Tuesday, July 10, 2018

SARAN the Felicitous Film Maker.


        Born as Saravanan,Saran a diploma holder in Visual communication and a one time cartoonist for Aananda Vikaden got into the film world out of his ardent admiration for veteran director K.Balachander and assisted him in the direction of Unnaal Mudiyum Thambi, starring Kamalahasan,Gemini Ganesan and Seetha. His love for making films pushed him ahead, towards directing the highly acclaimed film Kaadhal Mannan. His association with Ajit almost became a firm bond that made him direct four of his films including his first hit.His other three Ajit films were Amarkalam,Attakaasam and Asal all starting with letter A.
   Barring Alli Arjuna in which Bharatiraja's son Manoj was the hero, almost all the films of Saran received either best or moderate reviews.Apart from his Ajit films which were grand shows,his other films like Paarthein Rasithein,Jay Jay,Gemini, Vattaaram and Vasool Raja MBBS were great entertainers worthy of a theatre watching experience of films.
    His two major flops were Alli Arjuna and Modhi Vilaiyaadu. Paarthein Rasithein and Jay Jay were enchanting romantic tales and Gemini was a racy entertainer. Vattaram was a unique gangster story with Arya's macho might and Napoleon's composed acting. Vasool Raja MBBS was a creditable remake of the Hindi hit Munna Bhai MBBS. It was a Kamal special, with crazy Mohan's sparkling witticisms coupled with Kamal's pranks and the ever enjoyable banter of Prakash Raj. Saran's other moderate film Idhaya Thirudan, with Jeyam Ravi in the lead role,was produced by his mentor K.Balachander.
   What is distinct about Saran is the vigour he consistently reflects in narrating the story on hand,be it a tale of romance, or a commercial entertainer,like the film Gemini.Besides his predominant preference for Ajit, his exclusive choice of Bharatwaj to compose music for all his films{with the exception of Alli Arjuna and Modhi Vilaiyaadu,that went into the hands of A.R.Reheman and the Colonial Cousins[Hariharan and Lesle Lewis] respectively} is an indicator of his prioritization,in the process of his film making.
    Another extraordinary thing about Saran's films is the abundant energy levels portrayed by the heroes of his films. Throwing challenges and meeting them with confidence and grit have been the inherent strength of the theme,story line,character presentation and narration of events,scrupulously adhered to by this film maker, who carries the essence of  juvenile zeal and gusto.
    His heroes are quite often seen on a track of adventure attempting to do the impossible. There is an undercurrent of aberration in character formation,as witnessed in some of the films of K.Balachander. Saran's hero might fall in love with a girl betrothed to some other guy{Kadhal Mannan }or he might be one ex-convict attending college {Gemini} or a medical student who cleared his entrance test through proxy {Vasool Raja MBBS}.
    But ultimately,their intentions are genuinely harmless,though they achieve their goals through robustly romantic and unconventional means.The all pervading element of mischief is a special appealing factor of Saran's heroes.The hero{Ajit} carrying the villain's chair {played by Mahadevan} in the climax scene of Attahaasam,after an ironical adoration of the erstwhile gang leader,is a memorable sample of this trait.A similar inspiration was passed on by Arya's passion for the gangster head Napoleon's rocking chair,in Vattaram.
    Saran's heroine might be from Assam or Kerala,Goa or Karnataka,Rajastan or Andhra Pradesh or West Bengal.She may even be an Indian woman either born or living abroad.He has hardly gone in favour of a purely Tamil heroine.Barring Shalini and Sneha most of his heroines were either glamour additions or excessive hero doters.But among his villains,starting from Girish Karnard and Raguvaran, all have made a mark in carrying out their roles with adequate stamp of crookedness and fury.In fact,his villains could be said to have played as vital a part in his films,as his heroes, because Saran's focus has chiefly been on the ecstasy of crimes with the enthusiastic participation of garrulous gangsters.  
    Saran could take credit for drawing the melody maker M.S.Viswanathan into acting.The late music director's meaty role as Mess Viswanathan in Kadhal Mannan,was truly rib tickling,with his strict advocacy of teetotalism in public,while at the same time enjoying  his own series of stealthy smoking sessions, that get unwittingly exposed to the ever curious cigarette bound Vivek. The hilarious moments he created in association with Vivek, formed Saran's endearing show of the friendly ruckus of bachelorhood.In addition to this, MSV was also made to sing a lovely song,adding pep and style to the role that the music director played.
    The same way,Saran did something special by taking into his fold yesteryear comedian Kaakaa Radhakrishnan as a crazy Carom game buff in Vasool Raja MBBS.The kidnap of the old man by Kamal &co by alluring him for a Carom game and thereby forcing his intelligent doctor son Crazy Mohan, to do the medical entrance exam on behalf of Kamal, provided a vibrant comedy show for the audience.
   The spicy touches of Saran include the choice of location for narration,such as an old unused bus or a theatre that becomes the centre of activities involving the main action sequence. There is always a thrust of chase and run, whether it is a romantic race or a gangster chase.
    Saran is capable of creating an unusually fabulous screen experience,by presenting a distinct frame of criminality and genuine human emotions, that exist in effective juxtaposition. The turbulent behaviour of his heroes, including his anti hero Manoj in Alli Arjuna,hardly failed to trigger higher voltage of action segment in most of his films.It was lovely to watch Ajit,Vikram and Arya playing roles of rugged orphans and captivating gangsters, in Amarkalam, Gemini and Vattaram respectively. 
    Saran's comedy skit was mostly compact in films like Kadhal Mannan,Amarkalam,Gemini and Vasool Raja MBBS.Popular Comedians like Vivek,Dhamu,Charlie and Vaiyapuri have kept the momentum in full form in their respective movies directed by Saran. In Vasool Raja,Parabu too joined the Kamal wagon,to boost the comedy element as relevantly as possible. 
   On the whole,Saran is one of those film makers who would like the audience to spend a happy time in the theaters and carry on their film watch with all their family members.He has no itch for projecting negative emotions.On the other hand, he revels in his gusto of narration that leads to a spontaneous reverberation of energy, from the beginning till the end of each and every film that he directs,with invigorating spicy ingredients, lavishly used by happy-go-lucky guys.

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