Monday, December 1, 2014

Two Less Recognized Great Actors of Tamil Cinema.

     Not all actors in the cine field get their due recognition in terms of their talents and potential.This is applicable to actors in all language films.Tamil film industry is no exception to this.The actors undergoing the trauma of improper recognition would be many and they would belong to all categories of acting including that of a hero.It is not the objective of this article to analyse the reasons for such a predicament.It is just an attempt at throwing more light on the facts of what one is worthy of.
     Looking back at the days of Tamil Cinema when the two top most heroes MGR and Sivaji Ganesan had reaped the best of their acting career and when new heroes like Jai Shankar and Ravichandran had just begun their hey days,there was a search for new talents, to add a little more dynamism to the Tamil big screen. C.V.Sridhar and K.Balachander, the two illustrious directors of those days could be proud of introducing two new faces to Tamil Cinema.The former came out with a hero and the latter a hero-cum-character actor.One was Srikanth and the other was Jai Ganesh and their movies were,Vennira Aadai and Aval Oru Thodarkadhai. The other creditable fact is that Srikanth was the first hero of J.Jeyalalitha, who later became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Besides,he was older than Jai Ganesh, nearly by a decade.
    Both Srikanth and Jai Ganesh started their career with the best directors of their time.But for Srikanth,his first movie was not his best, because it was a heroine-oriented film and the role of a psychiatrist as hero, did not warrant any extraordinary display of acting dimensions.It was almost a docile role and Srikanth performed it as meekly as possible.But for Jai Ganesh,his entry itself marked a bang with the role of an irresponsible, dipsomaniac elder brother and family head. Incidentally,it was another heroine related story, that gave a remarkable beginning of acting career for debutante Sujatha. However,the performance of Jai Ganesh was extremely noteworthy and the tragic end that fell on him at the climax, when he got reformed of his drunkenness,made his role in that film strikingly memorable.
     Ironically speaking,both these actors seemed to have had a similar fate line at least with regard to their film career.There are solid reasons for this kind of assessment.Both these men after failing as heroes became very impressive comedians and villains.Audience of their times could hardly forget the brilliant performance of Srikanth,with his famous dialogue'I am always open' in Aval,a successful remake of the mega hit Hindi film Doraha.This movie hit the screens with the hidden histrionic ability of Srikanth,substantially displayed.While Srikanth came out with a remarkable role of villainy in Dhandayudhabaani pictures' Komaadhaa En Kulamaadha,Jai Ganesh showed his ebullient villainy in Aattukkaara Alamelu of this production house.Similarities between these two actors are many.
   Though Sridhar introduced Srikanth,K.Balachander used his talents for his films like Naanal, Navagraham,Ethir Neechal,Poovaa Thalayaa,Bhama Vijayam and so on.Similarly Jai Ganesh introduced by K.B was effectively portrayed by Sridhar as a villain in Azhage Unnai Aaradhik kirein. Both these actors had been Sivaji Ganesan's co stars  in several films, particularly in negative roles. Srikanth's role as the son,of Sivaji Ganesan in Thangapadhakkam would be one of the most memorable roles in his archives.His other notable performance with Sivaji Ganesan was in Gnaana Oli. Interestingly in both these films Srikanth is shown as dying in the hands of that veteran, towards rendering justice for his wrong doings. Srikanth had again played as the corrupt son of Sivaji Ganesan in Vietnam Veedu and as a selfish younger brother of Sivaji Ganesan in the most popular film Rajapart Rangadurai. His other noted movies with Sivaji Ganesan were, Siagamiyin Selvan,Rojavin Raja,Anbaithedi,Vasantha Maaligai and Avan Oru Sarithiram.
    Jai Ganesh was found acting with Sivaji Ganesan in several films like Annan Oru Kovil, Pattakathi Bhairavan,Naan Vaazhavaipein,Pilot Premnath,Thirisoolam,Imayam, Andhaman Kadhali,Vaa Kannaa Vaa, AmaraKavyam, Needhipadhi and so on.Most of the roles were on the negative side.Both  Srikanth and Jai Ganesh were taking up roles that showed them throwing challenges to the hero and were later made to accept defeat.Apart from acting as villains both these actors were quite comfortable on the comedy side.While Srikanth made his humour sense relevant and impressive in films like Kaasedhaan Kadavulada and Poova Thalaiya,Jai Ganesh was his hilarious self in films like Murai Maman and Ullathai Allithaa,both directed by Sundar.C.and later with Kamalahasan's farcical comedy Kadhala Kadhala. Both of them are capable of generating decent,convincing sense of humour.
     Srikanth has acted with Rajinikanth in Bhairavi  as a crude villain and later in Thambikku Endha Ooru.But Jai Ganesh has been in Rajini's films like Naan Vaazha Vaipein, Raja Chinna Roja and Adhisiya piravi .After Aval Oru Thodarkadhai,Jai Ganesh has also acted in a couple of movies of K.Balachander such as Pattinapravesam and Rojavanam. He has  played important roles in some films on spiritual themes like Thaaye Neeye Thunai, Samayapurathaale Saatchi,Mel Maruvathur Arpudhangal and Varuvaan Vadivelan.Jai Ganesh has  acted with new generation heroes like Vijay {Poove Unakkaaga}and Ajth{Mugavari}.
     For Srikanth two of his movies Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal and Oru Nadigai Naadagam Paarkiraal, stand out to be unique in the sense, both these films were based on Jeyakanthan's novels and they were highly acclaimed for their story value and refined character portrayal.The character of the hero in both these films was beautifully carved and Srikanth fitted himself into the character with compactness and dignity. Srikanth was a natural actor and his role performance was always a sample of straight course in acting.He has done his best in all his films though movies like  Aval, Thanga Padhakkam,Rajapart Rengadurai,Komadha En Kulamadha, Avan Oru Sarithiram, Kaasedhaan Kadavulada and the two Jeyakanthan films will be the most remembered ones.I last saw Srikanth in a negative role as Chief Minister,in Vishal's  Sivappadhikaaram.
    Jaiganesh could be called an all rounder with a flair for essaying with felicity, villain,character and comedian roles as naturally as possible.In dialogue delivery too,one could find a kind of effort and strain in the voice mould of both Srikanth and Jai Ganesh. Both have not shared screen space with MGR.Besides being natural actors they could also afford to be melodramatic if the story line warrants.It is my personal opinion that these two talented actors could have been recognized a little more than how they were.With more challenging roles and due accommodation they would have retained their positions in the Tamil film field,with more command and wield.


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