Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stray Thoughts on Some Names of Tamil Film Characters.

     Shakespeare the world’s outstanding Playwright would say that there is nothing in name. A rose is a rose because we call it so. Names are just identity tags. Parents find pleasure in naming their kids who later on question the acceptability and appeal of their names. Whatever be the intricacies and contentions involved in a person getting his name,it is very much an interesting fact, that certain names attain a unique status because of their strangeness or distinctions they carry. This is more so with regard to the names of characters in films.
    Ironically, villains  in Tamil films have got sweeter and nobler names like Parobakaaram {Charitable Service } and Parisutham  { Immaculate }.The cruel womanizing character played by S.V.Rengarao decades ago, in Annaiyin Aanai was called Parobakaaram. The seemingly pious but truly fiendish character portrayed by Calcutta Viswanathan in Vellai Roja was known as Parisutham. Otherwise, some of the usual names of villain characters in the Tamil movies of the last century were  Bhairavan,Mayaandi, Marudhachalam, Nagappan, Pakkiri and Sengodan. The latest unusual name was Vellingiri that adorned the villain role of Theingai Seenivasan in the film Thangamagan. Bhavaani,[ Udhayam, starring Nagarjun] Kannabiraan {Captain } and Maasilaamani [Abimanyu} are some noble names of villain characters played by[late]Raguvaran.The first name in this list is that of a holy river in Tamil Nadu,the second is named after Lord Krishna and the third name means on who is free from filth or dirt in mind.
   The other two recent thugs were Kaasi played by Lal alias Paul Michael in Sandakkozhi and Kasimedu Aaadhi portrayed by Suman. in Sankar's blockbuster Sivaji. Director Perarasu gave fancy names for the villain characters in Thiruppachi as Saniyan Sagada, Pattaasu Balu and so on. Some times, even  an unimportant character like that of a cart driver would become catchy by the way his employer would call him.This is how M.N.Nambiar the magnificent Tamil villain on screen made the name of his cart driver Maadasaamy in Nenjam Marappadhillai live long. It was interesting to watch Nambiyar’s cart moving, the moment he shouted out ‘Maadasaamy’
    There were some non-human names too.R.S .Manohar’s character in Modern Theatres’ Vannakkili was called Poochi and the name of a dwarf in Mundhaanai Mudichu was Thavakkalai. Mayilu and Myna became fascinating names of heroines of the films Padhinaaru Vayadhinile and Myna.Minnal was the name of a character forming part of a comedy sequence that showed Vadivelu on a bride seeing mission in Sarath Kumar's film Maayee. Jil Jil was the fancy name of the comedy queen Manorama in Thilaanaa Mohanaambaal. There were also funny names like Sappaani and  Parattai adorning the characters of Kamalahasan and Rajinikanth in Barathi Raja’s Pathinaaru Vayadhinile.
     The other crude name that called for refinement was that of Sembattai, a villain’s henchman in AVM’s Ejamaan. Mambattian has been both the title of a movie and name of the chief character. Same was the case with Padayappa, Iranyan and Sullaan. In fact, these are mostly rural names and one could always be naturally fascinated towards rural names unlike those with an urban flavour. This is how even an ordinary character like that of Vadivelu in Devar Mahan,was immortalized by the name Esakki. Film villains have also carried their place names such as Vaalpaarai Varadhan {Rajaathi Raaja}
   Arukkani of the film Gopurangal Saivadhillai was another unusual name.The Valli sisters known as Aaravalli, Sooravalli, Alangaravalli, Singaaravalli and Chithravalli became memorable  names of the film, bearing the first name in the list Aaravalli as its title.
    Sivaji Ganesan made the most common names of some of his pairs live long by the way he addressed them. Some of the common names like Shanthi {Paalum Pazhamum} Paarvathi {Uyarndha Manidhan}Sumathi [Thirisoolam} Savithri {Vietnaam Veedu} Mohana {Thillaanaa Mohanaambaal} and Latha {Vasantha Maaligai}are remembered because of the way they were addressed by the stentorian voice of Sivaji Ganesan. Sivaji Ganesan’s emotion packed voice brought a special charm to the names, by the sentimental thrust he gave to them. The beauty with Sivaji Ganesan is that, he would make even the names of his friends in his films popular, by his passionate address pattern.The way he called Gopal [played by S.A.Asokan} in Uyarndha Manithan and Lawrence [Major Sundarajan] in Gnaana Oli is still ringing in my ears.
     Was it not a pleasure to watch Vadivelu telling Anand Babu in the film Aadhavan, that in his native village he was doing the job of tying banners and when he moved to Calcutta he thought that it was proper to add 'ji' to his 'banner' routine and call himself Bannerji because that name is popular in Calcutta.In a recent movie {Ethir Neechal} it is found that the hero's name Kunjithapaadham,puts him at the receiving end, following which he is forced to change his name into Harish,that finds favour with all. However, in the end he restores his given name after understanding its sacredness.
    These are just a few samples of how some names of characters in films stick to our memory. Reasons for remembering names of characters may be weird. Nevertheless,it is true that there is something in a name that surpasses the rules of both imagination and reality.There is a lot of pleasure in breaking the norms of normalcy and naming characters with an extraordinary flair for fancy and fact.

No comments:

Post a Comment