Wanted: a hit!
Unfair it might be, but people tend to connect success and failure in life with marriage.
When film after film of Tamil star Vijay bombed at the BO after his marriage, there were many who linked it with his new marital status. Luckily for Vijay, his bad patch ended with Kushi and the vitriolic tongues stopped wagging.
Now, Ajith finds himself in a similar situation -- the two films that were released after his marriage were not successes.
Which is why his new Pongal release, Deena has to do well commercially to stop irresponsible people from linking the success of his films with his marriage to Shalini!
Meanwhile, Ajith's gamble with new directors seems to have met with some success. And so, once again, a newcomer called Muruga Das directs Deena.
The film has another specialty: For the first time, Suresh Gopi, the superstar from Kerala, will be acting in a Tamil film. Suresh Gopi is not exactly a new face to Tamil filmgoers as several of his action films have been dubbed into Tamil and Telugu, which were big successes.
Deena, however, is not an action film. A family drama, it has Suresh Gopi as Ajith's big brother, and explores their tussle.
Laila is the heroine of the film and another attraction is a dance number by Nagma. Music by Yuvan Sankar Raja, the youngest of Illayaraja's offsprings, is nothing to write home about.
Deena is slated to hit the theatres for Pongal. Ajith will be hoping for another hit, a la Vaalee. As a run-up to the release, perhaps, one sees a lot more autorickshaws with Ajith's smiling face pasted on the windscreen.
Marriage and Shalini's good fortune apart, after Mugavari, Ajith hasn't delivered a hit. And Mugavari also was not as big a hit as Vaalee was.
His last film, Unnaikodu Enne Tharuven bombed at the BO, and Kandukondain Kandukondain, too, did not do well in Tamil Nadu.
It is another matter altogether that Ajith does not consider Kandukondain... as 'his' film: "It is Rajiv Menon's film," he stated emphatically in an interview to this writer at the time of its release.
But his competitor and challenger for the number one slot, Vijay, after a series of miserable flops, hit the jackpot with Kushi. What's more, Vijay came back again with a bang with Priyamanavale.
Another hero has entered the scene, seemingly from nowhere, threatening to dislodge the current favourites. After the stupendous success of Alai Payudhey, young girls were crazier about Madhavan than Ajith or Vijay.
Then again, Madhavan's next two releases did not create any ripples at the BO.