Friday, December 21, 2012

Fine Flashes of V.K.R.

       V.K.Ramasamy popularly known as V.K.R was an ebullient actor who occupied a unique place for himself in Tamil cinema for nearly half a century.He was a villain,character actor and comedian and he specifically contributed his independent style of acting that abounded in humorous banter and beaming mode of delivery.He was always forthright in his approach and whether it was villainy or comedy or character performance,his direct and forceful portrayal of characters always placed him on the winning side.At times, he would even increase his decibel, but it was always needed for that particular scene adding merit to his sense of timing of dialogue delivery and natural deliberation of  relevant emotions. Some of the Tamil expressions that he enjoyed frequently using, were முண்டம் [torso] மூதேவி [disgraceful person] and அது கெடக்குது கழுத[ forget that nonsense or leave that useless thing ]
     V.K.R could be a lustful womanizer even in the role of a temple priest, as we saw him in 'Parasakthi'.He was an elderly,but, greedy and wicked  accountant, working with a rich landlord in 'Naan Petra Selvam'. He could represent the breed of lust prone elders, performed with a villainous frame of mind which he did in Sujatha Cine Arts' 'Thiagam'.He was equally impressive as an old man with a play boy attitude in Manirathnam's 'Agni Natchatram'. No one can easily forget  the hilarious and noisy porno banter that VKR displayed in that film,being aggressively teamed up with Janagaraj,the other self-styled comedian, whose talent, the Tamil film industry failed to recognize or properly utilize.There were similar hilarious scenes in Fazil's Varusham 16 also.The two new generation directors Manirathnam and Fazil. consistently and successfully used the grand stuff of V.K.Ramasamy to step up the gusto of their films. Pandiarajan began his first film 'Aanpaavam' enrolling V.K.R as his father.
      V.K.R 's tremendous voice force would make his presence felt and the native vigour in his use of Tamil slang would make him more a real life person than an actor.The way he would pull down the ego of the over- bearing nature of some of  the characters in his films, would show him totally different from other actors.In expressing negative emotions like greed, jealousy and indulgence,he was an extraordinary actor. That, he was an expert in mixing these negative emotions with humour, put him at a scoring point. V.K.R had acted with all leading actors right from M.G.R and Sivaji Ganesan to Rajinikanth,Kamalahasan,Prabu, Karthik Muthuraman and many others.
   VKR's role as 'Ettayappan' betraying the provincial ruler Kattabomman to the British army in 'Veera Pandia Kattabomman' is remembered for the mood of revelry he displayed in celebrating his act of treachery.He joined Sivaji for quite a lot of films of which 'Kulamagal Raadhai' 'Pudhiya Paravai' 'Uyarndha Manithan' 'Gowravam','Thiagam' 'Ootivarai Uravu' Pattikkaada Pattanama' and Vasantha Maaligai, are pointers to his dynamic portrayal of different roles. He had acted only a few films with M.G.R and in this list 'Nadodi','Kavalkaran' 'Mattukkara Velan''Netru Inru Naalai' and 'Raman Thdeiya Seedhai' deserve a special mention.
      As a father character he was always dominant.Either he would powerfully control the family by raising his voice or resort to corrective steps through careful planning as he did in 'Pattikkadaa Pattanama' and 'Sakalakala Vallavan',the two films with a similar story line.When it comes to character acting,he was mostly seen as a trust worthy accountant of wealthy families or Zameens. He played a vibrant role of this kind in K.S.Gopalakrishnan's 'Karpagam' as the most trusted and grateful employee of the huge farm maintained by S.V.Renga Rao. The other repeated character he performed in a few movies was that of a chef in wealthy homes indulging in petty thefts here and there, leading to contextual comedy .He was frequently found performing comedy segment with Nagesh, and M.R.R.Vasu and finally with Janagaraj.
      The and Sathya Movies regularly inducted V.K.R whenever a character anticipated his performance as the right choice.He had acted with Kamalahasan in 'Kalyana Raman','Jappanil Kalyana' Raman','Sagalakala Vallavan','Uyarndha Ullam' to mention a few.He was Rajini's pet grandfather in 'Velaikaran' and his considerate father-in-law in 'Dharmathin Thalaivan'. As a reformed villain,V.K.R was seen raising Rajini as his adopted son in 'Thanga Magan'.He also came as Chitragupthan in Rajini's 'Adhisia Piravi'and finally appeared as one among the four member gang with an eye on Rajini's huge property in 'Arunachalam'. As V.K.R enjoyed endearing team spirit, he was equally comfortable with all his next generation actors like Prabu [Arangetravelai] Karthik Muthuraman[ 'Varusham 16' and 'Gopura Vasalile'] and Pandiarajan.
     V.K.Ramasamy would have acted in hundreds of movies of which,only a little list is mentioned here. This colossal actor whose facial features fitted perfectly into elderly characters even when he was very young,has created records as a villain without violence,as a character actor without unwanted sobriety and as a wholesome comedian with a throbbing spirit of untold energy, even when he crossed seventy years of age. Film lovers particularly those who are closer to the Tamil movie world, can hardly forget this veteran actor whose voice was always his asset, creating real life impressions through the celluloid transmission.The voice of V.K.R is one of the truest voices of Tamil Cinema ever reverberating in the memories of film watchers like me.



  1. I was born in the 80's and have not watched many of the movies in which VKR acted. However, five of his roles that I thoroughly enjoyed were Aan Paavam, Agni Natchathiram (especially the scene in which he attempts suicide), Velaikaran, Rudhra Thandavam, and Pattanathil Petti (he shared screen space with Koundamani in this movie). His comedy track with Vivek in his last movie Dumm Dumm Dumm was quite enjoyable as well.

    1. In Dum Dum Dum he actually plays opossum [pretends to be dying] and creates a scene of ruckus.His hilarity and gusto were ever outstanding.