Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The more deserving actor is no more.


   Not all actors in the cine field get their due recognition in terms of their talents and aspirations. 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.
    In the above context,Tamil Cinema could be said to have less utilised the talent of  Srikanth,the hero turned villan- cum- comedian -cum character actor who is no more today.The most interesting fact about this wonderful actor is that he was the first hero of J.Jeyalalitha,the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.Having been introduced to Tamil Cinema,by Sridhar, the ardent film maker of triangular love and breezy romance,Srikanth's potential as hero unfortunately failed to hit the desired destination.The other notable point is that Srikanth's first film Vennira Aadai had a completely heroine oriented story line.
   In Vennira Aadai,Srikanth performed the role of a psychiatrist/ doctor, as meekly as possible. After being deprived of hero opportunities,circumstances would have forced this man of graceful acting stuff,to transform into a boisterous villain in films like Aval,{a remake of the Hindi mega hit film Doraha}with his striking one liner dialogue punch"I am always Open."
This movie hit the screens with the innate histrionic ability of Srikanth,dynamically displayed. Srikanth also came out with a remarkable role of villainy in Dhandayudhabaani pictures' Komaadhaa En Kulamaadha and Vellikizhamai Vradham.
   Though Sridhar introduced Srikanth, K.Balachander used his talents for his films like Naanal, Navagraham,Ethir Neechal,Poovaa Thalayaa and Bhama Vijayam.Soon Srikanth's new born flair for villainy teamed up with Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan in several films. Srikanth's best roles in this regard were as the spoiler of Sivaji Ganesan's daughter {Saratha}in Gnana Oli  as the money minded son of Sivaji Ganesan in Vietnaam Veedu and later as the gansgter son of the mighty S.P Choudhry,played by Sivaji Ganesan in Thanga Padhakkam. Interestingly,in Gnana Oli and Thanga Padhakkam,Srikanth was shown as dying in the hands of the Chevalier,for his wrong doings.It should be mentioned here that all the three films cited,were successful stage plays before they were made into films.
    Srikanth had also played the role of a selfish younger brother of Sivaji Ganesan in the most popular film Rajapart Rangadurai. His other noted movies with Sivaji Ganesan were, Sivakamiyin Selvan,Rojavin Raja,Anbaithedi,Vasantha Maaligai and Avan Oru Sarithiram. While Srikanth was significantly included in most of the films of Sivaji Ganesan he did not seem to have found a space in the films of MGR, though the latter was very much active both in films and in politics between 1965,the entry year of Srikanth into Tamil Cinema and 1977 the exit year of MGR from Tamil Cinema,after he wore the mantle of Chief Ministership in Tamil Nadu. 
    Srikanth being a veteran performer of roles,variety in role play was a cake walk for him.In a dramatic switch over of portrayal of roles, Srikanth made his humour sense relevant and impressive in films like Kaasedhaan Kadavulada,Kasi Yathirai,Poova Thalaiya and Bhama Vijayam{ the last one with a negative tint},His comedy sense was as spontaneous as his grasp of villainy. Srikanth also did  impressive roles in Rajinikanth's films Bhairavi and Thambikku Endha Ooru..
   Beyond all these roles,two of his movies made Srikanth a long standing actor of merit and substance.These two films were  Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal and Oru Nadigai Naadagam Paarkiraal. Both these films stand out to be unique in the sense,they were both based on the novels of the ilustrious Tamil novelist Jeyakanthan.Both these movies  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. Last but not least,it is the highly skilled Lakshmi,who was the female pair of Srikanth in both these films. 
    Srikanth was a natural actor and his role performance was always a sample of a 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 Sivappadhi kaaram.
  Destiny had made a former emplyee of the American Consulate to adorn grease and travel a long way from a prestigeous job to a popular film career with a failure of heroship to be followed by memorable multi dimensional depiction of characters on the big screen.Srikanth had acted in many more films than what have been referred to in this article.This blog writer would always remember Srikanth as an actor of hero potential with enormous acting intricacies unfortunately less utilized by film makers.He deserved more and needed more than what he got. Clipping his image closer to our memories,could now be the best honour offered to this departed soul.Sure,his soul will rest in peace.
    PS. Also read 'Two Less Recognized great Actors of Tamil Cinema {Srikanth&Jai Ganesh} available in this blog.    

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