N. Santhanam

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Santhanam
Santhanam at press meet.jpg
Birth name N. Santhanam
Born (1980-01-21) 21 January 1980 (age 34)[1]
Pozhichalur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Nationality Indian
Genres Comedy

Santhanam (born 21 January 1980) is an Indian film actor who has predominantly appeared in Tamil films as a comedian. Beginning his career as a comedian on television shows, he rose to fame through his performances in Vijay TV's Lollu Sabha enacting the lead role in spoofs of Tamil films. He was subsequently given a chance by actor Silambarasan to feature in a supporting role in Manmadhan (2004) and then was signed on to appear in a host of films, notably winning good reviews for his work in Sachien (2005) and Polladhavan (2007). He appeared in an one-off leading role in Shankar's production Arai En 305-il Kadavul (2008) and subsequently became a staple feature as a comedian in successful Tamil films during the period, with his market popularity helping stuck films find distributors.[2][3] Santhanam has also had embarked on collaborations with directors including gaining positive reviews for his work in M. Rajesh's comic trilogy of Siva Manasula Sakthi (2009), Boss Engira Bhaskaran (2010) and Oru Kal Oru Kannadi (2012), winning the Vijay Award for Best Comedian for each one. He has also repeatedly collaborated in the films of A. L. Vijay, Siva and Sundar C as well as in films featuring Silambarasan, Arya and Udhayanidhi Stalin.

His consistently well-received performances and box office appeal in the early 2010s, prompted the film industry to dub him as the "Comedy Superstar".[4] In 2012, he began a film production company named Handmade Films and produced his first film, Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya (2013), which went on to become a commercially successful venture. Meanwhile in 2014, he starred in the leading role again in the action comedy Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham (2014), winning critical and commercial acclaim.[5]

Career[edit]

Santhanam has noted that he actively avoided being a part of separate comedy tracks within films, maintaining that appearing as an actor in the story would stop his comedy becoming monotonous.[6]

His appeal at the box office was evident after films such as Leelai and Kadhal Pisase were able to find distributors following long delays, while Telugu film makers S. S. Rajamouli and Sai Kiran Adivi partially shot scenes with the actor before releasing a Tamil version of their Telugu films, through Naan Ee and Vinayaga.

Santhanam's first production venture, Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya directed by Manikandan, became a commercially successful venture upon release in January 2013. Producing the venture under his newly formed studio Handmade Films, Santhanam opted to introduce a predominantly new cast and keep a low budget for the project understanding that film production had "previously ended the careers of many".[7] Featuring Santhanam as one of the three lead characters alongside his close friend and dermatologist Sethu and Power Star Srinivasan, the film was well received by critics, with a reviewer noting "there is a serious actor hidden somewhere inside Santhanam, who seems to be waiting for the right opportunity or role to break out of the comedian and sidekick roles he is confined to now", adding that "he can put many commercially successful actors to shame."[8] He featured a journalist in Kannan's comedy film Settai alongside Arya and Premgi Amaren, also serving as an assistant director, while he then also played a popular role of a love guru in Sundar C's Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru. He continued to feature in well received roles in commercially successful films like Raja Rani and Vanakkam Chennai, and his work in Endrendrum Punnagai with Jiiva and Vinay, was also praised with a critic noting that "with his spot-on comedy, measured histrionics and his immense likeability, he is a revelation and provides some hearty laughs."[9] A set-back came in the form of his fourth collaboration with Rajesh in All in All Azhagu Raja which became a surprise failure, and a critic wrote "though he does have his moments, the comedy seems to be forced, many of the scenes greatly exaggerated, and his portrayal of Kareena Chopra is a disaster."[10][11]

In 2014, he appeared in the leading role in Srinath's Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham, a remake of the 2010 Telugu film Maryada Ramanna. In preparation for the film, Santhanam lost weight, sported a different look and attended dance classes as well as reducing his work by being more selective on accepting other scripts.[12] The film opened in May 2014 to positive reviews and box office success with a critic noting that "it is a Santhanam show all the way" and that "he also delivers as a complete actor, displaying a range of emotions."[13]

Criticism[edit]

Santhanam's sketches in films has sometimes garnered criticism for its lack of sensitivity, with selected communities often being quick to attempt to seek an apology from the actor. A large number of practicing advocates staged a protest in front of the Egmore Court complex today protesting against comedian Santhanam’s ‘ridiculing’ act in the film Deiva Thirumagal which they said amounted to defame not only the advocates but the very legal profession on the whole.[14] Santhanam was involved in controversy when he made fun of Mukesh Harane, a 24-year-old tobacco user who died of oral cancer and features in health-risk warning cards before films, and a scene was immediately removed from the film All in All Azhagu Raja.[15][16] In 2012, a double meaning dialogue uttered by him in Endrendrum Punnagai created controversy.[17] He was accused of making remark against women, due to protests the dialogue was removed from the film.[18]

Selected filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Main article: Santhanam filmography
Year Film Role Notes
2009 Siva Manasula Sakthi Vivek Vijay Award for Best Comedian
2010 Boss Engira Bhaskaran Nallathambi Vijay Award for Best Comedian
2011 Siruthai Kaatuppoochi Vijay Award for Best Comedian
Vaanam Seenu SIIMA Award for Best Comedian
2012 Oru Kal Oru Kannadi Parthasarathi Vijay Award for Best Comedian
2013 Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya KK Also producer
2013 Theeya Velai Seiyanum Kumaru jeevananthan Vijay Award for Best Comedian
2014 Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham Sakthi Also producer

Television[edit]

Year Show TV Channel
2001-2004 Lollu Sabha Vijay TV
2001 Super Comedies Win TV
2002 Tea Kadai Bench Win TV

Awards[edit]

Won
Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Happy birthday, Santhanam! - Tamil Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  2. ^ "Santhanam the most wanted!". The Times of India. 23 May 2011. 
  3. ^ K. R. Manigandan (2012-04-14). "Comedy is serious business". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  4. ^ http://www.indiaglitz.com/santhanam-named-comedy-superstar-tamil-news-88629
  5. ^ "Santhanam Biography". Oneindia.in. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  6. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-cinemaplus/fun-factory/article1554409.ece
  7. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-cinemaplus/everything-to-laugh-about/article4349301.ece
  8. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/tamil/movie-reviews/Kanna-Laddu-Thinna-Aasaiya/movie-review/18057104.cms
  9. ^ http://www.sify.com/movies/endrendrum-punnagai-review-tamil-15045672.html
  10. ^ http://www.rediff.com/movies/report/review-all-in-all-azhagu-raja-is-a-waste-of-time-south/20131105.htm
  11. ^ http://www.sify.com/movies/all-in-all-azhaguraja-a-profoundly-irritating-film-review-tamil-15042473.html
  12. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/the-rise-of-a-hero/article6020544.ece
  13. ^ http://www.deccanchronicle.com/140510/entertainment-movie-review/article/movie-review-%E2%80%98vallavanukku-pullum-aayudham%E2%80%99-santhanam
  14. ^ "Advocates protest against Comedian Santhanam". Kolly Talk. 2011-08-03. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  15. ^ "All in All Azhaguraja faces ban? - Times Of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 2013-10-18. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  16. ^ "Actor Santhanam’s joke has anti-tobacco lobby fuming - Times Of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  17. ^ "Santhanam Breaks his Promise - Tamil Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  18. ^ "Santhanam’s controversial dialogue removed, again - Times Of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 

External links[edit]