Television is a wider canvas, asserts Visu.
Visu was a name to reckon with in theatre, what with his group Viswasanthi churning out hit after hit in the late 1970s. The next logvial step was cinema. He was also a success on screen, donning many roles as an actor and also handling the story, dialogue and direction. Among his notable hits were ‘Manal Kayiru,’ ‘Kudumbam Oru Kadambam,’ and ‘Samsaram Adu Minsaram.’ His last appearance on stage was in 1981.
After a 33-year break, he has bounced back with a new play, Viswasanthi’s ‘Konjam Yosinga Boss’ produced by Larawins-Lights on.
“I was never ‘off stage’ boss. So you cannot call it a comeback,” he asserts in typical Visu style. He adds, “I only shifted from stage to television. My show ‘Makkal Arangam’ encompassed all three facets of fine arts namely, literature, music and drama (Iyal, Isai and Nadagam).” That is true and regular viewers of his show would vouch for it.
“In theatre, I have a set of dialogue and everything is planned for enactment on stage, whereas in ‘Makkal Arangam’ only the theme is planned and all other aspects are extempore. The speakers’ lines are the dialogue and their body language and intonation give you the feel of drama. Some of them even sing between their speeches drawing references from literature liberally. Virtually, no boundaries at all,” says Visu.
Four of his Viswasanthi members have also come back. But what about the rest? “Some have passed away, some have lost interest and the others have settled down in their family lives. But my only regret is the current state of affairs in the field. The first question an aspiring actor asks is about his pay, whereas I would have been happier if he had asked me about the play and his role. I had to filter out all those who were irregular in attending rehearsals. This was definitely not the case earlier. Those were the days when everyone would vie with each other, however small their role, to prove their mettle on stage. The sincerity, dedication and faith have vanished. Only those who showed promise in these aspects have been included in this play”.
Watching ‘Makkal Arangam,’ many felt that Visu should once again wield the megaphone as he must have gathered several plots, drawing inspiration from every episode. “Yes the growing knowledge, people’s experiences, their varied narrative styles have inspired me to weave several plots and the first one of them is this play.”