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A. L.Vijay

A. L.Vijay

A. L.Vijay is an Indian film director of the Tamil film industry. A disciple of Priyadarshan, he matured as director with films like Kireedam and critically acclaimed Madrasapattinam. Vijay later directed big budget films Deiva Thirumagal and Thaandavam, starring Vikram in both films. His father A. L. Azhagappan was the president of Tamil Nadu Producers Council and appeared in the film Eesan. His brother Udhaya has also starred in Tamil films.

Prior to directing films, Vijay was a successful advertisement filmmaker with his banner Venus Ad Films, completing more than 100 ad films. His State Bank of India commercial won CNBC’s Best Corporate Advertisement Award in 2009. Vijay has claimed that “advertisements teach you how to translate a story idea onto screen with maximum impact in minimum time” and is influenced by the ad works of Priyadarshan, Prahlad Kakkar and Babu Shankar. In 2003, he began his career in feature films by joining Priyadarshan as an assistant director in his films.

He made his directorial debut with Kireedam in 2007, a remake of the 1989 film of the same name directed by Sibi Malayil and written by A. K. Lohithadas. Vijay’s version featured Ajith Kumar in the lead role with Trisha Krishnan, Rajkiran, Saranya and Vivek also a part of the cast, while the cinematographer was Tirru, music was composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar and the film was edited by Anthony. Vijay revealed that he “reworked about 80 per cent” from the original version. The film opened to positive reviews with a critic from citing that “Kireedam is quality cinema, one that is daringly different from the run-of-the mill films” claiming that Vijay had “a lot of guts and conviction to make a realistic film”. The reviewer from The Hindu also praised the film labelling that “Vijay has neatly packaged a strong storyline with a sensibly balanced mix of sentiment and action”, but claimed that “Vijay could have worked on the lead character more”. The final scene in the film was changed after release from a sad to an upbeat ending after the producers felt that the original scene may keep audiences away. The film consequently went on to become a profitable venture at the box office. Vijay then returned to work as an assistant to Priyadarshan in his award-winning Kanchivaram by helping with the dialogues and described his work in the project as “a liberating experience”.

Priyadarshan then approached Vijay to remake the Hindi film Khosla Ka Ghosla in Tamil under his production house and hence they collaborated to make Poi Solla Porom. The film was completed within 34 days, with a cast containing veteran actors such as Nassar and Nedumudi Venu as well as relative newcomers including Karthik Kumar and Piaa Bajpai. The film also became one of the first ventures in Tamil cinema to feature a promotional song, with Vijay maintaining that the song reflected the story of the film. The film won above average reviews from critics with The Hindu citing that “Vijay’s dialogue, both humorous and thought-provoking, tickles the viewer almost throughout” and that “Vijay has understood the pulse of the audience even while sticking to his stand of providing standard fare”.

Year Film Cast Language Notes
2007 Kireedam Ajith Kumar, Trisha Krishnan Tamil
2008 Poi Solla Porom Karthik Kumar, Piaa Bajpai Tamil
2010 Madrasapattinam Arya, Amy Jackson Tamil Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Director – Tamil
Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Director
2011 Deiva Thirumagal Vikram, Baby Sara, Anushka Shetty, Amala Paul Tamil Winner-Jaya Awards for Favorite Director
Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Director – Tamil
2012 Thaandavam Vikram, Anushka Shetty, Amy Jackson Tamil
2013 Thalaivaa Vijay, Amala Paul Tamil Filming
2013 Saivam Baby Sara Tamil Pre-production