Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sivaji,The Actor Par Excellence.











       Goddess Parashakthi should have been  proud of her son.The Tamil film producers should have genuinely recorded their gratitude and indebtedness to him.The stalwarts who directed his movies should be cherishing memories of their brimming moments of happiness and fulfillment. His fellow actors should have felt elated for being a part of the fantastic acting space they could share with him. The audience, awe-inspired by his magnificent play of roles, would ever stay tuned to their leading nostalgic reveries. That was the stature of the ever unsurpassed Sivaji Ganesan ,the prototype of acting,in Tamil Cinema.
        From a portrayal of God to that of man,as a king and a clown,as a millionaire and a pauper,as a saint and a sinner, and as a law maker and breaker, Sivaji's roles permeated to every nook and corner of the acting sphere. An unschooled genius he was,with an incessant versatility for acting that could not leave any role untouched; and what ever he touched,he adorned. He could do, not just one, but ten or more roles in one movie.His thespian thirst for roles was ever increasing.The most stunning aspect of his acting style was, the perfect coordination that always prevailed in the movement of his eyes, lips and limbs.The whole body would automatically get involved in the acting process as though everything was initiated  at the turn on of a switch. One could watch enthralled,his lip movement in song sequences. He should have imbibed the acting spirit as an embryo.
        A special mention has to be made about the face of this dynamic hero, that could be easily made up to bring back to life and reality, the historical and mythological figures portrayed by him on the screen. Every one will naturally visualize Veerapandia Kattabomman,Raja Raja Cholan, and V.O.C in the looks of Sivaji, as he lived their characters in cinema. The faces of mythological characters like Baratha, Karna, Lord Shiva,Lord Vishnu,Lord Muruga and Naradha can not be anything other than that of Sivaji as he truly identified himself with them. No one can think of the Tamil saint Appar or the famous Raman,the  Telugu incarnation of practical intelligence of Tenali [called Tenali Raman], in any other form, than that of Sivaji.
      The lengthy, ranting dialogues that Sivaji delivered in his stentorian voice in his earlier movies, could invigorate the spirit of the audience as an experience to be carried in their memory gallery and preserved there permanently.By face,voice and performance, he could sustain an element of epic grandeur in acting,through out his career.He loved his profession with unstinting dedication and it appeared as if he lived only to act.Even in some of his movies that flopped at the box office,no one could fault his performance for their failure.
      Sivaji has acted with the maximum number of female leads beginning with Pandarbai, Anjalidevi and P.Banumathi, of his generation to his third generation actors like Ambika and Radha. He had acted with wonderful emotional intimacy with almost all of them. But the two women who always proved to be his best and true-to-life match as his acting spouses were Padmini and K.R.Vijaya. While these two had mostly appeared as his docile wives of the traditional and idealistic mould,Sowkar Janaki and J.Jeyalalitha would quite often join him as his argumentative and inspiring life partners.Whoever happened to portray the role of his wife,Sivaji would get them involved in the process of making all the scenes as it would happen in real life. 
     Unlike all other heroes,Sivaji has made the names of some of the characters he played, live long in the memory of  people.Some such names are Manohara {Film with the same title} Prestige Padmanaban [Vietnam Veedu] General Chaudhri[Thangapadhakkam] Barrister Rajinikanth [Gauravam]]Pilot Premnath [Film title is also the same]Sikkal Shanmuga Sundaram[Thillaanaa Mohanaambaal]Renga {Padikkadha Medhai} Chinnadorai alias Anand [Vasantha Maaligai] and Rengadurai {Rajapart Rengadurai}.Similarly,he has made immortal,the names of some of his spouses on screen by calling them in different tones in different movies.A few names ever remembered in this category are Savithri in Vietnam Veedu,Sumathi in Thirisoolam, Paarvathi in Uyarndha Manithan and Shanthi in Paalum Pazhamum.
    Sivaji was ever an accommodating hero in the sense, he let other heroes fly their wings high in his films and enjoyed their brilliant show of acting.Most heroes like Gemini Ganesan S.S.Rajendran, R.Muthuraman,Sivakumar,Jai Shankar A.V.M.Rajan and Ravichandran would definitely have felt comfortable in sharing screen space with Sivaj Ganesan because he would always like to see each hero establish his individual acting style without any kind of prejudice or professional jealousy.The reason for this broad spectrum of co-existence was the amount of confidence he reposed in himself and in others.In this particular aspect Sivaji Ganesan always remains as an unparalleled hero.  
      Starting from 'Parasakthi','Manohara' 'Uthamaputhiran' Veera Paandia Kattabomman" 'Navarathiri' 'Deivamahan''Thillana Mohanaambaal' and 'Gowravam' down to 'Thirisoolam',Mudhal Mariadai' Devar Mahan and 'Padaiappa',the list of movies that celebrate his stupendous scale of acting is so vast and great that it would be very difficult to say which movie was his best.He is the Thavapudhalvan [the blessed son] and Deivamagan[the son of God] of Tamil film industry.He was a constant source of pride and power, for production units like  Padmini Pictures, Vijayalakshmi Pictures, Sujatha Cine Arts,PSV Pictures and for big banner movie makers like AVM and Gemini Productions.
       Directors like A.Bimsingh,B.R.Bantulu A.C.Thirulogachander, P.Madhavan,K.Vijayan ,C.V.Sridhar K.S.Gopalakrishnan,A.P.Nagarajan, C.V.Rajendran,Malliam Rajagopal and the duo Krishnan Panju,should have been struggling to feed his histrionic hunger for more and more variety in role presentation.The late entry directors would surely have grudged the restricted time and field they could share with this encyclopedic yardstick for acting. The actors of today, would either be happy about escaping the stage for a competition with the unbeatable, or feel sad for being deprived of an opportunity to compete with him.
     Sivaji's new generation directors like Barathiraja and Bagyaraj proudly declared that they were joining the Himalayas,when they cast Sivaji in their movies 'Thaavanikanavugal' and 'Mudhal Mariadai' directed by them respectively.The most creative Barathiraja can feel greatly delighted about making Sivaji, a director's actor, by presenting the actor in a calm and emotionally controlled role, full of dignity and poise,without too much of dialogue delivery that Sivaji was used to.It proved to be a refreshing experience for the audience to see their dear actor with an unusual package of acting. Great heroes of the successive generation like Kamalahasan, Rajinikanth  Sathyaraj, Prabu,Karthik Muthuraman,Murali and Vijay happily acted with Sivaji with a feel of proximity,confidence and competitive zeal. 
    The extraordinary thing about Sivaji is that his saga of acting is an eventful course that abounds in opportunities for an infinite variety of roles, boldly taken up and effectively delivered. He can not be remembered for his best acting in a score of movies, as in the case of other actors.All the movies in which he acted are still remembered and all the roles he performed stand out as his best.It is in this respect,he is an actor par excellence. 
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