Rise from the remakes

Rise from the remakes

Tall, fair and handsome, ‘Jayam’ Ravi is one of the top heroes in Tamil cinema, having given the industry a number of hits in a short duration of time. Son of renowned editor and producer Mohan, Ravi is one hero who has built a career almost entirely on remakes of Telugu films. Coincidentally, all these films have been directed by his elder brother Raja, who has rarely tasted failure.

Ravi, a trained Bharatanatyam dancer and a martial arts buff has also had a stint as assistant director to Suresh Krishna who directed superstar Rajnikant’s Basha and the Kamal Haasan film Aalavandan. But his talent for acting was noticed by his family and this resulted in his making a debut with Jayam, the remake of a Telugu hit of the same name.

Jayam was a love story that had all the routine masala ingredients served in the right proportions, and Ravi could slip into the role with ease.

Ravi, a fitness freak, was cast as a kick boxer in his next film M Kumaran — Son of Mahalakshmi the remake of the Telugu hit Amma Nana Oka Tamil Ammayi. The action sequences in the film were well choreographed and Ravi found an opportunity to work with established stars like Prakash Raj and Nadia, with the petite Asin cast opposite him.

The actor’s first non-remake film was Daas, released in 2004, and had sports for a backdrop, narrating the story of a football player and the trials and tribulations faced by him. Daas too had a number of action sequences and earned for Ravi an image as an ace stunt actor.

While he was going great guns with a string of hits, the actor had a couple of flops that brought him back to terra firma. The remake of the Telugu hit Varsham, Mazhai met with a lukewarm response at the box-office, and the one that followed, the Saran-directed Idhaya Thirudan, which found him essaying the role of an incurable romantic, vanished from the theatres without a trace in record time. Again it was Ravi’s brother who came to his rescue and the film Unakkum Enakkum, which had Trisha as his heroine. The film turned out to be a runaway hit.

However, the joy was shortlived as the films that came later did little to further his career and among these were the Linguswamy produced Deepavali directed by Ezhil and Velli Thirai, where he had a cameo appearance. One of his biggest hits so far has been the remake of the Telugu hit Bommarillu, Santosh Subramaniam, again directed by Raja.

However, the film that he had pinned a lot of hopes on, Dhaam Dhoom, where he essayed the role of a man falsely implicated for murder, did not rise to expectations.

Ravi’s bid for variety in his roles turned successful when director Jananathan, who had helmed the successful film Iyarkai, offered him the role of a commando who leads a posse of young women on a mission. The film Peranmai was shot on rugged and hilly locations and introduced a number of new actresses to the industry. Ravi utilised the opportunity to showcase his acting talents as well as his martial art prowess, but the film did not have a phenomenal run. The same fate was to befall his films like Thillalangadi (remake of the Telugu hit Kick) and the Prabhu Deva directed Engeyum Kadhal, where he was cast as a rich Lothario with a devil-may-care attitude.

Nimirndhu Nil, directed by Samuth-arakani with Amala Paul as heroine, which has just been released, has the handsome actor in a double role for the first time in his career.

Ravi has been featured as a young college student and a middle aged man in the film.

The films in the pipeline have filled the actor with optimism. The first one likely to hit the screen is Boologam, another action flick, where Ravi will play the character of a champion boxer. Trisha, who had proved to be his lucky mascot, will again match strides with Ravi in the film. Directed by Kalyan Krishna, an erstwhile assistant to Jananathan, the film could well turn out to be a feast for action lovers.

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