It was heartbreaking to read about tragic demise of Tamil actor Vivekh early this morning. The Tamil industry and the fans have been worried over his health since news came out that he had been admitted in a Chennai hospital after suffering from a cardiac arrest. We expected and prayed for him to pull through, alas, it was not meant to be. At an early age of 59, Vivekh has left for his heavenly abode leaving us with the memories of the plentiful laughs he gave us through his movies. Rest In Peace Vivekh, Tamil Actor and Comedian Passes Away at 59 in Chennai Hospital.
When this writer decided to expand his regional cinema love from the confines of Malayalam cinema in the early '2000s, he chose to go for its close cousin - Kollywood. At that time Tamil cinema was filled with masala entertainers, and showed the rise of present superstars like Ajith Kumar, Thalapathy Vijay, Chiyaan Vikram, Dhanush, Suriya as mass heroes. Of course, as the trend is, they need to have a comic sidekick, who provides the laughs. That's where Vivekh came in handy.
It has been observed that every decade in Tamil cinema has a fave comic actor. If the '90s belonged to Vadivelu, and the 2010's belonged to Santhanam, Soori and Yogi Babu, then 2000's was reigned by Vivekh, who seemed to appear in all biggies then. And he never failed to make us laugh with each of his appearance, especially when he landed in a Shankar movie. Vivekh Passes Away at 59: Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Suriya and Other Celebs Mourn the Loss of Veteran Actor.
In recent years, Vivekh had consciously moved to more serious fare, though he didn't achieve the kind of success that his comic roles got him. That said his performance in the thriller Vellai Pookkal got him much acclaim. He has also been awarded Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2009, and even received a doctorate from Sathyabama University for his contribution to cinema.
As we mourn the passing away of this incredible man, we look back seven of our favourite roles of Vivekh that will give us smiles for eternity, even if the actor is no longer with us.
The intriguing part about Vivekh's comedy track in Linguswamy's romantic entertainer, starring R Madhavan and Meera Jasmine in the lead, is that it is both its strength and weakness. Vivekh's track has very less to do with the main story, his character was criticised for his rude demeanor and critics expected this subplot to be thrown away. However, fans lapped up his jokes and gags, and it even became a fodder for memes years later.
Partially inspired by Malayalam film Summer in Bethlehem, Priyadarshan's Tamil film was known to be Trisha's acting launchpad in Kollywood. There is also Vivekh, stepping into actor Jayaram's shoes who played the role in the original, as he keeps us in chuckles throughout in his role of a selfish and an opportunistic good-for-nothing fella who takes advantage of his kind-hearted friend, played by Shaam.
In Chiyaan Vikram and Trisha's action blockbuster, Vivekh had a funny role of a Brahmin finding himself in various quirky situation. Like with most of the films he did in then, his track is almost independent to that of the main storyline, still the fans were laughing too much to complain.
Shankar's coming-of-age musical entertainer had one of the best roles essayed by Vivekh. While the film is problematic in its kinda encouragement of teenage perversity, Vivekh's role of a pragmatic guide, mentor and friend to the protagonists had its own charm, as the actor tackled both comic and emotional beats with equal dexterity.
Anniyan is quite remembered for Vikram's triple personality act, its vendetta angle and Harris Jayaraj's fantastic soundtrack. And still, Vivekh easily made his presence felt as Ambi's best friend and also DCP Prabhakar's associate. His scenes with Prakash Raj, also incredible here, always brings down the roof!
Sivaji: The Boss
Rajinikanth's most entertaining masala movie of this century benefits a lot from his excellent partnership with Vivekh in the movie. While not all gags have aged well with time - like most of the comedy bits of that era - it is just the chemistry that is enough to enthrall the fans.
Rajinikanth becomes an inspiration for Vivekh in this romantic entertainer featuring Dhanush (who, of course, is Thalaiva's son-in-law) and Tamannaah. Vivekh's role of a comic gang-leader 'Assault' Arumugam ends up as an absolute scene-stealer with his mannerisms and quips.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 17, 2021 01:38 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).