Monday, May 8, 2017

The Thevar Actor with Triple Initials.


    Othapatti Ayyathevar Karuppu Thevar, shortly known as O.A.K.Thevar is one of the monumental actors of Tamil cinema celebrated in our memory for his stout, well built physical stature and vigorous voice clarity, capable of reaching the ears of the audience with force and felicity.This giant- like actor who died before seeing his fiftieth year, was naturally good at wrestling and stick swirling.He seems to have had a quest for acting from his boyhood days, but could not seriously attempt at becoming an actor due to paternal strictness and monitoring.However, after a brief stint in Indian army and after the death of his father, he firmly decided to launch his theatrical career, thanks to the help of people like Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram and N.S.Krishnan. He had a considerable exposure to acting in stage plays and finally made his first appearance in Tamil cinema in 1950, in the role of a henchman in Maman Makal starring Gemini Ganesan,Savithri,Chandrababu,T.S.Balaiah and T.S Dorai Raju.
   What was special about Thevar, was his flawless accent of pure Tamil which made him precisely fit for performing royal,mythological and historical characters on the big screen, as impressively as possible.It was his dazzling dialogue delivery that enabled him to perform characters like King Thirmalai Naickar in Madhurai Veeran and as Pandia King in Kalignar's Poompuhar. Some of the mighty mythological characters that crowned his talent were, Kanaga Maharaja, the father -in- law of the Suryaputhra, Karnan and Datchan the father- in -law of Lord Shiva.The two special films that showed him in these characters were, Karnan from the Padmini Pictures produced and directed by B.R.Pantulu and Thiruvilayadal produced by Vijayalakshmi pictures and directed by A.P.Nagarajan In addition to these two films, Devar had also acted as Vibeeshnan, the younger brother of Ravana in the film Sampoorana Ramayanam. Interestingly while Sivaji Ganesan played the lead role in first two films, he came as Bharath,the younger brother of Rama in Samppoorana Ramayanam,The other great mythical character that Thevar donned was that of Saneeswar {Lord Saturn} for the film Ganga Gowri directed by K.Shankar. He was also seen in the mythological film Harichandra,another Sivaji Ganesan film.The other mythological film in his kitty was Sisubalan. Thevar also played a comic role with the yesteryear comedian A.Karunanidhi, in the film Adhi Parasakthi directed by K.S.Gopala krishnan.
   The most remarkable fact about Thevar was the cordiality, friendliness and personal esteem he enjoyed with both MGR and Sivaji Ganesan. Apart from the movies mentioned in the previous paragraph with MGR, he had acted both in films of historical fiction like Mahadhevi,Sarvaadhikaari and Adimai Penn and MGR's family dramas and socially reform- oriented films like, Thaikupin Thaaram,Thaayin Madiyil, Thaai Magalukku Kattiya Thaali,Kannan En Kaadhalan,Parakkum Paavai,Naan Aanaiyittaal and Thalaivan. Besides these, he played significant roles in the fable film Alibaabaavum Naarpathu Thirudarkalum and the mythological film Vikramaadityan, both starring MGR as hero..
     It was said, Sivaji Ganesan  had a special regard for this actor, with regard to his articulation of Tamil dialogues in pure form and his capacity for adding some of his own words here and there, with absolute relevance.It was also stated in Tamil film circle those days, that the Chevalier would be keenly watching his dialogue delivery and would at times even get ready to counter Thevar's tantrums in dialogue delivery. Some of the other Sivaji Ganesan films in which Thevar played supporting roles were Uthama Puthiran,Raja Rani,Kuravanji,Veera Pandiya Kattabomman { a  block buster historical film in which Thevar took the role of Kattabomman's younger brother Oomathurai.}Kappalottiya Thamizhan, Padithaal Mattum Podhuma,Kathavarayan, Pudhiya Paravai and Thanga Surangam. In Padithaal Mattum Podhuma he came in the role of an advocate.
    With Gemini Ganesan  apart from his entry film Maman Makal,Thevar was a part of films like Sowbahyavadhi,Veerakanal and Ramu. Both the contemporary directors K.S.Gopalakrishnan and K.Balachander have inducted him in films like  Aadhi Parasakthi, Vaazhayadi Vaazhai,Sinnanchiru Ulagam and Kankanda Dheivam of the former and  Edhir Neechal and Naangu Suvargal of the latter.The two special films of Thevar were Saadhu Mirandaal in which he played the role of a ruthless murderer and Madras to Pondicherry wherein he appeared as a hotel manager and this rib tickling road comedy was a hilarious parade of comedians like Nagesh,A.Karunanidhi and A.Veerapan. O.A.K  Thevar also did a comic role in the Ravichandran -Jeyalaitha starring film Moonrezhuthu.
      As a villain, as a character actor and as a mythological character Thevar always got into the spirit of the role by the unusual power of the vocal cords,with which he used to churn out sweetness and roughness into a harmonious stuff, capable of inducing an enlivening and endearing audio process. Even in the absence of the visual mode, his utterances in just sound track form will bring his entire profile into our forefront.This Thevar actor ,with his triple initials will ever be remembered by the power of his voice modulation and the distinctness of his voice frame.

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