Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Quick Read: There's only one legend, and 'Itsuu Me'

There was a time when he occupied the hearts of masses with his screen presence, dialogue delivery and comedy. He was pushed to a point of retirement nine years ago. But, he still rules the roost in the form of meme material and is godfather for all social media trolls. It is about legendary comedian Vadivelu, who was nicknamed Vaigai Puyal, that we are talking about.

When the trailers of much-anticipated flicks of January 2019, Petta and Viswasam, were out on the Internet, there was also a ‘Vadivelu version’ that was released hours after the original. Not just Rajinikanth or Ajithkumar, whenever a trailer of a highly anticipated movie gets released, a Vadivelu version follows out of nowhere. Going a level up, the makers of Vijay Sethupathi's upcoming(one of them, to be precise) flick Super Deluxe, released a Vadivelu version of their first look poster officially.

What comes as a surprise here is that most of the scenes or dialogues that are used to mock the originals would be from movies that are at least 10 years old. In fact, the last time when Vadivelu was busy in the industry was in 2011 after which he was sidelined due to various reasons.

In the last eight years, the veteran comedian has acted in just six movies, which is less than half-a-year’s count for him during his peak acting period. But, the way he survives in the field still is through these memes and troll videos. Whatever could be the storyline, whoever be the actor, but this Vaigai Puyal has some content to relate with that and make landfall on.

For instance, in ‘his’ version of Petta trailer, made by a netizen, comes this dialogue about Rajinikanth’s Kaali character, “Oruthan anne. Yevano hostel warden aam” where we have a comparison with a similar role by Vadiveluin Thimiru: “Warden na adippom”. Also, when Sasikumar, in the original trailer says, “Dei thodraa”, the Vadivelu version goes back to the ‘90s, referring to the popular scene, “Naan un kaadha thoottutenla.”

However, Vadivelu is a troll-star not just in Kollywood but also Hollywood. When the trailer of Marvel’s Avengers – Infinity War got released last year, we also had a Vadivelu version. Remember the film Viyabaari, where the comedian kidnaps his own children in the disguise of Spider-Man? One would never have thought that Vadivelu would become an Avenger a decade later – one of the most unexpected crossovers ever in Marvel’s history.

There have been a lot of comedians, before, during and after his era. Some of them even turned out to be legendary ones. Some even became heroes. But, Vadivelu, who was not so successful as a hero, except for his 23aam Pulikesi, every now and then proves he definitely is the only comedian of his kind. And often, through his version of trailers and even songs, he reminds the world that there is only one legend: ‘Itsuu me’.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, January 2, 2019.

A part or complete version of this article by Santhosh Mathevan has appeared in This note is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only.

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