Though families have started to dominate the proceedings all over, cinema still is one of the greatest levelers in terms of providing the opportunity, manifest from the award conferred in the National Awards category to Pandiraj for his Tamil film PASANGA. PASANGA is his debut film that won him the best film in Tamil for the year 2009. Pandiraj’s story indeed is the story that is steeped in romanticism, struggle, personal loss, but overriding consideration is the self-belief in the self and it is this self belief that was instrumental in getting him the National Award. Incidentally, PASANGA also won two other national awards, they being for Best Child Actor and Best Dialogue, which again was written by Pandiraj.
When he got the job to be a security guard at a film studio, it fired his imagination to associate with the film industry, the studio being famous AVM of Chennai. Later on he became an office boy in a Tamil weekly which is brought out by renowned Tamil filmmaker K. Bhagyaraj. From there on his film journey started when he joined director Cheran as his assistant.
13 producers had rejected the script which won Pandiraj the best film award, before M. Sasikumar saw the potential in it and that’s how Pandiraj’s journey to realize his dream started and indeed he was able to realize it with aplomb. The film is also studded with inspiring quotes from former Indian President Prof. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and is a film which is all about children and their quest to follow their dreams.
PASANGA which was shot in Pandiraj’s village and could win national award probably owing to the fact that it did not have actors but the performers were common people picked up by the director from his village. It being their story, the actors could relate it to it in a much better manner and gave consummate performance.
It is directors like Pandiraj, who still believe that cinema is a narration of a story and its accentuating feature is performance which the common man rather than an actor is able to deliver in a much better manner as he has lived the part so he can slip into that role with a much consummate ease. While actors are required to sell the film, if the content is planned in a professional manner even commoners can make the film a super hit, and Pandiraj’s case is a shining example of this kind.