With so many biopics of late J Jayalalithaa in the mix (at least three when we last counted – Iron Lady, Thalaivi and Queen), you would think there’d be a sense of competition with each crew trying to outdo the other. Well, director Vijay has set the bar so low, the others will have to try very hard to do worse than his Thalaivi, based on the life of the actor turned Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK supremo. This is perhaps the most disappointing first look we’ve seen for a biopic in a while, especially considering the fact that Kangana, who plays the lead here had transformed into an altogether different person when she played Kusum in Tanu Weds Manu Returns.
As a film about someone who’s still very much a part of our collective memories, and of our popular culture, Vijay’s Thalaivi looks underwhelming at best and shoddy and lazy at worst. What was the need to even launch such an inglorious first look, we wonder, considering the film is set to release only in June 2020?
The teaser opens with a recreation of the sets from Jayalalithaa’s acting debut in the iconic Vennira Aadai. While Kangana looks chic in those vintage Madras checks trousers, she doesn’t quite convince — Jayalalithaa in the song (Nee Enbadhenna) oozes confidence, looks casual and channels immense grace. We see Kangana in that recreation. Not Jayalalithaa.
What’s worse, at around 45 seconds of the first look video, we find ourselves staring at abysmal CG (or what is that?) Even the tagline, ‘The name you know, the story you don’t’ seems inspired by Dhoni biopic’s, ‘The man you know, the journey you dont’…
Here are some reactions from Twitter:
The Tilak mark is not of Jayalalithaa Ji, it should be a vertical one and a Vaishnava Tilak. Please make efforts to change it. @KanganaTeam pic.twitter.com/I23ZrybYFq
— श्रीMurali🇮🇳 (@mayamadhava) November 23, 2019
Best comment under that #Thalaivi First Look video 😂 pic.twitter.com/PoBmpvmWUF
— Rahini (@kalla_mittai) November 23, 2019
My ideas execution
In my mind in reality#Thalaivi pic.twitter.com/JURXphY7iF
— ❦❦ இவள் வெண்பா(Venba)❦❦ (@paapabutterfly) November 23, 2019
Jayalalita ji soul must be very angry after watching this poster.. #Thalaivi pic.twitter.com/aEFWFiUNh3
— Sumit kadel (@SumitkadeI) November 23, 2019
Me after seeing #Thalaivi first look and teaser… pic.twitter.com/ceJ0lykGmj
— Suganth (@msuganth) November 23, 2019
Thalaivi is being produced by Vishnu Vardhan Induri and Shaailesh R Singh and has cinematography by Vishal Vittal. It will have music by GV Prakash.