Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Venerable V.Nagaiah.



      Tamil Cinema has benefited a lot by the extensive contribution of actors,directors,producers and music composers from its most fraternal Telugu Film industry.Among heroes, there were N.T.Ramarao,A.Nageswararao and Suman who have adorned significant roles in Tamil films.But among character actors,after S.V.Rengarao,it is V.Nagaiah,the veteran actor who comes to our memory, as an actor performing modest and respectable roles, with flawless perception and portrayal.
    V.Nagaiah is significantly an old timer whose cinematic appearances were clearly meant for a clean and perfect reflection of life's most cherished value supporting systems, such as self dignity in poverty,absence of arrogance in wealth,love for fellow human beings and conviction in one's perception of what is right and what is wrong.In addition to these, there always predominantly came up as one of his top priorities,his unflinching faith in god and the spiritual fundamentals, attached to god realization.All these attributes made him a venerable actor, upholding the grandeur of both Telugu and Tamil Cinema.
    The uniqueness of V.Nagaiah was his shaking but firm voice modulation.His voice had the singular capacity to squeeze out sorrow and the pang of suffering.Perhaps that was the reason why he was chosen to play a vital role in Ezhai Padum Paadu,a film based on Victor Hugo's novel ''Les Miserables''.He was a perfect fit for playing the righteous person in any context,be it as a spiritual head or as the organizer of an orphanage as he did in films like Dheiva Magan, Saraswathi Sabatham, AVM's Ramu and so on.My memories of this dignified actor, takes me to my childhood days of watching films like, Pennin Perumai,Tenali Raman and Sarvadhikari.
    Like most other character actors of the last century,Nagaiah had also acted more number of films with Sivaji Ganesan.Even among the films mentioned above,excepting Sarvadhikari,the other films were those, starring either Sivaji Ganesan or Gemini Ganesan or both.Two of his other MGR films I remember are,Parakkum Paavai and Nam Nadu.Whereas, he has a list of Sivaji Ganesan films like Edhir Paaraadhadhu,Ellaam Unakkaaga,Ambikapadhi, Alayamani,Valar Pirai,Paava Mannippu,Pachai Vilakku, Shanthi,Iru Malargal,Thillaanaa Mohanaamabaal,Naan Vanangum Dheivam,Kai Kodutha Dheivam, and Iru Dhuruvam.With Gemini Ganesan,besides Ramu,he has acted in films like Kanavane Kankanda Dheivam and Karpagam. Nagaiah has also acted in mythological films like Sampoorana Ramayanam,Lava Kusa,Bhaktha Markandeya and Datchayakgnam.
    Like S.V.Rengarao.Nagaiah was the special favourite of director K.S.Gopalakrishnan.While S.V.Rengarao always sported an aristocratic look,Nagaiah would be a perfect bet for donning the role of a wealthy man{ Pennin Perumai and Karpagam]or a pauper, looking for justice{in many films including MGR's Nam Naadu}.He would serve with modesty and rule without arrogance.He would have rarely performed a hateful character.His eyes would always transmit a sense of piety and poise.His voice vigorously combined elements of firmness,empathy,grief and serenity.Over- acting was never a part of his dictionary of character display.For him, Cinema was like a spiritual process.He was one of those rarest actors, who adored the film field, with utmost dedication and commitment. He made himself a venerable actor, not only by his looks and manner of acting, but also by his continued reverence for Cinema, as if it was a temple of learning.In this particular respect, Nagaiah out beats all other actors of his generation and those who succeeded him.
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