Reporting on the recent controversy over Mersal movie, one news site mixed up Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi. This was equivalent to mistaking Amit Shah for Bernard Shaw.
To be fair, it was a North Indian news site (omnibus editorial policy: “How the hell do you expect us to know anything about South India or Srl Lanka or whatever they call their place?”). So we should at least be happy that they made Vijay Vijay Sethupathi and not K R Vijaya.
But before any of us here in Chennai can get smug, let me confess that I myself once mistook actress Sadhana to be a croton plant. Much later someone clarified that she was an actress with fringes. And one media colleague never can tell between Bollywood actors Raj Kapoor and Rajkumar (one was an ordinary actor, while the other was an even more ordinary actor).
The point is every one errs, and some names and personalities tend to get mistaken for somebody or something else always. In the event, we have come up here with a small snappy snapshot-profile of a few similar sounding names that can trip the northern Indian media folks.
Suriya-S J Surya
Suriya is verily the Aamir Khan of Tamil cinema, in that both of them share the same cinematic urge, the same inner artistic passion, the burning desire to look taller on screen than they are in real life. Suriya, then again, like Aamir Khan, mostly plays politically correct characters — the modern ‘woke’ person aka the most annoying guy in every group. One of Suriya’s well-known roles is Inspector Duraisingham in the Singham franchise, in which more people get killed than in World War movies.
SJ Suryah, or to use the first principles of H Raja School of Naming, Justin Suryah, is an actor, director, producer, music director, listener of the songs he composed, is a multi-faceted person. Among others, he also once very successfully slapped a Censor Board official. Suryah shot into fame with films like Vaali and Kushi, arguably two of the best movies ever made in the history of world cinema in the universe inhabited solely by Ajith and Vijay fans. Suryah plays the arch-villain in Mersal, a humble doctor character who by the dint of his determination and enterprise goes on to become a dreaded doctor.
Vikram, Chiyaan to his fans and friends (based on the name of his eponymous character in his career-defining Sethu), is one of the hard working talents in Tamil cinema who changes his entire physical body to suit the needs of the roles he plays. For instance, for his role in Sethu, he lost close to 10 kgs. For his bodybuilder role in I, he gained more than 10 kgs. For his role of a transgender in Iru Mugan, he underwent a sex operation. Okay, not really. But he is that kind of person. His upcoming projects include Dhruvanatchatram, and making his son Dhruva a natchatram.
Vikram Prabhu is the illustrious grandson of illustrious Sivaji Ganesan. Vikram Prabhu, however, doesn’t flaunt his lineage and chooses to remain humble as the less illustrious son of his less illustrious father Prabhu. With both his granddad and dad being big names in the industry, Vikram Prabhu has his task cut out.Thankfully, he has done no harm to their reputations, it is just that he is struggling to build his own. Acting, they say, is in his genes. But as of now, he seems to have inherited only his granddad’s ability to choose films like, Pattakathi Bhairavan or Lorry Driver Rajakannu.
Snehan, or to give his true-blue Tamil name, Snehan Bro, has now won fame and name as a Bigg Boss contestant. Though Snehan was the outright favourite for the title, he got pipped at the post by Arav, who has the charisma of a logwood. But if people still voted for Arav and not for Snehan it means that they still haven’t forgiven him for the ‘poem’ that he wrote when (former CM) Jayalalithaa was in hospital. It was the most cringe-worthy piece of verse in the history of cringe-worthiness. But he has made a name for himself as a lyricist in mainline Tamil films, which isn’t saying much because these days Dhanush and Simbu, who write in SMSes, are accepted as lyricists.
Sneha is a popular actress. An one-time top heroine in Tamil films, she has now graduated to what middle-age actresses inevitably end up playing: roles of sister or aunt to guys they were once paired against.
Frankly, we don’t expect any one to mistake bearded Snehan for the beautiful Sneha. But if they do we must not hesitate to take an assault rifle and pump bullets into those North Indians or Pakistanis or whatever they call themselves there.