Taking the glamourous route to success

Promising

The South Indian film industry has never failed to roll out the red carpet to heroines from Mumbai and many of them have cemented their place in the hearts of avid filmgoers with a string of hits.

Southern star : Kajal Agarwal has many hits in the South Indian cinema industry.

Kajal Agarwal, who made her debut in a supporting role in the Hindi film Kyun – Ho Gaya Na starring Aishwarya Rai, caught the eye of veteran Tamil filmmaker Bharathiraaja who signed her on for Bommalattam.

However, the film went off the floors for quite some time and was eventually released in 2008 by which time Kajal had already been lapped up by Telugu filmmakers. Today, with a number of Telugu films to her credit, she gets top billing in the industry and most of the top leading men have been showing a keenness to be paired with her.

She actually started her innings in Tollywood with a flop Lakshmi Kalyanam, but soon after, Krishna Vamsi, one of the most bankable directors in Telugu cinema, gave her first major hit in her career with Chandamama. However, it was one of Telugu cinema’s biggest blockbusters, Magadheera, where she essayed a double role, that brought her to the centre stage by showcasing both her beauty and
talent.

The S S Rajamouli directed period film where megastar Chiranjeevi’s son Ramcharan Teja played the lead had Kajal playing a princess and a commoner. It was the role of the princess where she was bedecked like a ship on its maiden cruise that made her the cynosure of all eyes. The film, which broke several box office records, did much to give a fillip to her career and brought her into the reckoning in Tamil cinema as well. Kajal then went on to captivate audiences in more Telugu hits like Darling, Brindavanam (with NTR Jr) and Mr Perfect.

The Kajal-Prabhas combination which clicked in a big way in Darling, performed an encore in Mr Perfect as well, with the latter film turning out to be one of the biggest hits in the year gone by. In fact, ever since they were teamed together, the grapevine has been rife with rumours of a close bonding between the duo, although they have dismissed such talk as baseless.

The going has not been a smooth ride for the Mumbai beauty, who had to eat humble pie when a good number of her Telugu films turned out to be damp squibs. Films like Pourudu with Sumanth, Aatadista with Nithin and Veera with the usually reliable Ravi Teja failed to cut any ice with the audience, even though Kajal had not shied away from exuding glamour in any way. Two other films, Ganesh Just Ganesh and Arya 2, also met the same fate.

Her fortunes took a turn for the better when she signed the film Businessman with matinee idol Mahesh Babu, fresh from the overwhelming success of Dookudu. With Puri Jagannath at the helm, the film which has just been released has already shown all signs of turning into a megahit. A much publicised lip-lock between the lead stars, which Kajal asserts was shot in a most aesthetic fashion, has succeeded in adding lustre to the proceedings.

Kajal now has no dearth of offers in Telugu cinema and has been penciled in for the lead role by hit directors like Vinayak, with her Magadheera co-star Ramcharan, and by Srinu Vaitla who had wielded the  megaphone for Dookudu.

Tamil films too have done much to afford Kajal a much deserved place under the sun. Although Bommalattam, which had Nana Patekar in a pivotal role, failed miserably, Pazhani, directed by Perarasu, where she was cast opposite Bharath, fared only a trifle better. A supporting role in Venkat Prabhu’s Saroja too went virtually unnoticed, but she pulled herself up with the Karthi film Naan Mahaan Alla, which turned out to be a box office hit.

Kajal, however, has been extremely fortunate to have signed on two major Tamil films and with the positive talk about them, cherishes fond hopes of her career in Tamil cinema taking off in a big way. The films are being made by reputed banners and Kajal’s leading men are two of the topmost actors in the industry. Cinematographer director K V Anand, whose film Ko was the surprise hit of 2011, is making Maatran with Surya in the lead. The film is nearing completion.

Vijay’s Thuppaki  is another film that she is banking on and this film is being directed by A R Murugadoss. Considering the fact that both Vijay and Surya are on a high, consequent to their films Nanban and 7am Arivu scorching the box office, their fans are waiting with bated breath for their next ventures. Kajal is certain to be a prime beneficiary, should these films also turn out to be hits.

Kajal plays a happy-go-lucky character in these films, something which is second nature to the bubbly beauty. Kajal is, however, keen on dividing her time between Telugu and Tamil films — the kind of roles that she is saddled with could be the deciding factor.

Kajal, who had almost given up Bollywood for good with no worthwhile roles coming her way, made a dramatic return to the industry with the blockbuster Singham, where she enacted the female lead opposite Ajay Devgn. It was evident that the role fell into her lap because director Rohit Shetty wanted not just a pretty face, but also someone who could fit the role of a playful lass, teasing the hero before falling for his macho looks and rippling muscles.

Although the film was purely hero-oriented, the character played by Kajal, that of a Goan girl Kavya Bhosle, did not go unnoticed and though she has no immediate plans to shift base back to her hometown, considering that she has no dearth of roles down south, Bollywood might soon be coming to her with attractive roles.

Kajal Agarwal has the right blend of beauty, sophistication and grace and these qualities have always stood her in good stead in securing a place in South Indian cinema.

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