Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Midas' Touch of Mohan.

       To be a romantic hero, might be easy for any man with a kind of appeal in appearance and performance.But to be  doing only romantic roles and not moving one step beyond that,might be very difficult for many.We have seen that, all heroes like,Vijay,Ajith, Soorya,Prasanth,Madhavan Srikanth,Jeyam Ravi and Jeeva who were initially making a romantic round, later switched over to the action side at one point of time or the other.Even Gemini Ganesan with his realm of romance, here and there did action movies, like Vallavanukku Vallavan, and Pandayam,and fitted into other themes, like friendship in Unakkaaga Naan and social concern in Ezhai Pangaalan. But there was one hero who always did only romantic roles during the major part of his career.That was Mohan, who created waves in his favour for more than a decade and made the fans crazy for a considerable period.
      Mohan was introduced to the world of Cinema by none other than the distinctly creative director Balu Mahendra along with the world class actor Kamalahaasan in the highly rated Kannada movie Kokila and then in a supporting role in his Moodupani. It is a well known fact that some years later, Mohan also acted as hero in Balu Mahendra's most popular 'Irattai Vaal Kuruvi', a film with a humorous title and a comedy story line, on male indulgence in extra marital aberrations.But the first Tamil film that introduced Mohan as hero, was J.Mahendran's Nenjathai Killaadhe in which he was paired with Suhaasini. This film was a stupendous tale of love and ran with grand audience support for many weeks. Following this Midas touch, came Durai's Kilinjalgal and R.Sundarajan's Payanangal Mudivadhillai, two silver jubilee hits in the same year.Both these films made a competitive run on the winning track.
      From Payangal Mudivadhillai,Mohan became the pet hero of the Mother Land Pictures. Who directed Mohan's film,became immaterial.It was Mohan the romantic star, that mattered. Movies like  Naan Paadum Paadal,Udhaya Geetham,Uyire Unakkaaga,Aayiram Pookkal Malarattum, Unnai Naan Sandhithen,Idhyakkoil, were all the fabulous master pieces of Kovai Thambi's Mother Land Pictures.Though Manirathnam's two introductory films Pagal Nilavu and Idhaya Koil, were released during the same time,Mohan could also be called in a way the first hero of that illustrious film maker.It should be said here,that it was Mohan who was the hero of Mani rathnam's  first National Award winning Tamil film Mouna Raagam. The other famous director who inducted Mohan frequently was Manivannan for his first and great film Gopburangal Saivadillai, and later for his Nooravadhu Naal and 24 Mani Neram. Incidentally, Mohan played a negative role as misogynist in Noorravadhu Naal, like Kamal in Sigappu Rojaakkal. 
     Besides these films AVM's Mella Thirandhathu Kadhavu became a great hit with M.S.Viswa- nathan and Ilayaraja teaming up together to compose music for the film that had several musical melodies.The film also narrated beautifully Mohan's love for a Muslim girl [played by Amala] whose face was hidden in a traditional veil. The tragic note of the film was the girl whom he fervently loved,  was accidentally caught in a quicksand and he could never see her face at all. The other pair of Mohan in that great film was Radha, playing his uncle's daughter, whom he was forced to marry in the end.  
     Mohan  delivered a casual performance as a Casanova in Sujatha Cine Arts 'Vidhi' that became an awesome block buster. With Poornima Jeyaram doing a bold role in getting the womanizer legally exposed and shown to the world as a man of misdeeds, the movie ran for twenty five weeks, with crowded shows consisting more of women audience.The freshness in narration earned the film, a lot of accolades it deserved. Mohan  sustained his position as the most wanted romantic hero of the decade.The other popular romantic film of Mohan was Paadu Nilaave with Nadhiya. Mohan was paired with all the leading actresses of his period.Among his pairs Poornima, Suhasini,Nadhiya,Ambika,Radha and Revathi were his perfect matches.Some of his most impressive performances were from  Udhaya Geetham, Payanangal Mudivathillai,Mouna Raagam and Vidhi. Mounaragam in particular portrayed him as a husband with maturity in perception and his underplay of emotions made his performance commendable.
     Though Mohan was a charming romantic hero,he owed his speedy and successful growth in the field to three people.Firstly,it was the most pleasing, sonorous voice of S.N.Surender  that delivered all the dialogues of Mohan for a majority of his films, except the two movies from Kalaigner's mighty pen [Paasa Mazhai and Paasa Paravagal] and a few of his latest releases.The sweetness in the voice of S.N.Surendar was definitely an enriching factor that made Mohan's over all presentation, a pleasure to watch.Secondly,it was the scintillating numbers of SPB  that drew the crowd to the theatres to watch Mohan's exuberant depiction of romantic roles. Mohan's films were the favoured destinations for fabulous songs and they were all mostly in SPB's  voice.Can we ever forget the rejoicing and riveting songs like' Ilaya Nila Ezhugirathe' ,{Payanangal Mudivathillai} 'Sangeetha Megam' {Udhaya Geetham} 'Koottathile Koil Pura' {Idhya Koil} and so on?Thirdly,it was the music prophet Ilyaraja who composed the captivating tunes that would last for decades, as masterly musical pieces.It was Ilayaraja  who made almost all the solo and duet numbers in Mohan's films a rich treasure house of music .
     What made Mohan a special romantic hero was his natural ability to fly high with his breezy, exotic wings, singing immortal tunes and talking soothing dialogues in a borrowed voice, pouring like honey into the ears of the women he loved on screen.But beyond these borrowed attributes were, his graceful looks, the poise in his body language and the gentleness in his histrionic deliberation, that formed the neatly integrated layers of Mohan's acting stuff and actual celluloid fame.He was an actor with an extraordinarily composed frame of mind, mild and soft, and not meant for any melodramatic outbursts.His most striking credentials were his aesthetic priorities in look and demeanor.That was why, he could felicitously perform the roles of a professional singer in a couple of films.Above all,he was a dedicated lover neither resorting to a stalking type of behaviour nor overdoing his romantic roles.He was a natural romantic  and that was his constant asset.Lucky was Mohan, to rule the romantic sphere  of Tamil Cinema for more than a decade and make his films golden, with his Midas touch.


  1. Mohan was nastily referred as the poor man"s Kamalhasaan by his critics back in his days .

  2. I was very conscious about this prevailing observation those days and carefully avoided it in my article.

  3. Thanks for this write up on Mohan. He was popularly referred to as Mike Mohan - for the good songs in his movie.

    Do you know the name of his movie with this storyline..Mohan is a good singer and is married, but ends up fighting with his wife and moves to a different place(I think ooty). There he falls in love with someone (who is his wife's friend) and is about to marry her when that friend comes to know of Mohan's first wife as her close friend.

    That movie had good songs.Do you jappha to know that movie's name

  4. Typo in last line in the above apologies

    Do you happen to know that movie name with the above storyline