Blsat from the Past Cinema

Rudhra Thaandavam (1978) Tamil

V. K. Ramasami (1926-2002), one of the most versatile character actors of Tamil cinema, acted in over 200 films and was also a producer of many successful comedies. Born in 1926 in Virudhunagar, he began his career as a Tamil stage artiste before slowly making his way up. With a unique style of dialogue delivery, and an innate sense of humour, he starred in many hit films, including Naam Iruvar (1947), produced by Indian movie mogul A.V. Meiyappan, the film that shot him to fame.

Rudhra Thaandavam was produced under the banner of Alarmelumanga Productions in the name of his wife, R. Ramani. In the film, Ramani plays the wife of the temple priest, played by Nagesh. The film is the story of a poor priest to whom Lord Shiva makes himself visible, before taking him around the world.

VKR as Lord Shiva, takes the priest to places like the police station and the hospital, where people mistake the lord for an actor or stage artiste.

Thengai Srinivasan (as a fraudulent politician) and M.R.R Vasu treat him as a joke, but learn their lessons towards the end. Srinivasan’s son (Radha Ravi) lusts after the priest’s daughter (Sumithra) who meanwhile is in love with a painter (Vijayakumar), an impoverished youngster who comes to the city to paint the towers of temples.

Lord Shiva, unable to tolerate the injustices in the world, begins to perform the celebrated Rudhra Thaandavam or cosmic dance of Lord Shiva. Ramasami performs this in a superb manner and the long sequence is intercut with fine montages of World War II battle scenes, earthquakes, floods, etc.

The movie ends by showing that this was all part of the priest’s dream.

The film is written by A. Veerappan, and has music by M.S. Viswanathan, assisted by Joseph Krishna. The lyrics are by Kavignar Kannadasan and Vaali. Songs were sung offscreen by T.M. Soundararajan, S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, A.V. Ramanan, Vani Jayaram, and L.R. Eswari.

The film was shot at Vauhini Studios by G. Or. Nathan, and edited by B. Kandaswami. Art direction was by Pitchairaju. The film, although had a recent run, did not perform as well as expected.

Remembered for: The offbeat storyline, interesting comedy by Nagesh, and the fantastic performance as Lord Shiva by V.K. Ramasami.



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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 9:52:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Rudhra-Thaandavam-1978-Tamil/article16668288.ece

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