My Year of Prakash Raj

Some people spend a year
cooking Julia Child's recipes, or following all of the rules in the Bible, or reading books by people who spent a year doing something. My quest is to watch the 200-some films of South Indian character-actor-extraordinaire, Prakash Raj. (It'll probably take more than a year... and I'll post about some Prakash-less films here as well.)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Holiday Gift

I'm plugging away at catching up on blog posts for the past year, and hopefully I'll be all caught up by sometime in January.  In the meantime, I have 2 exciting things to share:

#1 is this delightful holiday blingee that my Filmi Secret Santa, Kellie, made for me:

#2 is an exciting realization about a question I've been pondering for awhile:  what actor is the Hollywood-ish equivalent to Prakash Raj?  

The answer came to me during the onslaught of holiday movies on cable tv...
Alan Rickman!!
Can't you just imagine Prakash Raj trying to blow up a skyscraper? Or as Emma Thompson's philandering husband with emo glasses?  According to wikipedia, a 2008 study showed that the "perfect male voice" was a combination of Rickman and Jeremy Iron's voices. They were just looking at English voices, but I think if you applied their formula to Tamil or Telugu speakers, Prakash Raj's voice would rate high.

There's the obvious connection that they both end up playing a lot of over-the-top villains:
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves         Quigley Down Under             Sweeney Todd

But both also do well in the unexpected romantic, sensitive role:
Can somebody do a Tamil remake of Truly, Madly, Deeply? pretty please? And yes, Mamoothy was perfectly fine as the Colonel Brandon character in Kandukondain Kandukondain, but Prakash Raj could have rocked that role, too.

Perhaps with the success of Endhiran, we'll see more science fiction in South Indian film, and Prakash Raj  could also excel at playing alien doctors and voicing paranoid androids:

...and it's never going to happen, but from now on, when I read the books, I'm just going to imagine that it's Prakash Raj with grimy hair, pining for Lily Potter while tormenting/protecting her son.

Update: It occurred to me that for the comparison to work, it needs to be transitive. So I asked the question "Can I imagine Alan Rickman in any/most of Prakash Raj's roles?" and the answer is "yes."  I can easily see Rickman in just about all Prakash Raj roles I've seen so far: evil gangsters,doting fathers, policemen, and struggling actors and musicians.


  1. Alan, is a woman to choose? And in Truly Madly Deeply Alan has a mustache and sings! So it's practically an Indian movie, although it has a shocking lack of machetes.

  2. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाDecember 26, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    Unfortunately I haven't seen enough of either of their films to comment properly on the comparison. Looks good though, from this blog post. And your Filmi Secret Santa is awesome!!!

  3. Ohh... I love it! What a great association! But I hope you take full responsibilty for the fact that from here on, I will think of Prakash Raj whenever I watch a movie with AR in it! Wait... that can't be too bad! :)


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