September 13, 2017
A digitised version of MGR film running for 100 days in Tamil Nadu is not news. For, he was an actor who turned into a successful politician. And, the backing of the party he floated, the AIADMK, would ensure its success.
But, a 1973-Sivaji Ganesan flick hitting century on silver screen is definitely a talking point. It was the digitised version of Rajapart Rangadurai directed by P Mathavan that got to see 100 days in a Madurai cinema, Meenakshi Paradise, recently.
A group of die-hard Sivaji fans organised a grand event to celebrate the film’s success for the second time. Fans not only from Madurai but from as far as Bangalore, Chitoor and Cochin were in attendance.
When it hit 50th day, the nadigar thilagam’s fans distributed biriyani packets to the audience. On the 100th day, they erected a cut-out for Sivaji, showered it with flowers specially brought from Bangalore, burst crackers, distributed sweets to the residents where the theatre is located and shared their joy.
John Moses, state general secretary of Janata Dal (S), who was invited by Sivaji fans as one of the guest speakers to address the gathering at the festival, told The Covai Post, “These days it is very difficult to see a film for even 3 days. But a movie that was released 50 years ago drawing huge crowds on its rerun calls for huge celebration of this kind. Interestingly, Moses enjoyed a close association with Sivaji. “It was he who appointed me as the state general secretary of JD (S) when he was the president of the Tamil Nadu unit and I continue to hold the post,”recalls Moses with gratitude.
A digitised MGR film, say ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’, running to capacity in cinemas does not come as a surprise to him. “Sivaji was not a successful politician like MGR. If people are coming to watch his movie even after 50 years, it is because of his classic acting. Moreover, what has to be noted is this event was not organised by the rich or the politically influential people but the poor who are enticed by his acting,” he says.
Surprised by Rajapart Rangadurai’s crowd-pulling capacity, the theatre owners have decided to rerun Sivaji movies in their screen on and off.