Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fascinating Female Leads of Tamil Cinema

                                                           PART 1

         The early years of Independent India,were still under the hard grip of a deeply traditional and orthodox mindset.The yardsticks for social behaviour were totally different for men and women, Education,employment and the galaxy of social activities continued to be the sole right of men. The female population was waiting yet, for the lifting of the screen.However, the barriers were broken by a small section of the fair sex, who had the courage not only to move out, but appear on the stage and screen, for a panoramic show of what they were and what they could afford to be.  
        On the screen,this brand of women with their fascinating grace,warmth and charm were making their beauty and talent a visual bonanza for viewers of all kinds. Their looks allured,their words intoxicated,and their actions appealed to the mixed moods and expectations of the audience. The starters of the game were of T.R.Rajakumari,B.S.Saroja and Madhuridevi. This trio ignited the spark for a flash of their dynamism in performing roles of courage that women are capable of. My memories of B.S.Saroja are tied to two of the oldest movies I saw,viz.'Jenoa' and 'Koondukkili' [the only movie that MGR and Sivaji acted together ] and she was paired with MGR in both the movies.Madhuri Devi can come alive any time as the bold woman of 'Mandhirikumari' clever enough to preempt the villainous move of her lover, played by S.A.Natarajan.So long 'Vaaraai Nee Varaai' keeps ringing in our ears,memories of Madhuridevi will last.
       T.R.Rajakumari,the sister of film director T.R.Ramanna,was the most popular among the three. As the dream girl of that generation,with her voluptuous pair of eyes,she perfectly fitted into the role of Vasanthasena,the scheming mistress of the Chola King in 'Manohara'.But her performance as the embodiment of bravery and grit in Gemini' Pictures' ''Chandralekha'' was one of epic grandeur.She was paired with M.K.Thiagaraja Bagavathar in 'Amarakavi' and 'Haridas' and her acting  with MGR in movies like 'Gulebagavali'  'Pudumaipithan' and later in character roles in 'Periya Idhathu Pen' 'Vaanambadi' and then as the mother of MGR in 'Paasam', demonstrated her capacity for donning a variety of roles.
         The other trio of this period, who performed soft and subdued roles were V.N.Janaki,  Pandaribai ,and Anjalidevi.Of the three,V.N.Janaki paired with MGR in' Marudha Nattu Ilavarasi' and 'Marmayogi'. Later she became MGR's life partner,and was elected, the leader of the party founded by her husband to assume office as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for a brief time, after the great leader passed away. 
        Pandaribai could take the pride of being the first heroine of Sivaji,to be paired with him in 'Parasakthi' the movie that began Sivaji's acting career with a bang. She was also the female lead in 'Thirumbipar' in which Sivaji played a negative role. But the same Pandaribai  was soon ready to play as the wife and mother of Sivaji in 'Annaiyin Aanai',a movie with dual roles for Sivaji, as father and son.Her performance as MGR's mother in 'Deivathai' would have made people, long to have a mother like her.Similarly as the physically paralyzed mother of Rajinikanth in 'Mannan' she earned the sympathy of one and all. Pandaribai ever remained as the symbol of submissive womanhood and maternal glory and she always played lovable roles in quite a lot of movies that include MGR's mega movie EngaVeettuppillai and Sivaji Ganesan's Vellai Roja.
         Anjalidevi an actor with a look of modesty and with lachrymose eyes, became a straight inclusion in  the role of sorrow laden womanhood.She was one woman who could be comfortably paired with MGR,Sivaji and Gemini. As a princess in MGR movies like 'Sarvathihari' 'Chakravarthi Thirumagal ''Mannathi Mannan' and then with Gemini in 'Kanavane Kan Kanda Deivam' 'Manaalane Mangaiyin Bagyam' 'Boologa Rambai', and 'Veerakanal' she was both captivating and convincing. In movies like 'Mudhal Thedhi'  'Nalla Veedu' and 'Naan Vanangum Deivam' she was a matching pair for Sivaji. Anjalidevi also performed a negative role in MGR's 'Marmayogi' as a scheming woman behind the plot to topple a kingdom. But her performance on the comedy track, in the most memorable 'Adutha Veetupen' showed the opposite dimension of her acting zeal. Later,she acted in 'Urimaikural' as MGR's elder brother's wife and then in 'Annai Oer Aalayam' as the mother of Rajinikanth and both the roles she essayed with her habitual warmth..
      Unlike Anjalidevi who acted in more Telugu movies, but picked up and performed solid roles in Tamil movies too, the other Telugu actor Jamuna, inspired the audience through her selective Tamil movies,by her sparkling eyes and graceful performance. No one could have ignored Jamuna's graceful and enticing appearance in 'Tenali Raman' ''Marudha Naatu Veeran','Nichaya Thambulam' and,'Thangamalai Ragasiam'  all with Sivaj Ganesan ,and afterwards in 'Missiamma' and 'Manidhan Maaravillai' with A.Nageswara Rao .However, it was in a mother- pampered, helpless wife's role in AVM's grand  show 'Kuzhandhaiyum  Deivamum' she impressed every one.[ She had of course done the role of a wealthy pampered daughter, in other movies like 'Missiamma' and 'Manidhan Maaravillai' but she was only a second  heroine in those movies.] Finally,as Kamalahasan's mother in AVM's 'Thoongaadhe Thambi Thoongaadhe' she represented the quality of meek motherhood.


                                                        PART  2
         The succeeding trio to adorn the Tamil cellular sphere, were the indomitable P.Banumathi, the bold and beautiful Vijayanthimala and the lovely and powerful Padmini. Among these three most talented women,Banumathi and Vaijayanthi shared between themselves an unusual spirit of feminism in an age of male domination.While Banumathi's singing potential was an added merit to her prioritized acting vigour,Vaijayanthimala's excellent dancing core boosted her acting credentials.But in her dancing field, she had to face the stiff competition of the other trained and equally dynamic dancer Padmini who excelled both in acting and dancing, with spark and splendour
       All the three actors were paired with the most popular three heroes of their days viz. MGR, Sivaji and Gemini. However, Banumathi  acted more movies with MGR, Padmini became an enviable pair of Sivaji and Vaijayanthimala  was more comfortable with Gemini. Banumathi's role in 'Malaikallan' 'Madurai Veeran','Thaikkuppin Thaaram' and 'Nadodi Mannan' all with MGR ,and her movies with Sivaji Ganesan, like 'Makkalaipetra Magaraasi' and 'Arivaali' and with Gemini Ganesan in 'Sadhaaram',were all successful at the box office.But she is most celebrated  for her sterling performance in ''Annai' as the possessive mother of a son not born of her. Her last movie was in R.K.Selvamani's 'Chembaruthi',as the grand mother of Prashanth. Banumathi's dialogue delivery reflected a unique combination of temerity and tenderness and her Tamil accent was specially charming like that of the Superstar.
       Vajayanthimala will be in our memories for her effective performance with Sivaji in 'Irumbuthirai' and with Gemini Ganesan in 'Vanjikkottai Vaaliban' .Both were Gemini Pictures' releases and in both ,the actor revealed her ebullience for brave characterization as in her other movie 'Chithoor Rani Padmini' again, with Sivaji. She also portrayed a beautiful role in 'Paarthiban Kanavu', besides making an agile and mirthful appearance in Sridhar's 'Thein Nilavu',both with Gemini Ganesan. Her films with MGR like' Raja Desingu' ana 'Bagdad Thirudan' could not be underrated in terms of their popularity with film fans.As Vaijayanthimala became the most wanted star of Hindi Cinema, her Tamil movie list was not voluminous. Neverthless,her commitment to Tamil Cinema was equally strong and from her maiden movie 'Vaazkai', she never faltered to maintain her image, as the proud face of the budding feminist movement.
        It was Padmini who stuck to the Tamil Film industry for a longer period. Her dancing domain like that of Vaijayanthimala,knew no bounds.It was a classic dance number she did with Vaijayanthi, in 'Vanjikottai Vaaliban', taking the audience to the height of enjoyment and appreciation.Her other stunning dance sequence was in the movie 'Irumalargal' in which she literally made a brilliant peacock show of her dancing dimension for the famous TMS song 'Madavi pon mayilal' Her other amazing dance shows were in MGR's 'Mannaadhi Mannan' and Sivaji Ganesan's 'Thillaanaa Mohanaambaal'.
      Padmini's sharing of screen space with Sivaji always reflected greater levels of intimacy to the extent of making one believe as if they were real lovers.Sivaji and Padmini acted together in a number of movies starting with' Panam'. Of these, 'Thookku Thooki' 'Uthama Puthiran' ' Deivapiravi'  'PunarJenmam''Thangapadumai' 'Irumalargal' 'Thillana Mohanambal'  'Vietnam Veedu'  'Pesum Deivam' and 'Kulama Gunama' will occupy the pages of Tamil Cinema as a fantastic display of man- woman relationship and a historic show of true romance.
      With MGR too,Padmini created records of success in movies like 'Mannadhi Mannan' and'Madurai Veeran';but her other film 'Rani Samyuktha' with the mass hero,came a cropper.Films like 'Meenda Sorgam' and 'Ezhai pangalan' in which she was paired with Gemini Ganesan and 'Kaattu Roja' ,her post marital release with S.S.Rajendran also speak of her unstinting gusto for acting. Padmini did an immortal role as the second wife of M.R.Radha in K.S.Gopalakrishnan's highly reviewed 'Chithi' vindicating the plight and problems of a young step mother of the grown up children of MRR. 
       The final innings of Padmini was in the film 'Poove Poochuda va' in the role of a sad grand mother with her heart full of love for her terminally ill grand daughter.There was a majestic vibration  in the voice of Padmini that facilitated an emphatic reach of the emotions of characters she played and built a rare rapport with the audience. Padmini who had more to share with Sivaji on screen,should have imbibed a little bit of the master actor's thespian stuff. The amount of sincerity and devotion to the field of cinema demonstrated by Padmini, placed her much ahead of others, towards attaining a  monumental status as an actor.
     Tamil Cinema began to gain greater acceptance and plaudits thanks to the entry of more talented women to the acting zone.A woman of extraordinary acting ability slowly emerged into stardom winning the hearts of the viewers. She was very often referred to as the female Sivaji. And that was Savithri the facially expressive, and the emotionally impressive artist.Just a few years younger than Padmini,she ruled the Tamil film industry for more than two decades. With her bubbly cheeks and sparkling eyes, she always looked the girl next door.As the wife of Gemini Ganesan in real life, she was paired with him in many movies.But she has also acted with Sivaji as his love interest in films like 'Vanangamudi','Aanaiyin Annai','Vadivukku Valaikappu' 'Navarathiri' and the most notable 'Kai Kodutha Deivam'. Her role as Goddess Paarvathi with Sivaji as Lord Shiva in the famous mythological hit 'Thiruvilaiyadal' of A.P.Nagarajan needs a special mention.
        But the grandest of all her movies was 'Paasamalar' in which her performance as the affectionate sister of Sivaji,put the audience at an emotionally melting point.The quality and level of sibling intimacy displayed by the acting efficacy of both the actors earned the film not only the amount of success it deserved but made it the greatest among tragedies in Tamil Cinema. Savithri's films with Sivaji, became a pointer to her acting credentials and made her a performer equal to the stature of that male stalwart among actors.
      Savithri did just three movies with MGR.Among those,'Mahadevi' became a block buster. The other two movies 'Parisu'and 'Vettaikkaran' were also popular,because no MGR movie had failed to make a mark in one way or the other.Her movies with Gemini were all-time romances and family dramas.Starting from the period of,'Pennin Perumai','Padhibhakthi,' 'Sowbhagyavadhi,' 'Missiamma'  and 'Gunasundari' and through 'Kalathur Kannamma','Kaathirundha Kangal' 'Halo Mr.Zamindar' 'Paavamannippu', 'Paasamalar' ,'Paarthaal Pasitheerum' and 'Manithan Maaravillai' it was an unending love story of Gemini and Savithri on screen showing them as perfect match in real life too Though she was not a dancer like Padmini,her inimitable acting style endeared her to the audience as the most pleasing female lead of Tamil Cinema. She was wonderfully appealing in the role of a mother in 'Engal Thai' and 'Sooryakanthi'
       After Savithri, came another star to become a winning voice among the women actors.She was called 'dream girl', 'Abinaya Saraswathi' and 'Kannada Paingili'. B.Sarojadevi who made small appearances in films like 'Boologa Rambai' and 'Irumbuthirai',scored her victory in Sridhar's 'Kalyana Parisu' and then in MGR's  'Nadodimannan' as a felicitous female lead, not to be disturbed at least for a couple of decades.
        With her characteristic tone and graceful looks,she drove the hearts of young men to the zenith of frenzy.She was another actor to act comfortably with all the three heroes of fame.But it was with MGR she became an incomparable match acting almost a score of movies with him.The most successful of her MGR movies were,'Thai Sollai Thattathe' Thirudhadhe' 'Periya Idathupen' 'Deivathai' 'Padahotti','Engaveetupillai' and 'Anbeva'.She was a beautiful pair of Sivaji in 'Bagapirivinai''Paalum Pazhamum'Paarthaal Pasitheerum''Aalayamani' 'Pudhiya paravai' and 'En Thambi'. 
       Sarojadevi's  films with Gemini like' Kalyanaparisu' 'Panithirai' 'Aadiperukku' and 'Thaamarai Nenjam' were all made up of  the tormenting tragic stuff. Her acting in K.Balachander's Thamarai Nejam' and her challenging roles in K.S.Gopalakrishnan's 'Panamaa Pasamaa' and 'Kulavilakku' received special accolades.With her unmatched way of delivery of Tamil dialogues, Sarojadevi created an image for herself to be perpetuated and she continued this even in her latest movies' 'Once More', and 'Adhavan'.
      During this period there were few other actors of merit like Devika ,Vijayakumari ,M.N.Rajam and Rajasulochana. Devika's powerful eyes and emotive ability made her a special choice of Sridhar for his movies like 'Nenjil Oor Alayam' 'Nenjam Marappadillai' and 'Sumaidhangi'.Devika  became the lovely pair of Sivaji in his movies 'Annai Illam' 'Andavan Kattalai' 'Bale Paandia' and 'Anbukkarangal', and she had also acted with MGR in 'Anandajothi'.Devika should really be credited well for her greatly convincing performance in 'Vanambadi' and Gemini Pictures' 'Vazhkaipadagu'
     Vijayakumari who was married to actor S.S.Rajendran,acted mostly with him apart from acting as a charming pair for Gemini Ganesan. With Sivaji,she always donned the role of a sister.She is mostly acclaimed for her impressive performance in K.S.Gopalakrishnan's 'Saradha'  AVM's' 'Nanum Oru Pen' and as Kannagi in Mekala Pictures'Poompuhar'.She  has also performed with force in films like 'Kumudham' 'Pachai Vilakku' and 'Kakkum Karangal'. Like her husband SSR, Vijayakumari is also a powerful actor with clear and bold dialogue delivery.
      M.N.Rajam was the personification of cruelty in 'Thangapadhumai' and an incarnation of intolerance and anger in 'Mangaiyarthilagam';but she was a loving sister of heroes in many movies.Her acting space was mostly confined to the secondary stage as the villain's sweetheart -cum-victim. She would have acted more with M.N.Nambiyar and S.S.Rajendran. The other actor Rajasulochana  was paired with SSR in 'Thangarathinam' and 'Mudalali' She made her performance praise worthy in 'Kaidhi Kannayiram' and later as the uncompromising wife of Sivaji in 'Padithal Mattum Podhuma?' She had also starred with MGR in 'Nallavan Vaazhvaan'  and 'Arasilankumari'
      But there was one woman who did not belong to any of the category of actors mentioned in the list.She was a beautiful blend of pride and humility, humour and sorrow, sobriety and animation.It was the most talented Sowkar Janaki,who brought dignity to the role of womanhood by acting as the fine better half of Sivaji in 'Padikkadha Medhai','Paar Magale Paar' 'Motor Sundaram Pillai',and 'Uyarndha Manidhan'.But she also played with conviction, the character of a woman of snobbery and bad habits in the most talked about 'Pudhiya Paravai' of Sivaji and 'Panam Padaithavan' of MGR. Her talents were promptly identified and properly utilized by K.Balachander for serious roles in'Iru Kodugal' and,'Kaviyathalaivi' and for an amazing comedy show in 'Edhir Neechal','Baamaa Vijayam' and 'Thillu Mullu'. She had also made an impressive appearance in the Gemini Pictures' MGR hit 'Olivilakku'
     Tamil audience will also remember the performance of Pushpalatha,an actor great in voice and vigour,who later married A.V.M.Rajan. Her films with Rajan like 'Naanum Oru Pen',and 'Karpooram' and her reappearance on screen as the mother of heroes, will keep her in the list of memorable actors. All these actors will have their  presentable pages in the annals of Tamil Film history.

          PART  3

     Two other women took the Tamil movie mainstream to its newer heights by reinforcing its fundamentals with an emotional portrayal of womanhood that would naturally weigh more with the women section of the audience and win their hearts for sentimental melodrama and family-oriented themes.The focus of these two epoch- making artists,was emphatically on the quality of entertainment. Consequently,both of them stood the test of time and established themselves as the most desired female leads of the Tamil film industry 
      One of them was K.R.Vijaya introduced in the title role,by the most reputed director of that period,K.S.Gopalakrishnan for his film 'Karpagam' It became one of the best films of the director and K.R Vijaya,who most elegantly essayed her character in her maiden appearance had no turning back from that day.The other dynamic woman J.Jeyalalitha  a new find of Director Sridhar for his movie Vennira Aadai ' brought laurels to herself and her director by her meritorious performance in the role of a young widow,demented by the death of her husband, following a child marriage.
       Of the two,K.R.Vijaya, joined the mighty acting space of Sivaji Ganesan, as his most intimate co-star,reminding film-goers of the close rapport between Sivaji and Padmini. Together,they exhibited the glorious dimensions of man-woman intimacy and family emotions.Starting from Selvam and 'Irumarlagal' they went on with this mega celebration of sentimental melodrama in ''Baratha Vilas'' 'Thangapadhakkam' 'Thirisoolam' ''Kalthoon'',and many more films. Both in 'Raman Ethanai Ramanadi' in 'Nenjirukkumvarai'. K.R.Vijaya was the love interest of Sivaji Ganesan playing the hero, but was married to Muthuraman doing the second hero.
        K.R. Vijaya would have acted maximum number of movies with Sivaji,making them all success stories,as Jeyalalitha did with MGR. Jeyalalitha as the closest co-star of MGR in as many as twenty five films,,not only provided graceful glamour, but also remained as a major supporting factor for the winning march of all the grand films like 'Aayirathil Oruvan'' Kaavalkaaran' 'Kudiyirundha Koil' 'Adimaipen' 'Maattukkaara Velan'Nam Naadu'  'Kannan En Kadalan' and' Olivilakku'  
        Moreover, it was Jeyalalitha among the MGR- favoured  females, who could act maximum number of movies with the other hero Sivaji. Jeyalalitha's wonderful acting ability came to the limelight when she acted with Sivaji in movies like  'Engirundho Vandhal' 'Pattikkaada Pattanamaa' 'Savaale Samaali' and 'Sumadhi En Sundari' Whereas, K.R Vijaya was MGR's female lead only in a few movies of which  'Panam Padaithavan' 'Nalla Neram' and 'Naan Yen Pirandhen' were significantly successful. Both K.R.Vijaya and Jeyalalitha added to their list of remarkable films, by joining hands with many other popular heroes of their time like Gemini Ganesan S.S.Rajendran JaiShankar, Ravichandran, Muthuraman, Sivakumar and AVM Rajan.While K.R Vijaya was the pair of SSR in 'Kai Kodutha Deivam' ,Jeyalalitha starred with the veteran actor in 'Manimagudam'.
       Both the leading female actors were often paired with Jai Shankar and Ravichandran in quite a number of movies, some of them mega hits like 'Kumari Pen' and 'Naan' both starring Ravichandran and Jeyalalitha and 'Nee' 'Yaar Nee' and 'Muthuchippi' the movies of JaiShankar and Jeyalalitha. Similarly K.R.Vijaya's 'Idhaya Kamalam' and 'Sabadham' with Ravichandran and 'Pattanathil Bhootham' and 'Mayor Meenatchi ' with Jai Shankar were great entertainers of those days. K.R.Vijaya immortalized by her portrayal, characters full of grit throwing challenges to the opponents  and defeating them high spiritedly,in movies like 'Sabatham' 'Enna Mudalali Sowkyama' 'Vaayaadi'  and 'Mayor Meenakshi'[the last two directed by Madurai Thirumaran]
        Though K.R.Vijaya had acted earlier with Muthuraman for a success show in movies like  'Server Sundaram', 'Panjavarnakkili' 'Sondham' and 'Namma Veetu Deivam'it was her role with that vibrant hero in the most moving melodrama 'Deergasumangali', that made the viewers experience the impact of an extraordinary conjugal intimacy demonstrated by an uxorious husband and a dedicated wife. Strangely, the same theme was identified in the Muthuraman -Jeyalaitha paired film 'Sooryagandhi',where, in the role of a wife of  subdued devotion to her husband, afflicted with an inferiority complex,Jeyalaitha created records.She was again paired with Muthuraman in Sivaji's unique film Avanthaan Manidhan. Jeyalalitha also played a striking role in 'Vandale Maharaasi' under the sterling direction of K.S.Gopalakrishnan.
         While K.R.Vijaya did one rejuvenating dance number in 'Ootivarai Uravu' Jeyalalitha continued the miracle of dancing in many films,besides showing her singing mettle in about six movies including 'Adimaipen 'and 'Sooryakanthi' . Both of them also did one movie each, under the veteran Balachander's  controlled direction ['Naanal' starred by K.R.Vijaya and the most famous 'Major Chandrakanth' of Jeyalaitha].More than four decades have gone since they began their acting career. K.R.Vijaya is still found on screen once a way.But Jeyalalitha has been making greater leaps in her political career as the strongest leader of the party founded by MGR and ruling the state of Tamil Nadu with renewed vigour. These two actors could be called the stablest and most successful female leads of Tamil Cinema. 
         During their period, there were half a dozen women actors like Kanchana ,Jeyanthi ,Vanisri Barathi,Nirmala and the Urvasi award winning Lakshmi who made Tamil film industry proud by their distinct contribution to the field of acting. If Kanchana was Sridhar's good addition to Tamil films,Jeyanthi remained a Balachander favourite. Kanchana's acting zeal with Sivaj in 'Sivantha Man', with Gemini in 'Avalukkenru Oru Manam' and 'Saanthi Nilayam' and  as a second heroine in MGR's 'Parakkum Paavai' and 'Naan Yen Piranden' showcased her as an actor capable of venting soft emotions.She appeared as a piece of beauty in the role of Vaksala in 'Veera Abimanyu' She was specially good at expressing emotions of fear in thrillers like 'Adhe Kangal', 'Santhi Nilayam' and 'Ponnu Mappillai'.
        Jeyanthi with her moaning voice and grumbling tone was a sweet performer in 'Edhir Neechal' 'Iru Kodugal'  'Vellivizha' and 'Baamaa Vijayam' Her performance as a rape victim and as the wife of a great human being in 'Punnagai' [starred by Gemini] was really heart rending. Vanisri  was another suitable pair of Sivaji in films like 'Uyarnda Manidhan' 'Vasantha Maaligai'  'Vaani Raani' and 'Sivakamiyin Selvan,.She did more movies with Jai Shankar and a couple of movies with MGR. With her sparkling eyes and chubby cheeks,she appeared to be a remake of Savithri mainly in movies like 'Uyarndha Manithan'.'Vasantha Maaligai' 'Vellivizha' and 'Kulama Gunama'. Nirmala who came to the industry along with Jeyalalitha scored high in films like 'Vegulippen'  'Poovaa Thalaiya' and 'Aval' and keeps acting in elderly roles even now. Barathi who resembled Sarojadevi to a great extent made her role  performance in 'Avalukkenru Oru Manam' a regular reminder of the acting stuff, she is capable of.She also did a few glamour roles paired with Jai Shankar[Naan Yaar Theriyuma] Ravichandran[Enga Paappaa Nimirndhu Nil,Singapore Seemaan and so on]and with Sivaji Ganesan in Thanga Surangam .
        Oorvasi Lakshmi who got National award for her best acting in 'Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal'  is one among the top ranking Tamil female leads whose underplay of emotions is her great asset.She was a sweet addition in MGR movies and a qualitative performer with Sivaji in 'Thiagam' and 'Unakkaga Naan' .Starting from her first film 'Jeevanaamsam' her roles were challenging and she did justice to all the characters she performed particularly with Sivakumar and Jai Shankar. Her films like 'Kannipen','Nootrukku Nooru' 'Veetukku Veedu' 'Akkarai Pachai' and' Mannippu' all with Jai Shankar were  great in theme and characterization.The other two extraordinary roles she played were, in 'Sirai' and 'Samsaaram Adhu Minsaaram'.
     The period during when all these fascinating female leads performed, was the golden era for them, because of the ample scope and space each one had, to compete and excel. But the stage was getting widened for a shift in priorities to suit the changing trends in audience expectation and this led to an unprecedented influx of women to share the centre stage of Tamil Cinema and their profiles will be presented in another chapter with a different heading. 





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