teachers in villages who get their household chores done by schoolchildren and medicos reluctant to serve the rural masses.
Vijaykanth delivers a line that suggests he has no delusion about achieving power through the coming polls. "If your intention is to serve the people, you don't have to occupy the hot seat," he says.
He now occupies the top position in the powerful South Indian Film Artistes' Association.
Jai Prakah alias Jeppy has directed "Sudhesi", which also features Ashima, Manoj K. Jayan and Sayaji Shinde, besides M.N. Nambiar, the villain of many an 'MGR' film.
This is only the first week of its release.