J for Javert Seetharaman.
When the name Javert Seetharaman or Javar Seetharaman is said, its often the image of Pattanathil Bootham comes to most of our minds. Javert Seetharaman was a successful lawyer turned actor and writer who was active between 1947-1970. He joined Gemini studios to pursue a career in films and debuted in a minor role in the movie Miss Malini(1947).
He was a brilliant writer and a fantastic actor. Today’s generation remembers him as the brilliant Jeboomba aka Bootham from Pattanathil bootham. But he has done many more than that. I would like to talk about three films in which he shines as an actor.
First on the list is Ezhai Padum Paadu(1950). This movie directed by K. Ramnoth is an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s celebrated Les Miserables. Seetharaman plays the role of a ruthless Inspector named Javert. His portrayal was brilliant and ranging from ruthlessness to inability he showcases a spectrum of emotions and the character made a mark. This portrayal made him stick the “Javert” to his name and from then on it was Javert Seetharaman. Watch this movie for Nagaiah and Javert Seetharaman’s performance.
The second on the list is Andha Naal(1954), directed by S. Balachandar. Andha Naal is considered as the first Noir film in Tamil Cinema. The movie stars Pandari Bhai, Sivaji Ganeshan along with Javert Seetharaman. The story unveils in the backdrop of World War II. Rajan played by Sivaji is a Radio Engineer and is shot dead with his own handgun. The case is inviestigated by C. I. D Officer Sivanandam played by Javert Seetharaman. We see the movie through his eyes and he knows where exactly to make the audience watch. His brilliant portrayal of a clever C.I.D Officer is still memorable and stands testament to his acting prowess. Javert Seetharaman along with playing the role has written the dialogues and screenplay for the movie.
The third film on the list is Veerapaandiya Kattabomman(1959). Veerapandiya Kattabomman says the story of Palayam king Kattabomman. This movie directed by B. R. Panthulu was a roaring success starred Sivaji Ganesan in the titular role, Gemini Ganesan, Padmini, Ragini and S. Varalakshmi along with Javert Seetharaman. Seetharaman plays the role Major Bannerman who catches Kattabomman and sentence him to death. His role as Major Bannerman is thoroughly convincing and he shows the menace through his performance. You can watch the movie below.
Gemini Ganesan debuted along with him in 1947 movie Miss Malini.
Javert Seetharaman has written many books which came as a series in Popular weekly Kumutham. Udal Porul Aanandhi, Naane Naan, Minnal Mazhai Mogini are some of them.
He specialised in adapting Western literature and classics to Tamil Culture. His adaptations were brilliant and had a personal touch.
His association with AVM Studios for writing screenplay and dialogues started with Andha Naal and he went on to write movies such as Kalathur Kannamma(Inspired by Nobody’s Child), Ramu(Remake of Door Gagan ki Chahon main which itself an Adaptation of The Proud Rebel), Kuzhandayum Deivamum(adapted from Parent Trap).
His most famous adaptation is of The Brass Bottle titled Pattanaththil Bootham and his iconic portrayal of Genie.
After completing the filming of his directorial venture in Hindi titled Paisa ya Pyaar, he passed away in 1971. Actor Tanuja won the Filmfare award for the best support actress for her role in the movie.