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NAGESH - THE PASSING OF A LEGEND

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Karthikka

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Karthikka

Joined: 21 March 2006

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Posted: 12 February 2009 at 9:42am | IP Logged
Hi friends

I have been meaning to write about this heartbreaking news for some time but somehow could not get my spirits up and gather my thoughts to write a coherent and cohesive tribute to this great man. I felt a piece of me wither away when I saw the news on TV. Nagesh, M.N. Nambiar. MGR, Sivaji, Padmini, Savithri, Gemini - they all were part of my household when my siblings and I were growing up. My parents and grandparents and uncles just loved the celluloid and our home was always full of movies and songs. The departure of these stars one by one is a painful reminder of family who is no more.

When you are a child though, you really do not appreciate these stalwarts of the silver screen. Only when you are older, you are able to appreciate the nuances of acting, from emoting through mere facial expressions or through the utterance of just  one word. Who could forget the silent communication between Padmini and Sivaji just through the mere lifting of their eyebrows in Thillana Mohanambal?

Similarly, it is the performance of Nagesh as Dharmi in Thiruvilayadal that stands out in my mind as acting par excellence - his frustrated solliloquys and ramblings, his attempt to cower the Imayam Sivaji and getting cowered instead are classic even today. Even Jerry Lewis could not have that - in fact, I disliked Jerry Lewis because he was a dorky comedian who got his laughs from slapstick comedy. Nagesh did not have to resort to cheap gimmicks to get the laughs. It was rumoured that when he was doing his soliloquy - Ennakuku theriyum, ennaku theriyum, avan maramathan - he did it in one single take and Sivaji told the director not to edit the scene. The scene between Nagesh and Sivaji - Kelviye nee ketkeraiya alla naan ketkutuma? - was so outstanding that the director was laughing so hard instead of directing.

Nagesh showed that you do not need to be loud to be funny. Or brash. Or rude. Or utter dialogues with double entendres. His agility and nimbleness - the dance he did with Sachu in Kathalikka Neramillai showed the versatility of this actor. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iAWzhdERwI - it is as if his limbs were made of rubber. Of course, from the same film, a classic - when he narrates his proposed film - a ghost story - to his sceptic father, ably acted by the late great T.S. Baliah. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCYHAhbwvxU

The talents of Nagesh were not limited to being a comedian. Can you see a Goundamani or a Vadivelu or a Vivek or a Santhanam doing the lead role in Ethir Neechal? Kamal Hassan said that whenever he mucked up a scene, K. Balachander used to sl*g him off by saying that if Nagesh had done that scene, he would have finished it in one take!! Ethir Neechal, Server Sundaram, Major Chandrakanth. Then there were sterling performances few years before his death - the conniving but funny manager in Michael Madana Kamarajan, the corpse in Magalir Mattum, and the heartwrenchingly sad father waltzing with an invisible daughter in Nammavar!!

I really do not think that we will find another Nagesh. He was a priceless gem!!! It is a huge loss to the Tamil film industry but it was also a blessing that we had the opportunity to enjoy the talents of an extraordinary actor!!

God bless his soul.

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jagdu

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jagdu

Joined: 05 October 2007

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Posted: 12 February 2009 at 11:01am | IP Logged
Missed the limerick, K.
Here's recalling a favorite doctor of his, dr. Jagdeesan. In his younger days, Nagesh was always game to go to his house to have a drink.
He married many times. Once I was in the dr.'s office with my cousin and he asked me if I could recognize Nagesh's current wife. Shocked, I asked him what number. Gemini Ganesan, Nagesh, MGR, all of them were skirt chasers.

atina

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atina

Joined: 19 January 2006

Posts: 9886

Posted: 12 February 2009 at 12:34pm | IP Logged
good topic Karthika...in fact I totallyu forgot about this......when I saw the news..I thought some one would do this but then I forgot to check it ;lll
Thanks Karthika......for oprning this thread...I am sure there will be many fans of Nagesh....including me want to post their messages and the scenes they enjoyed most portrayed by him...etc.
 
This topic should be in Kollywood Masala so that there will be more people interested in this can see this thread.....so I am moving this thread to Kollywood section.

Karthikka

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Karthikka

Joined: 21 March 2006

Posts: 2807

Posted: 12 February 2009 at 5:33pm | IP Logged
Jag, show me a flawless human being and I will show you a unicorn.
 
My post is not about his warts as a man - we all know that - his problems with his family, his wife, the scandals, the alcoholism. My post is to celebrate the wonderful actor that was Nagesh. Like I said, he was part of my life as I was growing up and his death is a painful reminder that my childhood memories are becoming just that - memories.
 
Thanks atina. :)

Karthikka

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Karthikka

Joined: 21 March 2006

Posts: 2807

Posted: 13 February 2009 at 1:04am | IP Logged
Come on people, no one has got anything to say???

kadhambari

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kadhambari

Joined: 03 August 2006

Posts: 6162

Posted: 13 February 2009 at 1:35am | IP Logged
Karthi,my mom is a fan  of all old Classic & comedy movies & she made sure me & my bro watch all old classic & comedy movies.............Nagesh was one of my favourite comedy actor..............i liked his work in Thillana Mohanambal as Vaidhy(he lives in my mind as this character itself in this movie)........Tharumi of Thiruvilayaadal,Server sundaram......and a struggling director & a useless son in Kadhalikka Neramillai........and many more.
 
he lived as the character in all his movies & even his villaineous attempt in aboorva sagodharargal & his dead body act in Magalir mattum...........wat 2 say,i really really enjoyed all his performances & i still feel no one can replace his timely comedic acts.He will still live in our minds thru his movies.

Karthikka

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Karthikka

Joined: 21 March 2006

Posts: 2807

Posted: 14 February 2009 at 7:49am | IP Logged
Thanks Ambi for your contribution. I wrote this especially for youngsters who did not have the opportunity this great actor's talents.

rojapoooo

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rojapoooo

Joined: 12 January 2007

Posts: 12587

Posted: 14 February 2009 at 9:40am | IP Logged
exactly my sentiments Karthi - he was a performer - his personal
life , his entertainment and all other related stuff is not our concern -
he has every right to live his life the way he wants. He is a legend
and an irreplaceable one at that - in fact I think that he was even
a better actor than Sivaji Ganesan - it is not easy to make people
laugh -

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