Thursday, June 19, 2008

TV / Cinema/ Drama

One of the questions often asked to me is why dont you act in films instead of DRAMAS.....I hate that description......ask any Stage person and he will cringe at the fact his efforts are likened to a TV serial.What takes place on Stage is a Stage Play and is called Drama by us in the South.
I have done close to a hundred films and people think I am ONLY in TV .....that apart the ultimate place to be is in Celluloid...that is where all actors want to go as it is a way to become immortal, as Kannadasan sang ....Naan nirandharam aanavan mudivum illai......A serial is popular momentarily , we are all recognised only so long as the serial is on Air.....who talks of Chiththi now ?.....so it is like a newspaper valid and useful for that day ONLY. A film is like a book always being read or re read.....almost everyday some channel or the other will be showing the movie. How do we not gravitate towards that medium.? I started my journey with "Idhayam" in 1991, did a few films for my friends Sathyajyothi Thyagarajan and Sivaji Films Ramkumar....this went on till my Guru..Shri K.Balachander introduced me in his maiden TV venture for Sun TV....thanks to him I have done over 6000 episodes and achieved a certain niche for myself in Television.
What is the benefit of TV.? I have had the opportunity to work with some of the Greats of Tamil Cinema in TV.
KB, Balu Mahendra, A.C.Thirulokachander, SP.Muthuraman to name a few.....the Late Dada Mirasi ( director of Pudhiya Paravai) and Maruthi Rao ( cinematographer of Parasakthi) too have been some of the technicians I have worked with many big producers and some of those who later directed films like Murthy/ Ramesh , JD/Gerry or other technicians like
P.R.Somu or Amirtham. Indeed one of the best comments on me was by Balu Mahendra who said that one of the benefits of his coming to TV was to have met and worked with "fine actors like mohan raman" I really cherish that. Some greats like Naga have not made it to the silver screen but working with him was again a great experience. I am not mentioning all the great actors with whom I have shared space.
I have had a great time learning...I continue to Learn from each day's shoot. The process never ends. TV is also great as it does not slot any actor in any mould...I have played a Good father, A villain, a comedian all in the same channel coming one day after another......Sun TV....Marmadesam , Oviyam , YGM's comedy all in the same week. This is not the same for Films.....I have played an Advocate ( probably because I can speak the "court" Tamil well.) in more than 30 films....Typecast??? to such an extent that I am thought of by many to be an advocate in real life. The fact that my Dad was a famous advocate has also helped in no small way for this idea to spread. Both my younger brothers and my son are all practicing advocates to add to the confusion.
Drama.....where are those glorious days ?
There was a time when in Madras ( Chennai) every weekend had the following doing Stage Plays in various Sabhas. To name a few
Sivaji Nataka Mandram - with Sivaji
Cho's Political satires
Balachanders Plays like edhir neechchal, neerkumazhi
S.V.Sahasranamam's Seva Stage
Manohar's mythologicals
YGP's United Amateur artistes
to name just a few...M.R.Radha was more a rural person as his plays were all laced with rationalism. I dont think there was a greater Golden Age for theatre. All great film stars were products of the Stage....be it MKT , MGR or Sivaji. They loved the Stage till their last breath.
To call todays TV Serials as "nadagam" or a Play is certainly not correct.
Has TV taken over Cinema....certainly not. It is as true as saying that Cinema took over from the Stage Plays. There will always be a crowd for "Good Entertainment"...
vive le difference.

1 comment:

Prabhu said...

//Indeed one of the best comments on me was by Balu Mahendra who said that one of the benefits of his coming to TV was to have met and worked with "fine actors like mohan raman" //

Two of your most memorable roles (in my opinion of course) were in Kadhai NEram.

One is the story about winning a prize to go to visit the Tajmahal. After taking Mounika out on an evening of joy you lay the weights of practicality on her and crush her dreams. One would really feel the crush when watching that. You play the unenviable role of being the only one who doesn't share her joy (we the audience do), as you are planning the evening on purpose. It is not as if you are cruel or do not sympathize with your wife's feelings of a constrained existence. Just that you more tuned to the practical considerations. Very well done.

Another story is the one where you are travelling in a bus and an old man dies on you. Your background is not mentioned, where you are headed, why you are alone etc. is left to us. Perhaps you are also running away from the realities which you were forced to deal with in this journey. Your reactions from fear to responsibility are showcased very well. The climax is just poetic. Arguably your best performance ever.

Hope you get the chance to do more such roles.

Regards,
Prabhu Ram

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.