N for Omakuchi Narasimhan.
I really had my toughest time choosing for the letter N between Omakuchi Narasimhan and LIC Narasimhan. Both the actors are veterans, both have performed well with their limited screen time and both have created a niche for themselves in Tamil Cinema. LIC Narasimhan reserved with just one epic comedy from the movie Themmangu Paatukkaran gained a cult status and etched a place in the hearts of all Tamil people. So I thought of talking about Omakuchi Narasimhan.
Started as a child artiste in 1953 movie Avvayaar, Omakuchi then went on to do a lot of movies, Drama and theatre. He took a long hiatus from movies and concentrated on his studies. After completing his studies he joined in Life Insurance Corporation of India for a while before re-entering movies with Mathoppu Kiliyie in the year of 1979. His prominent role comes in the movie Meendum Kokila which in a way made Sridevi as a south superstar and won her a Filmfare award.
He regularly got roles in Visu’s movies such as Samsaram Athu Minsaram, Kudumbam Oru Kathambam and so on. But the 1992 movie Suriyan which not only made Sarath Kumar as an Action Hero and eternalised the character of Pannikutty Ramasamy by Goundamani but explored the potential of Omakuchi Narasimhan as an artist. The whole interaction between Narasimhan, Goundamani was a great show and still manages to tickle your funny bones. In this, the way Narasimhan plays his role with aura makes this a wonderful portrayal.
Another beautiful comedy is from the movie Manamagale Vaa. In the movie, he portrays a dual role for a short scene. His combination with S.S. Chandran who plays the role of Arulvaaku Saami is one of the hilarious gigs. Also his role in the movie Coimbatore Maappillai where he looks for a home for a rent and Goundamani cons him still remains fresh. What makes all these comedy scenes an evergreen one is Narasimhan’s attitude.
Another perfect portrayal is the role of a cricket enthusiast in the movie Periya Maruthu(1994). This sequence is a typical Goundamani comedy in which Narasimhan visits a tea shop in the village. There he asks for the cricket score and what happens rest forms a hilarious gag. Watch the video below.
He has made a mark as a comedian in many movies but it was director Shankar who explored his talents in other aspects too. In Gentleman, he plays the role of a person seeking money from Arjun for his daughter’s studies. In Indian, he plays the role of an ageing driver applying for License which also shows his prowess. Of all that, my favourite is the role played in Mudhalvan. He plays a man who forces Vadivelu to marry his daughter. His performance with Vadivelu was totally cool and the way he manipulates Vadivelu made this role a best remembered one.
It is simply impossible to talk about all the best roles done by one of the most underrated comedians of Tamil Cinema. I feel that there was lot more than what our directors utilised him.
In Thillai Rajan’s drama Naratharum Naangu Thirudargalum, Narasimhan portrayed the role of a Karate Master. The name of the character is kept as Omakuchi as a tribute to the world famous Martial Artist Gogen Yamaguchi. That character attained huge success that from then on he was called Omakuchi Narasimhan.
The other choice for the letter N was LIC Narasimhan who worked in LIC India and got a voluntary retirement to pursue a career in films. Coincidentally, Omakuchi Narasimhan too worked in LIC India.