Even as Sura has just hit theaters, and we are yet to forget the songs from Vettaikaran, we get the news that Kaavalkaran is well into its shooting and is expected to be wrapped up by June or latest by July after which Jayam Raja is waiting to direct one with Vijay in the lead. Good news for Vijay fans, they will have plenty to watch and talk about, and perhaps gloat over in the next year or so. But, one is also forced to think about the sudden shift in gears from the Vijay camp, as if the T20 fever has caught on here too.
This is not to say that Vijay was slow in getting his films released before this. In fact, he is one of the most consistent stars when it comes to getting his films into theaters in regular intervals. There has been no Pongal in the last five years which has not featured a Vijay release, except of course 2008 and 2010, when he had already released his films in late December; Azhagiya Thamizh Magan and Vettaikaran respectively.
Almost always, the next movie of Vijay was never planned, or at least never revealed until his current project hit the screens. But, that strategy seems to have gone for a toiss now. Even while Sura was under shooting, we did know that Jayam Raja was in the scheme of things with the Vijay camp. Even more surprising is how Kaavalkaran emerged out of the blue, a few weeks after its Malayalam original Bodyguard hit the theaters in Kerala.
While it is not undesirable for the industry to have one of its top stars working in full throttle, one cannot help the feeling that the mass appeal and following that Vijay commands deserves to get films that have been done after a lot of careful thought and planning. Yes, Vijay never fails to satisfy his fans. But, there is definitely a lot more that he can offer that can be missed in the frenetic pace at which his films are getting made at the moment.
But, this is not the first time that we have seen Vijay enter a very intense phase of film making in his career. If one remembers correctly, the period of 2004-2005 was also one of similar activity with films like Madure, Thirupachi, Sukran, Sachein, Sivakasi and Aadhi making it to theaters in the space of 18 months. Now, how many of these were successes are anybody’s call.
There is enough proof that having back-to-back releases in the space of months might not be the best way for a big star to go about, at least in the Tamil film industry. This is a bit different from the Malayalam film industry where Mammootty and Mohanlal, even after 30 years of stardom, give more than 6 films each every year.
This is not to criticize Vijay or his style of work. There is no doubt that every time his film releases; how much ever close to his previous release, the fans go into frenzy and the industry receives a boost in revenue. But, this is about the potential that can go unused or unrecognized amidst all the hurry. Perhaps, Vijay needs to stop and look to realize that he can offer a whole lot more to his fans.
Yes, there was a phase in the early 80s when Kamal and Rajinikanth used to release a film every quarter. But, times have changed. More than twenty years later, it is not the same criteria that define a star. We love to have more of Vijay, but we would love it even more if we could have the best of him.