The legendary Sivaji Ganesan rewrote the rules of playing
different characters on screen. He belonged to the age
of theatre-trained actors and hence his delineation
of characters usually had an element of exaggeration.
Yet, if we look at his films from the perspective
of the period in which he acted, we can safely conclude
there can be no equal for him. He also had a wonderful
sense of body language and dialogues. He knew when
to project each so as to achieve maximum impact. In
a historical film like Veerapandia kattabomman, the
modulation of dialogues was given importance while
in films like Deivamagan and Thangappadhakkam, his
internalization of the character made them memorable.
Let us take a look at Thangappadhakkam.
film deals with the turbulent life of Chowdary, an honest
police officer. What was so different about the cop’s
life? The main thrust of the story is that of a highly
misunderstood man resulting in his own son becoming
his sworn enemy. Chowdary is successful in his police
service, has a devoted wife and is blessed with a son.
But his apparently stern attitude while bringing up
his son sows the seeds of animosity. The son grows up
to be a crook indulging in unlawful activities. Chowdary’s
warnings fall into deaf ears. On one occasion, the son
embezzles the funds from his employer and takes refuge
in his father’s home. Chowdary lays a clever trap
to nab him with the help of his force. The son goes
to jail and Chowdary’s wife suffers a stroke and
becomes invalid. On release from the prison, the son
swears revenge on Chowdary. He tries to extract his
revenge but Chowdary becomes a martyr while foiling
his son’s anti-national tie-up with foreign mercenaries.
Chowdary is awarded the police medal or Thangappadhakkam.
is a simple story told in a powerful manner. Sivaji
breathed life into the character so much so that several
of his successors have imbibed his style in playing
the upright police officer. His body language was awesome
in variety – as the loving husband, the affectionate
father, the dutiful officer or the heart-broken man.
In every frame, there was novelty which kept the audience
glued to their seats. The supporting cast of K.R. Vijaya,
Srikanth and V.K. Ramaswamy also did their parts well.
Songs in the film were superhits like the soulful Sumaithangi
saindhal, or the lilting Nalladhoru kudumbam.
of the film is that raising children is a different
ballgame altogether. One cannot take children for granted
and that one cannot expect them to tread a certain path
unless we make the attempt to convince them fully. The
film is especially relevant for today’s era.