Two people working together in any field, especially in the field of Cinema, is not anything new. For instance, in the field of film music,we have come across illustrious music composers like Shankar Jaikishan ruling Hindi Cinema, for decades.Same was the case with Viswanathan and Ramamurthy in Tamil Cinema and later, Shankar Ganesh became noticeable music directors working together.But there were two directors of Tamil films who took over their career almost during the inception period of Tamil Cinema and stayed well knit, as makers of high quality films for a pretty long period.Born in two different places,with an age difference of about six years between themselves, they worked hand in hand, without any thought of who performed better than whom.They were Krishnan and Panju, the latter, younger in age, but the former, outliving his younger associate.Their passion for film making was ever governed by the standard yardstick of decent cinema.
Starting with their first film Poompaavai and after a couple of low profile films, they came out with the great film Nalla Thambi, starring N.S,Krishnan,for which the then Dravidian leader C.N.Annadurai wrote the dialogues.Then with the A.V.M blockbuster Parasakthi, they carried the pride of introducing Sivaji Ganesan into Tamil Cinema, who later on became its body and spirit.Their grand creative potential continued to inspire the Tamil film audience, through films like,Kula- dheivam, Ratha Kanneer and Mamiyar Mechiya Marumagal. Besides family dramas, they could delineate events and characters with versatile emotions like motherhood,anguish of childless mothers, nobleness of sacrifice and the grandeur of friendship.They were equally good at action movies.
Krishnan Panju were notable among those, who could work with both MGR and Sivaji Ganesan. They could claim the special distinction of directing MGR with a totally different attitude and frame of mind in their films like Petralthaan Pillaiyaa,Engal Thangam and Idhaya Veenai. Another interesting factor is that these two directors could simultaneously make films of M.K.Muthu and MGR in spite of the fact that MGR came out of DMK and Muthu was the son of Dr.M.Karunanidhi, the DMK leader and the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
It should also be mentioned here that they directed almost all the films of M.K.Muthu,such as Pillaiyo Pillai,Pookkari,Samayalkaaran and Anaiyaa Vilakku. Incidentally,the other fact remains that for Parasakthi it was Dr.M.Karunanidhi who wrote the dialogues.The success story of Parasakthi is a glorious part Tamil film history.Some of their other Sivaji Ganesan hits were Dheiva Piravi, Pudhayal, Kungumam and Uyarndha Manidhan.
Their close association with the AVM banner is another significant aspect of their success and growth as classic film makers.Their outstanding releases under this banner include Parasakthi, Kuladheivam,Dheivapiravi,Server Sundaram,Annai,Uyarndha Manidhan,Kuzhandhaiyum Dheivamum, Adhey Kangal,Anaadhai Aanandan and Annaiyum Pidhaavum. All these films were reputed for strong story line,neat and impressive narration and beautiful characterization of individuals as vital segments of family and society.
Clarity in story telling was the unique aspect of all these films. Global events and unforeseen circumstances splitting family members,family interlinks,filial devotion, the evil impact of suspicion between spouses,poverty,romance agony of childlessness, arrogance of wealth and the power of revenge, were all the noted themes of these films.Almost all these films were mega hits, with their rich ingredients of film making including captivating music.The only exception in this list was Adhe Kangal,which was a thriller but another grand show.The grandest among the works of Krishnan Panju were Parasakthi, Kuladheivam,Server Sundaram, Uyarndha Manidhan Kuzhandhaiyum Dheivamum and Adhe Kangal.
Some of the other memorable movies of these two eminent creators were Pathu Maadha Bandham Vaazhndhu Kaattugirein,Vaazhvu En Pakkam ,Velliradham and Enna Dhavam Seidhein.Besides MGR and Sivaji Ganesan,.Krishnan Panju have worked with other heroes like S.S.Rajendran,Jai Shankar,Ravichandran,Muthuraman,A.V.M Rajan and Vijayakumar.Veteran heroines like P.Bhanumathi,Padmini,Sowcar Janaki,Sarojadevi,Vanisri,K.R.Vijaya,J.Jeyalalitha and Sujatha have enriched the quality of their films.
It was known to everybody that a Krishnan Panju film would not fall short of the set yardsticks of a fine family entertainer with traditional moorings and core values of ethical formulations.There was always this fusion of ideals and emotions like the fusion between the two directors who were always seen as one person.It was this inseparable reality that fixed them ever on the higher pedestal, as the best film makers in Tamil .