Friday, June 22, 2012

MGR Vs. Sivaji Ganesan: The duo dominates Indian Cinema

Times of India ePaper

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Publication: THE TIMES OF INDIA, Chennai, Date: Jun 10, 2012, Section: Times City, Page: 4

Kamini Mathai | TNN

In the real world, it's been more than a decade since Sivaji Ganesan passed away, and more than two since M G Ramachandran died. But to their fans, the actors are still alive in spirit, the movies still make them laugh and cry. And, surprisingly, the rivalry between the fans of the two actors continues just as it was in the 1950s and 60s.

If you ask the fans of the two superstars of Tamil cinema to stand together for a photograph, the answer is a firm no. "We cannot pose with the fans of 'the other person'," says Murali T, 51, who works for a bank, and a Sivaji fan. "They are our enemy," says V S Shiva Perumal, 45, a hard core fan, or as he says, devotee of MGR.

To the two groups, the boundary lines are clear. Sivaji's fans always thought of him as a class act; to MGR's fans he still is a mass hero.

For Sivaji fans, the movies make the man. All 305 of them. "We love the movies. They are excellent and his acting is impeccable," says Murali, who adds that the fans recently got together to form a Nadigar Thilagam Film Appreciation Society. It plans to screen Sivaji movies every month and bring together the artists who worked in them to analyse them further.

Murali says that because the fans are only there for the movies, that are screened every two months at Shanti Theatre, the actor finds new fans. "While most fans are in their 40s and 50s, you have others still in their teens," he says. Almost as if the fan-dom is inherited.

Like Anirudh V Rangarajan, a class 10 student from Vidya Mandir, who was introduced to Sivaji movies by his father. "When 'Karnan' was re-released this March, I saw it seven times. The first time, because my father asked me to go, but the other six because I loved it," says Anirudh.

In the world of the MGR fan, it's not so much the actor that they adore, but the man of action. So, even though he was hero in only 136 films, they are enough to teach you lessons for life, they say. Ask them about his movies, and you are given an earful about the great man he was. "Did you know that up until the day he died, the kitchen fire in his house was never put out? He gave food to everyone and provided us messages to follow from his films – don't tell lies, honour your parents. We watch his movies to learn about MGR," says Perumal, who runs a printing press.

Unlike the Sivaji club, where the movies are screened once a month and usually at the actor's family-run theatre Shanti, MGR's movies run to houseful shows every week in several theatres across Chennai. While Sivaji's movie screenings are a more sober affair, with fans greeting each other politely, at the theatres showing MGR movies, there are firecrackers, paal abhishekams, dancing and music. "You would think it was a new movie releasing," says S Vijayan, fan and editor of a monthly on the life of MGR.

"Sometimes, the prints of the movies are so bad that you cannot even tell what is happening on the screen. But that has not stopped us from whistling, dancing and shouting out the dialogues," says Perumal. They are now gathering funds to restore some of the old prints. "A few are in such bad shape that we are at risk of losing them forever," he adds.

At this point, the Sivaji fan, politely interjects that the reason for the extra fervour in the MGR theatre is that most fans have political aspirations. "They want to get in good with the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) as MGR is the party's founder," says a Sivaji fan.

The MGR fan doesn't try to hide his aspirations. "We wouldn't mind being recognised for the work we do," says Perumal. "We gave out pamphlets in support of the AIADMK in the last elections, which we are sure contributed to the win," he adds.


MGR And Sivaji Ganesan Continue To Entertain Audiences With Their Onscreen Exploits And Offscreen Charm

The duo may have had an on-screen rivalry but behind the scenes they were known to admire each other. At a public gathering, MGR referred to Sivaji as his 'thambi', and as chief minister, he showed a foreign delegation the Sivaji movie 'Thillaanaa Mohanambal' as he felt it best showcased Tamil culture.

MGR always stood for the upliftment of the poor in his movies

Sivaji had no overall theme in his movies, which is why he failed in politics. But he believed in the script and acted in a variety of roles, from a murderer to a patriot

The star actors acted in only one movie together; In 'Koondukili' (left), Sivaji played the villain


Every week is a party for the MGR fans, but the 'devotion' pervades every moment of their lives, insist the fans. "We never say his name, just call him thalaivar," says one fan. "When his movies are shown on TV, we make sure we are dressed properly and sit in a respectful manner, even if we are in our own homes. We feel he is watching us," says another.

Young fan of Sivaji Ganesan, Anirudh Rangarajan

While Sivaji's fans always prided themselves in their maturity, one could say they were a little more excited than usual during the release of the thespian's movie 'Karnan' in its digital format this March. All the women who came for the show on May 1, what would have been the actor's 60th wedding anniversary, were given thalis and turmeric to celebrate the happy occasion.


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Friday, June 15, 2012

Comedian ‘Kaka' Radhakrishnan passes away at 86

Comedian 'Kaka' Radhakrishnan passes away at 86


CHENNAI, June 15, 2012

Actor 'Kaka' Radhakrishnan, known for his performances as a comedian and character artist, passed away here on Thursday. He was 86.

Radhakrishnan belongs to a rare breed of actors who will be remembered by film buffs of the 1940s and 1950s, as well as fans of Tamil cinema who grew up in the 1990s. His short physique and ability to use his eyes readily to convey different emotions made him a sought-after comedian in his earlier days.

It was a role in the film 'Mangayarkkarasi' that earned him his interesting nickname 'kaka' (crow). In this film, a young Radhakrishnan, when compelled to prove that he is an intelligent lad, tries to catch a crow (the phrase 'catch a crow' in Tamil also refers to one being a sycophant) perched on top of a tree. From then on, 'Kaka' got prefixed to his name.

Radhakrishnan, who is said to have introduced Sivaji Ganesan to his theatre group, also acted with him in the much-acclaimed 'Manohara'. They shared a special bond, and had a great regard for each other. Sivaji, according to members of Radhakrishnan's family, would visit him often and the two actors would fondly revisit the time they had spent on different shooting spots.

Radhakrishnan acted in over 400 films in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. After performing a variety of roles with several top actors of yesteryear Tamil cinema, he had a remarkable second innings, thanks to actor Kamal Hassan who believed newer audiences should not miss watching such talent.

'Guna', 'Thevar Magan' and later 'Vasool Raja' made 'Kaka' a 'cool dude' figure. His sharp portrayal of the disgruntled patriarch in 'Thevar Magan' stood out, despite powerful performances from others – Sivaji, Kamal and Nasser – in the film. 

In 'Vasool Raja', playing Crazy Mohan's father – an old man obsessed with carrom – he simply stole the show. Despite his fragile and vulnerable state, the manner in which he would sit upright, control his shivering hands and focus on the coins to successfully pocket the red and follow is poignant, though he hardly speaks. Both in 'Thevar Magan' and in 'Vasool Raja', he portrayed an ailing old man, so convincingly, that at times, the viewer sympathises with the character, forgetting that these are just films.

The last few years were not easy for Radhakrishnan, who kept falling ill, but he was his cheerful self all through, said family members. He is survived by two wives, three sons and five daughters.


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காகா ராதாகிருஷ்ணன் என பெயர் வந்தது எப்படி? 

Posted by: Shankar

வெள்ளிக்கிழமை, ஜூன் 15, 2012, 9:00 [IST]

மறைந்த நடிகர் ராதாகிருஷ்ணன் பெயருடன் 'காகா' என் என்ற பட்டப் பெயர் ஒட்டிக் கொண்டது எப்படி என்பது குறித்து ஒரு சுவையான ப்ளாஷ்பேக்.

இந்த ப்ளாஷ்பேக்கை சொன்னவரும் ராதாகிருஷ்ணன்தான். இறப்பதற்கு கொஞ்ச காலத்துக்கு முன்பு ஒரு பேட்டியின்போது அவரிடம், உங்கள் பெயருடன் காகா என்ற பெயர் வந்தது எப்படி? என்று கேட்டிருந்தார்கள்.

அதற்கு அவர் அளித்த பதிலில், "மங்கையர்க்கரசி' படத்தில் ஒரு டயலாக் வரும்.

மதுரம்மா (டிஏ மதுரம்) என்கிட்ட 'நீ அரசாங்கத்துல போய் எப்படியாவது, காக்கா பிடிச்சாவது வேலைல சேர்ந்துடு'ன்னு சொல்லுவாங்க. உடனே நான் அம்மா சொல்லிட்டாங்களேன்னு, ஒரு காக்காவப் புடிச்சுகிட்டுப் போய் வேலை கேட்பேன். வேலை கிடைக்காது. திரும்பி வீட்டுக்கு வந்து அம்மாகிட்ட சொல்லுவேன். நீ சொன்ன மாதிரியே காக்காவப் புடிச்சுக்கிட்டு போய் வேலை கேட்டேன், அப்பவும் கிடைக்கலம்மா. இங்க பாரு காக்கா'ன்னு சொல்லுவேன். அந்த காமெடி அப்போ ரொம்ப பேசப்பட்டது. அதிலிருந்துதான் காக்கா ராதாகிருஷ்ணன்னு எல்லோரும் கூப்பிட ஆரம்பிச்சாங்க..." என்றார்.

காகா ராதாகிருஷ்ணன் தன் இறுதிக்காலத்திலும் கூட படங்களில் நடித்துக் கொண்டுதான் இருந்தார். அதற்கு முக்கிய காரணம், கமல்ஹாஸன். அவர்தான் தனது தேவர்மகன் படத்தில், சிவாஜியின் தம்பி வேடத்தில் நடிக்கும் வாய்ப்பை காகா ராதாகிருஷ்ணனுக்கு வழங்கி, அவரது அடுத்த ரவுண்டைத் தொடங்கி வைத்தார்.

English Summary: Veteran actor late Kaka Radhakrishnan got his nick name 'Kaka' from the movie Mangayarkarasi that released in 1949.


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