Sinusoidal Career of Ajith - நேற்று, இன்று, நாளை
by Rajasekar S with inputs from MovieCrow Editor
"Ajith" -A man who came to the cinema industry without any background. But with his self confidence, today he is having one of the largest fan followers in Tamil. All happened over a span of 20 years. Ajith touched the extremes of tremendous success and painful failures. But, it is a mystery how his fan base could steadily increase in upward direction irrespective of the roller coaster journey in his career.
First 10 Years (1992 to 2001)
After making a noteworthy debut in "Amaravathi", Ajith met with an accident and was bed-ridden for one and half years. After recovery, He slowly clawed back in "Pavithra","Pasamalargal","Rajavin parvailey"(with his friend & competitor Vijay). Finally, Ajith got a crutch to stand-up in "Aasai" even though prakash Raj stole the limelight. The real break in his carreer happened in "Kadhal Kottai" when Tamil directors started to take him seriously as a dependable hero. Again, his career sputtered with intermittent hits in the form of "Kadhal Mannan". From 1999 to 2001, Ajith finally established himself as a class and mass hero with movies such such as Vaali, Amarkalam, Mugavari, Kandukonden, Dheena, Citizen. and Poovellam un Vasam.
Last 10 Years (2001 to 2012)
During the last 10 years, Ajith had only 4 major hits out of 18 movies -- Villain, Varalaaru, Billa and Mankatha. With such high failure rate, no hero could have survived in this extremely competitive industry. However, these failures made him more mature, humble and genuine in an industry known for backstabbing. This helped steadily gain tremendous fan support irrespective of his movie's success.
Next 10 years (2012 to 2021)
Undoubtedly, Ajith is a good actor but why Success is not travelling continuously with him? It is understandable that there will be no shortage of advice after Billa 2's reception. Here are the summary of top 3 things that I am hearing from fans (listed in the order of priority),
1. Listen to Script
Director Saran said in a recent interview (Suhasini's Autograph)When Ajith accept "Kadhal mannan" he didn't even hear the story. He believed saran because he is trained from KB school. The ideology of blindly trusting the newcomers without listening to scripts may have worked well in "Dheena" and "Vaali" which helped launch AR Murugadoss and SJ Suryah. But, one must not forget Red, Anjaneya, Jana, Azhwar, Ennai Thalata Varuvala, which almost ruined his career.
2. Work with accomplished Directors
Ajith is known in the industry for signing up producers before listening to the script or discussing with a director. Ajith has less number of family Audience compared to Suriya or Vijay. This could be changed if Ajith works with directors like Shankar, KV Anand, Gautham menon, AR Murugadoss. Shankar once said "I had a thought of doing a film with Ajith. With out even meeting it dissolved and didn’t happen". In the current scenario, even his peer and competitor, Vijay, has changed his strategy by giving more importance to directors as one can clearly notice from his strong line-up of movies. Of course, he can give chance to the new directors who are coming up with a good script & not the directors who are just trying to monetize his stardom.
3. Selectively participate in Promotions
Ajith says "A good film doesn't need advertisement". This philosophy used to work when the film budget used to be within 20 crores. However, Ajith's salary is nearing 20 crores. In current reality, without strong promotions and viral marketing strategies, one cannot reach all sects of audience outside of the core group of fans. For example, Rajinkanth who has never endorsed a brand has understood the practical realities and participated in "Endhiran" promotions and gave media interviews.
Is it time for Ajith to relax his ideology a bit to launch himself strongly for the next 10 years?