It was on the whole, a refreshing experience for the audience to see for the first time a hefty, man- in -black, as hero.That too, one reflecting quite often, a kind of male arrogance tending to tease the heroines of his films some times, in a brazen manner.The first movie'Puthiya Paathai' that introduced him as director and actor, was the story of an orphan forsaken by his mother and thrown as an unwanted child in a garbage bin.Starting with an abuse of women in general and irresponsible mothers in particular,the film brought out the rage and anguish of a soul neglected by the one, who was supposed to fondle and protect it.The anger was justifiable and the focused narration and poignant characterization made the film an enduring emotional experience to watch. The second part of the film, showed how a woman as his most loving wife, reformed his ways and made him realize the virtues of womanhood and she did it at the cost of her life.The film deserved a national award and won it too.
What makes Parthiban different from others is not just his appearance but his intellectual sharpness and poetic perception of life's distinct realities and intricacies.He gives a taunting interpretation of human foibles and pretensions.It is his inseparable satirical approach that contributes the subtle dynamics of his outputs.At the outset, the roles that he has periodically adorned, might have shown him as a misogynist or misanthrope.But on a closer observation, one could always find in his characterization, man's capacity for love and empathy.The other extraordinary thing about Parthiban is his devotion to the Tamil language. He rarely uses English dialogues in his films and most of his roles have been stuffed with ruggedness and male indifference born of aversion for the nasty side of life.
Parthban has directed nearly a dozen movies with himself as hero.Among these after 'Puthiya Paadhai',House Full also won the national award.His other popular directorial ventures include 'Ponadatti Thevai', 'Pullakuttikkaran','Sugamana Sumaigal' 'Ulle Veliye' 'Ivan' and 'Kudaikul' Mazhai'.He has also acted as hero for other successful directors like Cheran whose 'Barathi Kannamma' told the story of a man immolating himself in the funeral pyre of the girl who loved him and the other great hit 'Vetrikodikattu' which truly presented the ordeal and plight of youngsters losing their money and life in the hands of foul brokers luring people with fake offer of jobs in the gulf.The first of the two got the State Government's best film award. Parthiban has also acted in P.Vasu 's 'Vaimaye Vellum' that powerfully narrated the rivalry between a corrupt police officer and his justice bound son and 'Kaakkaichiraginile' which dealt with a noble theme of the adoption of an orphan by an orthodox Brahmin couple.
Above all,Parthiban's role was very impressive as a rebel and revolutionary leader fighting for the rights of the underdogs, in the great film 'Aravindan', in which he shared screen space effectively with Sarathkumar. But there was an element of beastly horror in his roles displayed, in films like 'Ambuli' and Selvaragavan's 'Airathil Oruvan'.
Parthiban's unique comedy sense comprising witty dialogues and manipulative attempts at cornering the opponents has been a treasure for the viewers.To see Vadivelu as a helpless victim of Parthiban's shrewd verbal web, creates ludicrous situations for a hearty laugh.The two films 'Vetrikodikattu' and 'Kundakka Mandakka' are clear samples of their combined show of highly contrived humour episodes.In addition to this, Parthiban joined Goundamani and Manivannan in 'Tata Birla' for a rejoicing comedy demonstration and later with Prabu Deva, he made another humour parade in 'James Pandu'.
What is always specially attracting in a Parthiban show, is his efficacy in throwing challenges to the opponent and meeting them with casual ease, be it a comedy segment or a serious scene.Very often this brings down the tragic impact of a movie to a lighter dimension as it did in 'Sabash', in which he cleverly out beat every time the smart moves of Ranjith who was responsible for the death of his wife, played by Divya Unni.'Puthumai Pithan' is another movie that humorouly handled a serious subject matter. Parthiban has played as an eccentric in quite a few films and he has always been compact in playing the idiot bent upon fooling the others.
On the romantic side Parthiban is a mixture of a bullying male and a brand ambassador of true romance with a highly considerate attitude towards the fair sex.We could feel this genuinely exhibited in films like 'Ulle Veliye''Sornamugi','Nee Varuvai Ena' and 'Unnaruge Naanirundhal'.He was a wavering individual with a volutile,philosophical frame of mind in'Thenral' and 'Ivan'.But it was Thangar Bachan who brought out the hidden softer emotions of Parthiban in his most telling love story with a simple but beautiful title 'Azhagi'. It showed Parthiban as a married man with children, unable to get over his first love, celebrated from his school days.'Azhagi' could not be branded as yet another love story.It was the agonizing, realistic narration that made it as something deeply disturbing.I would rate it as one of the most beautiful Tamil movies and one of the best of Parthiban's to be cherished in memory.The latest highly acclaimed film of Parthiban was Kadhai Thiraikkadhai Vasanam Iyakkam which was a bold venture of criticizing and ridiculing the world of cinema as an insider.The film ran the risk of throwing stones at a glass house, from within.The film reestablished Parthiban's incomparable creative potential.
Parthiban is totally a different type of artist.He has a profoundly thoughtful creative brain capable of making delicate and subtle impact on those who have a critical bent of mind.There is a poet in him crying for the best moments of inner joy arising out of uncommon observation of life with a keen sense of introspection of the impact that the observation makes on his mind.More over, it is Parthiban, who alone can afford to be humorous and sober at the same moment, by changing his mood as if by a turn on a switch.To me, Parthiban with his striking pointers and potshots has stood as one of the outstanding actors closer to my heart, mostly because of his spontaneity and out- of -the -ordinary approach to acting.