Manivanan : A legend no more

mannispl17613_m3Kannadasan once said that his life is never gone, for he will continue to live forever.

That does not apply to Kannadasan alone, and to all the people termed as Legends.

For a man, whose knowledge in cinema is profoundly immense and the reason is quite simple, he loves, adores, breathed cinema. The man we are talking about is director cum actor cum producer “Manivanan” who was a part of Tamil Cinema for the last few decades. At 59, the versatile actor suffered a critical heart attack and passed away at his residence in Nesappakam. The actor is survived by his wife Sengamalam, son Raghuvanan and daughter Jothi. Over the past few days he had some severe health problems and has been getting treatment as well.

His last movie was incidentally also his 50th with his favorite actor Sathyaraj, it was a sequel to one of his biggest hits “Amaithipadai”, though the movie was an average grosser, people still loved the slapstick humour that Sathyaraj & Manivanan shared in “Nagaraja Chozan MA MLA”. His debut movie Gopurangal Saivathillai made the mark and heads turn, then he went on to make some phenomenal movies like Ilamai Kalangal, Nooravathu Naal, Ingayum oru Gangai, 24 mani neram, Palaivana Rojakal, Jalikatu, Chinnathambi Periyathambi, and many more.

If that is not enough, he has also acted in 400+ movies that include character roles, humour, villainous, he can be what the director wants. The villain role he played in “Kodi Parakuthu” is something which no one can forget, the movie was directed by Bharathiraja and had superstar Rajinikanth in the lead. From his direction “Palaivana Rojakal” had former Chief Minister M.Karunanithi penning the script and Dialogues. He also worked as an associate of the Bharathiraja before shelving out direction on his own. During his early days of Cinema, he has also lent his screenplay talents for movies Nizhalkal, tic tic tic, Alaigal Oyvathilai that had Bharathiraja’s direction.

His Moondravathu Kan, Nooravathu Naal and 48 mani neram are classic thrillers, they are cult cinemas and even now such thrillers are hard to come by. Sathyaraj is always known as the king of sarcasm and thanks to Manivanan whose “Amaithipadai” is one of Tamil Cinema’s biggest Political satire made Sathyaraj’s grand entry into the world of irony. The scene where the election results are announced and how Sathyaraj climbed the political stardom is enough to mention Mani’s power packed direction. His ironic remarks and sarcasm is very obvious considering the fact he comes from sulur, an important town of Coimbatore district, and we all know the comical style of the people who hail from Coimbatore.

He is an ardent supporter of Tamil Eelam and is always an active participant in venting his proactive thoughts for them. His support in politics initially was with DMK supremo and then he shifted to MDMK. Post the Tamil Eelam war he was a passionate supporter of Seeman’s Naam Tamizhar party. His last wish to clad his body in “Viduthalai puli” flags is finally done. Even at an event his words echoed ” If i was born among the Eelam people, I would have fought alongside the Eelam tigers and my death would’ve been a brave one” He further mentioned that after his death, his body should not be handed over to anyone else apart from Seeman and his body should be clad with the tiger’s flag.

A man who respected values more than life, lived in the heart of many and will continue to do so. Tamil Cinema has created some directors par excellence, they had showcased social evils of modern day life and of course the movies were path breakers. But directors like Manivanan who take the street to revive the people out of their problems show that we need people like him more.

A legend no more, however we know his contribution and his legacy is never gone.

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