Sai Pallavi among South Indian actresses has grown so much in stature with her acting skill and dancing skills that she is now considered a box office attraction in her own right. In Indian cinema, few actresses receive this coveted seal. For, only male actors are considered ‘stars’, and female artists are rarely seen like that in conventional cinema.
In Bollywood, actresses like Sri Devi, later Madhuri Dikshit, managed to break the cinematic equivalent of the glass ceiling. Now we have actresses like Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Vidya Balan who can be the main attraction of a movie. In the south, Nayanthara, although without great acting skills, worked hard to be the top and is now billed as the Lady Superstar. The thing is behind a lot of these star rises, there’s an element of marketing and concerted momentum.
But in the case of the Sai Pallavi elevation things were organic. She started out as a demure and graceful actress, without being flashy or glamorous. But she’s become a box office force with her dazzling dancing ability, and now she’s complemented that beautifully with her impressive histrionics. If movies like Maari 2 and Romance established his dancing prowess, so movies like Parvam Virata and Shyama Sinha Roy highlighted his acting talent.
In this case, in the recent Tamil release Gargishe was the USP.
Sai Pallavi’s Gargi will be broadcast on SonyLIV
Gargi turned out to be an impressive film with just the right amount of suspense, emotion and social message. It has the elements of a police and courtroom drama and also makes important points about the class hierarchy in our society. Sai plays a school teacher. She belongs to a typical middle-class family, and her marriage is fixed. At that time, her father, who works as a security guard at a nearby apartment, does not come home. She goes to inquire about his whereabouts, only to learn that the cops have arrested him, in connection with a case of rape of a nine-year-old child. How she unlocks the secret is the story that is told effectively with empathy.
But as it happens, the movie released on July 14 is not doing very well at the box office, as per trade reports. This is a shame. But the good news, this is the kind of movie that will do well on streaming platforms.
We now hear that SonyLIV has won the streaming rights and will do so from mid-August. An official word is expected next week.
Directed by Gautham Ramachandran, Gargi is introduced by Kollywood actor couple Suriya and Jyotika under their 2D Entertainment production banner.
Actress Aishwarya Lekshmi, who debuts as a producer with the film, also plays an important role. Actors Kaali Venkat, RS Shivaji, Kalaimaamani Saravanan, Jayaprakash, Prathap, Sudha, Livingston and Kavithalaya Krishnan are also in the cast.