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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

Happy birthday Nayanthara: Five films that turned her into a ‘lady superstar’

As Nayanthara turns 34 on Monday, we bring you a list of her five films that launched her into the stardom that she now enjoys.

regional-movies Updated: Nov 18, 2019 08:20 IST
Karthik Kumar
Karthik Kumar
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Nayanthara turns 34 on Monday.
Nayanthara turns 34 on Monday.
         

After playing a quintessential heroine for nearly a decade, Nayanthara has reinvented herself in the last few years, making smart career choices and daring to go solo in a few films. As she turns 34 on Monday, we take a look at five films from her career that truly shaped her stardom and helped her earn the moniker ‘Lady Superstar’. While many still argue that the superstar tag is debatable, her rise to the top against all odds and on her own makes her a true fighter.

Maya

Nayanthara in a still from Maya.
Nayanthara in a still from Maya.

Ashwin Saravanan’s neo-noir horror thriller broke many stereotypes usually associated with the genre. Nayanthara headlined this horror flick at a time Tamil cinema was thriving on horror-comedies. She could’ve blindly chosen to work in a horror-comedy but she chose Maya over what was considered the norm and she emerged successful. Not only did Maya appeal to the audience and critics alike, it went on to click at the box-office. It was Nayanthara’s first major attempt at going solo and it marked the beginning of a new wave.

Dora

Nayanthara in a still from Dora.
Nayanthara in a still from Dora.

Backing the vision of another first-time filmmaker, Nayanthara played Pavalakkodi, who later becomes a rebel after she gets her hands on an Austin Cambridge car in Dora. The film may have earned mixed response at the box-office but Nayanthara was lauded for her choice of script. The film turned the regular horror template on its head with an emotional back-story. In the film, Nayanthara avenges the death of a young girl with the help of her dead dog’s spirit.

Aramm

Nayanthara in a still from Aramm.
Nayanthara in a still from Aramm.

Nayanthara’s willingness to experiment and go against the grain has helped her break the heroine image. In Aramm, directed by another debutant filmmaker Gopi Nainar, Nayanthara played a fearless, no-nonsense district collector. Unlike her contemporaries, Nayanthara was open to take risks and Aramm was one risk that paid-off handsomely. When a young girl falls into a deep bore well and battles for life, the situation sees Nayanthara as the local collector take charge and rise to the occasion.

Kolamavu Kokila

Nayanthara in a still from Kolamavu Kokila.
Nayanthara in a still from Kolamavu Kokila.

In Nelson’s Kolamavu Kokila, Nayanthara plays an innocent girl who decides to smuggle drugs to earn money for her mother’s treatment. Throughout the film, she appears scared to death, but when an opportunity presents itself, she doesn’t hesitate to double-cross and get people killed for her own survival. The film went on to strike gold at the box-office and established the fact clearly that Nayanthara doesn’t require a hero to deliver a blockbuster. The film went on to crush many hero-centric Tamil films that year at the box-office.

Imaikka Nodigal

Nayanthara in a still from Imaikka Nodigal.
Nayanthara in a still from Imaikka Nodigal.

Imaikka Nodigal featured Nayanthara in the role of a CB-CID officer. It was with this project that Nayanthara truly embraced grey characters. The film shows that she has a violent past – one where she tortures people to death - and it’s a grey side that almost gave audiences the feeling that she might have a violent past. Even though a multi-starrer, the film worked majorly due to Nayanthara’s presence and her unpredictable character. The film was Nayanthara’s second blockbuster of 2018 after Kolamavu Kokila.

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