Children's day Special : Tamil films whose success was steered by child actors
Today's November 14, 2017 aka former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's birth anniversary or as we call it Children's day. As an ode to celebrating children all over the country, we decided to take a look at some Tamil Films which were rocketed to critical and commercial acclaim, based on the sole performance of the child actors in them. To say that these tiny-tots, most of them who had no cinematic background, carried a whole feature film on their tender shoulders wouldn't be a stretch. What follows might not be new but definitely would rekindle the child in you.
Even in this day and age, when film directors think twice before putting anything but a hero's face on the poster, Mani Ratnam decided to go ahead with a 3 year old for his film's titular character. Baby Shamili (now actress Shamili) did full justice to this confidence (not that she was aware of it) and her impeccable performance as the autistic Anjali gained her a wide recognition, apart from a National Award (Silver Lotus) and a flourishing career as a child artiste.
Kannathil Muthamittal (2002)
12 years later, the same Mani Ratnam made another kid actor his pivotal lead, only this time from a film background. Keerthana, the real-life daughter of actors Parthiepan and Seetha hooked everyone to the film, by playing the wilful Amutha in Kaanathil Muthamittal. History was repeated when Keerthana won the National Award for the her authentic portrayal of a girl child torn between the emotions of her adoptive family, and the curiosity of her biological ones.
Director Pandiraj's Pasanga came at a time when Tamil cinema was slowly moving away from the idea of stereotypical formula films. Despite the presence of a well known actor, Pasanga was completely Kishore D.S. and Sree Ram's movie, who as fate would have it, won National Awards for their innocent yet bring-a-smile-to-the-face portrayal of child-rivalry.
Thanga Meenkal (2013)
The mention of Thanga Meenkal immediately reminds one of the little girl who played her father's pet in the movie. Such is the impact of Baby Sadhana's acting, who portrayed a slow-learner kid hailing from a not so well-to-do background. Her performance as the dad-loving Chellama won her a National Award for Best Child Artist in the 61st edition.
Goli Soda (2014)
Team Pasanga minus the well known actor was what the success of Goli Soda was banking on. The boys Kishore and Sree Ram along with Vinodh Kumar, Pandi, Murugesh and Chandini kept the film engaging completely on their acting merit, and the movie ended up being a hit both critically and commercially.
Kaaka Muttai (2014)
Kaaka Muttai was 2014's biggest sleeper hit. A simple tale of two slum-dwelling boys eager to taste a slice of Pizza, is what granted Master J. Vignesh and Master V. Ramesh National Awards under the best child artist category. Not only did the boys entertain everyone with their on-screen antics, but they contributed solely to the huge success of such a small-budgeted film.
Baby Sara Arjun with her proven acting prowess, once again did full justice to her role of an 8 year old who decides to save the life of a family-rooster in Saivam. Her acting went on to win crtitical and commercial acclaim for the light-hearted entertainer.
While the above mentioned films were steered to limelight solely for the acting abilitites of the child artistes, the following ones get special mentions as they were backed by other factors like star actors, big producers, hit directors and the like.
Deiva Thirumagal (2011)
Baby Sara Arjun made her debut into Tamil movie with A.L. Vijay's Deiva Thirumagal. The kid was widely recognised for performing at ease with the acting power-house Vikram, and touching everyone's heart with her cute portrayal of Nila.
Theri had provided what one would say Tamil Nadu's sweet-heart in the form of Baby Nainika. Despite being the daughter of Tamil Nadu's former child sweet-heart actress Meena, the pint sized Nainika became a household name for her unabashed camera-presence, big eyes and acting neck-on-neck with an star like Vijay.