RIP Vivekh: An integral part of Tamil cinema

RIP Vivekh: An integral part of Tamil cinema

Vivekh, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009, had worked with some of the biggest names from the industry

Actor Vivekh. Credit: Twitter/@SumitkadeI

Noted Tamil actor Vivekh passed away in Chennai on Saturday at the age of 59, leaving fans heartbroken. He had been admitted to a hospital on Friday (April 16) after complaining of chest pain.

The ace comedian began his acting career with a supporting role in director K Balachander’s Manathil Urudhi Vendum, which hit the screens in 1987. He soon developed a strong professional bond with ‘KB Sir’ and reunited with him for Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal. The film featured Rahman in the lead and received rave reviews due to its storyline. He subsequently found a foothold in the industry with Kadhal Mannan, starring the future ‘Ultimate Star’ Ajith Kumar, and the Prashanth-starrer Kannedhirey Thondrinal.

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The 1999 release Thirupathi Ezhumalai Venkatesa proved to be a gamechanger for Vivekh as it helped him bag his first Tamil Nadu State Film Award for ‘Best Comedian'. He soon emerged as one of Kollywood’s busiest stars and acted in films such as the Mani Ratnam-directed Alaipayuthey, Vijay’s Khushi and Gautham Menon’s well-received romantic drama Minnale. He delivered award-winning performances in cult movies like Run, Saamy and Shankar’s Anniyan. Saamy and Anniyan were dubbed into Hindi, which helped Vivekh connect with a wider audience. He was praised for his comic timing in the 2009 release Guru En Aalu but the film did not do as well as expected at the box office. It was a remake of the Bollywood film Yes Boss, which featured Shah Rukh Khan, and starred Madhavan.

The 2007 release Sivaji proved to be an important one for Vivekh as it saw him act alongside Rajinikanth. His scenes with ‘Superstar’ were well received and emerged as a highlight of the film. The movie was later dubbed in Hindi and Telugu.

Vivekh turned hero with Solli Adippen but the film failed to release in theatres. He experimented with his image in Vellai Pookal, which garnered critical acclaim. He was last seen in Dharala Prabhu, a remake of the Hindi film Vicky Donor, which failed to reach its potential as theatres were shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Vivekh had agreed to act in Indian 2, his first film with Kamal Haasan. The biggie, a sequel to 1996 classic Indian/Hindustani, has been put on hold due to the current situation.

Vivekh’s death is a huge loss for the film industry.