No other Tamil actor would have successfully created an image for the posterity as this legend.Though MGR and Sivaji were contemporaries,it was MGR who could turn into to a mass hero of all times.His screen space helped him to establish himself as the icon of the Dravidian Movement. It was a symbiotic relationship for him and the Dravidian party which he represented. His revolutionary roles and the type of lyrics and music he chose for his movies put him to his greatest advantage at the delivery point. Hence,he always delivered his roles with ease and charm. His physical appearance and complexion were his additional glamour counts that drew the imagination of both the male and female audience.
MGR was an unfailing giver of hope and succour to the masses and the positive characters he played in films, did magic of kinds for his ardent fan base.The element of macho pride he reflected through his repetitive roles was duly reinforced by his thrust of moral values, unflinching adoration of motherhood and assertive deliverance of women in trouble. He could ever remain as a young hero undeterred by factors of ageing and he never appeared in elderly roles. Age could not wither him until he left the film world to play an active role in politics.
MGR would not have been a Tamil, at least by his birth and in geographical terms of the place where he was born.But he was a Tamil in mind and spirit, from the beginning till the end.The Tamils as a race are known for their genuine emotional moorings and would go to the extremes to show their love to a person whom they value most.
MGR,the three lettered name penetrated in to their subconscious mind and they gloried and deified the name. This was an indisputable truth, especially, with regard to the socially and economically lower ranks of the Tamil society.It was they, whom MGR reached out in their day-to-day dreams and aspirations both as an actor and then as an unbeatable leader of the masses. It was this emotional bond that kept him as the interminable political head of the state, until his demise.It is this legacy of immortality of an emotional mutuality, that MGR had achieved during his life time.
MGR's costume sense,his choice of themes,his deep sense of optimism and his style of delivering songs on screen, were his grand package of film legacy that would tempt a number of successive heroes to imitate his formula.The lyrics for MGR songs, were composed with the deliberate intention of projecting him as a maker of destiny of the masses by elevating their standard of life through revolutionary ideals and rewarding goals.His songs were specially meant for revolutionizing the society entangled in superstitions and indifferent to its environment and responsibilities.This was one of the salient factors taking MGR closer to the hearts of the poor and the downtrodden.
In every film, there would be at least one song ,a solo number sending out a clear message on individual and collective values as strongholds for self actualization and inclusive growth.The songs in the voice of T.M.Soundarjan would positively pass into the thought process of every one and make them breathe a fresh positive energy. The songs will ask every one to see with in themselves, ,realize what they are and struggle for their personal and collective goals.They would say that the world is there for you, with its ever flowing rivers and beautifully blossoming flowers, as if all is meant for drawing the spiritual energy for a vigorous existence.They would ask you to move forward, with the hope that, the world does not exist without you and there is a share of the world's riches for each and every one.
His songs will ask children to earn a worthy name, by following the well said maxims of great thinkers and poets, because the country depends mostly on what they are going to become.They will also ask children not to believe the stupid tales of ghosts told by lazy people who have nothing else to do in life. Above all this, this legendary hero would ask every one to wake up from their slumbering attitude and see what is happening outside, besides telling them categorically, that,those who sleep away most of their precious time are not only a burden to the soil but they also ruin their country and themselves.
.The MGR legacy is actively retained as a determining yardstick by many a hero- turned politician as well as by those who want to govern in his name.But the present day popular heroes forget the fact, that it was an invaluable period of political grooming MGR underwent in close association with eminent and most respected leaders of the Dravidian movement including Periyar and C.N Annadurai. Though MGR and Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi had to take opposite political platforms later,people who were watching the political developments for a long time,knew the ripeness of understanding that existed between these two tall men of the Dravidian movement. However, many heroes have been on the political track, with their fan club base as a prequel to the bigger power zone, conveniently forgetting the fact that an unparalleled actor like Sivaji Ganesan started his Tamizhga Munnetra Munnani only to play a losing game.
Though MGR, the legend is no more,the songs from his movies are there to earn the support base during election times for various political parties including the one he founded .The songs have become the part and parcel of the immortal hero of the masses, bringing into one's vision his trade mark gestures,his teeming sense of energy and his tremendous mass image. The MGR legacy is truly, nothing but the cherished inheritance of the goodness, that every human being is capable of, in thought and deed. It was really great of MGR to leave to posterity,the right model of goodness that he consistently and invaluably personified on screen.The legacy of MGR will ever remain as one of the corner stones and governing codes of Tamil Cinema.