Thursday, September 1, 2022

The two, more deserving comedians of Tamil Cinema.


   Tamil Cinema's front line comedians after Kalaivanar N.S.Krishnan are K.A.Thanga velu,J.P.Chandrababu,Nagesh,Vivek,the duo Goundamani&Senthil,Vaigai storm Vadivelu.and Santhaanam.Now, Vadivelu's place is looked upon by Soori and Vivek's place by Sathish.But there have been other comedians of merit like T.S.Dorairaj, A.Karunanidhi and the prolific actor Charlie.As an independent post has already discussed the merits of T.S.Dorai Raj,this article would showcase the exhaustive and tremendous contribution made by A.Karunanidhi and Charlie to the comedy gallery of Tamil Cinema.

  A.Karunanidhi was one of the highly talented actors of the Tamil film industry,actively performing comedy and character roles for nearly three decades, between 1948 and 1978.His name cannot be said to have succeeded that of Kalignar M.Karunanidhi, because he was born two years before that illustrious leader.However,the interesting fact is that he too was born in Tiruvarur,in which district,the immortal leader was born.

   Karunanidhi owes a lot to the Modern Studios,which introduced him in the film Adhithan Kanavu and continued to enroll him in almost sixteen films.Besides his first film.his popular Modern theatre entries were Ponmudi,Digambara Saamiyaar,Devaki, Aaravalli, Mandhirikumari,Sarvaadhikari,Paasavalai,Engal Kuladhevi,Maheswari, Petra Maganai Vitra Annai,Chitrangi and Konjum Kumari.

  Apart from Mandhirikumari and Sarvaadhikari,his other MGR films were Gulebha gavali,Mahadevi and Thirudaadhe.Whereas,he worked with Sivaji Sivaji Ganeesan in a large number of films like,Naan Petra Selvam,Ambikapathi,Dheiva Piravi,Paalum Pazhamum Padithaal Mattum Pothumaa,Paar Magale PaarVeerapandiya Kattabomman,Kalyaniyin Kanavan,Muradan Muthu,Kappalottiya Thamizhan, Thillaanaa Mohanaambaal,Thirumaal Perumai,Babu,Paadhukaapu and Thiyagi.His popular Gemini Ganesan films were Gunasundari,Missiamma and Ellorum Innaattu Mannar.He had also acted in the films of S.S.Rajendran.

  Karunanidhi was specially known for his ebullient physical comedy,most often playing with his face,the way he liked.One of his best facial comedy shows was seen in AVM's popular mythological film Baktha Prakalaadhaa,in which along with T.S.Balaiah, he created a fascinating facial drama on a stage and later with the disciples of a Gurukula school.His comedy flair with M.R.Radha, in films like Paalum Pazhamum,Paar Magale Paar and Padithaal Mattum Pothuma were very special in this regard. 

  Most often T.P.Muthulakshmi was cast as his female pair.He excelled in the role of a Malayalee cook in films like Dheiva Piravi and Adhe Kangal.While the first one reflected his sobre side of being supected by Sivaji Ganesan,in connection with the fidelity of his wife Padmini,the second one was purely a comic flow of facial rolling and jamming,with a deliberate effort to supplement the horror element of the film.In Veerapandiya Kattabomman he displayed an exemplary courage,to offer his service on an espionage mission,on behalf of his beloved King Kattabomman. 

   Born as Velmurugan Kandasaami Manoharan,Charlie had his film name given by none other than the veteran film maker K.Balachander who installed him as a solid actor in Tamil Cinema,in his film Poikaal Kudhirai {1982},after a couple of uncredited entries. Charlie came into Tamil cinema a year after the death of A.Karunanidhi.Unlike Karunanidhi,Charlie has been an actor in many films outnumbering several other comedians and character actors.The fact that the two actors of this blog have been brought in one post is that, both are experts in role performance,through facial permutations and combinations.Not only that.They have a little bit of resemblance in their rough and rugged facial formulation.

  If Karunanidhi was favoured by Modern Theatres,Charlie has been a consistent addition into the films of Balachander like Achamillai Achamillai,Manadhil Urudhi Vendum,Kalyaana Agadhikal,Unnaal Mudiyum Thambi,Azhagan,Punnakai Mannan, and Duet,besides those made by the family production house of K.B.Films like Enakkul Oruvan,Poovilangu, Unnai Solli Kutamillai and Ayyaa.Charlie has remained a member of the hero's group of friends in films like Varusham Padhinaaru,Gopura Vaasalile, Pudhu Vasantham,Unnai Ninaithu and Kaalamellaam Kaadhal Vaazhka.His Mammootty specials are Mounam Sammadham and Kilipechu Ketkavaa in addition to Azhagan.

  Friends and Thenkaasi Pattinam,are the most fabulous films of Charlie,displaying his robust sense of comedy in association with Vadivelu and Vivek,respectively.His fair comedy flair was admired in many films like Poove Unakkaaga,Unnai Ninaithu and Pongalo Pongal. One of the striking features of Charlie's humour show is his reflection of a butt of ridicule made by his fellow comedians.How he expresses a naughty smile while handling his comedy bosses,is always a special feature,as far as his facial geography is concerned.  His dialogue delivery carries delicate touches of mischief that will go unnoticed if the scene is not properly watched.The film'Friends'loudly exhibits his cheeky innocence.

  Malayalam film makers like Fazil and Siddique duly recognized his acting potential.His most remembered character role is that of a blind man accompanying Shalini in Amarkalam and sharing the agonizing moments of love of the heroine,in the midst of his biting blindness.Charlie has the singular potential of letting his mood travel between the softness of a banana and the roaring toughness of breaking a coconut into pieces.

   While paying tribute to a comedian no more and another ever active,this post also grievously records the fact,that these two actors deserved and continue to deserve a considerate recognition of what each one's merits are .Why not Tamil Cinema award them a better place with splendid memories of the former and stronger roles for the latter.



  1. Excellent sir.... I'm Unable to remember the movie actor Karunanidhi but in my memories Charlie was unforgettable actor like varusam 16. Puve unakkaga and friends etc... I'll try to watch the above old movies listed by you. Thanks Sir .

  2. Thank you for your comments Mr.Manikandan.

  3. Tamil cinema has had the best comedians !