Chennai: It was an event to trace the five-decade-old journey of director K. Balachander, who turned 80 on Friday. The film fraternity hailed his contribution to Tamil cinema and theatre and his penchant for perfection.
Actor Sivakumar extolled the director’s eye for detail. He recalled the instance when he had to grapple with high tides when he sat on the rocks at the Visakhapatnam beach during the shoot for ‘Sindhu Bhairavi.’ “Nothing would deter KB [Balachander] from extracting the best out of the actors. He would ask us to get ready for a retake even if he finds a slightest slip in our performance.”
Repeating some of his dialogues from ‘Sindhu Bhairavi’ and ‘Agni Sakshi,’ Sivakumar said Balachander was a taskmaster and would not rest until he made the actor memorise the dialogues. “The auditoriums will be full if KB is staging a play,” he said.
Scriptwriter ‘Crazy’ Mohan said he gained an entry into the film industry only through the director, who made Mohan’s play ‘Marriage made in saloon’ into a feature film (‘Poi Kal Kudhirai’). “Most celebrated actors of today found a foothold in the cinema through KB. I was inspired by his film ‘Edhir Neechal,’ which is loved even now by the youngsters.”
On Balachander’s contribution to the Tamil film industry, lyricist Vaali said his 50-odd years of experience in the industry had made him a stalwart and his television serials received as much recognition as his films. “The film industry in recent times is not growing in a healthy way. Directors like Mr. Balachander are ardent fans of cinema. Only those who love cinema can bring out the best of it,” he said.
Calling Balachander a ‘drill master,’ journalist and political commentator Cho Ramaswamy said: “He is a very good actor himself. That is how he tapped the talent of even average actors.”
He created myriad characters through his works in film and television, which are a wealth of creativity for the industry.
On his film and television career, Balachander said he was fortunate to work with stalwarts from different fields. Hard work, dedication and devotion are very important for anyone who wishes to succeed in the film industry, he said.
“I’m a bundle of emotions. And so I tend to make films that are rich with emotions. That is why people did not appreciate a humour film like ‘Poi Kal Kudhirai’ as they were so used to KB’s poignant movies.” The biggest challenge for any creator is to live up to the expectation of the audience. “It was stressful but a gratifying experience,” he said.
The event, organised by Swathi Soft Solutions, also marked the release of DVDs of four of his popular serials — ‘Pournami,’ ‘Ramani Vs. Ramani,’ ‘Rayil Sneham’ and ‘Oru Koodai Paasam.’ Creative director S.B. Khanthan and Swathi Soft Solutions CEO K.S.Sudhakar spoke.
The Hindu News