Thursday, May 21, 2020

Last century's Two Fabulous Second line heroines of Tamil Cinema

   Like second line heroes,there are second line heroines too.Every film industry cherishes the role play of women,as primary and secondary heroines.During the early decades of Tamil cinema when heroines themselves were not too many,every actress was almost treated alike.But there were two women in the Tamil film industry who acted more as secondary heroines,than first line heroines like P.Bhanumadhi,Padmini,Savithri and several others.They were the widely acknowledged  M.N.Rajam and a bit less known Rajasulochana on account of her larger contribution to Telugu cinema.
   Between the two women,M.N.Rajam who married the popular playback singer A.L.Raghavan hailed from Madurai.Whereas Rajasulochana was from the Telugu region Bezawada.Both these actresses shared certain similarities.They played the roles of dancers, vamps, mistresses and as wives of villains. Both were paired with the famous comedians K.A.Thangavelu and K.Sarangabani. But when compared to M.N.Rajam,Rajasulochana was a professional dancer.
   Moreover, both Rajasulochana and M.N.Rajam were the pairs of M.G.R and Sivaji Ganesan. Rajasulochana was paired with MGR in Nallavan Vaazhvaan and Arasilankumar{in addition to her role play as one among the three heroines in Gulebagavali} and with Sivaji Ganesan in Padithaal Mattum Pothuma,her most significant movie with him, besides Sarangadhara. M.N.Rajam was paired mostly with Sivaji Ganesan in very popular films like  Pennin Perumai,Padhi Bhakthi,Mangaiyar Thilakam and Pasamalar though she came as the wife of Nadodi Mannan  besides sharing screen space with him,in films like Mahadevi and Thirudaadhe.Apart from these two heroes,it was S.S.Rajendran who was convincingly paired with these two actresses 
   Both Raja Sulochana and M.N.Rajam have acted together in a few films like Needhipadhi {1955} Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum,Thedi Vandha Selvam,Rangoon Radha K.Bala Chander's Naan Avanillai and R.Pattabiraman's Gayathri.Though they were close contemporaries in their career, Rajasulochana was five years older than M.N.Rajam and passed away in 2003.Their acting patterns were well set, to mark a significant difference between them.
   Rajasulochana used to blend a mesmerising touch in her dialogue delivery,similar to that of the dazzling actress T.R.Rajakumari. Whereas,M.N.Rajam who had a sharp and cutting tone stuff, was able to imprint her words with clarity and categorical thrust of emotions.With her emphatic and assertive voice, she would display her malicious roles dipped in venom and virulence,as she perfectly performed the role of Kantha in Ratha Kanneer, and that of a vindictive vamp in Jupiter Pictures'Thanga Padhumai.Later she did a hateful role as a hurting mother in law in Visu's Penmani Aval Kanmani.But the same actress was beautifully meek as the helpless wife of a wolfish villain{P.S.Veerappa}in M.G.R's fabulous film' Mahadevi'.In this film,her noble character would go to the extent of sacrificing her own child for the sake of saving the king's kid.
   RajaSulochana performed a distinct role alongside K.A.Thangavelu in Modern Theatre's Kaidhi Kannaayiram.When one hears P.Suseela's marvellous song 'Konji Konji Pesi Madhi Mayakkum"which came in that film as a modus operandi to trace a jailer's kidnapped kid [performed by the child artist Baby Savithri},one could immediately recall the impressive role performance of this unforgettable actress,known for her sparkling eye movements and melting voice charm.One of the most remembered scenes of Rajasulochana's appearance is from the most illustrious film Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum,in which she was paired with the fascinating Malayalam hero Prem Nazir and the scene recalled here is for the song Amudhum Thenum Edharku,sung in the clearest  and high sounding voice of Sirkazhi Soundarajan. Rajasulochana also did dual roles in a film entitled Kavitha{1962}
   The successive decades of both M.N.Rajam and Raja Sulochana pushed them to perform as supporting characters. Raja Sulochana's meaningful supporting roles were in M.G.R's Parakkum Pavai[as the physically challenged elder sister of the heroine and the wife of a ruthless villain}and Idhayakani[as the owner of a dance club}as well as in Sivaji Ganesan's En Thambi, Thirumal Perumai and Bharatha Vilas, and as the anti hero Rajinikanth's greedy elder sister,in the film Gayathri. Her last three films were Manaivi Solle Mandhiram,Ambikai Neril Vandhaal{as Urvasi's mother} and Kudumbam Oru Koil{1985}
   M.N.Rajam has a huge list of Tamil films spread over a period of five decades.From a second line heroine and wicked woman to an appealing mother and grand mother M.N.Rajam has carved an invincible place in Tamil cinema,as an active and admirable performer of roles, commanding shades of variety and value.Her transition on the big screen,from a vanquishing woman to veritable mother,was both compact and commendable. M.N.Rajam was adorable both as a mother{ in Arangetram, Oorukku Uzhaippavan,Gayathri,Thirumathi Oru Vekumadhi,Ullasam and Marumalarchi} and then as grand mother in films like Pammal K. Sambadham{as grand aunt}Winner,Thiruppachi and Marudhamalai.
    Some of the ever treasured films of Rajasulochana are,Nallavan Vaazhvaan,Arasilankumari,
Padithaal Mattum Podhuma,Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum,Kaidhi Kannaayiram Thedi Vandha Selvam and Sahodhari. Similarly the most outstanding films of M.N.Rajam among her many entries are,Mangaiyar Thilakam,Padhi Bhakthi,Pennin Perumai, Paasamalar, Mahadevi, Pudhayal,Dheiva Piravi,Kuladheivam,Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum,Makkalai Petra Makarasi,Nadodi Mannan,Thanga Rathinam,Thirumanam,and Thedivandha Selvam besides her two detestable negative roles in Ratha Kanneer and Thanga Padhumai.
    During those decades,when thespian skill was adjudged solely based on one's body language and verbal reach,these two women fully justified their presence in their movies by clearly demonstrating their histrionic ability,without any failing notes in the delivery of characters.Be it as the main woman of the story or as a supporting woman,these two actresses proved their calibre without any inhibition or lack of motivation.Dedication was a delightful component of their performance mettle.
   Among the many powerful and highly performing heroines,these two women were always seen to perform with competitive vigour so as to establish their own commitment and credibility,in mightily occupying their screen space,along with their women contemporaries.  Now it is the presence of M.N.Rajam with her unsurpassed screen power,that keeps us naturally reminded of her contemporary {late}Raja Sulochana and the winning years of both of them in Tamil cinema.


  1. எப்படி ஸார்? இவ்வளவும் under one roof..? Will under safe place for future guidance... Film news anandan. என்றொரு கட்டுரையாளர் படைப்புகளை படித்திருக்கிறேன். இது அதர்கும் மேல.... Nice one Sr

  2. Adhudhan nanun keakkanumnu nenaichean. Eppadi evvalavu information's collect pannureenga. Any references.incredible. Hatsoff.

  3. Thanks a lot Mr.NB,Mr.LKD and Mrs.JR