Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Two small time villains of early Tamil cinema


  Tamil cinema has its reputed villains like M.N.Nambiyar,P.S.Veerappa,S.A.Asokan and R.S.Manohar. Later,actors like Raguvaran, Anand Raj,Prakash Raj and Manivannan added new dimensions to villainy besides doing mighty character roles as strong supporting actors.The second line of villains are many.Senthamarai and Sangilimurugan deserve a special place in this regard.All these actors mentioned here, have found a place in this blog,under various heads.This article would precisely focus on two small time villains of Tamil cinema from the Nineteen forties to Sixties.The memories of this blog writer are closely linked to these two actors called S.A.Natarajan and T.K.Ramachandran as an ever refreshing childhood experience.
    S.A.Natarajan's scintillating dialogue delivery and T.K.Ramachzndran's bold and cutting eyes were an audiovisual treat for the audience.Both these actors were known for their absolute clarity in delivery of dialigues with flawless intonation and insight into relevance of words to their respective contexts of interaction with other characters.
   Some of the films of S.A Natarajan that this blog writer watched during his adolescence and adulthood were Marmayogi,Mandhiri kumari, Manohara,Mani Magudam and Marakka Mudiyuma.Interestingly,all the five films had titles starting with letter M.He was also seen in the film Gubera Theevu starring C.L Anandan as hero.
    S.A.Natarajan,who started who his acting career with Anna's Velaikari,had done hero or villain roles in films like Kanniyin Kadhali, Kaithi,En Thangai,Zamindhar,Pudhu Vaazhvu, Azhagi and Mangalyam.He was paired with Madhuri devi in Mandhiri Kumari and Zamindar.Later S.A.Natarajan started his own production house called Forward Fine Films and directed the film Kokila Vani. Natarajan also had the pride of receiving the Kalaimamani award.
    If S.A.Natarajan began his acting career in 1949,T.K.Ramachandran came into Tamil big screen 1947 with the film Naam Iruvar produced by the AVM studios.The first film of T.K.Rama chandran viewd by this blog writer was Digambara Samiyar {introdycing M.N.Nambiyar as hero}followed by Parasakthi,the first film of Sivaji Ganesan and other great films like Madhurai Veeran,Mudhalali, Marma Veeran,Vanjikkottai Valiban,and Rajinikanth's Bhairavi.Like S.A.Natarajan,he too started his production unit Saraswathi Productions and produced the film Periya Manidhan.The other prominent films of this distinct actor were Mohana Sundaram, Uthami Petra Rathinam,Aval Yaar, Neelavukku Neranja Manasu,and Town Bus.
    T.K.Ramachandran was compact in the roles of a fraudulent manager of estates and industries and as a fiendish womanizer.There was a uniquely perceptible element of rudeness and verbal venom in his role play beautifully reflected by his formidable eyes and cutting dialogue delivery. Nobody would have forgotten him as henchman Kothaval accompanying P.S,Veerappa,the main villain in Vanjikottai Valiban.A similarly memorable role was as the lieutenant of the naickar kingdom of Madhurai in Madhurai Villain.The scheming shady deals executed by him and T.S.Balaiah in Madhurai Veeran succeeded in letting innocent veeran unduly punished with death sentence.
   Unlike T.K.Ramachandran,S.A.Natarajan was a sweet coated villain joining the foul gang of women like urvasi {Anjalidevi}in Marmayogi and Vasanthasena {T.R.Rajakumari}in Manohara .He was killed by his paramour urvasi in Marmayagi by poisoning and by his wife by pudhing him down from a hilltop by Madhuri dhevi in Mandhirikumari.Urvasi killed him to avoid another person knowing the secrets of her evil deeds.Whereas the patriotic woman in Mandhiri Kumari decided to do away with him in order to save her country.
    In donning roles in historical films, S.A.Natarajan was always an awesome asset to Tamil cinema on account of his voice modulation and fascinating tone frame.For senior citizens of these days,to recall  the names of actors like T.K.Ramachandran and S.A Natarajan would be like visiting one's childhood film watching moments,with a deep sense of longing and nostalgia.


  1. Replies
    1. Even some of my age group people may not know these buoyant actors.