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Terrific Teachers of Tamil Cinema -F’day Spl. Article by Naveen

Vijay, for the first time in his career, is playing a teacher (college professor, to be more precise) in his upcoming film ‘Master’ directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj.

Even as the second single from the movie, ‘Vaathi Coming…’, becoming viral on social media, Mykollywood.com peeps into the past to throw light on teacher roles played by leading actors, as part of its Friday special articles series.

RAJINIKANTH – DHARMATHIN THALAIVAN

While the superstar played the warden of a college hostel in his 2019 film ‘Petta’, he played a professor in his 1988 blockbuster ‘Dharmathin Thalaivan’.

Directed by S P Muthuraman, starring Rajinikanth in dual roles, along with Prabhu, Suhasini, Kushboo, Nassar and Captain Raju in other roles, the movie is a remake of the 1978 Bollywood film ‘Kasme Vaade’. The film marked the debut of Kushboo in Tamil cinema.

The story revolves around Balasubramanian alias Balu (Rajinikanth), who is an absent-minded but kind-hearted Tamil college Professor. He lives with his younger brother Raju (Prabhu), his maternal uncle (V K Ramaswamy) and his cousin Sumathi (Suhasini), who is also his love interest.

When Raju loses his soft-spoken, loving elder brother Balu in a fight, he gives up his violent ways. However, his life changes for the better when he meets his brother’s look-alike, who is a ruffian.

KAMAL HAASAN – NAMMAVAR

‘Nammavar’ is a 1994 film directed by K S Sethumadhavan, starring Kamal Haasan and Gautami in the lead roles, while Nagesh, Karan, Senthil, Kovai Sarala, and Srividya play supporting roles.

Kamal played a revolutionary history lecturer of a college. The film follows how he tries to reform the downtrodden college by his initiatives and its consequences.

The background score and music was composed by debutant Mahesh Mahadevan with cinematography by Madhu Ambat. The film was among the 1994 Deepavali releases and won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil and Second Prize of Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film. It was dubbed in Telugu-language as ‘Professor Viswam’.

VIJAYAKANTH – RAMANA

‘Ramana’ is a 2002 vigilante action film written and directed by A R Murugadoss, starring Vijayakanth, Ashima Bhalla, and Simran in the lead roles.

The film is about a professor named Ramana who decides to abolish corruption completely with the help of his ex-students who are working in various government offices.

The film received positive reviews from both critics and audiences. It was awarded the 2002 Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film and Murugadoss won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Dialogue Writer.

In 2015, the film was dubbed into Hindi as ‘Mar Mitenge 3’.

BHAGYARAJ – SUNDARA KANDAM

‘Sundara Kandam’ is 1992 film, written and directed by K Bhagyaraj, who also stars. The film’s name is adapted from the title of the fifth major division or ‘Kaandam’ of the Indian epic Ramayana. The film was remade in Hindi as ‘Andaz’ with Anil Kapoor.

It was also remade in Telugu and Kannada as ‘Sundarakanda’, with Venkatesh and Shivarajkumar, respectively. The Mammootty-starrer Malayalam film ‘Mazhayethum Munpe’ and its Hindi remake ‘Zameer: The Fire’ Within were partially inspired by this film.

Shanmugamani (Bhagyaraj) arrives as a Tamil language teacher to a school. He is an alumnus of the same school, from where he studied very well, despite his poor background and got State First in his +2 exams. He is fooled by the students of twelfth standard, headed by a brilliant, but mischievous student Priya.

Bhagyaraj also played a teacher in ‘Mundhanai Mudichu’. Parimalam (Urvasi), a mischievous girl, falls in love with a widower (Bhagyaraj) who works as a teacher. She marries him by falsely accusing him of molesting her, but she has to take a drastic step to win his heart.

PRABHU – CHINNA VATHIYAR

‘Chinna Vathiyar’ is a 1995 Science-fiction Comedy film, directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao. The film stars Prabhu in a dual role, Kushboo, Ranjitha, Goundamani, Senthil and Nizhalgal Ravi.

Music was by Ilaiyaraaja and lyrics were by Vaali. In the movie, there were comedy sequences based on Crazy Mohan’s stage play ‘Madhu +2’.

Prabhu acts in a dual role in this film. The story revolves around a professor named Professor Chandramouli (Prabhu), who experiments on transferring the soul from one body to another.

Professor Chandramouli is married to Janaki (Kushboo). He got help from a student Aravind (Prabhu), who is a bright student and a star in the school.

 By Naveen

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