Tuesday, November 20, 2012

C.V.Sridhar's Sterling Face of Romance

                                                                                                                                      Nenjil Oer


      Walt Whitman,the renowned American poet said  ''Every atom belonging to me as well as belongs to you''.Lord Krishna seemed to tell the hero of Chaman Lal Nahal's' My True Faces''All the faces here, are my faces and all my faces are my true faces''.The principle of oneness or non duality called 'Advaidha' is the unifying factor of the Globe.It is the spirit of love that binds humanity as one face with a variety of expressions.The changing expressions constitute the substance of diversity, as we find in the difference in treatment of human emotions like love, compassion and empathy on the positive side and hatred,greed and jealousy on the other.The supreme positive emotions and the deplorable negative emotions are portrayed differently in  various art forms especially in the audiovisual medium of cinema.Love, as the most preferred human emotion has been pictured more prominently, by most film directors through each one's aesthetic binocular vision. C.V.Sridhar,the noted Tamil film director legitimately deserves an adorable place, for idealizing the romantic experience as an exalting,reforming,cathartic and humanizing activity.
       Sridhar's directorial face of romance, was rooted to the soil of sacrifice.It always said, without openly saying, that one's love for the other,should be reinforced with the soul- sustaining layers of sacrificial tendencies The heroes and heroines of Sridhar's films, were never portrayed as aggressive characters in their understanding and expression of love.Even the choice of actors to do romantic roles, showed the softer perspective of Sridhar's concept of romance.
      Right  from his first film 'Kalyana Parisu', Sridhar has dealt with the theme of sacrifice, with single- minded conviction.He has convincingly portrayed the concept of triangular love, in films of great value like,'Kalyana Parisu','Nenjil Oer Aalayam',Nenjirukkumvarai','Vennira Aadai; 'Avalukkenru Oru Manam' and 'Ilamai Oonjaladugirathu'.One of the three characters in the love game, became a loser, but won the hearts of the viewers, as the striking symbol of sacrifice.In the first of the lot,the two sisters vied with each other, in a competitive spirit of sacrifice,to give up their love interest for the sake of the other,thereby, making the hero almost a victim of their sacrificing spirit of sibling intimacy.
     In the second movie listed here,the doctor- hero, became the incarnation of sacrifice, giving his life itself to prove the platonic quality of his love. In the third,the hero had to kill himself, to prove the innocence of the woman he once loved ,before her suspicious husband ,who also happened to be the hero's close friend. 'Vennira Aadai excitingly portrayed the plight of a victim of child marriage- turned young widow, falling in love with the psychiatrist, who came to treat her mental illness and ultimately getting desolate, when she came to know that the doctor was in love with another girl.The movie showed the final predicament of the love dejected woman, choosing permanent widowhood. 'Avalukkenru Oer Manam', spoke of the nobility of  a woman who went to the extent of giving her life, in the hands of a womanizing villain, in order to protect the integrity and chastity of her lover's wife, so that, her lover's family would be saved from disgrace.Sridhar's later venture 'Azhage Unnai Aaraadhikkiren' was almost a repeat of the story line of 'Avalukkenru Oru Manam'.'Ilamai Oonjaladugiradhu' youthfully described two men falling in love with the same girl .One was a stage dancer and singer and the other a doctor.Here,it was the doctor who had to swallow the bitter pill of disappointment.All these movies, were profoundly interlinked with themes of selflessness, as the base of an ennobling romantic experience.
     Sridhar was never found wanting in dealing with other intricacies of the romantic portrait.He had poignantly exposed, the risk of credulousness in romance, leading to disappointments and ruin of the victim betrayed by someone unworthy of being loved.This is what we witnessed in 'Policekaran Magal', in which the innocent daughter of an honest police man, was deceived in the name of love, by a Casanova kind of man, causing her suicide.This popular film with its powerful tragic element, was an emotionally tormenting experience for the audience.Later, K.Balachaner handled a similar theme, in his 'Major Chandrakanth'. This kind love stories, were clear indicators of the wrong choices, of the road to romantic destinations and they were also meant to uphold, the traditional values cherished for a long time .
    Family conditions forcing individuals, to relinquish love for the sake of their family members, also formed part of the delineation of romance, in Sridhar's 'Sumaithangi'.In that, it was the exploiting, selfish, family base, that shook a fine foundation of romance, between the soft- tempered hero and his lady love, with a fickle mind.The sad course of events, finally drove the hero to embrace priesthood as the right choice, in the midst of contextual vagaries.It was another unforgettable romantic face, that Sridhar unveiled.
   The usual factor of parental objection to love and prevention of lovers from getting united, also formed the subject matter of one of Sridhar's movies.No one, who had  been regularly watching the films of Sridhar, could forget 'Nenjam Marappadhillai' the enchanting love story of a wealthy Zameendar's son, with the daughter of an ordinary worker in the Zameen.M.N.Nambiyar, as the proud and formidable Zameendar,  swore that he would not let the lovers unite, any time, anywhere, on the earth. The killing of the girl arranged by the Zameendar, was followed by the death of his son.Interestingly,the unrelenting Zameendaar, lived long, to prevent the same lovers joining each other as life partners, even in their next birth.However, the old man could not succeed  in his mission this time.The theme of the film was that, true love could always regenerate and it was unstoppable.
    The lighter side of romance was breezily pictured by Sridhar in 'Kadhalikka Neramillai' and 'Ootivarai Uravu' .The comedy element superseded the romantic segment and so the tragic undercurrent running through the many romantic tales of Sridhar, was given a break, making his face of romance, cheerfully endearing.Two of Sridhar's films that I missed and want to watch are 'Vidivelli'  and 'Meenda Sorgam'.
    'Alaigal' was again a modest picture of dignified romance, with the Kannada hero Vishnuvardhan making his debut,as hero in a Tamil film..But 'Urimaikkural ' could claim a unique place, because it could change the MGR formula of love and present the mass hero, as a delicate performer of romance, in accordance with the interpretation of love as an all absorbing emotional power, that could be exercised only by those, who fell in love. Sridhar's  directorial guidelines, made MGR budge to a different dimension of displaying the basics of romance. However,Sridhar too had to compromise his idealistic yardstick for a while, and resort to shooting the physical intimacy of those making love, that had already been popular as the MGR formula of the depiction of romance. Sridhar could not repeat his success formula in his other M.G.R film Meenava Nanban which was a moderate show.The reason for this modest reach of Meenava Nanban could be due to the tremendous success of the other fisherman story 'Padahotti' of MGR that had already hit the screens with felicitous music and fiery narration.
     A comprehensive rewind of Sridhar's romantic face would automatically unfold its decent,refined and ideally integrated circuit, capable of recharging the sagging nobler side of the human mind.His portrayal of romance,firmly pushed the fire of the physical side of love, to the  back burner, in order to present love as a fine feeling, supremely riveted to the soul.For the true lover, it is the feeling of love, that beats like one's heart beat, that matters life.This strong base, captured Sridhar's sterling face of romance as a radiant stuff, transmitting its rays of hope to humanity, as the Sun does to the earth.



  1. A splendid tribute to a great auteur .Sridhar excelled in all genres .Romance, comedy , drama and adventure .Too bad towards his laterv years he had to abdicate into making those mediocre movies for an ageing MGR !

    1. Great directors like P.Madhavan {Dheivathai with MGR}A.C Thirulokchandar{Anbe Va with MGR }A.P.Nagarajan {Navarathinam with MGR}and Sridhar{Urimai Kural and Meenava Nanban with MGR} who were closer to Sivaji Ganesan's acting vibe have all made some exclusive films of MGR for reasons best known to them.But K.Balaji never produced any film of MGR as Devar Films never made a film of Sivaji Ganesan.May be these were personal preferences.Sorry for this extremely belated response.