Despite having an average film career and his political entry fizzling out, Vishal has risen from the ashes before and we should not dismiss him so quickly.
He has his fingers in several pies at the same time. An actor and producer, Vishal also successfully contested and won the elections to the Nadigar Sangam and the Producer’s Council. He is now the Secretary of the former and the President of the latter.
However, Vishal shocked friends and foes alike by jumping into politics and filing his nomination for the recent RK Nagar bye-polls in Chennai. The seat had fallen vacant after the demise of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. But, in what came as an anti-climax, his nomination papers were rejected by the Returning Officer on the grounds that two signatures of his proposers were fudged.
Vishal, as could be expected, raised a hue and cry and hinted at a conspiracy, but it was to no avail. His detractors in the Producer’s Council, like director Cheran, seized the opportunity to take potshots at him for neglecting his duties as Council President and for choosing to plunge into politics instead. They even went to the extent of launching a sit-in protest at the Council premises. But, like his innings in politics that ended even before it really began, the agitation too fizzled out.
Vishal has earned the reputation of being a doer, especially after he wrested power at the Nadigar Sangam from veterans like Sarath Kumar and Radha Ravi, who were holding the fort after Vijaykanth bowed out and opted for a full-fledged career in politics. The Sangam, which has senior actor Nasser as President, has filed a suit against the previous incumbents alleging misappropriation of funds and the case is pending in the courts.
After the victory in the Nadigar Sangam elections, Vishal set his sights on the Producers’ Council – the fiefdom of long-time filmmakers like ‘Kalaipuli’ Thaanu, KR, Alagappan and others. With the solid backing of the younger set of producers, including the likes of actor, director and producer Prakash Raj, his team swept through the polls. However, unlike in the Sangam, which has been functioning as a compact unit, the Council remains a divided house and there are several dissenting voices being heard.
Vishal, who has a degree in Mass Communications, started off as an assistant director in Arjun Sarja’s Vedham in 2001. He made his debut in Chellame in 2004. But it was his later films – Sasi’s Dishyum, Linguswami’s Sandakozhi and Tarun Gopi’s Thimiru – that secured his place in the Tamil film industry.
A typical Vishal film had its quota of stunt sequences, in which he excelled thanks to his wiry physique, and duets where he wooed heroines in exotic locations. The emotional content was kept to the barest minimum as the actor’s comfort level while enacting such heavy-duty scenes was suspect.
It was director Bala who uncovered the hidden depths to Vishal’s talent in his action-comedy Avan Ivan, which is still ranked very high in the actor’s career. Bala, who is known to be choosy when it comes to casting in his movies, relied of actor Arya’s recommendation and Vishal did not disappoint. In the story of two half-brothers, Vishal played Walter Vanangamudi, the softer sibling, while Arya proved to be his perfect foil with his tough Kumbideren Swamy.
The film offered Vishal the opportunity to do something different. Despite him having to strain his eyes to play the role of a man with a squint, the critical acclaim he received must have helped alleviate the pain. One particular scene stands out in the movie – Walter, a wannabe actor, in a bid to impress Suriya (playing himself) performs the navarasas – which only met with a lukewarm response in the box office.
His film career has been far from impressive – his flops have outnumbered his hits. While action extravaganzas like Malaikottai, Pandiyanaadu, Naan Sigappu Manithan and Sivappathigaram fared a trifle better, his later films like Ambala, Paayum Puli and Kathi Sandai were total flops. The only film that comes to mind when I speak of Vishal’s hits is Hari’s Thamiraparani. Kathakaliand Marudhu also performed only averagely at the box office.
The actor’s most-recent break came in Mysskin’s Thupparivaalan, where Vishal played a desi Sherlock Holmes, investigating a string of seemingly unrelated murders. Vishal, whose earlier cop film Sathyam failed to click with the audience, had a much better outing with Thupparivaalan, which opened to critical and commercial acclaim. His hyped-up performance as an antagonist in the Malayalam film Villain, starring Mohanlal as the hero, went unnoticed.
So where does this forty-year-old, strapping actor go from here?
He has no dearth of assignments and can even make his own films now. His father, GK Reddy, and his brother, Vikram Krishna, are both Kollywood producers too – so he can even fall back on them for a project if need be. For now, he has pinned his hopes on his upcoming films, Irumbu Thirai, where his one-time mentor Arjun will be crossing swords with him, and Sandakozhi 2.
However, his attempt to rush into politics, when superstars like Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth have marched into the arena, has come a cropper. Chances are that he has now decided to put his political plans on hold for now.
As an administrator, he has a number of plans lined up for the Nadigar Sangam, including a fundraiser tour to Malaysia and intensifying the battle against video piracy. Constructing a building for the Sangam too is of top priority.
There is no doubt we will see more of Vishal in the times to come – he is here for the long haul
‘Irumbu Thirai’ is scheduled for a Pongal release.
Vishal's next major outing is action-thriller Irumbu Thirai, which is gearing up for Pongal 2018 release. The film marks his first collaboration with Action King Arjun, who plays the antagonist.
The film's director Mithran has revealed that Vishal was more interested in playing the villain after he heard the script. "Vishal wanted to do the villain role in Irumbu Thirai when I pitched the subject to him to produce it under his banner. He was so impressed with the plot that he not only agreed to bankroll it, but also opted to do the powerful baddie character,” the film’s director Mithran told Deccan Chronicle.
Mithran revealed that the original plan was to rope in some other hero if Vishal agrees to produce the film. “He loved the villain role and evinced interest to portray it. Then I had to convince him that he does the lead protagonist and made changes accordingly. The film has a military backdrop and from an ordinary man’s character, I made Vishal’s role a military man.”
Samantha Akkineni plays Vishal’s love interest in the film, which has music by Yuvan Shankar Raja. On working with the Sandakozhi actor, the director said: “He gave me a lot of freedom and without hesitation he was providing me the kind of things I wanted during its making. It is he who suggested that we cast big actors and also rope in big technicians. He was more concerned about the outcome.”
Vishal had taken many by surprise when he chose to contest in the RK Nagar bye-election in December. However, the actor’s nomination paper was rejected by the Returning Officer after two proposers alleged that their signatures had been forged.
His decision to contest, however, had ruffled feathers in the industry, given that Vishal holds two key posts – that of Nadigar Sangam General Secretary and the President of the Tamil Nadu Film Producers’ Council. Filmmaker Cheran even went to the extent of staging a protest and demanded that he step down from the Producers’ Council post.
Vishal did not consult anyone and jumped into politics and that’s why the heat is on him now, says an industry insider.
Chennai: Action hero Vishal appears to have landed himself in a tight spot with multiple challengers faulting him for choosing to contest the RK Nagar Assembly bypoll and demanding that he give up the leadership of the Nadigar Sangam as well as the Producers Council as the punishment for his ‘misdemeanor’.
The charge against Vishal is that he chose to contest the bypoll and made all those robust proclamations against the ruling party and the government without consulting colleagues either in the Nadigar Sangam or the Producers Council. It would amount to conflict of interest and besides, hurt the interests of both the premier bodies in filmdom that need the government’s support and cannot antagonise the rulers—the producers get subsidy from the government, which also has the power to fix ticket prices and taxes.
Though he is putting up a brave face and pretending to be on firm ground, insiders say that heat is building up for Vishal even as he is trying hard to hold on to his positions.
Declaring he would not succumb to such pressure from 'vengeful elements prompted by vested interests', he demanded proof from the antagonists charging him with financial irregularities in the Producers Council, to which he had been elected president barely six months ago.
The general body meeting of the Producers Council met here on Monday to discuss a whole range of important issues-such as the problems of small producers, the suicide of co-producer Ashok Kumar, satellite rights and the perennial piracy tyranny-but got quickly aborted amid chaos as Cheran launched an attack on Vishal and demanded his resignation. Vishal wound up the meeting and left, complaining that members used inappropriate language against him.
Adding heat to his crisis, close friend and actor-director Pon Vannan announced his resignation as vice-president protesting against Vishal's decision to contest in RK Nagar.
"The meeting ended abruptly amid ruckus after Vishal refused to answer questions saying they could wait and we must deal with the agenda only. Many members questioned the office-bearers why Vishal chose to contest RK Nagar byelection, but Vishal was not willing to discuss this", said senior member Rajan.
While his aides insist that the rebellion is inspired by the ruling party chieftains, Vishal himself says he is unwilling to make such a charge. "I do not see any connection between what is happening within our film fraternity and my RK Nagar contest. There are some minor issues and I am sorting them out. Pon Vannan has agreed to withdraw his resignation" - Vishal
"The four of us top office-bearers in the Nadigar Sangam-Vishal, Nasser, Karthi and I-had taken a vow right in the beginning not to get involved in politics. Vishal violated this code and I was unable to answer the several questions from our members. That's why I decided to resign", Pon Vannan said, when contacted for his version.
ADDRESSING THE MEDIA AFTER THE MEETING, VISHAL DENIED CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS AND CLAIMED THAT DURING THE MEETING, SOME PEOPLE TRIED TO HIT HIM.
There was more trouble in store for actor-producer Vishal who seems to be having a long and horrible week. After his nomination papers for the RK Nagar bye-poll were rejected earlier this week, the president of the TN Producers’ Council faced allegations of corruption on Sunday by several members of the council.
Actor and AIADMK member JK Rithesh said, “Radhakrishnan, who earlier held working posts in the producer’s council, told us that when he was part of the team, the council had Rs 7 crore. Now, the council only has Rs 2 crore – so where is the rest of the money?”
“It has been eight months since Vishal promised that he will give the details in the next general body meeting,” Rithesh added.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Vishal denied corruption allegations and claimed that during the meeting, some people tried to hit him.
“Some people are stopping good things from happening. They came and tried to take away the mike and hit us. This is unnecessary. Everyone has the right to ask questions but the way they did it was wrong. I would like to thank the police for helping us, the judge came and observed everything, we also have footage for everything,” said Vishal.
Speaking about the corruption allegations, he said, “If we swindled Rs 7 crore, we cannot carry out such an annual general meeting. Every week they tell the press that there has been corruption. Instead, they should come to the office and speak to us. They need to have proof, only then will we respond to them,” he said.
The meeting also saw producers opposing Vishal’s move to stand for the RK Nagar election.
“According to the bye-laws, anyone who holds an office cannot stand for the elections without resigning their post. He did, so we objected to it and questioned him. But he refused to give a reply, and that’s why this problem started,” Rithesh said.
“There was a strong objection to Vishal’s actions, but his team cleverly started singing ‘Jana Gana Mana’ when people started speaking up, in order to finish the meeting,” said actor and BJP politician S Ve Shekar.
K Velusamy, who was the Returning Officer of the RK Nagar assembly seat, has been replaced by Praveen P Nair.
Chennai: The Returning Officer (RO) of the RK Nagar constituency was on Saturday replaced by the Election Commission in an unusual move following controversy over actor Vishal's rejection of nomination papers.
K Velusamy, who was the Returning Officer of the RK Nagar assembly seat, has been replaced by Praveen P Nair.
Actor Vishal's last-ditch efforts to enter the high-stakes electoral contest in RK Nagar fell flat on Thursday after he failed to "locate" the two proposers, who had alleged that their signatures were forged, and produce them before Velusamy.
Vishal, whose nomination papers were rejected on Tuesday night, tweeted on Thursday morning citing "media reports" that the Election Commission has asked him to approach the returning officer and produce the two people if his nomination has to be accepted, in reply to a complaint sent by him.
Rushing from his Anna Nagar residence to RK Nagar, Vishal claimed he was unable to locate Sumathy and Deepan, who had reportedly told Velusamy that their signatures on the nomination papers of Vishal were forged, and alleged that they were "missing."
Later, he held discussions with Velusamy at his office in Tondiarpet during which the returning officer is understood to have told him that the duo will have to be produced if his nomination papers will have to be accepted.
After heated arguments and storming out of his office, Vishal alleged that the RO told him that he "accepted my nomination only because I threatened."
Earlier, Jayalalithaa's niece, Deepa Jayakumar, whose papers were also rejected, alleged foul play and intimidation by the ruling AIADMK.
"There was foul play; my nomination papers were tampered with. I did not fill the column on asset value in the affidavit because some of them are joint properties," she had said.
Bypoll for the RK Nagar constituency was necessary after the seat fell vacant following the death of former chief minister J Jayalithaa in December last year.
After the sad demise of Jayalalithaa, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, RK Nagar Constituency is in news headlines with many incidents.
The latest incident connecting with RK Nagar and its Bypoll is the rejection of nomination filed by Tamil Actor Vishal.
Now, Being one of the most talked about issues in town right now, the rejection of Vishal’s nomination is heating up.
Vishal first took to Twitter to confirm that the fact that his nomination was dismissed is real and he expressed his disappointment.
After that, Vishal takes the next step by escalating this issue to the Prime Minister and the President of India, through Twitter. He Tweeted, “To the people, I look upto, Hon @narendramodi & Hon @rashtrapatibhvn. I am Vishal,I hope u r aware of wats happening in the RK Nagar Election process in Chennai. My nomination was accepted & later rejected. Totally unfair. I bring this to your notice & I hope justice prevails.”
Will this help solve the issues that are currently taking place or not? Let us wait to find out.
Vishal was pleasantly surprised when he received congratulatory message from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Chennai: After an arduous five-hour long wait during which he fought with returning officer of R K Nagar to get his nomination accepted, actor Vishal was pleasantly surprised when he received congratulatory message from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“God bless u. Yes. Truth always Triumphs!!” Kejriwal tweeted quoting Vishal's message on his official Twitter page, minutes after the actor declared acceptance of his nomination papers that were reportedly rejected by returning officer K. Velu-samy.
Kejriwal, the Aam Aadmi Party convener and Delhi Chief Minister, is quite active on Twitter and his tweet supporting Vishal had gained 418 retweets and 1,100 likes within 30 minutes of posting.
“After much struggle, my nomination for the RK Nagar election is finally accepted… Truth Always Triumphs!!” Vishal had tweeted, minutes after the returning officer informed him about his decision to accept the nomination papers.
The nomination papers of actor Vishal Krishna and late J. Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar for the December 21 RK Nagar bypoll here, were today rejected by Election authorities, a senior official said.
“Both their nominations have been rejected. We will get full details later...it is a quasi judicial process,” the official told PTI.
Asked about the reason for rejecting the papers, the official said it was “technical.”
“...there were some flaws in the nomination..it is an order passed by the Returning Officer,” he added.
Vishal, who heads the Tamil Film Producers Council and is the general secretary of the Nadigar Sangam (South Indian Artistes’ Association), said he was told at the last minute that there were “discrepancies,” in the papers in respect of signatures.
Alongwith several of his supporters, he briefly squatted on the road in North Chennai protesting the decision to reject his papers.
He was removed from the spot by police.
Opposing election authorities’ rejecting her nomination, Deepa alleged it was not done for any valid reasons. “It is being done wantonly,” she added.
As many as 145 nominations were received from aspirants seeking to contest the bypoll.
Currently, scrutiny of nominations are on and an official update on the total number of papers accepted and rejected is expected later.
The last date for withdrawal of candidature is December seven.
OWING TO POLITICAL CHAOS IN RK NAGAR - VISHAL MAKES AN STATEMENT
Actor Vishal has released a statement and said there is no such law states that the head of an organization should not contest in an election. Actor/director Cheran along with his supporters has been protesting against Vishal for contesting in the RK Nagar bypoll without resigning as the president of the Tamil Film Producers Council. Vishal also said that he will take proper action against Cheran if the latter continues the protest.
The sangam passed a resolution urging TN government not to remove Kalaignar Karunanidhi's name from Sivaji statue kept at Sivaji Memorial.
Chennai: At the 64th Annual General Meeting of South Indian Artistes Association, aka Nadigar Sangam, which took place in the city, its secretary Vishal announced that his entire team would contest in the next election of the sangam.
“The current set of office bearers will once again stand in the upcoming elections of SIAA in September next year to fulfil our dream of completing the Nadigar Sangam building which is set for completion in December 2018,” Vishal said.
Elaborating further, he said, “A star night which also comprises a star cricket show has been planned in Malaysia next January to raise funds for building construction, which Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have consented to attend.”
Taking a dig at the previous regime and those who created trouble before the commencement of construction, he quipped, “Those opposing us for no reasons have gone tired. No fault can be found on us for we work honest and upright.”
The sangam passed a resolution urging TN government not to remove Kalaignar Karunanidhi's name from Sivaji statue kept at Sivaji Memorial. “Kalaignar holds a life membership card in Nadigar Sangam. Hence his name is to be included in the statue of thespian Sivaji Ganesan.”
On local body tax on cinema he said, “It is against the welfare of industry. I urge all in industry to join the fight for its abolition. Cinema cannot survive if taxed at 40 per cent. Already piracy is a big threat. We have asked for an appointment to meet the ministers concerned at the Secretariat on Tuesday and hope to resolve it soon.”
According to Treasurer Karthi, office bearers of previous tenure have utilised sangam's funds without proper accounts. "Our auditor worked tirelessly to correct accounts. Our estimated earlier cost for construction of the building was Rs 24 crores. With GST, it may go up to Rs 30 crore”.
President Nasser, vice presidents Ponvannan and Karunas and other EC members, thousands of film and stage actors participated in the event. Some of the veteran actresses spotted were Kanchana, Vaijainthimala Bali, Rajshree, Latha, Sachchu, 'Venniraadai' Nirmala and Prabha.
follow our updates