Alert! Madhavan Is Still Hot!!!! Also, Interesting cross-industry promotional strategies

I know this is something we have all been concerned about, R. Madhavan’s ever developing style of attractiveness.  And, almost as important, the ever developing relationship between Hindi and non-Hindi films in India.

I’ll save Madhavan for dessert, after you’ve had your good nutrients of industry analysis.

There is a new Maddy movie coming out (yay!) produced by Y Not Films, the same group that produced Saaala Khadoos/Irudhi Suttru (sp?).  I saw the teaser ages ago, in theaters, which was surprising.  Because I don’t usually watch non-Hindi films in theaters, which means it was attached to a Hindi film.  And now this trailer is out, and I know about it because Shahrukh and a bunch of other Hindi film types re-tweeted it.

Saala Khadoos, if you remember, was a really odd and interesting production/release history.  It was made simultaneously in Tamil and Hindi.  And then released dubbed in even more languages (I know Malayalam, but maybe more).  And in Hindi it did okay, but it was a smash hit in Tamil and some of the other languages.

And now they are trying the same thing again.  Only this time, no Hindi version (I don’t think).  And no crossover type actors either.  Saala Khadoos, that was all about Madhavan.  But his co-star, Ritika Singh, she had an equally large part, and she was from the north.  In this film, it is Madhavan and another equally big (or bigger? I don’t know Tamil film as well as I should) Tamil actor.

But it is still an all-India style plot.  In Saala Khadoos, it was about sports and Indian exceptionalism and so on, everyone can enjoy that.  This film looks to be a cop and criminal story, familiar in every region and every language film industry.

But the biggest part of the release is that I know about it!  Me, the most important person in the world!  Not really, but I am a good representation of an important audience, the overseas group who is primarily interested in Hindi films.  And buzz about this movie has made it into my little bubble, on Shahrukh’s twitter, at my Hindi film theaters in America.

Which brings me to Madhavan!  I am sure it is not just him pushing this all-India audience policy.  But he is a big part of it, because he is one of the few stars to have all-India recognition.  Not just recognition, friendships!  He didn’t just come up for a couple scenes in a Hindi film, he stuck around, went to the parties, met with the people.  And now when his movie is coming out, he can pull on those threads, ask his friends from Bombay to help him out.  And count on the audience that has been watching him for years to turn out and show interest.

Which brings me to the fun part!  Watching Madhavan.

Remember when he first burst on the scene in Alai Payuthay?  He had this really striking look, like his bones were too big for his skin.  I always thought he was playing his own age, 21-22, because of that.  Because that’s how young men look a lot of the time, their body is developing so fast that the adult male frame is sort of piercing through the baby skin.  Only, no!  Madhavan was like 30!  He just developed differently, this huge frame and soft skin well into adulthood.

As the years went by, the rest of his body caught up with his frame.  Which lead to exciting changing flavors of Madhavan!  There was the fighter pilot in Rang De Basanti, whose larger frame loomed over the younger men, showing how he was truly A Man in every sense, while they were just little boys.


There was Guru, where he is frankly heartstoppingly beautiful.  The period clothing slightly accenting his leaner frame, but still with that heavier face to show his additional maturity.

And then there was Tanu Weds Manu.  The introduction of teddy bear Madhavan.  A little rumpled, a little overweight, very cuddly.

Even more cuddly in Vettai, where kind of the whole point was how sweet and cuddly and gentle he was.  Any other actor, it would have just come off as a coward.  But with Maddy, well, we can forgive his little moments of weakness.  He just needs us to protect him!  Let other people pick Arya, that hard tough guy, sometimes you just want a guy who needs you.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns, this might be a slight miss-step in the Madhavan development.  An angry teddy bear is something no one wants.  Feel free to disagree!


But then he handpicked his next role, and suddenly everything clicked into place.  No more Maddy the teddy bear!  No, it’s time for Maddy the straight up BEAR.  Wild, unkempt, violent, angry, protective, and not safe for regular society.


And now we have this film!  Same production studio as the last one, and Madhavan is co-producing again.  And it looks GOOD.  He is that same Bear from before, but a Bear that is trying to go undercover in regular society.  His bones are poking through again, and his hair is technically styled, but it wants to go a little wild.  Everything about him wants to go a little wild, but is trying to hide it.  I like this Madhavan!  Kind of the mirror image of Alai Payuthay.  In that film, his look told us that the full grown man was trying to burst through his boy-child outer coating.  In this one, the angry wild younger man is trying to burst through the restrained mature man coating.


29 thoughts on “Alert! Madhavan Is Still Hot!!!! Also, Interesting cross-industry promotional strategies

    • I am very embarrassed, would have preferred that he saw my deep analysis of his performance in Alai Payuthay or something instead of a discussion of his changing body type.

      Also, “Bro”? Does he honestly think this post was written by a man? I am so clearly fangirling!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Congrats Margaret!!!

      Also, how come you’ve never mentioned to me that Madhavan was in Guru when you’ve tried to get me to watch it?!?! I love his collaborations with Mani Ratnam 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • He is SO HOT in Guru!!!! SO HOT!!!! It’s a really tiny role, I don’t want to raise your expectations too high, but maybe because of that, Ratnam made sure he was really impactful in every scene.

        On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 3:02 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • It still definitely helps that he’s in the movie 🙂

          By the way, Vijay Sethupathi is an upcoming star in Tamil cinema. He’s known for doing more off-beat movies but he does some commercial cinema as well. I think I would say he’s like a Rajkummar Rao except that he’s a relatively bigger star.


  1. You should be flattered he looked at your blog and thought it was written by a man (a serious and analytic man!) and not some silly little girl in love with him 😛 Agree about Madhavan. He’s just so timeless. My first memory of him is from the series Ghar Jamai! It was the golden age of Indian television and looking back I think the adorable South Indian guy character sealed the stereotype for northern audiences with that one role. Madhavan has never been the standout crush for anyone I know but ask anyone if they like Madhavan and they all go “Awwwww .. yeah I had a crush on him”. I never knew just how bad this crush was till I realised HE was the reason I nicknamed my ex “Maddy”! I dont remember being obsessed with him or taking any pains to go watch one of his films in the theatre but inevitably, every time a Madhavan film is on TV, I end up watching it and i HATE watching films on TV because of the loooong ad breaks! I guess he’s like salt in food. You dont know you need it till you have it and then you’re like yeah I needed that so bad!


    • Yes! That’s it exactly! He’s not a star that you obsess over necessarily, but any time he pops up you just go “aww! Maddy!”

      Maybe that’s related to his longevity? He’s just kind of always around, doing something somewhere, until you can’t help but love him.

      On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 4:26 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  2. the other tamil actor is vijay sethupathy..a brilliant actor and the best among new generation tamil actors.. he does 2-3 films per month


    • Is he a different generation than Madhavan? I just assumed, based on nothing, that it was a sort of meeting of equals casting, two stars of the same experience and fame.


      • they are of different generations .vijay sethupathy worked as a junior artist for a long time and got his first important role in 2012 horror film pizza…i like him a lot..he does films in all categories and not afraid to experement ..not just restricted to masala films like other major stars


        • I’ve heard good things about Pizza, but still haven’t seen it. Maybe that should be my Vijay Sethupathy film before I watch this one.


          • Pizza is the most underrated horror film made in India. It’s unexpectedly good.


          • I really don’t like horror movies, but maybe I will try it.

            On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 9:15 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


            Liked by 1 person

  3. As for the other guy in the trailer “Vijay Sethupathy”. I have over the years reduced my Tamil movie intake, and considerably increased my Malayalam movie intake, but I have noticed…. that most of the Tamil movies I watch these days are of Vijay Sethupathy.

    His must watch movies to add to your list.
    #1. Soodhu Kaavum (Translates as “Evil Engulfs”. Its Comedy, Thriller with a bit of Fantasy element… )
    #2. Naaduvala Koncham Pakatha Kaanam ( Translates as “Few missing parts in the middle”)… Based on a true life incident. One of his earliest hit movies, made on a shoestring budget.
    #3. Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (Translates as “I am also a Rowdy”)
    #4. Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum (Translates: Love too shall pass)

    At this point he is definitely a bigger crowd pulling star in Tamil than Madhavan, and he definetly has the acting chops. Happy to bring him to your attention.


      • I’ve seen both Naanum Rowdy Dhaan and Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum. I liked Naanum Rowdy Dhaan more than the other one. NRD is more mainstream and has really good music when compared to Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum.


  4. Two movies of madhavan I absolutely love are alaipayuthey, and Anne shivam. The later one is particularly most beautiful movie that is of your taste I.e.filled with so much symbolism and so much to say, I am touched somewhere deep. Madhavan acts with kamal in the movie and is considered a classic.


    • Right there with you on Alai Payuthay. Unfortunately, big big issues with Ambe Shivam! But not related to Madhavan, it’s Kamal’s character that gives me problems. So much of it was good, but then there were a few moments that were off and just ruined the whole thing.

      On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 1:53 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  5. I have just come across a 2018 TV series on SominalTV – Breathe – starring Madhavan and Amit Sadh. It looks as though it is a decent production, only drawback is it doesn’t have subtitles.


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