Raasukutty from the recently released film Super Deluxe has won hearts all over, with his wide, embracing smile. Played by Ashwanth Ashok Kumar, Raasukutty is trans woman Shilpa's (Vijay Sethupathi) son in the film.
What makes Raasukutty so special? To begin with, he is a child who plays a child, not a mini adult trying to impress. Though Raasukutty makes some of the film's most interesting observations, he does so as a child and is entirely believable.
There have been several child characters in Tamil cinema who are still remembered by audiences, years after the films’ release – Anjali from Anjali, Kaveri from Mahanadi, Tinnu from En Bommukutty Ammavukku, Amudha from Kannathil Muthamittal and many more.
Here's a look at the child characters from Tamil cinema who've left a mark on us in the last 10 years.
Peranbu Paapa (2019): Sadhana won the National Award for Best Child Artiste for director Ram's Thanga Meengal. In her second film with him, she played a young girl with cerebral palsy. From her body language, to expressing herself despite not being able to speak clearly, Paapa managed to create a huge impact on the audience, which went beyond just evoking their sympathy.
96 Subhashini (2018): Prem Kumar's romance film about childhood sweethearts was a trip down memory lane for people who grew up in the '90s. The film worked so well because the young actors who played the roles of the adults in the flashback were utterly charming and impressive. Though Adithya Bhaskar and Gouri G Kishan are in college, they played 15-year-olds in the film, as did Suryaa and Gowtham. However, Niyathi, who played Subhashini, is still a schoolgirl. She played the younger version of the character while her real-life mother Devadarshini played the older character.
Aramm Dhanshika (2017): Gopi Nainar's film was about a small child (played by Mahalakshmi) who falls into a dry borewell and is let down by the system before she's rescued by her brother. Though Dhanshika spends most of the film inside the borewell, the image of her scared, innocent face never leaves the audience's mind.
Kaaka Muttai boys (2015): M Manikandan's profoundly funny and moving film about two under-privileged young boys who want to eat a pizza, saw J Vignesh and V Ramesh delivering knock-out performances. Their delightful pranks and determination to enjoy life despite the poverty that surrounds them made this an uplifting film.
Saivam Tamizh (2014): AL Vijay's film, about a small child who wants to save a rooster, saw Sara Arjun delivering a wonderful performance. The film is about how she convinces her family not to slaughter the bird for a temple ritual. Tamizh's antics as she hides the rooster and tries to hide the truth from her family put a smile on our faces.
Golisoda boys (2014): Vijay Milton's film about four boys Pulli (Kishore), Saetu (Sree Raam), Sitthappa (Pandi), and Kuttimani (Murugesh), who work as load carriers in a vegetable market, was a revenge drama with plenty of violence. The performances of the boys and the skillful storytelling made it a riveting watch.
Paapanasam Meena (2013): Esther Anil played the young daughter in the Malayalam original Drishyam as well. In this thriller, Meena is a pivotal character in the plot as it's on her that the father (Kamal Haasan) depends to effectively cover up the murder that his family has committed. Esther did a brilliant job of expressing fear and tension throughout the film, especially in the scenes at the police station.
Pasanga boys (2009): The same boys who appeared in Golisoda had acted together in Pandiraj's film five years earlier. The film was about classroom politics, parental aspiration, and how it affects children. The film was quite honest in offering a young person's view of the adult world while detailing what goes on in their own.