Friday, December 28, 2012

Tamil Pesum Kadhanayagi: Top 10 Tamil-Speaking Actresses


Despite being foreign educated and speaking English with a heavy American accent, Priya Anand is still very much grounded and knows her roots well. She is fluent in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, and has dubbed for herself in all three languages. Unfortunately, Priya Anand has not been seen much in Tamil movies this past year apart from the Tamil-dubbed Hindi English Vinglish which she dubbed for herself, which is quite rare since actors usually use dubbing artistes when dubbing for a film in a different language. Her previous Tamil film was the critically acclaimed average grosser Nootrenbathu, but she is geared up for Ethir Neechal opposite Sivakarthikeyan and with Dhanush at the producer's chair.


Let's all first admit how skeptical we were when this young lady was all set to make her debut. Being the daughter of movie icons, she has definitely proved she is not just another child of the industry. With a more than decent debut in Podaa Podi, she has proved she is not only a good actress, but an amazing dancer. With a heartfelt performance that almost overshadowed STR in comedy, drama and dance, this is quite a rarity in Tamil cinema for a female lead actress. Her next movie will be Sundar C’s Madha Gaja Raja opposite Vishal.


Now here is a triple threat rare in Tamil cinema - an amazing singer, a more than average actress, and a good dubbing artiste. Although being English educated and coming from an Anglo-Indian background, she speaks Tamil more fluently then most Tamil actresses. Although being more famously known for her playback singing in movies, she has proven herself as an actress herself, having worked with big names like Gautham Menon, Selvaraghavan and Venkat Prabhu in the past. She has three big movies coming out way - Kamal Haasan’s magnum opus, Vishwaroopam. Pudhiya Thiruppangal opposite Nanda and Endrendrum Punnagai with Jiiva and Trisha.


For a National award winning actress, she had done some rather less prominent projects such as the recent 
Charulatha and some other movies which did not fare well with critics and audiences. However, her critically acclaimed performance in Paruthi Veeran is still strong in audiences' minds, and that is powerful enough to remind is she is in no way lost in our industry. Despite being more appreciated for her character acting, she is not hesitent to take up glamorous roles as well.  Her future Tamil projects are yet to be announced, though she works actively in other languages as well.


Another triple threat, Shruthi Haasan has always been an amazing singer and a good dancer. Despite her performance in 7am Arivu being badly received, she surely made up for it by giving one of the best performances from a female lead in Moonu, where she was delivered an equally powerful performance as her more mature male lead Dhanush. She is no longer known for solely being the daughter of movie stars and has made a name for herself. Being a pan-Indian artiste, it is only expected that she is busy working in movies in other languages as well, particularly Telugu. But she dubs for herself in Tamil and she is definitely much missed by the industry. Her future projects in Tamil are yet to be announced, but she has definitely raised the bar of expectations for herself this year.


Now here is one of the few actresses in the industry who have made it to the top merely by talent rather than glamour. Angadi Theru and Engeyum Eppothum allowed her to flex her acting abilities, and she has even proved that she can do sensational roles with projects like Kalakalappu. This talent powerhouse has a slew of projects like Vathikuchi, Madha Gaja Raja, Onbathula Guru, Kalakalappu 2 and Settai coming our way.


Nobody ever expected anything from this one, especially for her to dub for herself. Despite having lived in Chennai all her life, she is from a mixed Telugu-Malayalam household and attended English medium schools. Unlike her Telugu movie career, Samantha had a rather slow start in the Tamil cinema.  But thanks to her recent films like Naan Ee and Neethane En Ponvasantham, she has successfully overtaken more experienced Mumbai girls in the industry and established herself as one of the few top Tamil-speaking actresses. By dubbing for herself in Neethane En Ponvasantham, Samantha has waved goodbye to Chinmayi, at least when Tamil movies are concerned. She is all set to sizzle with a Suriya in two movies, one with Lingusamy and another with Gautham Menon.


She is still one of the industry's top actresses despite not having made an Tamil movies for the last two years, proving that she has a loyal following among Tamil moviegoers. Though she has proven herself to be a talented performer, the sensationalized linkups and breakups has been the one responsible for keeping her relevant in an industry where for actresses, one day you're in, the next day you're out. It is unclear if she dubs for herself, though she speaks Tamil fluently. She has dubbed for herself in Malayalam, and it is rumored that she will start dubbing for herself in Tamil too. With the announcement of her comeback with her famous Billa team, the entire industry is abuzz with the return of the queen. We can see her soon in the Billa team's return, Surangani  opposite her former co-stars Ajith and Arya and an Udayanidhi untitled film with Prabhakaran.


She was once the Tamil girl living in Chennai who is English educated and is not fluent in her own mother tongue who people love making fun of. But not anymore. Post Manmadhan Ambu, she too has waved goodbye to her string of dubbing artistes including Chinmayi and Savritra Reddy and is committed to dub for herself now and in the future. Despite no releases in 2012, her performance in Mankatha, Manmadhan Ambu and of course, the classic love story Vinaithandi Varuvaaya has kept the industry and fans alike well-informed of her talent and beauty. We can expect to see her next in Samar opposite Vishal, Endredum Punnagai opposite Jiiva and Boologam opposite her former co-star Jayam Ravi.


Bet you never saw this one coming, did you? So did we. After a two decade hiatus, Sridevi is unarguably the most successful former female movie star to make a comeback after such a long time. There was once when she conquered all the major movie industries in India and was at the top of her career. And true, English Vinglish is not strictly a Tamil movie, but Sridevi dubbed for herself, showing her commitment to act in any language movie as long as the right script comes her way. The last actress to make such a big comeback was Simran in Vaaranam Aaayiram, but that was only after a few years of taking a break. Sridevi still looks ravishingly beautiful and her acting skills are still topnotch, not to mention she has her producer husband to keep her going all the way. She is yet to announce any future projects, but we can expect big things from Sridevi.

Other names worth mentioning: Sneha, Asin, Bhavana, Meera Jasmine, Nithya Menon, Lakshmi Menon, Vijayalakshmi , Oviya, Padmapriya and Jasmine Michael


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