Sunday, November 1, 2020

Tamil Cinema's two Similar Profiles of Villainy

    Generally speaking,each actor is defined by their individual mettle and profile.In the case of heroes,differences permeate more than similarities.But when it comes to villain and supporting actors,one can trace a bunch of similarities in looks,mannerisms,voice modulation and even in acting style.
    For instance late director and actor Manivannan was seen as a combination of M. R.Radha and S.V.Rengarao in his delivery of characters. He rightly combined the speed of Rengarao in dialogue delivery,with an ever taunting mood,that remained as the sole asset of M.R.Radha. Senthamarai and Sangilimurugan seemed to reflect a similar kind of deliberations when it came to villainy,though Sangilimurugan did more character roles than Senthamarai.In this regard there were two solid actors of the last millennium who carried a host of similarities in their looks and tone delivery.They were E.R.Sahadevan and S.V.Ramados.Of the two, E.R.Sahadevan was older than Ramadas by a decade.
   Both Sahadevan and Ramadas had a facial grandeur to suit royal,mythological and social characters.Both were made of sterner stuff with an incredible substance for crude villainy of the ruffian kind.The only difference was,while Sahadevan was a robust rustic,bound to the rural soil,Ramadas could also fix himself in stylistically urbanized characters such as an aristocratic estate owner with a wolfish interior,which he finely displayed in Uyarndha Manidhan.
   In that colossal AVM movie,Ramadas was seen as the most unsympathetic father of Sivaji Ganesan,never willing to compromise his status of wealth for the sake of his son's love towards the daughter of an estate worker.Similarly, in the Chevalier's classic film'Pudhiya Paravai'Ramadas performed the role of an elegant pilot.Whereas E.R,Sahadevan was quite comfortable in performing roles such as a village chieftain or a Zamindaar,a rotten robber,a brutal burglar and a detestable womanizer.
    The first film of E.R.Sahadevan that I saw was Modern Theatre's famous film Aayiram Thalaivaangiya Aboorva Sinthamani.In that film he appeared as Purantharan,the maternal uncle of Chintamani.His other entry with Modern Theatres was the film Petra Maganai Vitra Annai.Unlike Ramadas who had acted in about thirty films with Sivaji Ganesan,Sahadevan had joined in several popular films of MGR like Koondukkili{the only film starring MGR and Sivaji Ganesan together} Malaikallan,Pudhumai Pithan,Gulebagavali,Thaaikupin Thaaram and Thai Makalukku Kattiya Thaali.E.R.Sahadhevan who played the role of a burglar called Kaathavarayan in Malaikallan, has also acted in a royal role in Sivaji Ganesan's mythological fiction film Kaathavarayan.He played as the main villain against MGR in Gulebagavali.
  Though Sahadevan had acted in several films of MGR,his remarkable roles were in Sivaji Ganesan's famous films Navarathiri,Thiruvilaiyaadal{as the Pandiya King getting thwarted by the challenge thrown by the haughty Hemanadha Bhagavadhar}and Thillaanaa Mohanaambal {as street singer Manorama's man Nagappan, obsessed with dancer Mohanaambaal,played by Padmini}.Some of the films that Sahadevan had acted with Gemini Ganesan were, Maayaa  Bazaar,Gunasundari,and Aadhi Parasakthi.
     S.V.Ramadas made his royal entry as King Parthiban alongside Gemini Ganesan,in Devi films' 'Konjum Salangai'produced and directed by M.V.Raman.It was a film based on a historical fiction and ran successfully on account of its powerful narration and felicitous music.His next film was also with Gemini Ganesan and it was'Ezhai Pangalan'produced by music composer K.V.Mahadevan and directed by K.Shankar. He then appeared as Zamindar Jambulingam in Modern Theatres' Konjum Kumari'.
     His popular films with MGR were Arasa Kattalai,Kaanchi Thalaivan,Padagotti,Aayirathil Oruvan,Parakkum Paavai,Kudiyirundha Koil,Nam Naadu,Nalla Neram,Naalai Namadhe, Idhayakkani,Rickshakaaran and Ninaithadhai Mudippavan.But a majority of his films were those of Sivaji Ganesan and to mention a few in this regard were,Arivaali,Karnan,Pudhiya Paravai, Vietnaam Veedu,Thirudan,Thangai,Thangaikkaaga,Iru Dhruvam,Uyarndha Manidhan, Bharatha Vilas,Vilaiyaattu Pillai,Deepam,Annan Oru Koil,Raman Ethanai Ramanadi,Rajapart Rengadurai, Vasantha Maaligai,Engal Thanga Raasaa,Thirisoolam,Avan Oru Sarithiram and En Aasai Raasaave.
    Unlike E.R.Sahadevan,S.V.Ramadas had the chance to act with various other heroes like Jai Shankar {Nee,Yaar Nee,Vairam}Ravichandran{Adhe Kangal}Rajinikanth{Mangudi Minor and Adutha Vaarisu}Kamalahasan{Unarchikal}Paarthiban{Abimanyu}Sarathkumar {Moovendar}  and Arjun {Mudalvan}.Interestingly both Sahadevan and Ramadas have played the role of the mythical Indiran,the former in Rambaiyin Kaadhal and the latter in Karnan.Besides both have appeared in the film Kandan Karunai as the assistants of Soorabadman.The other mythological roles of the two actors were that of Dushaasanan in Maayaa Bazaar and Lord Shiva in Gunasundari that Sahadevan played and the role of Birugu Muni,that Ramadas played in Agathiyar.
   Some of the other well known films of E.R.Sahadevan were,Neelamalai Thirudan, Sengottai Singam,Nadu Iravil and Chenchulatchumi.Similarly the two films of S.V.Ramadas with Gemini Ganesan were Ramu and Punnagai .Of these two films,in Punnagai,he played the repulsive role of  a rich man spoiling the life of a helpless woman {Jeyanthi},in an inebriate mood.
   Both E.R.Sahadevan and S.V.Ramadas created new milestones in Tamil film history by making indelible impressions in the minds of the audience,by their striking second level villain roles and supporting character roles.Their voice pattern could cause dramatic impacts through strategic calculation of intonation, in addition to clarity and thrust in the delivery of dialogues.There was an effective and emphatic vibration in their voices,that could spin and yarn a kind of magic,through a seamless mixing of body language and verbal wield.
   While the voice of Sahadevan could be heard as a volatile move of the tongue,making miracles,the little more vibrating masculine voice force of Ramadas could rule the screen to the roost and conquer the mood of the audience,with a governing roughness,never leaving a jarring note.Some of the most memorable films of Ramadas are Karnan,Uyarndha Manidhan, Aayirathil Oruvan, Punnagai,Adhe Kangal and Pudhiya Paravai. E.R.Sahadevan will be remembered for films like Thaaikupin Thaaram,Thiruvlaiyaadal and Thillaanaa Mohanaambaal.
    E.R.Sahadevan was the favourite of Devar films and Vijayalatchumi pictures.S.V.Ramadas had many film makers to patronize him as a specially suitable actor for performing negative roles, mostly as a gangster member and rarely as prime villain.His character roles also belonged to the secondary level and were not in the line of actors like S.V.Subbaiah,S.V.Renga Rao and T.S.Balaiah.
    Nevertheless,both these actors lived through their roles,by their well made facial parameters, perfectly fitting the thespian mode,both on stage and on screen and by categorically delivering their roles through their gripping voice modulation, filled with valour and venom. Their assertive similarity ever exists as a dramatic formula,driving them both on similar tracks,with similar demeanor and demonstration.In a way,one could say that they both performed roles with a similar quest for goals travelling on a lasting track ,perfectly laid by illustrious stage and screen actors like R.S.Manohar and the TKS Brothers.

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