These days,a galaxy of young men, get introduced straight away, as heroes.How many of them stick on to a solid ground of their own,is a matter of fitness and fortune.Previously, men who came as villains,were kept waiting to prove acceptability as hero, as if they were put under a course of wild card rounds. Sathyaraj is one such person who with the hero's stuff, was made a villain and an old man, before getting affixed with the hero stamp.
Though Sathyaraj and the Superstar were not seen together on screen after'Mr.Barath' they have two things in common.Both of them installed uncommon styles of villainy with unseen dimensions in the execution of negative roles.Similarly, both of them passed through a gradual spell of transition from villain frames to the hero image through middle level, rugged and ruffian type roles implying the ramifications of masculine might. If Rajini's 'Kazhugu' 'Kaali' 'Thappu Thaalangal' and 'Mullum Malarum' were the escalating scales of growing into a full time hero, Sathayraj's 'Makkal En Pakkam' 'Dravidan' and 'Kadamai Ganniyam Kattuppaadu' slowly took him up the hero ladder.
In the mean time, Sathyaraj did the unusual. He became one among the the few,to take up elderly roles before becoming a full fledged hero.He did not seem to bother about the repercussions it might cause by dumping him for ever into a repeated show of such characters and be typecast in that model of role. How gallantly did he get into such crude and ever hurting characters of old men,in films like 'Pagal Nilavu', 'Mudhal Vasandam', 'Mangamma Sabadam' and finally, as the last- minute redeemable father of Rajinikanth in 'Mr.Barath'. Who can forget his highly dignified appearance as Balu Thevar in 'Vedam Pudhidhu' ? This is one sample to show the classic stuff of Sathyaraj, stealing people's hearts at his budding stage, as an amazing actor. Even after becoming a hero,Sathyaraj did the role of a middle aged man in 'Vallal' and 'Senathipathi'.
Fortune favoured Sathyaraj in the guise of his bearded friend-cum director Manivannan with whom the hero was found to enjoy warmth, team spirit and unfailing trust. Manivannan graphically lifted the degree and level of acting of Sathyaraj through his regular hits like Nooravathu Naal,24 Mani Neram,'Mudhal Vasandham'Paalaivana Rojakkal' 'Chinna Thambi Periya Thambi' 'Vidinja Kalyanam' and 'Vaazkai Chakkaram'. The maximum number of Manivannan films would have gone into the hero kitty of Sathyaraj. Years later, 'Amaithipadai' became another most impressive joint parade of the duo.
During the same period,Sathyaraj came under the eminent grooming of another bearded director who took him for a victory ride making worthy movies for him.It was P.Vasu who made Sathyaraj a hero of high standard through his block buster movies like 'Vela Kedachiduchu' 'Walter Vetrivel' 'Nadigan' and later his 'Malabar Police'. As the uncompromising police officer, Walter Vetrivel,he was full of fire and rage against the corrupt and criminal breed. He was equally aggressive as Chinnasamy,the man in uniform, in 'MalabarPolice'. His self- styled sense of humour as a clever youngster, capable of impersonation,brought him accolades in 'Nadigan'.The Sathyaraj- Goundamani combination,indulging frequently in satirical revelry and mutually taunting banter, created records of kind in many of their movies. Sathyaraj also did a convincing role in P.Vasu's 'Ponnuveetukkaran'.
Among fellow heroes,Sathyarej seemed to enjoy greater friendliness in the company of Prabu in films like ;Palaivana Rojakkal', 'Chinna Thambi Periya Thambi' and 'Anna Nagar Muthal Theru' .
He should also have enjoyed his acting with Prabu's father,the Chevalier, in 'Muthukkal Moonru' 'Jallikattu' and 'Pudhiya Vanam', in different roles.
Sathyaraj has mostly done rough and tough roles in the movies of Manivannan and P.Vasu.But there is another side of this wonderful hero with his natural handsomeness and urban refinement.This has been brought out with chic and charm, by people like Pratap Pothan in 'Jeeva', Joshi in 'Airport' Subash in 'Bramma' and Guru Danapal in 'Mamanmagal'. He was equally appealing in AVM's 'Ulagam Pirandhadhu Enakkaga',P.Vasu's 'Ricksha Mama' and Guru Danapal's 'Thaimaman.' In between the rough and soft extremes is the beaming Sathyaraj with his healthy banter and hilarious mind set as revealed in 'Nadigan' and 'Maman Magal'. Sathyaraj has admitted on several occasions that he is a hard core fan of MGR .But he may not know that he himself looks like the eternal mass hero in quite a few frames.
This merited actor can make you laugh, himself not laughing; he can show rage and fury making you share his mood of genuine anger.His forceful and clear outbursts,very often culminating in a shiver,will establish his angry mood in an apple pie order. He has a long list of movies showing his cry of wrath. He is an unpretentious rationalist deserving the right to play the role of the most respected Thandhai Periyar. He is capable of delivering all kinds of emotions including the romantic as in Barathi Raja's 'Kadalora Kavidhaigal' and the paternal as in 'Onbadhu Rooba Nouttu'. But his innate voice of anger against atrocity,criminality and injustice and his unadulterated comedy flair are his distinct stuff,besides his boldness to direct a movie of his own acting, in dual roles, in 'Villadhi Villain' The stuff of Satyaraj is certainly raised on a solid and sturdy base.