Friday, November 2, 2018

The Strong Screen Pairs of Sivaji Ganesan.












    To be a female pair of a hero is always an easy task if the hero is an average actor and if the role of the heroine is not that challenging.But to be the pair of a hero of the Himalayan stature like that of Sivaji Ganesan, it would have been an uphill and formidable task,for any conscious woman climbing up the steps to stardom. Sivaji Ganesan would have acted with a score of women starting from G.Varalakshmi,Anjalidevi and Bhanumathi to Sripriya,Ambika,Radha and finally with Radhika. 
   During the huge spell of his acting career it would have been an interesting experience for the hero to work with so many actresses.Moreover, unlike MGR in whose films the heroines had less space for meaty roles,Sivaji Ganesan is said to have treated his fellow actors and pairs always on a par, because he himself was a talent hungry hero.However,even in his films, actresses like Manjula,Usha Nandini,Bharathi and Sripriya would have passed on,like glamour pieces not making a mark to be remembered by the audience.
   Among the so many women who came to be paired with the Chevalier,at least half a dozen women gained a solid ground to stay remembered with a colossal status.Actresses like Padmini, Sarojadevi,Sowcar Janaki, K.R,Vijaya,Vanisri and J.Jeyalalitha proved to be the commendable pairs of Sivaji Ganesan.I have deliberately left out Savitri,the most commanding woman voice of Tamil cinema, purely on account of the fact that after acting as the enviable younger sister of an intensely affectionate elder brother,in the stupendous film Pasamalar,Savitri could not be considered as a possible pair of Sivaji Ganesan.
   It is true that before and after this epoch making film,the two had acted together in films like Vanagamudi,Annaiyin Aanai,Vadivukku Valaikaappu,Navarathiri,Thiruvilaiyadal,Kai Kodutha Dheivam and Praptam.But these are mere numbers as far as man woman relationship is concerned.It is Sivaji and Savitrhri as brother and sister of Pasamalar who continue to remain as the mind blowing siblings of Tamil cinema and hence,Savitri could never be considered as a matching pair of Sivaji Ganesan.I have also excluded Devika from the list because she could not be called a challenging pair of Sivaji Ganesan due to her meek and modest presence,{excepting Andavan Kattalai wherein she excelled like the mythical Menaka thwarting the meditation of sage Viswamitra}in films like Annai Illam,Shanthi,Pava Mannippu, Neelavaanam,Bale Pandiya,Karnan,Pazhani,Anbukarangal and Muradan Muthu.But I am sure she needs a separate write up for her powerful role play in films like Nenji Oer Aalayam, Nenjam Marappadhillai,Sumaithaangi,Vaazkkai Padaku,Vaanampadi,and Marakka Mudiyuma.
      On the contrary,what an invincible romantic and conjugal core,the other six women established with Sivaji Ganesan,in terms of mutuality and man -woman vibration,to adorn the  Tamil big screen and to be transferred as audiovisual glory to each and every home.It was a kind of symphony of compatible rhythms,creating a feel of excellence,even while being recalled with a passion for Tamil cinema.These six women created a wonderland, passing like blood into our veins.
    Padmini who began her association with Sivaji Ganesan for the film Panam{which was made almost at the same time of the hero's debut film Parasakthi}continued her happy thespian journey with him,for great films like Anbu,Kaveri,Raja Rani,Illara Jothi,Amara Dheepam, Maragatham,Uthama Puthiran,Pudhaiyal,Senthamarai,Punar Jenmam,Dheiva Piravi,Thanga Padhumai,Iru Malarkal,Vietnaam Veedu,Thillana Mohanambal,Pesum Dheivam,Kulama Gulnama,Thenum Paalum,Iru Dhuruvam and Vilayaattu Pillai.In the famous film Mangaiyar Thilakam directed by L.V.Prasad Padmini came as Sivaji Ganesan's elder brother's wife.
    Most of the films mentioned here,made history and films like Vietnaam Veedu,Iru Malarkal, Thillaanaa Mohanambaal,Kulama Gunama and Pesum Dheivam would be preserved as celluloid treasures for their exemplary revelation of conjugal harmony and gender equality. Padmini knew where to claim her place and she would firmly do it with her bold voice and validity of her arguments,that made her voice bold.With Sivaji Ganesan,she never lost her hold in acting.It was this singular fact that made her one of the longstanding pairs of that monumental hero. 
     Sowcar Janaki came into the fold of Sivaji Ganesan for films like Padikkaadha Medhai, Paalum Pazhamum,Paar Magale Paar,Motor Sundaram Pillai,Pudhiya Paravai and the most talked about Uyarndha Manidhan.Janaki could be seen as shedding tears every now and then in Padikkadha Medhai and Paar Magale Paar.But she reflected a kind of splendid supremacy of mind and spirit,in Motor Sundaram Pillai and Uyarndha Manidhan.In Pudhiya Paravai she would fight for equality owing to misconceptions of modernity and new wave behaviour resulting in her getting killed,just after being slapped by her loving husband,Sivaji Ganesan. What was special in her acting mode was her distinct fluctuation in mood,between courage and despair, between intelligent argumentation and final submission,between shouting in anger and shedding tears at the end.There was a complex mix of sentiments and realism in her role portrayals,that made her an outstanding pair of Sivaji Ganesan,though the number of films she did with him were much less when compared to those of Padmini.
   Sarojadevi who acted more films with MGR as his once preferred pair,did great roles in Sivaji Ganesan films like Paalum Pazhamum,Bhagapirivinai,Vidi Velli,Kulamagal Raadhai,Aalaya mani,Iruvar Ullam,En Thambi,Kalyaniyin Kanavan and Thenum Paalum.Of these Paalum Pazhamum,Aalayamani,Baagapirivinai and Iruvar Ullam would claim an extraordinary place not only in the archives of Tamil Cinema but also in the total acting career of Sivaji Ganesan. Unlike in MGR films wherein she was treated more as a dream girl,Sarojadevi had substantial scope for proving her acting caliber in the films mentioned above.All these films were of high quality, vouchsafing the presence of a strong woman beside a strong hero.She also appeared as a glamour stuff in Paarthaal Pasitheerum.
    K.R.Vijaya became the insuperably fascinating pair of Sivaji Ganesan starting from the film Selvam.She played a variety of temperamental tunes in acting,at times taking the Chevalier to a sense of awe and admiration.The notable films that they acted together include Thangaikkaaga, Iru Malarkal,Ootivarai Uravu,Thirudan,Thangai,Bharadha Vilas, Sorgam,Thava Pudhalvan, Thanga Padhakkam,Mridhanga Chakravarthi,Rishimoolam,Thirisoolam,Needhipathi, Padikkadha Pannaiyaar and Kalthoon.
   The other two most popular films like Nenjirukkum varai and Raman Ethanai Ramanadi were significant narrations of one side love of the hero.Sivaji Ganesan and K.R.Vijaya as husband and wife,represented the grandeur of family foundation with its deeper layers authentically supporting as mutual benefactors of an illustrious conjugal life.The so called concept of chemistry,propagated by the present generation,worked very much in favour of both Sivaji Ganesan and K.R.Vijaya in a symbiotic mood of acting.In submission and feminine grace K.R.Vijaya certainly surpassed the others. Like the Sivaji /Padmini combination the Sivaji / K.R.Vijaya team yielded myriad dimensions of love and geniality. Iru Malargal,Bharatha Vilas,Sorgam,Thanga Padakkam and Thirisoolam were felicitous films in this regard.
    Vanisri who worked with Sivaji Ganesan as his pair for a brief time,brought a sense of sublime joy in the minds of the viewers,who happened to watch the two,as lovers of warmth and winning streak,in fabulous films like Uyarndha Manidhan and Vasantha Maaligai.These two films were tales of consummate romance,taking the spirit of the audience to higher realms of imagination.This pair also teamed up for other great films like Sivakamiyin Selvan,Nirai Kudam,Nalladhoru Kudumbam,Vani Rani and Rojavin Raja.The emotional vibration radiated by this pair was of a fantasy kind with brilliance in its transmission. Vanisri's delivery of dialogues would most often carry a note of genuine innocence and a deeper sense of longing,that brought her closer to the hero,in perfect sync.
    J. Jeyalalitha was a combination of high level energy and spontaneous submission.She was a mighty mix of Padmini and Sowcar Janaki with  feminine charm and feminist force making her role performance a potential challenge to Sivaji Ganesan in films like Pattikkaadaa Pattanamaa Engirundho Vandhaal and Savaale Samaali,that were highly rated for their story value and dynamism in role play.Apart from these three films which were exclusive masterpieces,there were quite a number of Sivaji Ganesan films in which she was his perfectly matching pair.Films like Enga Oor Raja,Raja,Dheiva Magan,Enga Mama,Galaattaa Kalyaanam,Sumathi En Sundari,Anbai Thedi,Chitra Pournami,Dharmam Enge and Paattum Bharadhamum were remarkably entertaining films.What was great about Jeyalalitha was her equanimity in sharing screen space effectively,with both MGR and Sivaji Ganesan,which was less frequent in the case of other pairs of the two contemporary heroes.
    Most of the other actresses like Lakshmi,Sujatha,Ambika,Radha and Radhika became the next generation female pairs of Sivaji Ganesan for a short while. Lakshmi was compact in role performance in films like Thiagam and Unakkaaga Naan.Sujadha's role play in  Deepam, Annan Oru Koil,Andhamaan Kadhali,Sandhippu and Theerpu reflected memorable dimensions of softness, dignity and mutual dynamism.The other three actresses had one solid film each to do with Sivaji Ganesan and the films were  respectively,Vaazhkai,Mudhal Mariyaadhai and En Aasai Raasave.Whatever be the nature of contribution of these women in a Sivaji film,the one and only truth remains that,half a dozen women rightfully dominated in the films of the Chevalier of Tamil cinema and the last but not the least in the list,was 
J.Jeyalalitha. 
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