Monday, November 1, 2021

Two Soft men of Tamil cinema,from the Kannada &Telugu regions.


     Every prominent actor succeeds in leaving their distinct impressions on the silver screen. Beyond the perfect perception of the dimensions encompassed in a character,an actor is also remembered for what physically he is on the screen.To be physical is to be visually and audibly impressive,so that one's profile leaves some of its impressions in the minds of the audience,as an identifiable personality.

  One need not always be a superstar or a topnotch actor to do this.One can be a modest performer but still find a place in the movie archives,to be revisited for what they are capable and worthy of.In this respect,this blog would love to place on record,the unique contribution of two actors,one from the Kannada soil and the other from the Telugu region.This post has allotted their  positions in an ascending order in accordance with their years of birth and entry into the tinsel world.These two remarkable faces belong to Kalyan Kumar and Sarath Babu. 

  Kalyan Kumar who started his acting career in Kannada cinema during the mid Nineteen fifties, made his entry into Tamil,with his first Tamil film Kadavulin Kuzhandhai{1960},directed by Dadamirasi.Being accepted as a graceful hero of Tamil cinema,he was making a busy round in the nineteen sixties with most popular films like Thayillaa Pillai,directed by L.V.Prasad,for which Kalignar M.Karunanidhi wrote the storyline, Nenjil Oer Aalayam and Nenjam Marappadhillai, the two crtically acclaimed films of C.V.Sridhar, Mani Osai directed by P.Madhavan and Pasam made by T.R.Ramanna.

   There were other  other modest films like Thendral Veesum,Yaarukku Sondham, Neengadha Ninaivu,Kadavulai Kandein,Seeman Petra Selvangal and Nirabaradhi.His heroines in those films were Jamuna,Malini, L.Vijaya lakshmi,Sheela and Devika.It became a surpise how this talented and graceful hero went into hybernation,during the next two decades to reappear again in the Nineteen Nineties,in elderly character roles,as the dad of heroes like Bhagyaraj {Raasukutti} Ajith{Amaravadhi}Arjun {Gokulam}and Selva{Maindhan}besides donning the role of the Chief Minister in Jai Hind.

   It brings a sense of nostalgic longing for the old glory of Tamil cinema,with its dignified elements of humanism in films like Thaayillaa Pillai,Nenjil Oer Aalayam,Mani Osai and Kadavulai Kandein.As the hunch backed son of a ruthless father,{cruelly played by M.R.Radha} Kalyankumar poured forth the agony of a forbidden soul,sacrificing his life for the sake of his younger brother {R.Muthuraman}.In tone delivery and deep perception of the tormenting emotions of a physically challenged, orphanised youth,his clean performance was a clear pointer to how an actor should spontaneously move on into the character.

   Kalyan Kumar seemed to always excel in doing the role of a victim,suffering the pangs of one side love in Nenjil Oer Aalayam{in which he was seen as a doctor earnestly striving to save the life of a patient,who happened to be the husband of the woman,whom he deeply loved}as a victimised brother of the hero in Pasam{in which MGR was unusually found to be suffering the pain of one side love and playing foul with the man loved by the woman,whom he loved.Of course MGR did not know the fact that the man he was illtreating was his own elder brother}and above all as a victim of paternal neglect in Mani Osai.All these films proved the sublime acting calibre of Kalyan Kumar. Later,even in character roles one could feel the natural presence of dignity in his role play,that almost became a second nature for him.The last Tamil film Kalyankumar acted was Akshaya in 1999 and he passed away the same year,at the age of 71.

  Sarath Babu who is more than two decades younger to Kalyan Kumar, became a proud debut actor, in the hands of Veteran film maker K.Balachander in Pattinapravesam and continued to act in KB's films like Nizhal Nijamakiradhu,Ninaithaale Inikkum,and 47 Naatkal. Afterwords.he played vital roles in Rajinikanth films like Velaikaaran,Annaamalai and Muthu all produced by the Balachander production house. He also made a guest appearance in the film Netrikan starring Rajinikanth in dual roles and that film was also produced by K.Balachander. Sarath Babu has always been a suave actor,fit for a playboy role which he repeated in Muktha Films' famous show 'Keezh Vaanam Sivakkum'starring Sivaji Ganesan as his father and Saritha as his wife.

  Saratbabu's other most popular films were Mahendran's Mullum Malarum&Udhiripookal {again Rajinikanth was the hero of Mullum Malarum and Sarath was a police officer,loving Rajini's sister},Sujatha Cine Arts film Sattam, wherein he teamed up with Kamalahasan and in K.Viswanath's Salangai Oli and Sippikkul Muthu (which was also a Kamal film dubbed from the Telugu hit Swathi Muthyam).In most of the films of Rajinikanth, Saratbabu was a friend of the hero facing a conflict of interest on account of love or business rivalry.Even in Sattam,he displayed both friendship and rivalry with Kamal, because both were in love with the same woman.In Maniratnam's Pagal Nilavu, Sarathbabu was again seen as an honest cop striving to bring to book the erring Selvam,portrayed by Murali,as he did in Mullum Malarum in struggling to arrest Kali,played by Rajinikanth.

  With Sivaji Ganesan,Sarath Babu acted not only in Keezhvaanam Sivakkum,bul aso in a few other films like Imaigal,Ezhudhaadha Sattangal,Sandhippu and Theerpu.The other heroes with whom Sarath Babu acted,were Sarathukumar in Vedan{both of them as chic cops} Arjun {Rojaavai Killadhe&Otran}}and Vijayakanth in Perarasu{as the father of the captain who did dual roles}.Some of the other credited roles of this charming actor were, for films like Metti, Nenjathai Killaadhe,Thisai Maariya Paravaikal,Kannil Theriyum Kadhaikal,Arul,Baba,Naan Paadum Paadal and Unnai Naan Sandhithen.

  Both Kalyan Kumar and Sarath Babu could be called epoch making actors.If Kalayan Kumar started with hero roles and made at least half a dozen impressive films live long in audience memory,Sarath Babu has been a consistent contributor to Tamil Cinema,through variety in role play.He has always been compact in donning roles like those of a doctor,an advocate,a police officer and a venerable village chieftain.I have listed here only the most prominent films of Sarath Babu.In chubby cheeks and vibrant voice mould,both Kalyan Kumar and Sarath Babu could be called men of similar mettle.

  But the level of voice vigour is more in the case of Sarath Babu,though both these men have a churning and battering articulation of dialogues with an absolute grip over the words.Both are sobre voices too;but the sobriety level carries a tinge of melancholy and anguish in the case of Kalyan Kumar. Above all it is a known fact that both these actors are from two different generations with the influence of their generation on the patterns of their acting.Both are solid actors in the field of cinema,                    notwithstanding the fact that Sarath Babu's contribution to Tamil cinema has been more voluminous and varied.Finally,both deserve to be valued for their sweetness,gentleness and mellowing participation in Tamil Cinema,calling for a three cheers articulation,followed by a genuine applause.


1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading this article. Love to read if you write a few lines on Uchakkattam in which Sarath Babu played primary role.