When actor Kangana Ranaut’s first look as J Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu’s former Chief Minister, from AL Vijay’s Thalaivi was released last year, it invited criticism from many who pointed out the lack of resemblance between the two.
However, actor Arvind Swami’s look as MG Ramachandran, founder of the AIADMK party and the man who played an important role in Jayalalithaa’s life, in the film is now out, and it has bowled over the internet. He bears an uncanny resemblance to the late leader.
The 40 second teaser begins with a black and white image of MGR with the words ‘DOB - 17.1.1917 - still lives in people’s hearts’. The ‘Naan ungal veetu pillai’ song begins playing in the background followed by a shot of a set in which MGR - wait that’s Arvind Swami! - sings and dances to the lines from the iconic song. The body language looks quite close to that of MGR's.
In the posters, dressed in sky blue polos and wearing MGR’s trademark black shades, Arvind Swami is seen walking with his hands raised in a 'vanakkam', and in another visual, he’s seen seated wearing a bright maroon silk shirt, a look of admiration on his face. The first looks have been released on MGR’s birth anniversary - January 17.
Notably, in Queen, the web series on Jayalalithaa by Gautham Menon, Malayalam actor Indrajith Sukumaran played this role. The web series with its 11 episodes aired on MX Player in December and was received with mixed response.
The life of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has been of interest to many filmmakers in Tamil Nadu, with three of them making her biopics in different formats - feature films and web series. Director AL Vijay’s Thalaivi is one among the feature length biopics being made on her. The Iron Lady is the other feature film with Nithya Menen starring as Jayalalithaa.
Thalaivi is slated to be released on June 26, 2020. KV Vijayendra Prasad who wrote Baahubali and Manikarnik
The release of this film has already been subjected to contention in the court. Jayalalithaa's, J Deepa, had approached the Madras High Court seeking to restrain the release of Queen and Thalaivi. The plea however was rejected later by the court.