The song ‘Ratchasa Maamaney’ in Ponniyin Selvan opens up with Trisha’s Kundhavai descending the stairs of her palace, as the melodious flute prelude plays in the background. As the sun shines on her smiling face, a glowing Kundhavai makes a royal entry, with her tresses styled like a crown — an entry, that is simple yet remarkable. But the initial introduction song planned for Kundhavai and Vanathi (Sobhita Dhulipala) was ‘Sol’, where they dance in the beautiful swan boat in the middle of the river. If ‘Ratchasa Maamaney’ gave her a majestic intro, ‘Sol’ would have been the one that also establishes her playfulness and dreams.
Like in Ponniyin Selvan, Trisha’s entry scenes have always managed to establish her character, and at most times, left a lasting impact. Remember the mysterious song in Lesa Lesa or her angelic appearance in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya as Karthik soulfully narrates how he felt when he first saw her? On her birthday, we take a look at some of her interesting entry scenes in her Tamil and Telugu films.
In one of the most iconic heroine introduction songs to ever come out of Tamil cinema, Trisha’s Dhanalakshmi dances to the tune of ‘Sha la la’ set in the backdrop of beautiful rivers and waterfalls, and engages in impish acts with the kids in her village. Clad in a white half saree, her buoyant actions and the song lyrics paint a vivid picture of her life — she sings, “Ennai pol chutti pen indha boomiyil yaarum ilaa. (There is no other woman as mischievous as me in this world)” But when the song ends, her playful deeds and happy life end too. She is informed that her brother has been murdered. And as she takes on a different journey, one that sees her fighting to survive, her entry song contradicts her current plight and reminds us of a beautiful life goneby.
The iconic scene of Trisha’s Bhuvana in Saamy is undoubtedly the stretch where she mistakes Vikram’s Aarusamy and Ramesh Khanna’s Paramasivam (police officers) for thieves. She throws chilli powder in their eyes and locks them in a room. But her boldness and her clarity of thoughts are reflected much before.
When we first see Bhuvana, she is seen lighting a dia and worshipping, with a certain pleasantness added by the background score. But do not mistake her calm demeanour for naivete. Her family sells masala powders, sugar and other items. When she suspects that the supplier might be cheating them by providing lesser quantity, she sarcastically asks him, “Enna Sakara mootai ivalo weak ah iruku, odambu seri ilaya?” (Why is the sugar sack bag looking weak, is it not feeling well?) And brings his fraudulance to light . Similarly, when someone mocks her father’s integrity and not capitalising his position as a government employee, she asserts that only the money earned through honest means will last — this dialogue communicating her uprightness is a set-up for a bigger plot point.
It is raining heavily and a disheartened Ganesh’s (Venkatesh) eyes land on Trisha’s Keerti who is waiting inside a taxi, cheering up his day and eventually, life. Yuvan Shankar Raja makes his sleek entry as Udit Narayan croons the melodious “Yemaindi Ee Vela” — the song and colourful visuals perfectly capturing the emotions of love at first sight. Stuck in traffic and rain, Ganesh follows Keerti, as the camera sometimes substitutes for Ganesh’s eyes, recording every tiny detail of her actions with passion, and during others, focuses on him, who breaks into a dance out of joy. You get to know very little about Keerthi in this song but when it ends, you have already started liking her and the film.
The anticipation around her entry sequence in 96 is not built through a song, close-up shots or soul-stirring dialogues like it’s done conventionally. An hour into the film is when Trisha’s Janu is introduced. But by then, we have seen the younger Janu, we already know her story, her singing talent and her childhood love story. And she makes a simple entry into the film, to the reunion party of her school friends, with Govind Vasantha’s tune being her only aid.
Even when she appears to be happy, her eyes keep wandering around to find Ram (Vijay Sethupathi), her first love. Her introductory sequence is one of the most-awaited scenes in the film, as we are made to wait, just like how Ram eagerly waits for years to finally get a glimpse of Jaanu and talk to her. And when they meet, there are no words to describe — except to explain how Ram faints when she gets closer to him.
Lesa Lesa begins with a song where an unknown woman sings of her love and longing, her pain and desire. While Trisha makes an entry into the film much later, as someone who is quiet and gloomy, this song, where we never get to see the woman’s face entirely encapsulates Trisha’s sadness. We get to learn the reason behind her aloof behaviour only in the pre-climax, but the song places several hints and establishes the mood of her character and the film.
Trisha’s entry as Anjali in Aathi is IMO her most beautiful and powerful introduction scene to date. Like in most films, she gets a pleasant opening shot — of her praying peacefully to a god in Rameshwaram. The camera then pans over the beautiful sky and the sea, as Trisha, decked in whites, enjoys the early morning mist and the magic of the waves. She runs around the trees, adjusts her hair, and sets a bird free which is caught in a net — all while the camera romanticises every move of her. As she pleasantly enjoys nature, she interacts with a middle-aged man and they talk of how beautiful solitude is — you fall for it, for all of her actions and for the film’s deception. But “Indha oru nimishatukaaga thaan, naanum kaathukitu irundhen,” (I was waiting for this minute) Trisha says, as her innocent smile disappears and her eyes brim with rage. And bam, she stabs the man, twice, to ensure he dies. And amidst everything white, the man is painted red in the pool of blood, and this time, she smiles smugly, as his blood is washed away by the waves.
Like in 96, we already know a few details about Trisha’s Rudra in Kodi even before she makes an entry. Rudra and Kodi (Dhanush) are members of rival parties who fall in love with each other. Leader of the women’s wing, she is introduced by a fellow party member as a talented, hardworking and theepori / firecracker, thanks to her ability to render articulate and powerful speeches. And when she walks in slo-mo, the film backs it with an eerie score, signalling some danger — however, you are not sure if she is in some trouble or if she is the trouble.
With her speech, she proves why she is called a firecracker, but the film also shows how she is looked at with lust by a superior member of the party. This scene is cut with a sequence where she secretly meets with Kodi and the conversation they share sums up the entire plot. “You are somewhere in the corner in my dreams,” Rudra says and Kodi replies, “But you are all over my dreams.”
Fans of the combo — Prakash Raj and Trisha — here is Varsham, the first film where they played as the father-daughter duo. We first see Trisha in a film poster, when it is handed over to the villain. And cut, we see Trisha running in the forests, being chased by some men. The camera focuses on her as she rushes past several trees, until she sees a few people. I know what you are thinking, but here is the twist: the people she meets are the cinematographers and she is shooting for a scene in the film. But bear in mind: the villain we first saw is real and she is in danger, just not in the opening stretch.
When Arya’s Karthik is leading in a friendly car race, his car is constantly hit by another woman who is donning a white top. She pushes him away and rushes through, winning the race. When she is about to celebrate, he hits on her helmet in a friendly way and preaches to her how one should drive fast to win, and not hit other cars. His gang try to stop him but he keeps hitting her until he sees another friend of his, who is also wearing a white top. It is too late when he realises that the woman he is hitting is a stranger. But when Trisha removes the helmet and starts scolding him, Karthik seamlessly and shamelessly falls in love with her.
We speak a lot about train travel, and the fantasy of finding friends or falling in love during such journeys. The introduction scene of Trisha as Preethi just hypes up our hopes. She is an 18-year-old girl travelling from Mumbai to Chennai to join a college. Before we see her, we are shown a man and a woman, wearing white clothes, getting the same book, and boarding the same train.
But when she reaches her train seat, she sees Tarun’s Sridhar gawking at her. Irked by his act, she tries to avoid any conversation with him for the rest of the travel. But it so happens that they both wore white, like cricket, read the same book while eating little hearts and have a lot in common. But just when they begin to enjoy each other’s company, they reach Chennai.
A young Kavitha is always protected by her brother, who means everything to her.When she grows up, Devi Sri Prasad’s ‘Pooparika Neeyum Pogaadhe’ is the fitting introduction for Trisha’s Kavitha. But even before that, we see her as the happy-go-lucky girl who enjoys her small world that includes her brother, her house and the farm. If she is the indecisive and dependent sister who trusts her brother to take all of her decisions, the song shows her playful side as she roams around the village with her friend. For a film that focuses on what happens when she takes a decision on her own, the entry sequence clearly establishes who she is and why when she finally decides for herself, her life turns upside down.
Trisha's Divya runs behind her dog and pampers the dog with love. On the other side, the hero (Ajith) and his gang are watching her. You are expecting a love at first sight, right? But here is what happens: her dog ran to that spot because the hero and his friends, who are masked, are stealing something. Divya figures this out and calls out for the watchman. She chases them, hits Santhanam (who is a part of the gang) and almost catches Ajith. They play a small kabaddi-esque game as Ajith tries to make a fool of her. While he successfully escapes, Divya removes his mask and learns of his identity.
Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya opens with the camera gently capturing the backwaters as if it is floating on the water, until it pans to a church and its insides, where we see Silambarasan’s Karthik ranting the famous dialogue, “Ulagathula evalo ponnunga irundhum, Naa yen Jessie ah love panen.” He introduces Jessie to us, as Trisha appears in a wedding costume, her beaming face covered with a netted veil. We get montages of her, as he tells us she is classy, educated, well-read, has a style of her own and is sexy too.
“If I told my mother I am going to marry her, she will happily accept. So what is the problem? She is getting married to someone else, that is the problem,” he goes on and on about his life, true love and how he first met her. “I didn’t choose Jessie. It happened to me. Ena adichidhu andha kaadhal,” he says, leaning on the gate. And we see Jessie, as she walks on an empty road, donning a blue saree and carrying a single-strap bag, before singers Blaaze and Viyay Prakash break into the AR Rahman magic, ‘Yaeennn idhayam udaithaai norungavae’ that passionately evokes our feelings. With this whole introduction sequence, we think we get to know who she is, but do we?