A. L. Vijay

  • Director, Writer, Screenplay

Jun 18, 1979

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A. L. Vijay, credited by his mononym Vijay, is an Indian film director who predominantly works in the Tamil film industry. He is a disciple of the National Award winning film director, producer, and screenwriter Priyadarshan. Vijay has directed many films, out of which the notable ones are Kireedam, Deiva Thirumagal, Thaandavam, and the critically acclaimed Madrasapattinam.

Early life
A. L. Vijay is the son of A. L. Azhagappan - a Tamil actor and producer, and A. L. Valliammai. His father was the President of Tamil Nadu Producers Council, following which he started appearing in supporting roles in films. His brother Udhaya is an actor in the Tamil film industry.

Personal life
Director A. L. Vijay announced his relationship with Amala Paul in 2014, and the two got engaged in the same year in Kochi. The couple got married on 12 June 2014 in Chennai. In 2016, Amala and Vijay decided to separate and filed for a divorce.

Career
A. L. Vijay first begun his career as an advertisement film-maker under his banner Venus Ad Films. He was a very successful film-maker and completed more than 100 ad films. His State Bank of India commercial won CNBC’s Best Corporate Advertisement Award in 2009.

The year 2003 marked the beginning of A. L Vijay’s career in feature films, which started off as him working as an assistant director with Priyadarshan. Vijay made his directorial debut with the 2007 movie Kireedam, a remake of the 1989 film of the same name directed by Sibi Malayil. Kireedam starred Ajith Kumar in the lead role along with Trisha Krishnan, Rajkiran, Saranya, and Vivek. The cinematographer was Tirru and music was composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar. The film opened to positive reviews and Vijay was appreciated by critics for making his first directorial venture a realistic film with a strong storyline. The movie was profitable for Vijay at the box office.

ost this, Vijay came back to work as an assistant to Priyadarshan in his award-winning Kanchivaram by helping with the dialogues. After this project, Vijay collaborated with Priyadarshan once again after he approached Vijay to remake the Hindi film Khosla Ka Ghosla in Tamil titled Poi Solla Porom. The highlight of the film was that it was completed within a time span of 34 days. It starred veteran actors like Nassar and Nedumudi Venu, along with relatively new artists such as Karthik Kumar and Piaa Bajpai. The movie also became one of the first ventures in Tamil cinema to feature a promotional song, with director Vijay reflecting the story of the film. With average reviews from critics, the director was appreciated to have understood the pulse of the audience and bring about a humorous yet thought-provocative appeal to the film.

Vijay’s next project was the blockbuster hit Madrasapattinam set to the pre-independence period of India. The concept revolves around the idea of an English girl falling in love with an Indian boy in the pre-independence period, forming the basis of the script. Vijay had to put in a lot of efforts to understand the pre-independence period in order to bring it across well in the movie, for which he visited the independence movement veterans for better understanding of Madras history between 1945 and 1947. Vijay went on to cast Arya as the male lead in the film alongside English Miss. Teen World winner Amy Jackson, as he found her apt to play an English girl. Even though it was a period film, the director managed to complete the movie in eight months, going ahead with its release in 2010. For the movie, Vijay was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Director – Tamil Nominated and Vijay Award for Best Director.

After Madrasapattinam, Vijay was successful in directing an impressive movie Deiva Thirumagal with yet another unique concept in 2011. It is the story of a mentally retarded man played by Vikram who fights for the custody of his seven-year-old daughter. He consults a lawyer played by Anushka Shetty to fight his case. Amala Paul had a pivotal role in the film where she played a correspondent and discovered that the seven-year-old girl is her sister’s daughter. Vijay’s next the action thriller film Thaandavam, revolves around a blind pianist on a killing spree in London, again starring Vikram in the lead. Jagapati Babu, Anushka Shetty, Amy Jackson, and Lakshmi Rai also played pivotal roles in the movie.

In 2013, A. L. Vijay directed the box office success Thalaivaa for which he roped in the Ilaya Thalapathy of the Tamil industry – Vijay for the lead role. It co-stars Amala Paul and Abhimanyu Singh, with Sathyaraj and Santhanam in supporting roles. The movie was appreciated for being a good entertainment film for Vijay fans. His next in the following year was Saivam with Nassar in the lead role and child actress Sara Arjun in a pivotal role. The film’s cinematography was done by Nirav Shah and music was composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar, both a significant part of Vijay’s regular crew, having worked on many projects with him. Critics praised Saivam to be Vijay’s best and most original movie among all his films.

Idhu Enna Maayam, Vijay’s 2015 Tamil romantic comedy film, was produced by R. Sarathkumar - the Supreme Star of Tamil cinema, his wife actress Raadhika Sarathkumar, and Listin Stephen. With Vikram Prabhu and Keerthy Suresh featuring as leads in the movie, the director once again collaborated with G. V. Prakash Kumar to compose music. The film gained average reviews from critics with not much new to look forward to except good humor. The Madrasapattinam fame Vijay, after directing a series of movies, went on to co-produce the 2015 thriller movie Oru Naal Iravil with A. L. Azhagappan and Sam Paul. This film was a remake of Joy Mathew's successful Malayalam film Shutter.

Vijay’s 2016 directorial venture includes the trilingual movie titled Devi in Tamil, Abhinetri in Telugu, and Tutak Tutak Tutiya in Hindi. All three versions have Prabhu Deva, Tamannaah and Sonu Sood in lead roles. The horror-comedy film revolves around an aged actress who can go upto any extent to stay popular. Upon release, the film got average reviews but performed well commercially; it grossed 106.5 crore INR at the box office. His 2017 release includes Vanamagan, an action adventure starring Jayam Ravi and Sayyeshaa Saigal.