O for Oru Viral Krishna Rao.
Oru Viral Krishna Rao is a comedian primarily worked in Tamil and Telugu movies. He acted in more than 600 movies in a career spanning over 4 decades. Krishna Rao debuted in a comic role in the movie Oru Viral in the year of 1965. The movie is a murder mystery and was a successful one. This movie gave him the title Oru Viral due to his impeccable performance. From then on he starred in many K. Balachandar’s movies and created a niche for himself.
Often typecast as a comedic police constable, he created his brand of humour. But that does not stop Krishna Rao from trying out different performances. Here I wish to talk about some roles which gave him a lot of scopes to perform. First of the list is from the movie Nizhal Nijamagirathu. In this 1978 movie directed by K. Balachander, Oru Viral Krishna Rao plays the role of Villager who introduces Thilagam(Shoba) to Venkatachalam(Sarath Babu) to work in their house. This role has no comedic chops at all and he portrays the role of a poor and helpless villager to the T. You can watch the movie below. The movie is very well remembered for Kamban Emaanthan song, brilliant storyline and Moulee’s clever comedy track.
The second film I wish to talk here is his role in 1981 movie Varumayin Niram Sivappu. There he plays the father of Devi(Sridevi). He is a liar, fraudster who cheats Rangan(Kamal Hassan) and when confronted talks without any regret. His character as a carefree, egoistic liar is a memorable portrayal. You can watch the movie below.
I mentioned above that Krishna Rao is typecast as a comedic policeman in many movies. First of it started with 1981 Classic Thillu Mullu. In this movie, Krishna Rao does a cameo as a policeman chasing Rajnikanth and it’s hilarious as anything. This cameo still is hilarious and fresh.
Another movie which I wish to talk is Vellai Roja(1983). This movie starring Sivaji Ganesan and Prabhu is a murder mystery. Oru Viral Krishna Rao plays the role of Dhairiyam, Church Bell boy. It’s one of his best ever performance in Physical Comedy, especially in a scene where they search for a key and his performance will be awesome. You can watch the movie below.
Having said all these, one performance which not only gave him the name but also stands out from all other performance comes from his debut Oru Viral. Oru Viral is a 1965 murder mystery where two skeletons are said to be haunting a place. One of them has one less finger and hence the name Oru Viral. The movie was made on a micro-budget with nearly unknown faces. Despite that, the movie did well at the box office and still remembered after decades due to the fact it was written brilliantly. Krishna Rao’s character is brilliant and his portrayal of a lethargic and casual dialogue delivery and funny acts totally swooned the audience. You can watch the movie below.
Along with Krishna Rao, Thengai Srinivasan – another great comedian of that time debuted in Oru Viral.
He featured as a police officer in movies such as Thillu Mullu, Panathukkaga, Makkal en Pakkam, Lottery Ticket, Meendum Savithri and so on.