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As Trisha truns 38, here are 10 films that made her a influential female actor in South India

On Trisha's 38th birthday, we look at the top 10 films from her career that made her a force to reckon with:

We didn’t meet Trisha on the big screen. Hard as it is to believe, the first time Trisha walked into our collective consciousness, it was a television commercial for a child nutrition product. At that time, nobody could have thought that she would go on to become a top actor in the south Indian film industry. As a matter of fact, she had said that she had no interest to pursue a career in acting as her loyalty completely lies with modelling during an episode of a now-defunct talk show called Naiyandi Darbar. Thankfully, she did not stick to her original plans. Otherwise, it would have been such a great loss to the film fraternity.

On Trisha’s 38th birthday, we look at the top 10 films from her career that made her a force to reckon with.

Saamy

Trisha plays a highly traditional girl from a very conservative family in this cop film, which is directed by Hari. Unlike most films of the time, her role is not to be a hero’s arm candy. Despite her conservative outlook, she dares to fall in love with a man from a different community. Also, she becomes one of the main reasons that change the direction of the hero’s journey. It may not have been as strong as the other strong female characters she played later, but the success of this film launched her on a successful arc.

Varsham

It becomes a very important film in the careers of both Trisha and Prabhas. It is a simple story of two strong men fighting over a beautiful girl. But, the onscreen chemistry of Trisha and Prabhas and action sequences made this film a huge hit and Trisha a household name with the Telugu movie audiences.

Ghilli

It is the remake of the Telugu hit Okkadu. She plays the damsel in distress who ends up falling in love with the man who fights for her. And in the process, her character undergoes a significant transformation. From being a girl who follows what she is told to an independent woman who makes her own decisions and deal with the consequences. Her onscreen chemistry with Vijay became a huge hit at the time.

Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana

Again, Trisha plays a girl from a traditional family. She has a doting brother, who is willing to move heaven and earth to fulfil the wishes of his sister. But, the catch is he doesn’t approve of her sister’s boyfriend, who she wants to marry. The film entirely rests on Trisha effortless performance.

Athadu

Trisha is one of the reasons why ‘loosu ponnu’ (crazy girl) archetype became so famous with the mainstream films down south. She made being dumb look so adorable and desirable quality. And she would have upped the ante in this film, where she plays a highly pampered girl, who doesn’t have to put an effort to get what she wants. Her role is the main source of humour in this film, which stars Mahesh Babu in the lead.

Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule

The literal translation of the title of this Selvaraghavan film is ‘women say something when they mean something else.’ In other words, no means yes or vice versa. The highly regressive title aside, the film has several other merits that are worth appreciating. Trisha plays a strong independent woman, heading a corporate team in a big city. But, inside, she is this conservative girl, who doesn’t defy her family. And that contradiction leads to a lot of drama.

Abhiyum Naanum

It is perhaps Trisha’s first film, where she played a modern girl, who doesn’t aspire to satisfy society’s definition of a ‘good girl.’ It is the story of a father, played by a wonderful Prakash Raj. It is a father’s journey, who huffs and puffs as he struggles to come to terms with the fact that his daughter has now grown up and she is capable of making her own decisions.

Vinnaithaandi Varnuvaayaa

Trisha was a revelation in this masterpiece, which would go down in the history as one of the best movies of all time in the history of Tamil cinema. This film was sheer magic, which director Gautham Menon failed to recreate when he tried to remake it in Hindi as Ekk Deewana Tha. Trisha took the breath of the audience away as a working woman with deep secrets and suppressed desires. Her character is flawed. She is neither a perfect lover nor an obedient daughter. She is her own person, who makes some harsh decisions at times. It is a landmark film in Trisha’s career.

Yennai Arindhaal

Trisha looks gorgeous in this cop film, directed by Gautham Menon. She plays the role of a single mother, who is more progressive than the male lead, played by Ajith. She sort of rejects to marry her lover if he wants to do it to save her from the gossip and judgements of society. She is capable of defending her own honour. She only accepts the hero’s wedding proposal when he says he wants to marry her for love.

96

The film is sort of a love letter to the simple elegance that Trisha personifies. She arrests our attention by simply being on the screen. And she movingly brings out the turmoil in the heart of her character torn between her true love and her marriage to another man. Again, this film was one-time magic that couldn’t be repeated in its remakes.

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