A. L. Vijay

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A.L. Vijay
AL Vijay at Devi(L) Success Meet.jpg
Vijay promoting Devi in 2016
Chennai, India
OccupationFilm director
Years active2000–Present
  • Amala Paul (m. 2014; div. 2017)
    R. Aishwarya (m. 2019)
Parent(s)A. L. Azhagappan (father)
RelativesUdhaya (brother)

A. L. Vijay, known professionally as Vijay, is an Indian film director who works in the Tamil film industry. An assistant director with Priyadarshan,[1] he debuted as director with films such as Kireedam and the critically acclaimed Madrasapattinam. Vijay later directed films such as Deiva Thirumagal and Thaandavam, starring Vikram in both films. His father A. L. Azhagappan was the President of Tamil Nadu Producers Council and appeared in the film Eesan. His brother is the actor Udhaya.[2]


Prior to directing films, Vijay was a successful advertisement filmmaker with the Mumbai-based banner Venus Productions, completing more than 100 ad films. His State Bank of India commercial won CNBC's Best Corporate Advertisement Award in 2006. Vijay has claimed that "advertisements teach you how to translate a story idea onto screen with maximum impact in minimum time" and is influenced by the ad works of Suraaj, Prahlad Kakkar and Babu Shankar.[3] In 2001, he began his career in feature films by joining Priyadarshan as an assistant director in his films.

He made his directorial debut with Kireedam in 2007, a remake of the 1989 film of the same name, directed by Sibi Malayil and written by A. K. Lohithadas. Vijay's version featured Ajith Kumar in the lead role with Trisha Krishnan, Rajkiran, Saranya and Vivek also as part of the cast, while the cinematographer was Tirru, the music was composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar and the film was edited by Anthony. Vijay revealed that he "reworked about 80 per cent" from the original version and his first choice of male lead role was Vijay, however his role was grabbed by Ajith for his career security.[3] The film opened to positive reviews with a critic from Sify.com citing that Vijay had "a lot of guts and conviction to make a realistic film".[4] The reviewer from The Hindu also praised the film labelling that "Vijay has neatly packaged a strong story line with a sensibly balanced mix of sentiment and action.", but claimed that "Vijay could have worked on the lead character more."[5] The final scene in the film was changed after release from a sad to an upbeat ending after the producers felt that the original scene may keep audiences away.[6] The film consequently went on to become a profitable venture at the box office.[7] Vijay then returned to work as an assistant to Suraj in his action-masala Padikathavan, by helping with the dialogues and described his work in the project as "a pulsating experience".[3]

Vijay's next remake of the Hindi film Khosla Ka Ghosla in Tamil, under his production house, and hence they collaborated to make Poi Solla Porom.[8] The film was completed within 13 days, with a cast containing veteran actors such as Nassar and Nedumudi Venu as well as relative newcomers including Karthik Kumar and Piaa Bajpai.[8] The film also became one of the first ventures in Tamil cinema to feature a promotional song, with Vijay maintaining that the song reflected the story of the film.[9] The film won positive reviews from critics with The Hindu citing that "Vijay’s dialogue, both humorous and thought-provoking, tickles the viewer almost throughout" and that "Vijay has understood the pulse of the audience even while sticking to his stand of providing standard fare".[10]

Vijay revealed that Madrasapattinam was supposed to happen later in his career, but the intervention of producer Kalpathi S. Aghoram of AGS Entertainment realized the viability of the film earlier.[3] Vijay had first explored the script in his college days and drew inspiration from an English professor, who used to talk to them about the freedom movement a lot. Vijay visualized the people, who lived in the pre-independence period of India and explored the concept of how it would have been, if an English girl fell in love with an Indian boy, laying the foundations for the script.[8] The script took six months to write with the help of leading Tamil writer Prabanjan. He also visited independence veterans to understand the history of the city of Madras between 1945 and 1947.[8] Arya was finalised to play the lead role and English Miss Teen World winner Amy Jackson was selected after Vijay found a picture of her through the internet.[11] Despite being a period film, the film was finished in eight months and released in July 2010.[8]

The production of the film, Deiva Thirumagal took five months from start to finish, however, Vijay claimed that the film had been in his plans for four years, but he waited for Vikram to give him dates.[12] Amala Paul was selected after Vijay was pleased with her award-winning work in Mynaa.[12] Sara had appeared in a commercial for Vijay when she was two, but he then lost touch with Sara's family, before he met them and cast Sara in Deiva Thirumagal, following a visit to Mumbai.[13]

Vijay directed the Harris: On The Edge concerts by music composer Harris Jayaraj.[14]

In 2013, he worked with Vijay alongside Amala Paul for the movie Thalaivaa. Despite winning good reviews, the film's delayed release in Tamil Nadu due to protests greatly affected the box office performance in Tamil Nadu, thus ending up as an average grosser.

In February 2016, he was named as a director of Prabhu Deva's trilingual film Devi opposite Tamannaah which was made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. This marked his debut in Telugu and Hindi languages.[15]

In 2021, he directed a biographical drama film Thalaivii based on the life of Indian actress-politician J. Jayalalithaa. The film starred Kangana Ranaut as the main protagonist ‘Jayalalithaa’ and Arvind Swami as M. G. Ramachandran.[16] The bilingual film was shot in Tamil and Hindi simultaneously.

Filmmaking style[edit]

Vijay has described that he wants his audience "to immerse themselves" in his films, and hence uses scenes which reflect the local culture, explaining that his scenes should mirror society and "lend it an element of timelessness".[3] He revealed that while constructing a film, he "first thinks of the plot, then the screenplay and then the characters", and tries to portray human values in his films.[12]

He has expressed that he prefers "to mould actors" telling them to react and not act, drawing such inspiration from the work of Suraaj.

Furthermore, Vijay has showed interest in training people and mentoring their careers, citing that he likes to be the oldest member of his crew.[3] His films have a "regular crew" which includes cinematographer Nirav Shah, music director G. V. Prakash Kumar (being his regular music composer until Devi), production designer Selva Kumar and editor Anthony.[17]

Personal life[edit]

On 26 April 2014, Vijay said that he was in a relationship with actress Amala Paul.[18] On 7 June 2014 he got engaged to Amala in Aluva, Kochi.[19] The couple got married on 12 June in Chennai.[20] In July 2016, they decided to separate, and in February 2017, they were granted divorce.

In July 2019, he married Dr. R. Aishwarya. On 30 May 2020, his wife gave birth to their first child, a baby boy.


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Credited as Language Notes
Director Writer Producer
2007 Kireedam Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
2008 Poi Solla Porom Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
2010 Madrasapattinam Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Director – Tamil
Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Director
2011 Deiva Thirumagal Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Director
Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film (Second prize)
Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Director – Tamil
2012 Thaandavam Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
2013 Thalaivaa Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
2014 Saivam Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
2015 Idhu Enna Maayam Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
Oru Naal Iravil Red XN Red XN Green tickY Tamil
2016 Devi Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
Abhinetri Telugu
Tutak Tutak Tutiya Hindi
2017 Vanamagan Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Tamil
2018 Diya Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
Kanam Telugu
Sila Samayangalil Red XN Red XN Green tickY Tamil
Lakshmi Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
2019 Watchman Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
Devi 2 Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Tamil
Abhinetri 2 Telugu
2021 Kutty Story Green tickY Red XN Red XN Tamil Segment: Avanum Naanum[21]
Thalaivii Green tickY Red XN Red XN Hindi
Chithirai Sevvanam Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Tamil Zee5 original film


  1. ^ Tamil Actor Vijay Filmography, Movies, Pictures and Videos. Jointscene.com
  2. ^ Times of India
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rao, Subha J (25 September 2010). "Genre bender". The Hindu. Chennai.
  4. ^ "Movie Review:Kireedam". Sify. 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Whose crown is it, anyway? – Kireedam". The Hindu. Chennai. 27 July 2007. Archived from the original on 14 October 2007.
  6. ^ "Kireedam- Climax changed!". Sify. 29 July 2007. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  7. ^ "It's all about choices". The Hindu. Chennai. 24 August 2007. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Directing Madhrasapattinam". Rediff.com. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  9. ^ "Promotional song for 'Poi Solla Porom' – Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Laugh, and pause to think". The Hindu. Chennai. 12 September 2008. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008.
  11. ^ "British teenager becomes Bollywood star". The Daily Telegraph. London. 16 August 2010.
  12. ^ a b c "I like to portray human values in my films". Rediff. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  13. ^ Chowdary, Sunita (4 June 2011). "Que Sara Sara". The Hindu. Chennai. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  14. ^ Harris on the Edge Concert (2 September 2011). "Harris on the Edge Concert". TamilWire.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Prabhu Deva to Act in Trilingual". The New Indian Express. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  16. ^ "'Thalaivi' Trailer To Be Released on Kangana Ranaut's Birthday". TheQuint. 18 March 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  17. ^ "Director Vijay is in demand". The Times of India. 30 August 2010. Archived from the original on 23 September 2012.
  18. ^ "Amala Paul drowned in love, drenched in care". The Times of India.
  19. ^ "Vijay, Amala Paul to tie the knot?". The Times of India.
  20. ^ "Actress Amala Paul and filmmaker Vijay get married in Chennai". Biharprabha.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Vijay Sethupathi, Amala Paul part of upcoming Tamil anthology 'Kutti Love Story'". The News Minute. 2 February 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2021.

September 2011). "Harris on the Edge Concert" .TamilWire.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011 tamilwire.com/25802-harris-edge-concert.html

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