Monday, April 2, 2018

The Sterling Younger Brother of Sridhar

                                                     { Homage to C. V. Rajendran.}


       C. V. Rajendran,one of the stylish Tamil film makers, is no more.His elder brother C.V.Sridhar who was associated with Tamil Cinema as a story and dialogue writer from 1954, directed and released his first block buster film Kalyana Parisu in 1959.Among his entries as a story and dialogue writer,Enga Veettu Mahalatchumi,Yaar Paiyyan,Amara Dheepam and Uthama Puthiran were very successful and their success was also due to the weight of his story and dialogues. C.V.Rajendran first joined Sridhar's creative crew, as an Assistant director for the famous Hindi film Dil Ekh Mandhir and worked in this capacity for nearly half a dozen films starting from Nenjam Marappadhillai to Nenjirukkumvarai, directed by Sridhar. Then C.V.Rajendran independently directed his first film Anubhavam Pudhumai, starring R.Muthuraman and Rajashri.
     Like his brother Sridhar,C.V.R was also fond of the acting calibre of Muthuraman.But unlike his brother who gave greater preference to Muthuraman than Sivaji Gabesan,and did a couple of films with MGR too, C.V.Rajendran never worked with MGR but soon shifted his focus on the Chevalier and went on to make more than a dozen films with him,starting from Galaattaa Kalyaanam to Vaazhkai. C.V.R's most prominent films with Sivaji Ganesan were Galaattaa Kalyaanam {remake of a Malayalam film},Raja,{Hindi Johnny Mera Naam}Needhi{Hindi Dushman}En Magan{Hindi Be Imaan} Sivakamiyin Selvan{Hindi Aaradhanaa}Vaani Raani {Hindi Seeta Aur Geeta}Unakkaaga Naan{Hindi Namak Haraam}Ponnoonjal, Manidharil Manickam, Sandhippu {Hindi Nazeeb} and Vaazhkai{Hindi Avataar}.His less popular Sivaji Ganesan films were Sangili{Hindi Kaalicharan} and Thiaagi. It is the unprecedented victory march of this duo that made me include C.V.R's contribution in my earlier article 'The Main Makers of Sivaji Movies"posted in my blog some time ago.
     C.V.R's other memorable films were Pudhiya Vaazhkai,Veettukku Veedu {both with Jai Shankar and Muthuraman},Maalai Sood Vaa, Ullaasa Paravaikal{both with Kamalahasan} Garjanai {with Rajinikanth}Raaja Veettu Kannukutti,Anand{both with Prabu}and Chinnappadas with Sathyaraj.One could find A.V.M Rajan and Muthuraman in quite a few well known films of this sleek director.The distinct dimension of C.V.R's  art of film making was the inclusion of  slapstick comedy and rib tickling romance blended with moderate action quotient.As a Sivaji Ganesan director,he carefully avoided the element of sentimental melodrama of A.C.Thirulogchandar,the sober sensibility of P.Madhavan and the family emotions of A.Bhimsingh.
     As most of C.V.R's films on Sivaji Ganesan were Hindi remakes,his filming process was almost a ready made journey and what he had to do was to add some Tamil cultural substance to his tone of narration. His inherent skills of film making were explicit through his breezy touches of comedy,love and action as  beautiful moments of film watch,especially in his great films like Galaattaa Kalyaanam,Raja,Veettukku Veedu,Vaani Raani and Ullaasa Payanam. While his Nil Kavani Kaadhali{another Jai Shankar film} and Chinnappadas were casual action films, Raaja belonged to the exuberant mode. Vaani Raani was almost a street show. En Magan was a serious and sincere adaptation of the Hindi original.His unique piece of tragedy was Vaazhkai,with a genuine and realistic portrayal of events and characters. Sumathi En Sundari and Ponnoonjal were exciting tales of romance enriched by the enthralling numbers Pottuvaitha Mugamo{rendered in the captivating voice of SPB during the earliest decade of his career, for Sumathi En Sundhari}and Aakaaya Pandhalile{an immortal duet in the voice of TMS and P.Susheela for Ponnoonjal}.Unakaaga Naan was a grand show of friendship surpassing filial requirements.
      C.V.Rajendran started his career of film making in the line of his elder brother reputed for  his extraordinary concepts of love and humour. But he slowly moved from this track to carve an individual status and position for himself. Luckily a vibrant producer like K.Balaji with an innate love for remaking films from other languages,joined hands with him and they both remade more than a dozen films without letting down the core of the original or the expectation of the Tamil audience.Their team spirit  precisely reflected a perfect grasping of the thumb rules of remaking other skits and it worked out very well.Consequently C.V.R proved to be the sterling brother of Sridhar in learning the art of making films and learning to make it as rightly as possible.There is no doubt that Tamil Cinema will cherish in its archives the wonderful contribution of this great director and the fact that a world class hero like Sivai Ganesan continued to patronize C.V.Rajendran is enough proof to speak of the grandeur of this film maker, who is no more today.

1 comment:

  1. An excellent tribute to late CVR. Incidentally, only today did I come to know that he was the younger brother of the late Sridhar, Sir.