Sunday, March 22, 2020

An Actor with a clarion voice



      Not all Tamil film personalities have sternly fixed their voices,through their clear and vigorous dialogue delivery.Not all such voices have been film makers too. Sivaji Ganesan in particular, is always cherished in memory, not only for all his majestic and stylish ingredients in acting,but also for asserting  his stentorian voice impact,with the audience. V.K.Ramasamy and Major Sundarajan were the other actors,extolled for their voice grandeur.But these men were more into acting than writing scripts and dialogues.It was Visu who had stoutly claimed his position as the grand master of cheeky sense of humour,clarity of script and dialogues,with force and vigour in acting.
     Visu's initial days were confined to writing the script for the films of his mentor, K.Balachander.Two of the great films in this regard were,Thillumullu and Netrikan,both Rajinikant films.It was S.P.Muthuraman who first directed him as the central character for his film Kudumbam Oru Kadhambam,in the role of Srinivasa Ragavan.Incidentally this was also Visu's story, successfully enacted as a stage play.Visu's tongue twisting question raised in this film,about a mental hospital,a mad man and a psychiatrist threw his fellow actor Omakuchi  Narasimhan into the height and depth of perplexity,besides leaving its indelible mark of hilarity,to become the talk of the town.
  Some of the other notable films for which he wrote the story were,Avan Aval Adhu,Simla Special, Keezh Vaanam Sivakkum, Nallavanukku Nallavan and Mr.Bharath.Of these the last two were released from the AVM banner and Keezh Vaanam Sivakkum was one of the grand movies of Sivaji Ganesan celebrated in audience memory,for its precision,poise and perfection in narration.
   Kanmani Poonga was the first film for which Visu took up the multiple responsibility of writing the script and direction,in addition to playing a vital role.This was followed by Manal Kayiru,enrolling S.V.Sekar as the hero and this film was greatly received and admired. In Manal Kayiru,Visu as Uthiramerur Naradhar Naidu, kept the audience happily engaged for a laughter show.
   Following this,Visu became the vibrant spirit of family dramas,making around twenty five films on the whole.Some of his special films were,Dowri Kalyaanam,Varavu Nalla Uravu, Chidhambara Ragasiyam,Samsaaram Adhu Minsaram, Thirumathi Oru Vegumadhi,Kavalan Avan Kovalan,and Penamani  Aval Kanmani.
   The last two films found in the list  above, were State and National award winners respectively,on the basis of their projecting precious story lines and social values.The final innings of Visu as film maker, were for his fairly popular Pattukottai Periyappa,Meendum Savithri and Sigamani 
  The interesting phenomenon of Visu's films,was the unique composition of his titles,in three or two words with similarity in phrase formation.The other prominent feature of Visu's films was the notable inclusion of stage artists like Kamala Kamesh and the frequent addition of veteran actors like Manorama, Vadivukkarasi and Delhi Ganesh.Actors like S.V.Sekar,Prathap Pothan, Dileep,Chandrasekar,Ilavarasi,Madhuri and Seetha joined Visu's team quite often. 
  Visu's choice of actors for playing roles as per the character evolution and depth of emotion was yet another unique trait of his process of film making.One such effective choice was that of M.N.Rajam a long standing actor of extraordinary mettle,to play the most cruel mother in law in Penmani Aval Kanmani.
     Samsaaram Adhu Minsaaram,the most commendable of all his films,produced under the AVM banner,won the National award for its rich entertainment ingredients.As Ammaiyappa Mudaliyaar and as family head,Visu was seen as the crux and outstanding character of the film,with a highly qualitative  and talented team of actors, consisting of Raguvaran,Lakshmi, Ilavarasi, Kamala Kamesh,Vaagai Chandrasekar,Madhuri, Manorama Kishmu,Dilip and Kaja Mohamed.
    Each character carried a distinctly memorable identity formed of a strong base, making the family contexts very much real and relevant to life.No one can forget the previously stage managed scene,presenting a very lively conversation between servant Manorama and Kishmu{Albert Fernandez},as the father-in-law of Ilavarasi,over a proposed divorce issue.The film on the whole, was one of the excellent shows of Visu on the big screen.
    It was a perfect display of an intricate joint family,composed of a calculative and frugal,eldest son,{Raguvaran},his passively pragmatic wife{Laksmi},talkative father {Visu},submissive mother{Kamala Kamesh},two younger brothers,one with a volatile frame of mind{Chandrasekar}and the other with the vagaries of teenage {Kaja Mohamed} and a whimsical younger sister {Ilavarasi}.
   The entire film beautifully reflected the various positive and negative undercurrents of a joint family,in perfect form.With Visu's carefully written and remarkably delivered dialogues, the film became a major hit for the director, besides adding another feather to the victory march of the AVM production house. There is a saying in Tamil that a bit of boiled rice is an effective indicator of the quality of the pot full of rice.Similarly, this one movie powerfully pinpoints the multi dimensional creative merits of Visu.
   Apart from being a distinguished film maker,Visu as an actor is a class by himself,in emphatic dialogue delivery, with clarity and force.By every measure of his acting style,one could see the categorical impact of the stage on the screen, as in the case of his great mentor-cum-director Balachander and actors like, T.K.Bagavadhi,S.V.Sahasranamam V.S.Raghavan,Major Sundarajan,R.S.Manohar and a few others who have by and large added value to Tamil cinema,by their theatre experience that came in handy for them,in precisely fixing themselves for screen performance,as compactly as possible. 
    Visu has brought out the dynamics in acting, mostly by his characteristic voice modulation and impressive grasp of accent and intonation yardsticks,towards getting closer to the audience as naturally as possible. Visu has done quite a few character roles with the superstar in films like Nallavanukku Nallavan, Mr.Barath,Uzhaippali, Mannan and Arunachalam.
     No one can forget Visu's sparkling performance as Kumaresa Gounder in Mr.Bharath.The two Kamal films he was associated with were,Simla Special and Sathya one as a story writer and the other as an actor. Visu has always been a perfect choice for doing roles such as a care taker,an advocate {Ellaam Avan Seyal and a few other films}a sitting Judge,an investigating officer and above all as the governor of as the chief minister of a state.These are characters that Visu has essayed with his innate poise,ease,dignity and thrust in dialogue delivery.
     As the responsible father of a self-conscious and arrogant feminist daughter,he delivered a wonderful performance in Mannan. His performance was equally noteworthy in Vanaja Girija,a film portraying the diagonally contradictory attitudes of two women.Besides these, it would be a proud factor for Visu to have shared screen space with the Chevalier, Sivaji Ganesan in the film Thaikoru Thaalaattu directed by Balachandra Menon.
    The AVM banner which utilised Visu's versatile talent by letting him  make one of its best films,Samsaram Adhu Minsaram also inducted him for playing great roles in films like Mr.Bharath,Nallavanukku Nallavan and Mella Thirandhadhu Kadhavu.Visu raised his powerful paternal voice in the Arjun starring film Adimai Changili,directed by R,K.Selvamani.In the same manner,he created vibrating moments despite his limited appearance in Lingusamy's Ji,as a printing press owner with a determination to oust from post, a sitting corrupt MLA of his constituency.He has always been in full form,in doing roles that could reflect the force of reasoning and pragmatic intelligence.
   For some time Visu's clarion voice was heard on the small screen with his reputed spark of ideas and flair for emphatic tone delivery,focused on socially useful interactions,with the youth and children.It is a known fact that Visu,by his distinct mind frame and significant thrust on clear performance,stands out as the specially identifiable,celebrity of Tamil Cinema, through his categorical traits of creativity,as a special brand of film maker and an authoritatively self confident actor,with a clarion voice.

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