Happy Birthday Dhanush: Five career-best performances of the actor

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByKarthik Kumar
Jul 28, 2020 10:57 AM IST

On the occasion of Dhanush’s 37th birthday, here are five of his best onscreen performances.

Actor Dhanush is unarguably one of the most versatile actors in Indian cinema today. While he has his share of hits and misses, what’s been consistent with him over the years is his ease to slip into the skin of any character. Irrespective of whether he’s playing an out-and-out commercial role or an author-backed character, Dhanush has always impressed the viewers with his performance.

Dhanush turns 37 on Tuesday.
Dhanush turns 37 on Tuesday.

On the occasion of his 37th birthday, we take a look at five of his career-best performances.



Selvaraghavan directed Pudhupettai might have bombed at the box-office but the film enjoys a large fan base even today. A story centered on Dhanush’s character and his rise as a local gangster, Pudhupettai was the first film that truly showcased Dhanush’s range as an actor. Even though Dhanush’s performance feels slightly exaggerated on a few occasions, it’s still a performance that warrants a discussion, especially when we talk about his ability as an actor. It’s easily one of the most raw performances in his filmography.


If you’re under the assumption that Dhanush can only pull off heavy roles with ease, then you haven’t seen his effortless performance as the boy-next-door who finds himself in an extraordinary situation in Pollathavan. A thriller centered on the events that unfold after a bike gets stolen to peddle drugs, the film established Dhanush as someone who can deliver in acting and still play to the gallery with a starry image.



In Bharatbala’s Maryan, a moving story of love and reunion, Dhanush plays a fisherman who is taken captive in Sudan and the story follows his journey and escape. The film didn’t receive the kind of response it deserved but Dhanush was lauded for his flawless performance. The first half of the film is a tribute to love. I haven’t seen a better build up of a love story in the Tamil cinema, so poignantly touching, in a long time. The romance between Dhanush and Parvathy comes alive on screen with a hint of charisma and passion.

Vada Chennai

The film takes us on a journey into the dark underbelly of rowdyism and politics in North Chennai. Tamil cinema has had its share of gangster films but there can’t be a more authentic and rooted gangster film than Vada Chennai. Stripped of his star image, Dhanush plays a layered character and as the film progresses, we see him open up and come to terms with reality. It is mostly a restrained performance and there’s never a heroic moment which makes everything about his character even more real. This story about the rise of an accidental gangster allows Dhanush to shine even in a role sans any heroism.


In their fourth collaboration, Dhanush and Vetrimaaran whip up a riveting, blood-soaked tale of revenge and redemption in Asuran, based on the best-selling novel Vekkai by Poomani. Set against a rural backdrop, spanning two generations and at a time when the social class divide was at its peak, this story of two warring families and the cost they pay for their actions couldn’t have been made more effectively. No other filmmaker could have handled this story of uprising as realistically as Vetrimaaran, and it rates as one of his best works so far. The film features Dhanush in dual roles, playing a man in late 40’s and as a fearless youngster in his 20’s. As the older character, Dhanush is immensely likable and proves his versatility once again.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

Get more updates from Bollywood, Hollywood, Musicand Web Seriesalong with Latest Entertainment Newsat Hindustan Times.
Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals