Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Actor-Director Pairs

A good director can bring out the best in any actor and a good actor delivers his best irrespective of the director. But it is undeniable that some actors and directors share a chemistry that associates them closest with each other and drives both of them to give their best. Rediff has taken a look at some popular director-actor pairs in Hollywood. Here are a few pairs from Tamil cinema over the years.

Sivaji – Bhimsingh
Its been a while since I’ve seen a movie from this combination but I know enough to know that the pair created quite a few classics and blockbusters(Paasamalar, Paavamannippu, Paarthaal Pasi Theerum, etc.) that have had an enduring effect. It is a well-known fact that all their movies started with ‘Pa’ and my parents, who were avid fans of this pair, have said that Sivaji’s new ‘look’ in each film was as eagerly looked forward to as the film itself.

Nagesh - KB
While KB introduced and then groomed several stars, his association with Nagesh has given us some real gems. While he fully exploited Nagesh as a comedian in movies like Bhama Vijayam, he brought to the fore the actor in him in movies like Neerkumizhi and Edhirneechal.

Trivia question: Has KB used Nagesh in any of his later movies? I don't remember seeing Nagesh in later movies like Avargal and Moondru Mudichu or newer movies like Sindhu Bhairavi and Punnagai Mannan. Did the pair have a falling-out?

Rajni – S.P.Muthuraman
This pair pretty much redefined the term ‘masala film’ in Tamil cinema. They churned out blocbuster after blockbuster during the 80s and films like Murattu Kaalai and Nallavanukku Nallavan played a key part in Rajni’s meteoric rise during that time. They shared good chemistry and have even tried offbeat, non-formulaic films like Aarilirundhu Arubadhu Varai.

Satyaraj - Manivannan
Manivannan has been behind Satyaraj’s gradual rise from supporting actor to villain to anti-hero to hero in Tamil cinema. His Nooraavadhu Naal gave us the unforgettable image of Satyaraj with tonsured head and round glasses while 24 Mani Neram made Satyaraj a bonafide villain with some of his most delicious one-liners to date. Their Amaidhippadai, made after Satyaraj made the transition to hero, reminded us that no one could play the bad guy quite as well as Satyaraj.

These two have shared a truly symbiotic relationship. Sarath's flagging career has been restored a few times by timely hits like Naattaamai and Natpukkaaga while those hits helped KSR truly become a sought-after, A-list director who was the first choice of even Rajni and Kamal.

Madhavan - Manirathnam
After Karthik and Arvind Swamy, Manirathnam gave Tamil girls another reason to cheer, with Madhavan. He introduced him as a typical teenybopper hero in Alaipaayudhe but has since then showcased him more as an actor than heartthrob. To Maddy’s credit, he has not shied away from playing either a dad of 3 kids(Kannathil Muthamittaal) or a bad guy(Aaydha Ezhuthu) when Mani has asked him to.


At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting and nice post, Balaji. Kamal-ai vittutteengale.. Though he hasnt stuck with one director for long time, I think he had two directors, with whom whenever he paired, it was a good effort.

First was obviously KB (a dozen films?) and then Singeetham (From Pesum Padam till Mumbai Express, 6 movies?) Not to forget K Viswanath.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger pagala'k' said...


At 12:55 PM, Blogger Sriram said...

Kamal - Maniratnam. yes they did only 1 movie together. But Nayagan is probably the greatest tamil movie.

It is a shame they didnt do many movies together.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

sembe, u may be right since its been a long time since i watched that movie. lets see if any1 else can confirm...

gp, good catch. i racked my brains trying to pair up a director with kamal but still missed singeetham. that pair definitely deserves to be part of this list.

pagalak, i think its too early to add vikram-bala since they've done only 2 movies. but we can hope they go on to do more movies together...

sriram, completely agree :-)

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Nagesh was in 'Aboorva R'. Saw the movie a couple months back (for the first time).

At 7:26 PM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

satya raj and shakti chidambram, movies like english karan, mahanadigan, etc

At 7:26 PM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

saran and ajith. u 4got?

At 11:03 PM, Blogger Ram C said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Ram C said...

I believe you have concentrated too much on the actors.. what about KB-Jayanthi combinations like 'Bama Vijayam' 'Iru Kodukal' 'Velli Vizha' etc., followed by BaluMahendra-Shoba combo and BaluMahendra-ARchana combinations.


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