Three decades ago Bharatiraja arrived on the Tamil cinema scene with a bang and a new idiom.
Before him, rural folks from Tamil Nadu were depicted as caricatures and unreal in films. Bharatiraja's characters, on the other hand were real and genuine. It was understandable too as he was from a small village near Theni and he knew the people he grew up with.
He made his first film in 1977, and what a film it was! Even after 30 long years, people still talk about it. Yes, we are talking about 16 Vayathinile, a film that had Kamal Haasan, Rajnikanth and Sridevi in the lead.
The film is considered as a trendsetter. However, when he remade it in Hindi as Solva Sawan in 1979, it failed to strike a chord with the northern audience.
His next film Kizhaku Pogum Rail was again set in a rural background. But Sigappu Rojakkal that followed was a thriller in an urban setting. It was a huge success.
Text: Shobha Warrier
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