Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Memoirs of an Ebullient Film Maker of the Nineteen Eighties


   Losing men of talents in accident prone deaths is the most tragic thing in life.Fascinating singer A.M.Rajah who was known for his soothing voice,died accidentally,while boarding a train. Dynamic actresses like Rani Chandra and Soundarya died in plane crashes.In this line fell the life an ebullient film director like Rajashekar who died in a road accident.Rajashekar was one of the most entertaining movie makers,whose life was painfully plucked away after the successful release of his Rajini blockbuster Dharmadurai,three decades ago.

   Rajashekar had combined in himself the breezy romantic touches and humour flair of C.V.Sridhar and the powerful backup of inspiring sentimental layers in character evolution, effectively dramatized by the great A.C.Thrulock chander,who wonderfully capitalized on the thespian stuff of Sivaji Ganesan. Besides these,the fact remains that Rajashekar was a ritzy action movie maker in the line of A.Jeganadhan and P.Neelagandan.It was this variety feel in Rajashekar's film making,that enabled him to direct more than twenty films in Tamil besides one or two films in Kannada,Telugu and Hindi each.All this he did in  just 11 years because the first film he made was 'Hunnimeya Rathriyalli'{Kannada film}in 1980 and his last film was Dharmadurai in 1991.

  Rajashekar could definitely take the credit for beautifully showcasing the intrinsic comedy sense in the Superstar,through flashes of humour sequences in films like Thambikku Endha Ooru, Maappillai, Padikkadhavan and Dharmadurai.But the greatness of this vibrant film maker was his ability to draw simultaneously the profound emotional side of the protagonists of his films especially in films like Padikkadhavan and Dharmadurai.

   While Rajinikanth's master craftsman K.Balachander poignantly brought out the thorny side of his debut star in films like Moonru Mudichu,Avarkal and Thappu Thaalangal he also made an attempt at tickling the laughter side of Rajini in Ninaithaale Inikkum and Thillumullu.But what Rajashekar did was to tap the two vital sides of Rajinikanth's acting potential in the same film. There was a tremendous impact of the rugged side of Rajinikanth in all the four films mentioned above,besides the whole focus of the rough and tough Rajini in Maveeran.On the whole Rajashekar could be called a special Rajini film maker, sometimes surpassing the bounderies of the other Rajini movie makers like S.P.Muthuraman and J.Magendran.

   Rajasekar showed equal interest in Kamalahasan by making the two great Kamal hits  Kaakki Sattai and Vikram.Both were exciting action movies one produced by Sathya Movies and the other based on the  of novel of Sujatha, bearing the same title.As an action film maker Rajasekar scrupulously included all the necessary ingredients in these two films and with a higly competent hero like Kamal,things would certainly have been easier for this dedicated film maker.

   Rajaskekar had worked with other heroes like Thiyagarajan{Malaiyur Mambattiyaan and Murattu Karangal} Vijayakanth{Eetti and Coolikkaaran} and Charan Raj{Kazhukumalai Kallan and Karunguyil Kunram}.Though in Padikkadhavan Sivaji Ganesan appeared as the elder brother of Rajinikanth, Rajashekar made 'Lakshmi Vandhaachu' with Sivaji Ganesan, Padmini and Revadhi in pivotal roles and the film was a moderate show.It needs a special mention here,that Rajashekar also made the run away siver jubilee,comedy hit Paatti Sollai Thattadhe,produced under the AVM banner.With Pandiarajan and Aachi Manorama the film was a fabulous entertainer of all age groups.

  What was specially captivating in most of the films of Rajashekar was his bubbling display of the action genre,with a robust thrust on entertainment,moving on an adorable speed in narration. I think the snake link with Rajinikanth was actually born in Thambikku Endha Ooru and continued to prevail with lovely laughter moments in other Rajini films like Annamalai,Muthu and Arunachalam, made by different film makers.Yet another interesting aspect of a Rajasehekar film was the scope for competitive edge between  the hero and villain as we saw in Kaakki Sattai or between the hero and his female pairs as we witnessed in Maaveeran and Thambikku Endha Ooru and the one  between the hero and the heroine's mother as watched in Mappillai.Who else would be better a challenge thrower and challenge beater,other than the Superstar?

   On the whole,Rajashekar's winning streak was made up of action,comedy, sentiment and an endless flow of entertainment.It is really a sad thing that such an exhuberant film maker like him lost his precious life in an accident,after giving the amazing film Dharmadurai that was beautifully made up of a rejuvenating first half with kicks of laughter and a riveting second half with blows of sentimental outbursts caused by deceitful siblings.It was a challenging role for Rajinikanth and Gowthami and both stay stuck to our memory by their befitting roleplays.The film also had Malayalam hero Madhu playing the role of Rajini's father.After three decades of the release of Dharmadurai,remembering the film is another way of paying heartfelt tributes to this ebullient,short lived film maker, who passed away along with this glorious film. 


1 comment:

  1. a great document of yesteryears Tamil goldenfilms forgotten by todays generations...these articles should be published as a book