The two individuals belonging to the same period but reflecting a different quest for creativity, are the two most reputed film directors, P.Vasu and K.S.Ravikumar. One is a maker of action/family dramas and police stories and the other, more dedicated to the family emotions and values of the rural block like K.S.Gopalakrishnan, the best of directors of the Sixties ans Seventies of the last millennium.
P. Vasu started his career joining hands with director Santhana Barathi and came out with good films like, 'Panneer Pushpangal' and 'Mella Pesungal'.His early hits with independent direction,were 'EnThangachi Padichava' with Prabu in the lead and 'Vaadhiyaar Veettupilaai' and 'Vela Kidachiduchu',with Satyaraj as hero.But his greatest box office shows were'Walter Vetrivel',the astounding police story with Sathyaraj doing a magnificent performance and 'Chinna Thambi',the all time brilliant film, with Prabu and Kushbu taking the audience to a romantic experience never visited earlier.His latest grand film was 'Chandramugi' starring Rajini and a remake of Fazil's Malayalam venture 'Manichitrathaazh'.Vasu's other films 'Panakkaaran','Uzhaippaali' and 'Mannan' all with the Superstar were big actions films and entertainers. Kaarthik, Arjun Ajith and Jeyaram have done one movie each,as hero in Vasu's films.Parthiban was inducted twice for 'Kaakkaichiraginile' and 'Vaimaye Vellum',another film with a base of police story in negative frame. Vasu's 'Malabar Police' was once again a meritorious depiction of the power of the police uniform.
Starting his career with a thriller,['Puriyadha Pudhir']K.S.Ravikumar has been a different creator, in choice of themes,character delineation and directorial diction.He is a constant lover of rural themes portraying poignantly,human emotions, intricately linked to the vital segments of the family institution.The patriarchal show he has made with Vijayakumar as family head in movies like 'Cheran Pandian','Naataamai' and 'Napukkaga' splendidly revealed Ravikumar's felicitous access to higher levels of human emotions.
The other two patriarchal heads projected by Ravikumar, were those of his pet heroes Sarath Kumar,and Prabu. Sarath beautifully took over the Zameen governance in 'Naattaamai' and as the ruling head he was equally convincing in 'Samuthiram'.In 'Paattali'Sarath's right to the Zameen was hidden by his aunt Sujatha,to save him from getting killed and this led to a meek show of Sarath and he essayed the role with ease .Prabu , brought home the dynamic spirit of governance in 'Periya Kudumbam'and 'Parambarai' in the style of his father,the stalwart actor Sivaji. The two films that showed P.Vasu and K.S. Ravikumar in a similar creative wavelength were 'Pathini' and 'Purusha latchanam' dealing with wifely devotion to the conjugal core and interestingly,it was Kushbu who acted with Jeyaram, in both the films in a similar role.
P.Vasu seems to enjoy greater warmth of friendship and team spirit with Sathyaraj and Prabu as K.S.Ravikumar does with Sarathkumar and Prabu. Ravikumar has done five films with Kamal,of which, four are comedies with difference in story line,like 'Avvai Shanmugi' 'Tenali' and 'Pancha Thandram' and 'Manmadhan Ambu'. The fifth film 'Dasavadharam' showed Kamalahasan in ten different characters with extraordinary make up sense to mark difference in appearance and this freshness in creativity added merit to this movie of international acclaim .If Ravikumar has done five movies with the world star,Vasu has worked for the same number of movies with the Superstar starting with 'Panakkaaran' followed by 'Mannan','Uzhaippali','Chandramugi' and 'Kuselan'.All these films were worthy entertainers and commercial hits. K.S.Ravikumar has also given two blockbusters ['Muthu' an epic level film and 'Padayappa' ]with Rajini. But Vasu has not yet used Kamal's fantastic creativity as an actor.
K.S. Ravikumar has not directed a full length police story like P. Vasu's grandiose 'Walter Vetrivel' and 'Malabar Police'. Similarly, P.Vasu has not yet tried his hand in full length comedies as K.S. Ravikumar has done. K.S. Ravikumar has not so far, used the talent of Sathyaraj as Vasu,that of Kamal and Sarathkumar. While Ravikumar has utilized the acting skills of both Ajith and Vijay,Vasu has not yet worked with Vijay. Vasu has mostly concentrated on the dramatic impact of individual sentiments and emotions in the manner of A.C. Thirulokchander and P. Madhavan and the galaxy of emotions like love,jealousy, and commitment to one's career and its inter related values have always remained Vasu's specialty,
Instead,K.S. Ravikumar revelled in the unified structure of family emotions with a governing impetus of the dignity of the self and the amount of public and family esteem it commands on account of one's self dignity. Similarly,the grandeur of emotional drama and exotic picturing of scenic sequences have represented the specific directorial merits of K.S. Ravikumar. Villains are there in the films of both the directors as open threats and not as hidden dangers.The creative formula and its open appeal during the process of screen play, are their common assets as film makers and their success march is interlinked with their conviction to deliver the product with speed,action and tempo as the basic requirements to win the confidence of the audience.
Both Vasu and Ravikumar have shown their heads in their films with Ravikumar leading the cameo in almost all his films. Ravikumar is always seen with a sense of humour and a vigorous voice of satire. But Vasu has generally maintained a mood of sobriety both as a character actor and as villain.The jealousy stuff that he revealed in 'Seenu' against his musically more talented younger brother was natural and impressive,and it was his love for his sibling that ultimately survived. Starting from the days of ''Putham Puthu Payanam' and 'CheranPandian',Ravikumar has usually tried to be a rude villain with a taunting frame of mind.The comedy substance of Ravikumar makes him an endearing character actor even if he makes a brief appearance as he did in Hari's 'Arul' But Vasu scores at least one or two points higher in terms of clarity and force of dialogue delivery and he too was a villain of ferocity in 'Thenkasipattinam'.
The difference between these two eminent contemporaries in the same field, is their inbuilt lenience towards themes and the creative directions that they naturally moved to.The temperamental predominance in the choice of independent genres of creativity and the selection of heroes to fit into the characters suitably, make these two directors of the same period two distinct creators with their respective contrary profiles. However,in treatment of their individual themes and characters, both these men have indisputably registered efficacy and excellence in a similar degree of acceptability and both of them have made success stories to find a permanent place in the line of directors of high quality and standard, making the Tamil film industry proud.