Mahanati defames Gemini Ganesan, glorifies Savitri: Actor’s daughter slams biopic

Dr Kamala Selvaraj, daughter of well known Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan who was married to legendary Telugu actor Savitri, has lashed out at Mahanati for its ‘biased and imbalanced’ portrayal of her late father.
Keerthy Suresh and Dulquer Salmaan as the lead pair in Savitri biopic, Mahanati.
Keerthy Suresh and Dulquer Salmaan as the lead pair in Savitri biopic, Mahanati.
Updated on May 18, 2018 11:13 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chennai | ByKarthik Kumar

The Savitri biopic Mahanati has won over audiences and critics everywhere, but it has earned the displeasure of late actor Gemini Ganesan’s daughter, Dr Kamala Selvaraj, who is upset with the way the makers have portrayed her father in the film.

Actor Dulquer Salmaan played Gemini in the Keerthy Suresh starrer Mahanati, which has struck gold at the box-office. In its opening weekend, the film has grossed over Rs 20 crore worldwide.

Lashing out at the makers, Kamal told The New Indian Express that the film does gross injustice to all the children of Gemini. “The film leaves you wondering where the facts end and the fiction begins. It has defamed our father. What has been shown on screen is a one-sided version that glorifies Savitri, and bluntly ignores many other aspects of her life.”

Mahanati movie review: Keerthy Suresh breathes life into Savitri’s beautiful tragedy

She further added that Savitri had many relationships, and one of them was with Gemini. Kamala feels the film’s portrayal of her father is biased and imbalanced. “The makers haven’t researched and presented the film honestly. The team did not speak to the family and close friends of Gemini Ganesan.”

In Mahanati, Dulquer Salmaan’s portrayal as Gemini Ganesan has come up for much praise.
In Mahanati, Dulquer Salmaan’s portrayal as Gemini Ganesan has come up for much praise.

Explaining about the issues she had with the portrayal of her father on screen, Kamal said: “My father didn’t influence Savitri to become an alcoholic. He did the best to give her dignity and protection, because he loved her truly. Also, Gemini was a top actor, who was on par with MG Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan. But in the film, he is shown to be jobless and hanging around the sets of Savitri’s films all the time! There’s no mention of his fan following in the film.”

Read: Keerthy Suresh dons 110 looks as Savitri in Mahanati. Here are pics of 20 of them

Kamala also said that her mother wasn’t supportive of Gemini’s marriage to Savitri, which was portrayed inaccurately in the Nag Ashwin film. “The scenes involving Alamelu (his first wife-my mother), Savitri and my dad weren’t accurate. My mother wasn’t supportive of their marriage,” the report added.

It may be recalled that while Keerthy’s portrayal has come up for much praise and expectedly so, it is Dulquer’s depiction of Gemini that was the surprise package. Lauding Dulquer’s work, SS Rajamouli had said, “Dulquer is mind-blowing even in the smallest scenes. As a director, I wouldn’t know how to make my actors perform some of the scenes in the film. It’s not easy to sell the philosophy of Gemini Ganesan, but Dulquer sold it with his performance.”

Gemini was one of the three leading men of Tamil cinema in the 1950s and 1960s along with MG Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan. He was particularly known for his romantic roles and was popularly dubbed ‘Kadhal Mannan’ or the ‘King of Romance’.

It is alleged that Gemini was in relationship with three women -- his wife, Alamelu (with whom he had four daughters), Pushpavalli (Rekha’s mother, whom he reportedly secretly married; he had another daughter from her) and, of course, Savitri (with whom he had a daughter and a son).

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