Robert Browning, the noted Victorian poet always believed that ‘’God is in Heaven and all is right with the world’’. He reflected this sense of robust optimism through out his poetic career. Whereas poets like Shelley would fluctuate between moods of hope and despair in their creativity. At times, Shelley would cry ‘‘I fall upon the thorns of life; I bleed’’ Immediately he would philosophize saying interrogatively‘If Winter comes can Spring be far behind?’Film makers also quite often experience mood swings of positive and negative pulls. But there are some who devoutly and steadfastly vouchsafe the spirit of optimism. Among Tamil film makers, director Vikraman tops the list as an undeterred optimist truly representing himself as the votary of selfless love, built on a base of positive fundamentals.
Starting from his Pudhu Vasandham it has been a smooth journey for Vikraman driving his well serviced vehicle through the highways of hope, to luminous destinations.His first venture itself revealed the frame of mind of a decent film maker, genuinely attempting to stress the possibility of friendship without perversity, between a woman and four men. As expected, this film got him the best director award from the State of Tamil Nadu, besides getting the best film award too. His Poove Unakkaga with an aesthetic title sense, not only helped Vijay to rise up to a star status but also sang a song of unrequited love with ideal notes blended to melodious tunes. It was a clean love story with a soothing family background, neatly told without the usual cinematic additions, that would have made it a melodrama. Storyline and dialogues carried the kernel note of optimism, through clear headed characterization. It was no wonder, the film saw its silver jubilee.
Though Vikraman’s other films like Gokulam, Puthiya Mannargal and Naan Pesa Ninaipadhellaam made moderate entries at the box office, focus on emotional well being exhibited as the core principle of the director, made the all pervading sense of nobility in characterization, as the feel good factor of these films. Vikraman’s committed involvement in unfolding the goodness in individuals as the vital source of a healthy and happy life model, has consistently upheld his film making endeavours. In films like Gokulam, and Unnai Ninaithu, it was a woman’s selflessness and sacrificing temper that provided the ennobling and redeeming stuff. On the other hand, it was the turn of man to be a sacrificing enthusiast in Poove Unakkaga, Sooriya Vamsam Unnidathil Ennai Koduthein and Vaanathaipola. In establishing the supremacy of love between man and woman either in straight or triangular romance through emphatic exemplification of sacrifice, Vikraman could be compared to veteran director Sridhar of the last millennium.
Interestingly, in Sridhar’s narration it was a mortifying experience for those who chose to sacrifice their lot for the sake of the one, whom they deeply loved. No one can miss the pain the hero or heroine suffered in films like Nenjil Oer Aalayam, Kalyana Parisu, Nenjirukkum varai, Avalukkenru Oer Manam and Azhage Unnai Aaraadhikkirein. Whereas,Vikraman makes his characters, role models of goodness and empathy, as if sacrifice is a part of life, without the need for brooding over their good nature in a mood of self-pity or self-glorification.What makes his protagonists the incarnation of virtue is their unshakable faith in goodness and their steadfastness in doing good to others without claiming any recognition or without compromising their basic positive approach to the realization of well- drawn objectives. The fact that Vikraman is one among those who make films without over laden negative sentiment or crude villainy is an authentic revelation of his commitment to discover more of the positive side of human attitude and understanding of life. Like Poove Unakkaga,Vikraman’s two other films Sooriya Vamsam and Vanthai Pola, became solid commercial hits without taking the audience too much on the action track.
Meek characters with a mighty base of nobility become the continued assets of Vikraman’s creative imagination. Thiruvalluvar, the illustrious Tamil saint said, one who does not move even a bit from his state of modesty and humility becomes mightier than a solid rock. This is what Vikraman has been trying to prove in sketching the character of his protagonists. Sarathkumar and Vijayakanth proved to be pillars of strength in not projecting themselves as super heroes but in maintaining poise and dignity towards consolidating their nobler perspectives of life. Sarathkumar as a devoted son and supportive husband stood tall as the embodiment of love and humbleness. As a protective and passionate elder brother, Vijayakanth vindicated the strength of silence and equanimity.
Large families with their interlinked thread of cherished intimacy and affection are the strongholds of a Vikraman movie. Melodious music has ever remained a delightful addition to the aesthetic appeal of most films of Vikraman and the credit in this regard goes to a single music director, none other than S.A.Rajkumar. Awards have crowned Vikraman with honour and pride three or four times, both for his best direction and for the best quality of his films. Beyond all these merits and awards, a majority of his movies stand apart as the beacon lights of invigorating hope, solace and the sharing fellow- human spirit. Even in focusing the emotions of a wife occupying the middle position between her husband and his other gender childhood friend, Vikraman took the line of lenience in the sense that he beautifully pictured the character of the wife as an understanding, broad minded and sympathetic woman. It was Jyothika who excellently played the wife’s role and the positively energizing film was Priyamana Thozhi.
If director Bala could be called the grandmaster of negativism with a disturbed mind, probing into the undisclosed morbid side of the human psyche, Vikraman can rightly be named the brand ambassador of optimism, ever ready to go with the flow, spotting out only the good things that come in the way. Hatred and misanthropy are unknown to the film making concept of Vikraman. It is the rosy side of life that he has devoutly tried to present. It is not that Vikraman’s films are devoid of selfish and crooked characters. But at the end of any Vikraman movie such negative elements will feel humbled by the shining nobleness of the loving spirit of humanity that stoops only to conquer. It is the conquest of selfishness by the self surrendering individuals that brings down the curtain. As the curtains fall, the audience would leave the theatres either with a cathartic consolation or with a sense of fulfillment. It is in this respect, Vikraman scores his position as a confirmed optimist.