Happy birthday Dhanush: From 2002 to 2022...Revisiting the career of once a trolled actor who is now a sexy Tamil friend!

(This article is authored by Alar) 

As Dhanush is all set for another trip around the Sun by marking his 39th birthday on July 28, this month has been showering with more than enough film updates from the actor, as birthday treats for his beloved fans. The 4-time national award winner - two for the actor, and two for the producer, he just proved that physical appearance should not be a bothering point to succeed, in his Hollywood debut. Now, he is on his next mission to fill up the blank of acting in the Tollywood industry with his 'Vaathi' film. What's special with this Kollywood's Asuran? 

Beginning of the Dhanush Era

Venkatesh Prabhu Kasthuri Raja was brought to screen first by his director-father Kasthuri Raja. Dhanush was first interested to become a chef, but his brother Selvaraghavan saw something with his younger brother and pressured him to pursue an acting career. Before debuting 'Thullavadho Ilamai' in 2002, by his father's directorial, the young actor and Superstar's ex-son-in-law got inspired by Kamal's Kuruthipunal film, and named himself 'Dhanush' as a screen name. 

He then provided his actorial to his brother Selvaraghavan's debut directorial 'Kadhal Konden' in 2003. The film little turned heads and slightly, Dhanush got decent attention with its commercial success. He then ventured to Thiruda Thirudi, Sullan, etc for other directors until his brother lifted him with a major turnover gangster drama, 'Pudhupettai', the film which still being the example for pure gangster film and places in fan-favourite flicks list. 

Remakes attempt even in his early days

After the acclaim for his 'Pudhupettai', he then tried a few remakes from other languages - 2007, Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram - a remake of 'Jogi' Kannada and an Italian remake of 'Bicycle Thieves' as 'Pollathavan' - a debut directorial of Vetrimaran, and also done a remake of his brother's Telugu 'Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule' as 'Yaradi Nee Mohini', directed by debutant Mithran Jawahar, who is now helming Dhanush's upcoming project 'Thiruchitrambalam'. 

The second successive phase of Dhanush

In the year 2011, after getting done with a few commercial films, he had done another breakthrough project with his 'Pollathavan' debut director Vetrimaraan, that is 'Adukalam' which got released in 2011. The movie was shot over 3 years and earned a National award for Best Actor and following years he just marked successive milestones in his career. He acted in his ex-wife Aishwarya Rajinikanth's directorial '3' which didn't make a dent at the box office but held a viral hit of 'Why this Kolaveri Di' song, the first Indian song to cross over 100 million views for the 2012 internet trend. With few average box office grossing films, he boldly made his Bollywood debut in 'Raanjhanaa' in 2013, scored by A R Rahman, and it was a good successive hit. 

In 2014, he had given his 25th film, 'Velayila Pattadhari' by helmed Velraj and it gained positive acclamation being among the highest-grossing Tamil films of 2014 and got remade into the Telugu dubbed version, Raghuvaran B. Tech, and successfully clinched the success. In 2015, he once again stepped into Bollywood town and acted for R. Balki's directorial 'Shamitabh' and was praised for the story, the same year he gave both major trend-setting icon titular movie and a major drawback movie - 'Maari' and 'Thangamagan'.

Once again the 'Pollathavan-Adukalam' duo Vetrimaran and Dhanush worked for 'Vadachennai', and emerged as the highest-grossing A-rated Tamil film of all time. When Dhanush once took the bold risk of venturing into an International film called 'the extraordinary journey of the Fakir', the global film audiences said 'no'. It was a flop but he fed for international filmmakers' attention, which is now flagging a victory with his Hollywood debut. But what Dhanush's perspective said, ''I love to explore unknown territories''. Then he joined with the director who proves as his name has - Vetrimaran and jointly gave 'Asuran' and was a 100 crore grosser biggest box office success, which also remade into Telugu starring, Venkatesh. 

The third phase of 'Beyond Borders'

Like any artist in the cinema industry, Dhanush also got struck by the pandemic effect, the loss of "Pattas'' and Netflix released 'Jagame Thandhiram' and Disney Hotstar 'Maaran' were low streamed films. But, his third Bollywood venture 'Atrangi Re', which was released last year, had received positive reviews. In December 2020, he joined his first Hollywood debut 'The Gray Man' sets and became the talk of the town. He played Avik San, a brutal assassin albeit, and burned the internet with his collaboration with Captain America franchise makers -Joe and Anthony Russo, and his co-actor Chris Evans referring to Dhanush as 'my sexy Tamil friend'. 

Dhanush may not have an idol fanbase following as Ajith and Vijay have. Still, the creatively invigorated actor peeled his skills from acting, by penning lyrics, directorial (debut was 'Pa Paandi'), Producer Wunderbar films and got two national awards for 'Best Producer'. But the phenomenal actor keeps this all under his wraps and says “There are only things I seek -success and to make my fans proud of me. What I look for is connectivity and the scope to deliver as a performer.”