Songs that MGR sang are Gautham Menon's film titles

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Mar 08, 2015 17:17 IST

Gautham Vasudev Menon's run with movie actor and politician M.G. Ramachandran continues. The Tamil director has often used as his film titles words from songs that MGR (as Ramachandran was popularly known) "sang" on screen.

The helmer's Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada--which is now in the making with Silambarasan in the lead -- is a title picked from the lyrics which the famous playback singer, T.M Soundarajan, lisped for MGR in his 1960 Mannadhi Mannan -- a tale of royalty and treachery.

Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada has the same Menon-A.R Rahman-Silambarasan combine we saw in the director's earlier Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa. It was later adapted in Hindi as Ekk Deewana Tha with Prateik Babbar and Amy Jackson -- the set igniting a brief romance between the two.

We do not know what the plot is all about in Menon's latest venture, but the song which MGR hummed, Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada, is still a popular hit that takes men and women down memory lane.

The director has often lifted his movie titles from MGR's songs. The title of Menon's last outing, an Ajith starrer, Yennai Arindhaal, is a spin from a song in MGR's 1964 Vettaikaaran --a film where the actor plays a hunter, who eventually realises that every life, even that of an animal, must be respected. All about animal rights that we hear about so much today.

Some other Menon movie titles have also been inspired by or copied from songs that MGR once "hummed" -- mesmerising women like no one else. While Vettaiyaadu Vilayaadu was taken from a song in Arasa Kattalai (1967) -- about a people's king --Pachaikili Muthucharam was part of the lyrics in another MGR starrer, the 1973 Ulagam Sutrum Valiban, where he essays a scientist whose incredible discovery is sought by a villain out to the destroy the planet.

Menon is one among the hundreds of thousands of men and women in Tamil Nadu whose adoration for MGR is not only an example of unwavering loyalty, but is also inexplicable. A one-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MGR's popularity rose largely because of his do-gooder parts in cinema (like helping the poor, the weak and generally saving the planet from ruin). His yeoman role in State politics is another factor.

While Karunanidhi and Annadurai (who served as the State Chief Ministers at different times), wrote film scripts propagating the Dravidian ideology, MGR gave it a face and figure -- thereby helping in the establishment of a powerful political movement that became an alternative to the Congress. This party never won an election since the arrival of the Dravidian parties.

Perhaps, Mr Menon by so titling his on-going venture is already several steps into the mass psyche!

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