Friday, August 1, 2014

P.S.Veerappa, The Villain Actor-Cum- Film Producer.

    Cruel, bold eyes,harsh voice and a distinctly haughty, serial laugh,were the salient traits that characterized the villainy of P.S.Veerappa,the most formidable villain actor of the last century. People can hardly forget the serpentine venom his tongue would throw, while delivering dialogues. The world those days, was true to itself without the presence of electronic maneuvers to paint it differently.People by and large were either good or bad without any trace of pretensions in trying to be good.As such, the villains in real life or in cinema, exposed themselves with their true colors. Sophisticated villainy was rare then.Hence the two major villains P.S.Veerappa and M.N.Nambiar were rightly identified, as the incarnation of crudeness and brutality.More than Nambiyar,Veerappa seemed to find pleasure in winning the proclaimed hatred of the audience, against his villainy on screen.
       MGR became a great hero, mostly with the competitive villainy of either Veerappa or Nambiar or  with both of them seen together, in the same film of that marvelous hero. MGR and Veerappa fought against each other in a number of films.The most memorable in this list was the film Mahadevi,with MGR as King and P.S.Veerappa,as his lieutenant,craving for the king's wife.This film showed Veerappa in the worst ever villain role,that invited the spontaneous hatred of everyone, particularly the women among the audience.Their hatred was more against his performance than against him.How crude a villain he was in that film, to turn the hero blind and then attempt to kill the hero's new born kid just for the sake of his craving for the wife of another man. Mahadevi produced by the Jupiter pictures, was a historic hit and Veerappa's villainy was its major contributing factor.
   There were other fantastic series of the MGR-Veerappa tussle,like Marudha Naatu Ilavarasi, Jenoa, Mannadhi Mannan,Chakravarthithirumagal, Vikramadhithan, Alibaabaavum Naarpadhu Thirudargalum,Nadodi Mannan,Rajarajan,and Madhuraiyai Meetta Sundara Pandian, which happened to be the last film of MGR.All these films were based on royal or mythical themes with stories about great kings and their ordeals in achieving good in the midst of concerted wickedness and evil.Obviously,Veerappa always reflected the wrong side in all these films. Naam, Anandha Jothi and Pallaandu Vaazhga were the other films of MGR in which Veerappa acted as villain, but these three films were based on family and social themes. Anandha Jothi was produced by P.S.Veerappa himself,under Hariharan Pictures.In Pallaandu Vaazhga, Veerappa was shown as a confirmed baddie waiting to be reformed by a good police officer, played by MGR.In Anandha Jothi, Kamalahasan had also acted, as a child artist.
      During my childhood days I used to shudder at the very appearance of P.S.Veerappa.I hated him on the screen more than I hated M.N.Nambiyar, because the latter did good character roles in several films like Makkalai Petra Magarasi,Dhigambara Saamiyar,Nallavan Vaazhvaan,Samaya Sanjeevi, Boologa Rambai,Panathottam,Ninaithadhai Mudippavan and so on. Imagine Veerappa's role in a film like Kaidhi Kannaayiram,a Modern Theatres' film that had R.S.Manohar and K.A.Thangavelu as two heroes.How abominable Veerappa was, both in looks and role portrayal, in that film.Every child shivered at his sight.So did I. Veerappa's other unforgettable villain role was in the movie Vanjikkottai Valiban produced by Gemini Studios.After the famous one liner 'Mahadevi Enna Mudivu Seidhirukkiraai?'{'Mahadevi, What have you decided?'} in the film 'Mahadevi' the other great one liner 'Sabash!Sariyaana Poetti' {'Wow!A proper contest'}would have gone into the memory lane of the audience, to stay there permanently.
     Veerppa's  delivery of chaste Tamil dialogues, was ever a treat to our ears.His timing, precision and clarity of dialogue delivery, were his major assets, as a devoted actor, aptly trained in all norms of dramatic intricacies.Apart from these admirable acting qualities,P.S.Veerappa was extraordinarily good at fencing.Many film goers would have enjoyed the MGR movies released in the Nineteen fifties and sixties, mainly for the felicitous style of fencing displayed by MGR and P.S. Veerappa. Though Veerappa was good at fisticuffs,it was his fencing zeal that was scaled high.
     Apart from MGR,the other hero who would have experienced the ferocious villainy of P.S.Veerappa was,Gemini Ganesan, whose films like Aasai,Vanjikkottai Vaaliban, Veerakkanal {produced by him under his P.S.V banner},Boologa Rambai and Parthiban Kanavu deserve a special place in his film career. Similarly,with S.S.Rajendran,P.S.Veerappa had acted in films like Siva Gangai Seemai and Thalai Koduthaan Thambi,
    It is quite surprising how an outstanding villain actor like P.S.Veerappa who did nearly a dozen films with MGR,was not found sharing screen space frequently with a classic hero like Sivaji Ganesan.Some of the films he did with Sivaji Ganesan were,Kaveri,Ulagam Palavidham,Marudha Naattu Veeran, Rani Lalithaangi and Thangamalai Ragasiyam.It is  equally strange that when this Villain actor became a producer,he chose to do more number of films with Sivaji Ganesan as hero than with MGR.His PSV pictures produced mega hits like Aalayamani and Andavan Kattalai and the fairly popular film Iru Dhuruvam,all with the Chevalier as hero.
    Veerappa's transition from acting to film production appeared to be a casual process and he continued making films with other successful heroes like Jai Shankar {Ponnu Mappile}Sarath Babu{Thisai Maariya Paravaigal},Raguvaran {Kaliyugam}Arjun{Vetri}and Vijayakanth{Saatchi} Like K.Balaji,P.S.Veerappa used to appear as a character in almost all the films produced by him.Apart from the Sivaji Ganesan films,all the other films produced by the P.S.V Pictures had stories based on themes of crime and adventure. Thisai Maaria Paravaigal might be an exception.
   Though P.S.Veerappa could be called a good film producer,people today remember him only as a virulent villain on screen, capable of putting the audience in an experience of watching terror and brutality in traditional form.Whenever people happen to view modern films on historical narration or on the lives of kings and their kingdoms,it is very much true that they long for an actor like P.S.Veerappa to represent villainy of magnificent order.For instance,when Rajinikanth's Maaveeran and Adutha Vaarisu were released,I really felt his absence in those films.Though Jai Shankar and Chendhaamarai performed effectively as Villains I thought if P.S.Veerappa had been there, it would have added more strength and dynamism to the element of villainy in those films.It is rare for a villain actor to leave behind him, a nostalgic audience, thinking of his grand style of acting and longing to see more of his stylish show of villainy, particularly in movies on royal story lines.In this respect, P.S.Veerappa will ever remain more irreplaceable, as an actor than a producer.

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