The legendary actor Gemini Ganesan’s daughter, Dr Kamala Selvaraj, isn’t so pleased about how her father was portrayed in the film.
CHENNAI: The recently released Savitri biopic, Mahanati/Nadigaiyar Thilagam, has been widely appreciated by both audiences and critics alike, but legendary actor Gemini Ganesan’s daughter, Dr Kamala Selvaraj, isn’t so pleased about how her father was portrayed in the film.
“The film leaves you wondering where the facts end and the fiction begins. It does gross injustice to all the children of Gemini, and has defamed our father. What has been shown on screen is a one-sided version that glorifies Savitri, and bluntly ignores many other aspects of her life,” she says.
“Savitri had multiple relationships, and one of them was with Gemini.” Kamala feels the makers haven’t “researched and presented the film honestly.” She alleges that the team did not speak with the close family and friends of Gemini Ganesan, and so, the film, she says, is imbalanced and biased.
“I know they were in touch with Vijaya Chamundeswari (Savitri’s daughter), and I trusted her. In fact, I warned her about this. I told her to be careful of any consequential damage.”
She has plenty of issues with the characterisation of her father. “My father didn’t influence Savitri to become an alcoholic. He did the best to give her dignity and protection, because he loved her truly. Also, Gemini Ganesan was a top actor, who was on par with MG Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan. But in the film, he is shown to be jobless and hanging around the sets of Savitri’s films all the time! There’s no mention of his fan-following in the film.”
Kamala clarifies her father was a feminist, who had always stood by his wives. “He was never jealous of Savitri’s success. He encouraged women to be independent. The scenes involving Alamelu (his first wife-my mother), Savitri and my dad weren’t accurate. My mother wasn’t supportive of their marriage,” she says.
She also said: “The director didn’t even explore how my mother would have felt when she came into my father’s life.”