I am quite passionate about Tamil cinema and see quite a lot of films particularly old ones even now. Recently I went to theatre and watched the legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan’s magnum opus Karnan which was furnished into a digital version. The first half of the movie was not very clear- looked like a typical old movie. But the second half of the movie looked like digitally mastered and very clear especially the war scenes were superb!! It will be great experience to watch the movie once again in different form. I really enjoyed watching Sivaji Ganesan’s acting in his famous role. He is the one and only actor who molded generations of actors with his manner of acting, who inspired the audience to a feeling of pride in their rich heritage simply with his dialogue delivery. Sivaji Ganesan’s Karnan once again proved it’s a tear jerker and a crowd puller even after nearly 50 years. Nobody can resist tears in the Karnan's death scene with Mr.NTR. His dialogues were superb. We have not seen a real king in our life, he is the one who comes to our mind when we imagine of a king; such was his towering figure.
With a flair for playing historical roles, Sivaji Ganesan has portrayed all types of leading characters with distinction, one of his most outstanding performances being in Veerapandiya Kattabomman. His dialogue delivery in the film, about a Tamil king who opposed the Brits in vain, must still be played over and over in acting schools. It’s a sample for why he was known for versatile acting and incomparable talent.
My question is why Sivaji Ganesan was never given a National Award in his life time. "If Sivaji did not win one, then how can such an award be looked at as a gauge for cinematic achievements?" When Sivaji Ganesan was awarded as Best actor of Asian-African for the movie 'Veerapandiya Kattabomman’, who was the one who got National Award here for the same year.. You may say there may a better performance from somebody or does it mean Asia-Africa best may not be Indian best?? His acting was a text book lesson for others to learn but it should not be duplicated in full then it would become unnatural. That’s why those who followed his style such as Kamalhasan, Rajini Kanth and others are successful in winning awards for their acting and actions. If none of Sivaji's performances were considered worthy for National Award then this is the shame for the award not for him.
Here we got another chance to honor the greatest thespian of post-independence of Tamil cinema Sivaji Ganesan by giving him a National Award (2012) for this year for his performance in the movie Karnan which is re released now.
He is an artist who has become a legend in his life time and has captivated the hearts of millions of cine goers with more than 250 films to its credit- many of them are top notches. I am writing this article to pay my tribute to the great actor who admired us once again with his great performance in Karnan in the best way possible.