From Rayanam in Uppenna to Bavani in Master, Vijay Sethupathi has played several negative roles in his career.
It is certainly hard to put Vijay Sethupathi in a box. He is an actor who is not shy of doing cameos, villain roles, and supporting roles in films, and still manages to remain hugely popular. His moniker ‘Makkal Selvan (People’s beloved)’ is truly right and is an example of the extent of fandom he enjoys.
Moving ahead in his career with the series Farzi and now Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan, he has now managed to become a pan-India star with a unique place in the hearts of people.
In Jawan, Vijay’s character was described as the ‘dealer of death’ as he played the main antagonist in Jawan. Directed by Atlee, the film also features Shah Rukh Khan, Nayanthara, Sanya Malhotra, Priyamani, Girija Oak, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, Lehar Khan, Aaliyah Qureshi, Ridhi Dogra, Sunil Grover and Mukesh Chhabra. Jawan hit the theatres on September 7 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages. A Red Chillies Entertainment presentation, it is produced by Gauri Khan and co-produced by Gaurav Verma, and revolves around the emotional journey of a man who is set to rectify the wrongs in society.
Now coming back to Vijay Sethupathi, the actor has earlier played villain roles in several projects, so let’s check out the most famous of them all:
Tamil Pablo Escobar in Vikram
While the character was the weakest antagonist role played by Vijay Sethupathi, he did manage to do his best by being a worthy opponent to Kamal Haasan’s Vikram. Nonetheless, Sandham doesn’t have a conviction similar to Uppenna’s Rayanam or Master’s Bhavani, and is psychotic and impulsive. He is terrified of the super boss Rolex. However, despite the limited scope, the actor managed to get a sense of humour and a sense of desperation to the role. And, of course, his trademark cynical demeanour is the highlight. While we would not be seeing more of Sandham, you cannot know it for sure with Lokesh Kanagaraj.
Jithu in Petta
Vijay Sethupathi as Jithu in Petta is wonderful. In the introduction scene of the film, his character gatecrashes a Valentine’s Day party as a Hindu outfit member, and sarcastically says, “Vaangada kalacha maratha kadapatha polaam (Come let’s go save our culture). In the bigger scheme of things in Petta, his character is the most pitiable as he goes up against Petta Velan (Rajinikanth). However, despite being a villain, his role with his subtle humour is super fun.
Casteist in Uppenna
The Telugu film Uppenna was the first film to feature Vijay Sethupathi as a villain despite the fact that he had played characters with similar shades around 2014 in Vanmam, where he was not an out-and-out baddie, but certainly effortless as an antagonist. However, his negative act came to full fruition in Uppenna (2021) as he played the role of a zamindar named Rayanam, who puts caste pride and honour before anything else. His daughter elopes with a Dalit fisherman, (spoilers ahead) and he ends up castrating the guy. However, that doesn’t stop his daughter from meeting and reaching out to her lover. The role was an enticing choice for Vijay.
Child Killer in Master
The Tamil industry has never seen an actor go full monstrous like how Vijay Sethupathi did in Vijay’s Master. In the project, he played Bhavani, a child killer, who kills a juvenile with a chicken bone and later hangs him in the classroom he studies.
Hence, Vijay Sethupathi is a chameleon when it comes to acting and he can transform into whatever he wants to be.