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...