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Home / Regional Movies / Happy birthday Karthi: Here are five career-best performances of the actor

Happy birthday Karthi: Here are five career-best performances of the actor

Happy birthday Karthi: This younger brother of actor Suriya is not known to be a typical Tamil film hero. With these five films, however, he proved his mettle as an actor.

regional-movies Updated: May 25, 2020 08:07 IST
Karthik Kumar
Karthik Kumar
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Karthi is well known for his performances in films like Pa Ranjth’s Madras.
Karthi is well known for his performances in films like Pa Ranjth’s Madras.

Actor Karthi, best known as Suriya’s younger brother, isn’t your quintessential mainstream Tamil cinema hero. Having started his career as an assistant director to filmmaker Mani Ratnam, he made his big acting debut in 2007 with critically-acclaimed Tamil film, Paruthiveeran. He went on to prove his mettle and carve his own path with films such as Naan Mahaan Alla, Madras and Kaithi. On the occasion of his 43rd birthday, we list five career-best performances.


It was extremely gutsy of Karthi to pick Paruthiveeran as his debut film. Not only did he experiment with something off-the-beaten-track, he made a strong impact with his arrival. Centered on a brash, foul-mouthed young man who dreams of getting locked up in Madras jail, the film allowed Karthi to showcase his range so early on in his career. Karthi’s unabashed performance fetched him a Filmfare award.


Naan Mahaan Alla

Suseenthiran directed Naan Mahaan Alla could be easily written off as your regular masala pot-boiler. The film feature Karthi in the role of a happy-go-lucky-guy whose life revolves around his simple middle class family. But the film is a thriller inspired by some shocking real incidents. It saw Karthi deliver a very raw performance of a guy who sets out avenge the death of his father by a local gang. The movie was lauded for his taut narration and highly realistic stunts. A decade since its release, the film still has a very large fan base.



Madras, from director Pa Ranjith, gives us a realistic peek into the lives of middle-class families in a housing board in Vysarpadi, north Madras. The film is about how politicians use their egos to leverage on the lives of common people and provoke them to promote the culture of violence, which is prevalent in the country even today. In Madras, Karthi’s performance is easily his next best after his National award-winning debut flick, Paruthiveeran.



M Muthiah’s rural action-drama Komban may not as good as the aforementioned films but it sure managed to showcase Karthi in a very different dimension. Sporting thick handlebar mustache and dhoti, the film saw Karthi play a good-hearted village ruffian to a tee. Not many actors can convincingly pull-off rural-based characters in Tamil cinema as comfortable as Karthi, who slips into his role with utmost ease. If not for his refreshing performance, there’s nothing worth of even a discussion in Komban.



After making his solid debut with Maanagaram a few years ago, Lokesh Kanagaraj returned strongly with Kaithi, a relentless, punchy action film that has its heart in the right place. On paper, it’s is a story that spans across a single night and it follows events that happen in a span of four hours. However, it is set in a world where Kamal Haasan’s Virumaandi meets Die Hard meets Assault on Precinct 13. In unarguably one of his best on screen avatars, Karthi never gets projected as the hero but he still makes one root for him with his solid performance.


While it’s no surprise that he could pull off action so effortlessly, Karthi really moves you in the emotional scenes, especially where he narrates his past.

ht epaper

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