Monday, March 24, 2008

Raghuvaran-An Obituary

The first Raghuvaran movie that I saw was Visu's family drama "Samsaram adhu Minsaram." The eldest son of a middle class joint-family who was forever calculating the family budget was a wonderful role. Then I saw "Shiva" the Nagarjuna starrer where he portrayed the role of Bhavani the dreaded don. Over the years eith the advent of cable television I saw many of his movies like "Puriyadha Pudhir," "Anjali,"Love Today."

A native of Kollenkode in Palakkad, Kerala; he acted in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi movies. Starting his career as a hero in "Ezhuavathu Manithan"(The Seventh Man), he found fame and success by portraying complex psychological characters and villains. Roles like the ones he portrayed in "Poovizhi Vasalilae" and "Puriyadha Pudhir" are etched forever in the collectice psuche of the Tamil film-lover.

His marriage to Rohini ended in divorce, they have a son named Sai. Raghuvaran battled depression, alcoholism and drugs. In recent years he played the role of the father and elder brother with great flair in movies like "Mugavari," "Run," "Kannukul Nilavu." His comic talent was never used with perhaps the exception of "Run," where he played the role of Madhavan's brother in law.

Raghuvaran has inspired Prakashraj a lot, movies like "En swasa katrae" and "Daya" were the two got plum roles have excellent confrontation scenes between the two.

Raghuvaran brought in his style of method acting, tall and striking with his lean mean looks he redefined the archetypal villain with the bulging muscles, bald head, and roaring laughter. In "Puriyadha Pudhir" he harassed Rekha (hi screen wife) with his menacing looks and his dialogue"I know, I know." Manic suspicion and jealousy reached new heights with his portrayal of the emotionally disturbed husband in "Puriyadha Pudhir."

In "Anjali" one of India's most underrated movies he played a loving father and husband who hides the birth of a mentally challenged child to his wife and family. The love, anguish, and sorrow that he portrayed in the movie is so realistic that you forget where reality ends and cinema begins.

Mark Antony in "Baasha" was a super duper role where he got equal screen time and powerful lines with Rajnikant. The usual villain roles in movies like "Kaadhalan" and "Ratchagan" also happened.

His death came as a big shock, the reason cited was complications due to diabetes and coronary problems.

Throughout his life he ended up a loner and a stranger, in interviews he would say how much he still loved his wife and how close he was to his son Sai. Questions remain unanswered and his personal life is no business of mine. I wonder if he and Rohini would have tried to save their marriage and been together perhaps Raghuvaran would not have met such an early death.

Destiny struck its cruel blow and Raghuvaran is no more.

Rest in Peace.

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