A. L. Vijay
A. L. Vijay
Vijay at Devi Success Meet
|Occupation||Film director, Dancer, Model|
|Parent(s)||A. L. Azhagappan (father)|
A. L. Vijay, credited by his mononym Vijay, is an Indian film director who works in the Tamil film industry. An assistant director with Priyadarshan, he debuted as director with films such as Kireedam and the critically acclaimed Madrasapattinam. Vijay later directed big budget films 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.
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. 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. 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". 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." 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. The film consequently went on to become a profitable venture at the box office. 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".
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. 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. 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. 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".
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. 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. 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. 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. Despite being a period film, the film was finished in eight months and released in July 2010.
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. Amala Paul was selected after Vijay was pleased with her award-winning work in Mynaa. 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.
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.
Style of work
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". 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.
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. His films have a "regular crew" which includes cinematographer Nirav Shah, music director G. V. Prakash Kumar (until Devi), production designer Selva Kumar and editor Anthony.
On 26 April 2014, Vijay said that he was in a relationship with actress Amala Paul. On 7 June 2014 he got engaged to Amala in Aluva, Kochi. The couple got married on 12 June in Chennai. In July 2016, they decided to separate, and in February 2017, they were declared officially divorced. In July 2019, he married Dr.R.Aishwarya. On 30th May 2020, his wife gave birth to their first child, a baby boy.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2008||Poi Solla Porom||N||Tamil|
|2010||Madrasapattinam||N||Tamil||Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Director – Tamil|
Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Director
|2011||Deiva Thirumagal||N||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
|2015||Idhu Enna Maayam||N||Tamil|
|Oru Naal Iravil||N||N||Tamil|
|Tutak Tutak Tutiya||Hindi|
- Tamil Actor Vijay Filmography, Movies, Pictures and Videos. Jointscene.com
- Times of India
- Rao, Subha J (25 September 2010). "Genre bender". The Hindu. Chennai.
- "Movie Review:Kireedam". Sify. 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- "Whose crown is it, anyway? – Kireedam". The Hindu. Chennai. 27 July 2007.
- "Kireedam- Climax changed!". Sify. 29 July 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- "It's all about choices". The Hindu. Chennai. 24 August 2007.
- "Directing Madhrasapattinam". Rediff.com. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- "Promotional song for 'Poi Solla Porom' – Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- "Laugh, and pause to think". The Hindu. Chennai. 12 September 2008.
- "British teenager becomes Bollywood star". The Daily Telegraph. London. 16 August 2010.
- "I like to portray human values in my films". Rediff. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- Chowdary, Sunita (4 June 2011). "Que Sara Sara". The Hindu. Chennai. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
- 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.
- "Prabhu Deva to Act in Trilingual". The New Indian Express. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "Director Vijay is in demand". The Times of India. 30 August 2010.
- "Amala Paul drowned in love, drenched in care". The Times of India.
- "Vijay, Amala Paul to tie the knot?". The Times of India.
- "Actress Amala Paul and filmmaker Vijay get married in Chennai". Biharprabha.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.