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Saga of a legend


ON THE 24th death anniversary of the movie legend Av. Meiyappan, AVM productions brought out an invaluable collection of events in his life in the form of a VCD (two volumes). The biography is bolstered by clippings of his films added appropriately. Revathi Sankaran takes on the role of the narrator speaking in Chettinad style. Sp.Muthuraman has directed it.

It is apt that in keeping with the hi-tech age, AVM productions has thought of presenting the biographical production, "Ettramigu AVM," in two VCDs, each an hour's duration.

Starting the story in the Chettinad part of Tamil Nadu, the director has made commendable effort in showing the early life of AVM and his family with their house and their place of worship along with their work spot. AV & Sons started with a small shop, which later became a well known place in Karaikkudi. The shop had everything a family needs including gramophone records. This made Avichi Chettiar, AVM's father to come all the way to Chennai to buy each and everything from grocery to gift articles sold in their shop. At that time AVM was studying in school. He would sit in the shop and help his father. Later he would open the shop in his father's absence. Thus he started to do business even when he was young.

Soon AVM decided to make his own records and started Saraswathi Stores. This was the first step he took in the direction of art and music. The director supports the episodes with visuals, in the form of photographs and films, captured on important occasions.

The two CDs which touch on the highlights in the career of AVM make viewing highly entertaining. One can see the histrionics of Sivaji Ganesan ("Paraskathi" - "Uyarntha Manithan"), the charisma of MGR ("Anbe Vaa"), the beauty of Jayalalitha ("Major Chandrakanth") and so on.

The ``Odinal Odinal..." dialogue of M. Karunanidhi in "Parasakthi" is sure to warm the hearts of cine buffs. Sp. Muthuraman has chosen the right films and written the link dialogue in such a way that it enhances the flow and makes it interesting. The director does not omit the qualities of AVM that made him a fine human being. A philanthropist and generous employer, AVM believed in being frugal. On August 12, 1979, confined to the hospital bed, AVM called son Saravanan and pointing out to a light said, ``That is not required. Please switch it off." In fact those were his last words for a short while later he passed away. And a great era had come to an end.

Priced at Rs. 99, "Ettramigu AVM" is produced by Bharath Film Distributors, 38, Arcot Road, Vadapalani, Chennai-600026.

S. R. ASHOK KUMAR.

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