Available in Android Market
Add to Google
Bookmark and Share
<< previous

The Great Sivaji

My favorite Tamil actor is Sivaji Ganesan, the versatile actor who’s acted in so many roles convincingly. Many of the characters seemed so real that even today I imagine historical characters like Veera Pandya KattaBomman and Kappalottiya Tamizan (Va.Vu. Chidambaram Pillai) to have looked like him. Sivaji was added to his name after his virtuoso performance as the Maratha king in a play.

Like MGR, he ran away from home to join a drama company as a young boy much as children in America talk about joining the circus. The drama company traveled from town to town always in great demand, as plays were one of the principal forms of entertainment in those days.

His early movies in the 50s and 60s were amazing. He followed his first movie,'Parashakthi', a big hit, with films like Padithal Mattum Podhuma, Paar Magale Paar, Pacchai Vilakku, Paava Mannippu, Kai Koduttha Deivam and Veera Pandya KattaBomman.

When he acted, he really became that person. We see the loving brother in Paasa Malar, the status-loving but dear father in Paar Magale Paar and the dutiful son in Padithal Mattum Podhuma. We saw patriots like
Va.Vu.Chidambaram Pillai himself in Kappal Ottiya Tamizan and Katta
Bomman come to life. His comic roles were just as convincing in movies like Arivaali with Bhanumathi, an interpretation of Shakespere's Taming of the Shrew.

In his hundredth movie, Navarathiri, he played nine different people, each representing a different human characteristic like fear, anger and courage.

He received awards from around the world including India’s Padma Bhushan and L’Chevalier d’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government.