Unity is strength, they say. Proving this, there have been many successful twin talents in Tamil cinema, who had won the hearts of millions with their great work.
This week, let us take a look at some of those delightful duos, works in their combination and how their friendship resulted in some of the memorable movies.
Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy were a legendary music-director duo of M S Viswanathan and T K Ramamoorthy. They worked together on over 100 films, from 1952’s ‘Panam’ to 1965’s ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’.
After their split, Ramamoorthy worked on 16 films between 1966 and 1986. He and Viswanathan reunited in 1995 for ‘Engirundho Vandhan’.
Though their personalities- Ramamoorthy was shy and Viswanathan was dynamic- differed, they ended up jointly giving some of the great songs.
Their first film ‘Panam’ was Sivaji Ganesan’s second film and his first appearance with Padmini. Although the duo were initially supposed to be billed as Ramamoorthy-Viswanathan, N S Krishnan, it is said, felt having Viswanathan’s name first sounded better and told Ramamoorthy, “You are senior to him so you can be behind him, supporting him” and Ramamoorthy assented.
R Krishnan and S Panju, collectively referred to as Krishnan–Panju, were popular film directors. The duo directed more than 50 films in South Indian languages and in Hindi.
Krishnan was born on 18 July 1909 in Chennai. Previously, he was in charge of the laboratory in Pakshiraja Studios in Coimbatore.
Panju was born on 24 January 1915 as Panchapakesan in Umayalpuram near Kumbakonam. Previously, he worked as an assistant editor under P K Raja Sandow and as assistant director under Ellis R Dungan. He was also a film editor who edited films under the name Panjabi.
They both worked for the Tamil film Araichimani or ‘Manuneethi Chozhan’ (1942), which was directed by P K Raja Sandow in Kandhan Studio. Krishnan and Panju became friends at this time. Later, when Raja Sandow saw their skills, he gave them his next project ‘Poompavai’ (1944), which was their first directorial venture.
In 1949, they made ‘Nallathambi’, inspired by Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, in which C N Annadurai, who later became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, debuted as a script writer. In 1952, they made Sivaji Ganesan’s launch vehicle ‘Parasakthi’, for which the dialogues were written by M Karunanidhi.
On 6 April 1984, Panju died in Chennai. Krishnan did not make any films after Panju’s death. On 15 July 1997, Krishnan died in Chennai. Krishnan had one son, film director K Subash, who died in 2016 at the age of 57.
Shankar & Ganesh are a music director duo who have worked in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada movies. They started as assistants to Tamil music composers M S Viswanathan and T K Ramamoorthy in 1964 and later the duo assisted MSV alone from 1965 till 1967.
Kannadhasan started his own film titled ‘Nagarathil Thirudargal’ in which he introduced Shankar-Ganesh as music directors. But unfortunately the film was stopped. So Kannadhasan took them to Chinnappa Devar and requested him to give them a chance.
After Kannadhasan’s death, Shankar-Ganesh had their titles changed to ‘Kavignar Vazhangiya Thevarin’ Shankar-Ganesh. Another info is that, ‘Kaveri Thanda Kalaiselvi’ was a dance drama wherein Jayalalithaa was main lead and rehearsals used to happen at her house with all artistes and musicians coming to her house and doing practice.
Shankar and Ganesh used to come to play music. Jayalalithaa’s mother Sandhya used to make food and give all artistes breakfast and lunch. This went on for 28 days before the first show happened in 1965.
After Jayalalithaa became a huge star she recommended Devar Films to give musician duo Shankar-Ganesh their debut film as a music director in the film ‘Maharasi’ starring Ravinchandran with Jayalalitha. ‘Aattukara Alamelu’ was a turning point in the career of Shankar-Ganesh.
JD and Jerry (separately Joseph D Sami and Gerald) are Tamil film directors and scriptwriters who work together as a team. Their pair’s first film as directors was ‘Ullaasam’ (1997) which had Ajith Kumar and Vikram in the lead roles and produced by Amitabh Bachchan.
Despite having a high-profile cast and production studio, the film became a failure at the box office. They have also directed ‘Whistle’ (2003) and numerous Tamil television serials. The duo subsequently next worked as assistant directors to Shankar in Superstar Rajinikanth-starrer ‘Sivaji’ (2007), helping with story discussion.
In 2012, reports suggested that the directors would make a film with Dulquer Salman and Vikram Prabhu in the lead roles, but the venture did not materialise. They are currently busy with ad films.
Pushkar and Gayatri are a husband and wife filmmaker duo. They are the only married couple directors in Asia and are a part of a small community worldwide. Their films are noted for their unique style and technical finesse.
Probably most famous for their 2017 film, ‘Vikram Vedha’, the couple has been in the industry since 2007. They have, till date, written and directed three feature Tamil movies – ‘Oram Po’, ‘Va- Quarter Cutting’ and ‘Vikram Vedha’.
The first two movies earned them a niche cult fan-club both in India and abroad while their third movie has received strong critical reviews.
Subha is the name used by the writing partnership of D Suresh and A N Balakrishnan, who write stories, detective novels and screenplays.
The duo began co-authoring stories when they were in college together, and have been publishing their work since 1979. They have published more than 450 short novels and more than 400 short stories.
Most of their detective novels feature the characters Narendran and Vaijayanthi of Eagle Eye Detective Agency, and their coworker John Sundar. Other characters created by Subha are Selva and Murugesan, who also feature in their detective stories, and John Sembaruthi, who is a character in some of Subha’s novels set in the army.
they have also written screenplays and dialogues for Tamil films and television serials. The movies ‘Kana Kandaen’ and ‘Ayan’ were based on their published novels and were scripted by Subha together with director K V Anand.