While Tamil Nadu was celebrating the 103rd birth anniversary of former Chief Minister and AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran on Friday, actor Arvind Swami, who is playing the role of MGR in Thalaivi, a biopic on Jayalalithaa, surprised everyone with a ‘first look’ poster, which convincingly evoked the image of the legend.
While Kangana Ranaut’s appearance as former Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa with heavy prosthetic make-up came in for a lot of criticism when posters and a short video appeared online, Arvind Swami’s performance, which mirrored MGR’s in the famous song Naan Ungal Veetu Pillai, garnered much appreciation.
A video clip featuring MGR in the original song Naan Ungal Veetu Pillai and Arvind Swami’s performance went viral and fans were amazed at the close resemblance of Arvind Swami’s performance to the original.
Arvind Swami later tweeted: “Thank you for the phenomenal response. On behalf of the entire team, I thank you for your acceptance. A special mention to Pattanam Rashid for the make-up, Nagendra Prasad for the choreography and Neeta Lulla for the costumes.”
Directed by Vijay, Thalaivi, starring Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut and Arvind Swami, is one of the three biopics on Jayalalithaa in Tamil that followed a few years after her death in 2016.
Filmmaker Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Queen, which starred Ramya Krishnan as Jayalalithaa, was recently released on an OTT platform to largely favourable reviews.
Filmmaker Priyadarshini’s The Iron Lady, featuring Nithya Menen, is under production.
Though Jayalalithaa and MGR have featured together in many iconic films, the two high-profile former Chief Ministers’ real-life relationship has been rarely seen on the big screen.