Thursday, January 1, 2015

Small is Beautiful.{Updated on 13th March 2016}

Ranjan.                   K.R. Ramasamy.






     ''Less is more''is a thought provoking, oft quoted line from Robert Browning's poem Andrea Del Sarto. Size is both a scientific and mathematical concept.The perceptions and preferences with regard to the term size, are usually left to the individual's imagination and understanding.For instance a big man in stature may not look that big for all.Think of a man of weak frame like Mohanlal Karamchand Gandhi becoming tall in the world's eye, to reach the status of a Mahatma How busy is the smallest bird sparrow.One of the smallest insects like a fly can cause awkward moments and havoc to even the most important people.Being small is at times more compact and beautiful and definitely, being small is not being insignificant.
    When it comes to human contribution to their respective field of participation and performance, smallness has always added more charm and grandeur, thereby making size or volume of contribution as something immaterial. Particularly in Tamil Cinema, there have been a sizable number of personalities known for making a stupendous show by their brief appearances on screen, or for their small time contribution to Tamil cinema with a big bang.They would have been heroes, villains, comedians,singers and music directors or film makers.But their memories would keep haunting us every now and then, reinforcing the truth of the maxim ''Small is beautiful.''
    What a fascinating line of heroes, men like Sriram,Ranjan,M.K.Radha and K.R.Ramasamy of the last century were and how amazingly they performed, leaving indelible impressions on the minds of the audience.M.K.Radha's films like Samsaaram ,Chandraleka, Manohara,Vanagamudi Uthama Puthiran and Ambikapathi,would ever speak of his graceful and decent performance with a kind of dignity and firmness that he alone was capable of. If Ranjan was  a stylish hero in Neelamalai Thirudan, he was certainly magnificent as a suave and serpentine villain in Chandraleka. Similarly, Sriram was a dazzling hero in Marma Veeran and an amazing villain in Malaikkallan. Both Sriram and Ranjan seemed to reflect a similar pattern in acting but their dialogue delivery modes were different because the former used to follow an open approach and the latter a calculated,half suppressed brand of intonation with a unique style of body language.
    Whereas, K.R.Ramasamy  with his singular,easily identifiable tone was ever in consummate grip of form, fashion and style.He was a spontaneous actor with an innate flair for acting and singing besides being an attractive swash buckler. His most popular films like Ore Vazhi, Velaikkaari, Sorgavaasal, Sadhaaram,Chellapillai,Thuli Visham,Needhipadhi Arasa Kattalai and Ivan Avanedhaan, have substantially immortalized his stature as a grand player on the big screen.The only grudge of the Tamil film audience could be the lack of utilization of the talent and dynamism of all these actors.Their contribution may not be that big in volume and time but they were no doubt, big stars of eternal charm.
   There was another hero of great acting potential introduced by Citadel Pictures in their film 'Vijayapuri Veeran' and that was C.L.Anandan.He was stylish and powerful in dialogue delivery.His face was rightly made for royal roles and his first film was a great hit.His other blockbuster film was 'Veerathirumagan' a film from the AVM banner.With many scintillating songs from the voices P.B.Srinivas and P.Susheela the film was a lovely entertainer.But unfortunately this was followed by many failures like 'Sengamalatheevu','Guberatheevu' and 'Kongu Naattu Thangam'.Then he played a few villain roles and the most remarkable in this line, was his performance in Jai Shankar's 'Yaar Nee' as the hero's villainous cousin.This movie was a thriller and made Anandan's role memorable.It was unfortunate his career failed to continue its charm.   
      A recent enchanting addition to the galaxy of heroes was that of Arvindsamy, a specially handsome hero introduced and groomed by Maniratnam. This heart throb of college girls for at least a decade made his aesthetic contribution to Tamil Cinema first as the younger brother of the Superstar in 'Thalapathi'  and then as hero in 'Roja' and 'Bombay', from Maniratnam's classic style of film making.After this he did a wonderful role as one of the two heroes of Rajiv Menon's 'Minsaara Kanavu', the grand romantic fantasy.The  other films 'En Swaasakkaatre'  and Pudhaiyal were moderate films.Though he could not stick on in the midst of stiff competition of talents and changing trends in acting,his limited contribution to Tamil Cinema is like a fairy tale of exotic role performance.It should be mentioned here that this handsome hero created a huge flutter recently, through his casual performance as an elite villain in the film Thani Oruvan. 
     Some of the villain actors like R.BalasubramaniyanT.K.Ramachandran,E.R.Sahadevan S.A.Natarajan and S.V.Ramadas had always maintained their distinct form of acting with force and vigour to leave a remarkable vibration in the memories of the audience.Among comedians there were wonderful men like Kuladheivam Rajagopal   whose talent was not fully utilized.I last saw him in one of the films of Bagyaraj  as latter's father.I carry sweet memories of his role delivery in films like Kuladheivam,Thilagam  and a few MGR/Sivaji Ganesan films.He was a spontaneous verbal comedian with a flair for casual performance.Same was the case with actors like Ramarao known as Appulachaari whose dialogue ''Ayyaa Theriyadhayya'' in one of the films, fetched him a unique identity.
     In the field of film music,we have a long line of mesmerizing voices.What a mighty and mellowing voice late K.B.Sundaraambaal  had and how neatly she delivered her musical stuff to the truest extent of kindling and thwarting, different emotions in a single stroke.Can we ever forget her role as the saintly poet Avviyaar  in the grand Gemini Pictures' movie bearing the same title and later on in the same role in A.P.Nagarajan's Thiruvilaiyaadal and Kandhan Karunai. It was again a genuine performance she did in Megala Pictures'Poompuhar as the Tamil poet Kaundhi Adigal.  She was not only a committed actor but also a lovely singer of quality songs with exemplary clarity, force and perfection in the delivery of musical notes as well as expression of words.
    There are a huge line of other talented singers like Jency,T.K.Kala and Swarnalatha  whose number of entries may not be very huge but whatever they sang carried a bang.T.K.Kala's 'Poivaa Nadhi yalaiye' with K.J.Yesudas in  Pallaandu Vaazhga itself is enough to cherish memories of her graceful addition to the music gallery of Tamil films. Jency's  timeless renderings like 'Adi Penne' {Mullum Malarum} 'Iru Paravaigal ' {Niram Maaraadha Pookkal}'En Vaanile Ore Vennilaa' {Johnny}'Idhayam Poegudhe'  {Pudhiya Vaarpugal} and Kaadhal Oviyam {Alaigal Oivadhillai} in her sharp and conquering voice similar to that of Vani Jeyaram, are some of the many scintillating numbers, that make her deserve a special place in Tamil film music.
    Similarly,Swarnalatha  whose premature death  created a vacuum,gave us mind blowing songs like 'Povoma Oorgolam'{Chinna Thambi}'Aattamaa Therottamaa'{Captain Prabakaran}'Maalayil Yaaro'{Chatriyan}'Kuyil Paattu'{En Aasai Machaan}'Neethaane Naalthorum'{Paattu Vaathiyaar}  and the two memorable duets 'Maasi Maasam' {Dharma Dhurai}and' Malaikkoil Vaasalile' {Veera}with K.J.Yesudas and Mano respectively,have provided her almost with a legendary status because most of her songs were rendered passionately pouring emotions of the highest order.None of her renderings could be said to be lacking in emotional thrust and depth.It is difficult to forget her and her exquisitee vocal contribution.Incidentally there was another playback singer who had a mesmerizing voice and her song 'Mogam adhu paruvathin Dhaagam' from the film Unakkum Enakkum,starring Jai Shankar and Bharathi, still stays memorable.
    Among the old faces of musical magnificence,the noted  Kannada music director G.K.Venkatesh holds a very proud position for composing music for Tamil films like Sabadham,Ponnukku Thanga Manasu and Thein Sindhudhe Vaanam,besides singing the melodious number ''Nilai Maarinaal Gunam Maaruvaan'' in Paava Mannippu,one of the masterpieces from the AVM production house. Tamil Cinema can hardly ignore T.A.Moti,  who has made limited entries in Tamil film music but his duet song 'Kaanaa Inbam Kanindhadheno' with P.Susheela in Sabash Meena, will be eternally ringing in our memory.Same is the case with P.A.Periyanayagi  whose sorrowful song 'Chinna Chinna Veedugatti' stays as my childhood aural treasure.Dr.Balamurali Krishna the most reputed carnatic singer has not only enriched Telugu cinema but has also inspired the Tamil music lovers by his songs like 'Sinna Kannan Azhaikkiraan'{Kavikkuyil} and the most popular 'Oru Naal Podhuma'  from Thiruvilaiyaadal.  His role as Naradhar in the movie Baktha Prklaadha dubbed from Telugu, gave a newer dimension to the character of that most important character in Hindu mythology.
     Among film makers there was an American face who enriched Tamil Cinema.That was Ellis. R.Dungan  whose film making concepts greatly occupied Tamil creative imagination through films like Mandhirikumari.Tamil  audience can never forget film makers like Dada Mirasi whose films like Rathathilagam and Pudhiya Paravai,became the talking point for a generation.Similarly a socialistic film maker like Malliyam Rajagopal  hit his right target at the right time through films like Savaale Samaali and Enna Mudhalaali Sowkyama? Rajasekaran, a next generation director would be ever remembered for his Rajini hits like Thambikku  Endha Ooru,Dharmadhurai and Padikkadhavan. It was Rajasekaran  who precisely topped as icing sugar, the humour element, on the Superstar's acting agenda.The other amazing film maker of this period was Jeeva whose '12B', and 'Unnaalae Unnaale'  are memorable films adding fillip to the imagination of the younger audience.The untimely death of Rajasekar  and Jeeva is certainly a regrettable loss to  the Tamil film industry.
    The restricted recollections on  men and matters who made a huge impact on the Tamil big screen through their small or short presence, might be due to my memory impediments.However, the idea behind this article is to emphasize the fact, that  grandeur is always the outcome of inspiration and it is not confined to factors of size or duration.Greatness exists in its own manner,however small or short it is.It is definitely a universally agreeable maxim that 'Small is also beautiful'.

1 comment:

  1. Ennulle Ennulle from Valli was a mesmerizing song in Swarnalatha's voice...