A. L. Vijay

Born Chennai, Tamilnadu
Occupation Film director
Years active 2007–present
Spouse(s) Amala Paul (2014–2016)
Parent(s) A. L. Azhagappan

Vijay, credited by his mononym Vijay, is an Indian film director who works in the Tamil film industry. A disciple of Priyadarshan,[1] he debuted as director with films like Kireedam and critically acclaimed Madrasapattinam. Vijay later directed big budget films Deiva Thirumagal and Thaandavam, starring Vikram in both films. His father A. L. Azhagappan was the President of Tamil Nadu Producers Council and appeared in the film Eesan. His brother Udhaya has also starred in Tamil films.

Early career

Prior to directing films, Vijay was a successful advertisement filmmaker with his banner Venus Ad Films, completing more than 100 ad films. His State Bank of India commercial won CNBC’s Best Corporate Advertisement Award in 2009. Vijay has claimed that "advertisements teach you how to translate a story idea onto screen with maximum impact in minimum time" and is influenced by the ad works of Priyadarshan, Prahlad Kakkar and Babu Shankar.[2] In 2003, he began his career in feature films by joining Priyadarshan as an assistant director in his films.[3]

He made his directorial debut with Kireedam in 2007, a remake of the 1989 film of the same name directed by Sibi Malayil and written by A. K. Lohithadas. Vijay's version featured Ajith Kumar in the lead role with Trisha Krishnan, Rajkiran, Saranya and Vivek also a part of the cast, while the cinematographer was Tirru, music was composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar and the film was edited by Anthony. Vijay revealed that he "reworked about 80 per cent" from the original version.[2] The film opened to positive reviews with a critic from Sify.com citing that "Kireedam is quality cinema, one that is daringly different from the run-of-the mill films" claiming that Vijay had "a lot of guts and conviction to make a realistic film".[4] The reviewer from The Hindu also praised the film labelling that "Vijay has neatly packaged a strong storyline with a sensibly balanced mix of sentiment and action", but claimed that "Vijay could have worked on the lead character more".[5] The final scene in the film was changed after release from a sad to an upbeat ending after the producers felt that the original scene may keep audiences away.[6] The film consequently went on to become a profitable venture at the box office.[7] Vijay then returned to work as an assistant to Priyadarshan in his award-winning Kanchivaram by helping with the dialogues and described his work in the project as "a liberating experience".[2]

Priyadarshan then approached Vijay to remake the Hindi film Khosla Ka Ghosla in Tamil under his production house and hence they collaborated to make Poi Solla Porom.[8] The film was completed within 34 days, with a cast containing veteran actors such as Nassar and Nedumudi Venu as well as relative newcomers including Karthik Kumar and Piaa Bajpai.[8] The film also became one of the first ventures in Tamil cinema to feature a promotional song, with Vijay maintaining that the song reflected the story of the film.[9] The film won above average reviews from critics with The Hindu citing that "Vijay’s dialogue, both humorous and thought-provoking, tickles the viewer almost throughout" and that "Vijay has understood the pulse of the audience even while sticking to his stand of providing standard fare".[10]

Vijay revealed that Madrasapattinam was supposed to happen later in his career, but the intervention of producer Kalpathi S. Aghoram of AGS Entertainment realized the viability of the film earlier.[2] Vijay had first explored the script in his college days and drew inspiration from an English professor, who used to talk to them about the freedom movement a lot. Vijay visualized the people, who lived in the pre-independence period of India and explored the concept of how it would have been, if an English girl fell in love with an Indian boy, laying the foundations for the script.[8] The script took six months to write with the help of leading Tamil writer Prabanjan. He also visited independence veterans to understand the history of the city of Madras between 1945 and 1947.[8] Arya was finalised to play the lead role and English Miss Teen World winner Amy Jackson was selected after Vijay found a picture of her through the internet.[11] Despite being a period film, the film was finished in eight months and released in July 2010.[8]

The production of the film took five months from start to finish, however Vijay claimed that the film had been in his plans for four years, but he waited for Vikram to give him dates.[3] Amala Paul was selected after Vijay was pleased with her award-winning work in Mynaa.[3] Sara had appeared in a commercial for Vijay when she was two but he then lost touch with Sara's family, before he met them and cast Sara in Deiva Thirumagal, following a visit to Mumbai.[12]

Vijay directed the Harris: On The Edge concerts by music composer Harris Jayaraj.[13]

In February 2016, he was named as a director of Prabhu Deva's upcoming trilingual film Devi opposite Tamannaah which will be made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. This marks his debut in Telugu and Hindi languages.[14]

Style of work

Vijay has described that he wants his audience "to immerse themselves" in his films and hence uses scenes which reflect the local culture, describing his scenes should mirror society and "lend it an element of timelessness".[2] He revealed that while constructing a film he "first thinks of the plot, then the screenplay and then the characters", and tries to portray human values in his films.[3]

He has expressed that he prefers "to mould actors" telling them to react and not act, drawing such inspiration from the work of Priyadarshan.

Furthermore, Vijay has showed interest in training people and mentoring their careers, citing that he likes to be the oldest member of his crew.[2] His films have a "regular crew" which includes cinematographer Nirav Shah, music director G. V. Prakash Kumar, production designer Selva Kumar and editor Anthony.[15]

Personal life

On 26 April 2014, director Vijay said that he was in a relationship with actress Amala Paul.[16] On 7 June 2014 he got engaged to Amala Paul at Aluva, Kochi.[17] The couple got married on 12 June in Chennai.[18] In July 2016, they decided to separate.


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Credited as Language Notes
Director Writer Producer
2007 Kireedam Green tick Green tick Red X Tamil
2008 Poi Solla Porom Green tick Green tick Red X Tamil
2010 Madrasapattinam Green tick Green tick Red X Tamil Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Director – Tamil
Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Director
2011 Deiva Thirumagal Green tick Green tick Red X Tamil Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Director – Tamil
2012 Thaandavam Green tick Green tick Red X Tamil
2013 Thalaivaa Green tick Green tick Red X Tamil
2014 Saivam Green tick Green tick Red X Tamil
2015 Idhu Enna Maayam Green tick Green tickRed X Tamil
2015 Oru Naal Iravil Red X Red X Green tick Tamil
2016 Devi
Tutak Tutak Tutiya
Green tick Green tick Red X Tamil
2017 Untitled Project with Jayam Ravi Green tick Green tick Red X Tamil Filming
Sila Samayangalil Red X Red X Green tick Tamil Post-production


  1. Tamil Actor Vijay Filmography, Movies, Pictures and Videos. Jointscene.com
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Rao, Subha J (25 September 2010). "Genre bender". The Hindu. Chennai.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "'I like to portray human values in my films'". Rediff. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  4. "Movie Review:Kireedam". Sify. 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  5. "Whose crown is it, anyway? – Kireedam". The Hindu. Chennai. 27 July 2007.
  6. "Kireedam- Climax changed!". Sify. 29 July 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  7. "It's all about choices". The Hindu. Chennai. 24 August 2007.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 "Directing Madhrasapattinam". Rediff.com. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  9. "Promotional song for 'Poi Solla Porom' – Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  10. "Laugh, and pause to think". The Hindu. Chennai. 12 September 2008.
  11. "British teenager becomes Bollywood star". The Daily Telegraph. London. 16 August 2010.
  12. Chowdary, Sunita (4 June 2011). "Que Sara Sara". The Hindu. Chennai: The Hindu. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  13. Harris On the Edge Concert (2 September 2011). "Harris On the Edge Concert". TamilWire.com. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  14. "Prabhu Deva to Act in Trilingual". The New Indian Express. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  15. "Director Vijay is in demand". The Times Of India. 30 August 2010.
  16. "Amala Paul drowned in love, drenched in care". The Times of India.
  17. "Vijay, Amala Paul to tie the knot?". The Times of India.
  18. "Actress Amala Paul and filmmaker Vijay get married in Chennai". Biharprabha.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.

External links

A. L. Vijay on Facebook

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