Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Myriad- Tongued M.R.Radha.

           

       What made M.R.Radha the marvellous actor of Tamil Cinema, different from others, was his tremendous capacity to meddle with his tongue and voice in delivering dialogues.One would wonder if his voice was naturally like that or he made it so, to mark a difference.His voice would be simultaneously gruff, sonorous and soothing and one would miss the intended meaning of his utterances, if one did not follow his sense of timing of dialogue delivery.The beauty of the whole exercise was that there would be a perfect symmetry between his facial expressions and manner of dialogue delivery.It would be difficult for one to differentiate between his fast changing facial expressions from a frown to an endearing calm,and the voice from its harsh notes to a comforting level of harmony.At times, his face would mean more than his words.Though he repeated this course in all his films,the audience would continue to enjoy him perform, because the variety quotient was there in the subject matter that Radha would deal with and react to. 
    Was M.R.Radha a villain or a comedian or character actor?Like the combined medley of his voice,he was a perfect combination of all the three roles.He need not even play the three roles independently.He would casually mix comedy and geniality with villainy and make himself acceptable in all the three at one stroke. He has also played dual roles as the heroine's father and as villain in movies like 'Dharmam Thalaikakkum' and 'Bale Pandia'. His 'Rathakkanneer' showing him in the role of an anti-hero,became a great success with the audience, in thematic content and character delineation The other film that showed him as a male chauvinist ill -treating his wife,was Chithi in which he appeared as an aged widower choosing to live with a young woman. No one can forget his rude and hateful villainy in movies like 'Pava Mannippu' 'Bagapirivinai' 'Karpagam' 'Kai Kodutha Dheivam' and 'Chandrodhayam' .His comedy sense was vitally felt by his roles in' Iruvar Ullam' 'Paalum Pazhamum' and 'Bale Pandia' [particularly in the song sequence 'Neeye unakku enrum nigaranavan'].
    M.R.Radha was a part of the revolutionary movement initiated by Thandhai Periyar and he never failed to voice the iconoclastic views of Periyar in one way or other through the roles assigned to him.However,he did not hesitate to act in movies based on spiritual themes like 'Dasaavathaaram' directed by K.S.Gopalakrishnan. Spontaneous inclusion of his own dialogues to the original script assigned to him, is said to be a periodical issue raised against him by many script writers.But quite often,it has resulted in the enrichment of the entertainment value of his films.
   Radha has frequently worked with film directors like K.S.Gopalakrishnan and A.Bhimsingh  and he has also remained as a value addition in Devar Films and Modern Theatres' productions.He has successfully shared the screen space with all the fellow actors of his time,including MGR,Sivaji and Gemini Ganesan. His last performance with MGR in a character role as the elder brother of the heroine in 'Petraldhan Pillaiya?' was substantially memorable. The growth of Tamil Film industry owes him a lot in terms of variety of roles and depth of performance.With spontaneity,sincerity and sense of perception of the role that came in his way M.R Ratha was truly a model actor for emulation, by successive generations. 
    M.R.Radha was a dedicated stage artist who grew in his levels of performance by leaps and bounds.His meteoric growth as a film actor, did not deter his interest in stage performance.Till the last breath of his life, his priority for theatrical display of his amazing acting potential, remained intact.After M.R.Radha Tamil Cinema has come across many a villain and character actor but not the one like him, whose acting fundamentals were honed by a direct delivery of acting on the stage and taken to new heights at every move initiated by him to invigorate Tamil drama and Tamil cinema. Radha stands in the line of  the great heroes like Sivaji Ganesan and MGR to remain as one of the grandest and monumental makers of the aesthetics of Tamil Cinema.     
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