Chennai: The pride of Tamil cinema, Sivaji Ganesan, was born 90 years ago on this day. He entertained millions of fans with his movies. An acting career that spanned for over 47 years saw him portray various roles with utmost perfection. News Today spoke to a few die-hard Sivaji Ganesan fans to know what made them love him so much.
For Savithri, a housewife, “Sivaji Ganesan was a world-class actor but remained a regional star. This was essentially because the ethos of Tamil cinema was never in the wavelength of world cinema. But even a die-hard enthusiast of realism in films had to sit up and take note of Sivaji.”
“His acting is dictionary for everyone in any language of cinema. He never fails to add more value to his characters through his dialogue delivery or body language,” she adds.
“He was a colossus who rode the Tamil cinema field, giving many memorable performances. In each movie, different faces of the actor were revealed… be it joy, sorrow, anger, hate or sympathy,’ she said.
Another fan of Sivaji Ganesan, Baskar Sivaji, says, ‘Through his dedication, hard work, skill and ability, Sivaji Ganesan became a successful actor. In the process, he inspired a whole generation of artistes, virtually creating a new school of acting,” she said.
Nadigar Thilagam continues to sway film buffs. His films are being re-mastered and hit the screens one after the other to make big collections. Movies like Vasantha Maaligai, Gauravam, Puthiya Paravai and Pasamalar woo even audiences of this generation, says Baskar.
He had an extraordinary flair for dialogue delivery. He pioneered an exquisite style, diction, tone and tenor. That made me watch his movies again and again. I would call him a scientist who experimented a lot in terms of acting, he adds.
“I lost count of the number of times I watched films like Manohara, Veera Pandiya Kattabomman, Kappalotiya Thamizhan, Paasamalar, Aalayamani, Karnan, Thiruvilaiyaadal, Saraswathi Sabatham, Sivantha Mann, Gauravam, Thangapathakkam,’ adds Baskar.
Sivaji Ganesan was the lion of Tamil cinema. His acting prowess was unmatched. He knew what the audience wanted and gave exactly that. Though he had come from theatre, still to deliver a flawless performance in his very first film (Parasakthi) in front of the camera, was amazing and astounding. He was cinema for me, says Vedantham, a former office-bearer of Sivaji Fans Association.
He adds, “I hardly watch movies these days. Once he passed away, I stopped going to the theatre. Even today, whenever his films are aired in television I never miss them.”
“Sivaji Ganesan played a wide range of characters, from God and king to commoner. He deserves the credit for instilling patriotism, spiritualism and love for Tamil among youngsters in those days. He did films that glorified love for motherland. He was Kattabomman, Bharathiyar, V O Chidambaram Pillai for a majority of people. So was he the Almighty. His dialogue delivery and flawless diction made people love their language,” he said.
Sadly, when contemporary cinema went from bad to worse, it was Sivaji Ganesan’s films that championed the cause of joint family. He was a caring husband, helpful neighbour, adorable lover and a dedicated teacher in his films. He was never preachy on screen but made sure he spread good values through his movies, added Vedantham.