It’s struggle. It’s victory. It’s money. It’s poverty. It’s love. It’s failure. It’s insecurity. Surviving in any film industry takes a lot of emotional and physical strength.
But some people have not been so fortunate to have made it – in life. And the Tamil film industry is no exception. Kollywood too has lost numerous talented people to suicide.
No one can forget the sex symbol of the 80s, Silk Smitha. The original ‘item girl’, who’s being celebrated today on-screen, was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her house in 1996. Her professional and personal life saw its share of ups and downs that finally resulted in her succumbing to the pressures of life. But she’s not the only actor who couldn’t cope.
Talented National Award-winning actress, Shobha, died at the tender age of 17. Having started off as a child artist, she married director Balu Mahendra only to be ‘snatched from his life’. The actress, who should have lived a celebrated life, disappeared instead. Was her death driven by love or some other factor?
‘Fatafat’ Jayalakshmi’s suicide, however, is attributed to love failure and even perhaps financial woes.
Another instance of love playing havoc is the death of Monal, Simran’s sister. This young lady, who had many films to her credit, including those of top Kollywood stars, was seeing an upward surge in her career. Her sudden suicide is again attributed to heartbreak and depression.
Love was also the reason for ‘Kozhi Koovuthu’ Viji giving up her life. Post surgery to correct her near paralytic state, the actress seemed to have a bright future. But falling in a love with a married man, and unable to legally wed him, made her meet her untimely death.
While Kollywood celebrates cinema and everything that’s larger-than-life, there’s also a side to it which shows the stark reality that all those in the industry are affected as much, and perhaps more, by loneliness, love failure, poverty, insecurity…as everyone else. And sometimes their acting and roles just extend from reel to real life…fatally.