Malayalam actress Priya Prakash Varrier’s wink has become the first viral sensation to come out of India in 2018.
In the video of the song Manikua Malaraya Poovi from the upcoming Malayalam film Oru Adaar Love, Warrier plays a schoolgirl, flirting with a fellow student, raising her eyebrows and winking at him. Following the release of the video on YouTube on February 9, a snippet of this moment spread like wildfire across social media platforms.
Varrier quickly became the nation’s heartthrob. Her Instagram profile saw a groundswell of new followers: by Tuesday evening, she had 2.3 million.
Varrier lives in Thrissur in Kerala, where she is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Oru Adaar Love is her debut film. The flood of attention that Varrier has received has, however, unnerved her according to a report in The News Minute. Speaking to the website, her mother said that she has sent her daughter to the college hostel because of “all the noise”.
Varrier’s viral fame has, meanwhile, inspired countless memes and parody videos. The best of the lot feature Varrier’s shots from the viral video intercut with shots of personalities such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Donald Trump.
Tamil actors Vijay, Ajith Kumar and Vijaykanth also appear to have been taken by Varrier’s charm.
Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan has also joined the team.
Who did it better? Varrier or Sivaji Ganesan?
Another tweet features a quote from Akshay Kumar from his 2007 film Welcome where he says, “In which queue you have brought yourself?”
Another popular tweet juxtaposes Varrier’s expression with a popular moment from the 2003 film Gangaajal where actor Mukesh Tiwari, playing a cop, snarls at a goon, saying, “Are you glaring at me?”
So, should Bollywood be worried?
And here is one featuring Rahul Gandhi and the ever-vigilant Bajrang Dal.
The Varrier fever has reached the Arctic too, putting polar bears into trouble.