Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Truly Dravidian Hero.

         



       [ This article published in my blog 'My Movie Minutes' as early in September 2012, becomes a homage to the stalwart actor and Dravidian face of Tamil Cinema,who passed away,this day the 24th October 2014. ]

      S.S.Rajendran,popularly known by the abbreviation SSR,like MGR,was an actor of standard in his own way.With a blooming smile on his lips and a dimple in his cheeks,he was a master of articulation of dialogues,in a clear,bold and nasally vibrated tone that would always reach the audience with its intended effect.As a true representative of the the Dravidian Party to which he belonged,and the ideals the party believed in, SSR made himself dearer and closer to those who watched him act in a way  that made him proud.
      SSR should be duly credited for liberally sharing the screen space as a second level actor, with the actor- giant Sivaji, in many movies, starting from 'Parasakthi' that gave Sivaji Ganesan the ground to begin his career. SSR joined Sivaji, in movies like 'Manohara' 'Deivapiravi' 'Shanthi'' 'Alayamani'' 'Kungumam','Pachai Vilakku' 'Pazhani' 'Edhiroli' and 'Kai Kodutha Deivam' and carried his roles in an assertive manner.In most of these films SSR was the submissive younger brotherof Sivaji Ganesan. Like R.Muthuraman who joined the team of Sivaji Ganesan for a large number of films,SSR's film association with Sivaji Ganesan too, was a remarkable journey, signifying the great personal understanding and mutual confidence that he deeply cherished with that outstanding actor.With MGR,his most popular films were Raja Desingu and 'Kaanchithalavan'
     His independent show as a hero of merit, brought him moments of pride and laurels, in films such as 'Petra Maganai Vitra Annai' [Which is specifically remembered for the A.M.Raja/ P.Suseela song 'Thingalurangia Podhum Thenralurangia Podhum' ]'Kuladheivam','Saratha', 'Kumudam,' 'Nanum Oru Pen',Kakkum Karangal','Panam Pandiyile' and 'Avan Pithana', all with his wife Vijayakumari. He had also acted with her in the moderately successful films like ' Deivathin Deivam'  'Neengaada Ninaivu' 'Anandi' 'Poomaalai' and the historical 'Poompuhar',in which they played the roles of Kovalan and Kannagi.  
    The other popular movies of SSR were,'Mudhalali','Thangarathinam',Sivagangai Seemai','Thai Pirandal Vazhi Pirakkum' 'Manapandal' 'Vaanambadi' 'Katturoja' and 'Manimagudam' and in these movies  he was paired with actors like Rajasulochana,M.N.Rajam,Devika,Padmini and Jeyalalitha. In 'Manapandal' he sacrificed his love for the sake of his elder brother as he did it for for his close friend in 'Aalayamani' Interestingly, in both the movies,the female lead  was B.Sarojadevi. Most of these movies were rich in music,theme value and characterization.Some of the movies of SSR remembered for their story value,quality of narration and creditable contribution in acting by the hero, are, Mudhalaali, Kuladheivam,Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum,Manappandal, Aalayamani, Saradha, Naanum Oru Penn,Vaanambaadi and the ever unique Poombuhaar.
     Whether as a secondary character, or as the hero of a movie SSR always made himself noticeable by his natural ability and conviction for donning the role. Where ever there were openings, he would bring in his revolutionary concepts,for a plausible reach with the audience and there by sow the seeds for social awakening. SSR even in his eighties, kept himself busy appearing in movies, for small roles and thereby made the senior film goers call back their nostalgic memories riveted to this vibrant actor's acting vein.His ever felicitous delivery of Tamil dialogues,particularly those penned by Kalaignar Dr.M.Karunanidhi are great memoirs of his solid association with the Dravidian party and its most respected leaders like{ late } Mr.C.N.Annadurai and Dr.M.Karunanidhi as well as his capacity for uttering Tamil words in their perfectly sweet form with innate ease and excellence.Tamil film industry has certainly lost a very dynamic Dravidian face rightly deserving a salute from all those who love Tamil and the rich legacy of the Dravidian movement.
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