August 3, 2016
S P Muthuraman, who has cast a bevy of towering actors in the Tamil film industry, said movies must have a story, however entertaining it is.
The legendary Tamil film director, who has made 25 movies starring superstar Rajinikanth, said: “Films have moved with time and have become fast-paced with directors helping themselves to a generous amount of glamour and technology, yet it’s my suggestion that they weave them around a strong subject.”
The best known commercial director in Tamil cinema, who has also made 10 movies starring Kamal Hassan and three with legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan, spoke about the role of cinema in the development of society at the silver jubilee celebrations of VLB Arts College in Kovaipudur, Coimbatore.
His presence was also in line with the installation of the Viscom (visual communication) department at the institution. He was felicitated by VLB College of Arts and Science chairman N Suryakumar and principal N Rajkumar.
Basing his suggestions for students on his vast experience in the world of cinema, Muthuraman, who has 75 movies to his credit, said: “Make use of every opportunity that comes your way, and plan ahead to succeed.”
“I did movies with leading actors and delivered big hits because I knew time management. It’s important to prioritise, work hard and succeed.”
He advised the students to see beyond textbooks and read widely and learn as much as they can.
Muthuraman, who directed Rajni’s 100th film Sri Raghavendrar, said as a ninth grader, he was plucky enough to tell his head teacher that his ambition was to become a ‘cinemakaran’ (film maker) when students normally aimed at ‘intellectually’ inclined careers.
But the teacher did something least expected, he instructed staff to involve him in every cultural activity of the school so that he can prepare himself for the future of his choice.
“I’m what I’m today because this teacher did not ridicule me, instead he recognized the spark, encouraged and supported me.”
He also warned parents against tempering the children into doing what they thought, was the best.
Pointing out to a simple way to stay focused and disciplined, Muthuraman said, “Read at least one Thirukurral a day.”
Clad in white, 81-year-old Muthuraman stayed barefoot in honour of the stage and delivered an address rich in anecdotes and off-screen incidents that received a rapturous applause from the students.
Speaking to The Covai Post, he said, “Technology has helped cinema reach the audience faster, and this includes everything good and bad in it.”
However, the Rajini flick Raja Chinna Roja used animation successfully even when technology was dormant, so creativity rules filmmaking always, he said.
Along with technology has come piracy, a filmmaker’s scourge, he said.
The government must act fast on this, he said, adding, counter technology should be used to stop this.
He said Tamil cinema has produced eminent women directors like T P Rajalakshmi and Lakshmi Ramakrishnan.
“Women should come forward to take up direction, but the scarcity is due to the irregular hours associated with shoots and family commitments.”
Muthuraman, whose guru is A C Tirulokachandar, has worked with top directors like Krishnan–Panju, Bhimsingh and D Yoganand, and long associated with legendary director K Balachander, who produced his movies.
He has received two South Filmfare Awards and a Best Director award from the Tamil Nadu State Government.