He brought together Sivaji Ganesan and Jayalalithaa and introduced Prabhu
Tamil film director C.V. Rajendran, who was part of late C.V. Sridhar’s unit and directed a few memorable films like Kalatta Kalyanam, Sumathi En Sundari and Raja starring Sivaji Ganesan and Jayalalithaa and Ponoonjal, died aged 81 here on Sunday.
A native of Chittamur near Madhuranthagam, he is survived by his wife Janaki Rajendran, a son and daughter. His last rites will be performed after the return of his son from the US.
“Only four days ago I visited him in a hospital where he had been admitted after a heart attack. He told everyone I will be happy in the company of Gopu,” recalled Chitralaya Gopu, who penned the dialogues for many of Rajendran's films.
Rajendran was the first cousin of C.V. Sridhar and worked as an assistant director for the film Meenda Sorgham produced by N.S.K. Madhuram, the wife of late N.S. Krishnan.
He became associate director for the film Kaathalikka Neramillai directed by Mr. Sridhar. “He is one the best technicians of Sridhar’s unit and went on to direct films of his own in Malayalam and Kannada Almost all the members of the unit are no more and I am orphaned now,” said Mr. Gopu.
His career as a director began with the film Anubhavam Pudhumai. It was followed by Kalatta Kalyanam, a film first brought together Sivaji Ganesan and Jayalalithaa. The small budget film Nil Kavani Kaadhali starring Jaishankar was also a hit. It was Rajendran who introduced Prabhu, the son of Sivaji Ganesan, in the film Sangili. He produced over 20 films with Sivaji Ganesan as a lead role.
“He is the producers’ director and loved by everyone in the unit. A year before her death, he produced a special Then Kinnam, songs featuring Jayalalithaa’s films. Immediately after the programme, I received a call from Poonguntran, Jayalalithaa’s secretary, asking for Rajendran’s number. She spoke to him and Rajendran was moved by her gesture,” said journalist Sudhangan, who produces the programme for Jaya TV.
He said films are celebrated not just for the storyline, but also for the memorable songs, such as “Pottu Vaitha Mugamo” in Sumathi En Sundari, “Ahaya Panthalile Ponoonjal Aaduthamma” in Ponoonjal, “Nee Varavendum Endru Ethirparthen” and “Kalyanaponnu Kadappakkam Pona” in Raja.
Ullasa Paravaikal with Kamal Haasan in the lead role (the music was scored by Ilayaraja), “Deiveega Ragam” and “Germaniyin Senthen Malarae” are other memorable numbers.