Monday, October 20, 2008

RIP - Director Sridhar


Director Sridhar passed away today in Chennai. A fantastic storyteller and true trendsetter, he has earned a permanent place in Tamil cinema history.

Among the films of Sridhar that I've seen are Kalyana Parisu, the story of two sisters in love with the same man, and Nenjil Or Aalayam, a superb, character-based story of a man in the unique situation of having to save his ex-lover's husband. The latter also featured one of my all-time favorite songs, Engirundhaalum Vaazhga.... Nenjirukkum Varai, a love triangle where all performers appeared sans make-up, and Nenjam Marappadhillai, a re-incarnation tale, were two more of his famous films. It is hard to believe that the man who made all those tearjerkers was also behing a laugh-riot like Kaadhalikka Neramillai, a superb ensemble comedy. Movies like the romance Thaen Nilavu(the first Tamil film to be shot in locales in Kashmir), the light-hearted Ooty Varai Uravu and the hero-centric, MGR vehicle Urimai Kural(supposedly a film done by MGR to help out Sridhar, who had fallen into dire straits financially) are further proof of his versatility behind the camera. In those movies, he introduced several actors to Tamil cinema including Muthuraman, Devika and Jayalalitha. Sridhar made a smooth transition to the next generation of Tamil cinema with films like the bold Ilamai Oonjalaadugiradhu, perfectly casting the two fastest rising stars of the day. And he proved that even if had grown old, his heart was still young with the superhit Thendrale Ennai Thodu as late as 1985.

Strong characters, subtle but strong emotions, restrained humor, great songs - all these were trademarks of Sridhar's films. He may have left us but his legacy will be around for a long time to come. May his soul rest in peace...

12 Comments:

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Icy Cool said...

Yeah. Got the news via Sun Tv. All Sridhar movies were gems. Many of them were trend setters. The movies which specifically come to my mind are Kaadhalikka Neramillai and iLamai oonjal aagudigradhu. Such a wonderful creator. I know he was kinda not able to function for many years now. May he have peace in his afterlife.

Wish I could see his Ilamai Oonjal Aadugiradhu right now.

IcyCool

http://pataampoochi.blogspot.com

 
At 10:30 PM, Blogger Kay said...

BB,

He was an original thinker and a risk taker. Gemini Ganesan is supposed to have said that working with Director Sridhar was the best. He also did not have any "bandha" associated with directors and was very approachable by his team. A gentleman by all means...

Kay

 
At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was the first star director. Movies sold for his name. His name precedeed the name of the movie. Sridharin "Nenjil Or Alayam" Sridharin "Avalukku enru or manam",etc.

For a man who broke into films via stage and becoming a screen play dialogue writer he made his mark as a director. His aesthetic sense -- be it visual or musical --- stood him in good stead. With Vincent as his cinematographer he took tamil cinema out of studios and into the open ... then nilavu. But he could also can an entire film in almost one set in three weeks flat and make it a blockbuster.

He had his share of duds ( O manju, sowntharyame varuga varuga,ninaivellam nithya ) misses (avalukku enru or manam, alaigal, oru odai nathiyaagirathu) but his hits are remembered till date ( Kathalika N, Then N, K Parisu, Ilamai U,Meenda sorgam, Azhage unnai Arathikiren)
His movies had memorable music .
Be it Visu- Ramu, AM Raja, Ilayaraja or even a Vijaya basker!

He was indeed a trail blazer.

vengayam

 
At 2:41 AM, Blogger Mannaru said...

my favourite director apart from mani ratnam..no one could make a ' once in a life time' film like KN..awesome director..unpretentious..uncanny ability to switch between comedy and drama and that too with ease..tamil films now need directors of his calibre..

Sri

 
At 5:23 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Yes, a sad news indeed. He was the trend setter (like Mani) of my father's generation, my father used to say. His movies were technically slick in that age. "Kadhalikka Neramillai", "Kalyana Parisu" and "Nenjil oru aalayam" come to my mind when I think of his name. His movies had good songs too. He would be remembered by tamil filmdom for long.

 
At 5:58 AM, Blogger S.Ganesh Kumar said...

I remember watching his Kadhalikka Neramillai and Kalyana Parisu.Kadhalikka Neramillai can be considered as one of the most youthful kinda film of it generation!:D

 
At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Ram said...

i was once talking to vasanth about how i like movies in which the story moves forward due to the behavior of the characters (like anju seeking redemption, leading to ramesh aravind to look for radhika, in keladi kannmani) rather than the whims of the screenplay writer...and he immediately replied, "apdi naa nee sridhar padam eduthu paaru..."
i actually havent watched any of those classics you've mentioned, as yet...except for kadhalika neramillai and ilamai oonjalaadugiradhu...the latter was really well-made, bold and beautiful! i thought sripriya, kamal and rajni had superbly etched characters...very unpredictable drama. will check out the other classics as i find more time...

May his soul rest in peace...

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger Raju said...

I knew that he was ill for a long time (>4 or 5 years); a true loss indeed. May his soul rest in peace. Among those whom he introduced is Vikram (ThanduvittEn ennai). Also, Santhanabharathi and P Vasu were from his school. As Vengayam mentioned, one notable aspect of almost all his movies is music. It is so ironic that such a famous director spent his last 20 years or so in poor conditions.

 
At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nenjil oru alayam is extremely beautiful to look at, a rare movie where i marveled at the director's composition of the scenes.

 
At 7:11 PM, Blogger Icy Cool said...

When I watched this bit of news in sun tv there was MSV standing next to the body and crying. And I was thinking about all those wonderful songs in his movies. I bet so many wonderful memories would have been spent by MSV and Sridhar to create those songs.

IcyCool

http://pataampoochi.blogspot.com

 
At 9:17 PM, Anonymous ram said...

Off-topic...
i am in the study area of my building (at carnegie mellon univ.)...took a break to listen to this lovelyyy song...
yaam petra inbam peruga indha bbthots!
http://musicmazaa.com/tamil/audiosongs/movie/Agni+Satchi.html#+Kana+Kanum+Kangal
lovelyyy song...SPB at the top of his game...

 
At 6:56 AM, Anonymous parthi.nv said...

For me, Sridhar will always mean Great Songs. Most of his films had more than 2, 3 good songs.

 

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