Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Missed Spotlights #6 - Savitha Reddy's voice work in Parthen Rasithen

More so than has been the case with other dubbing artistes, Savitha Reddy has been one whose work has received a fair share of recognition in the past 20 years.  She shot into prominence with her astounding work behind the mic for Simran in Vaali.  Simran had essayed an incredibly complex role, that of a woman caught between an extremely good man and his twin-brother, a lustful beast.  The character’s heart was filled with love for the former and (rightful) contempt for the latter.  And Savitha’s voice had played no small role in helping bolster the impact of Simran’s performance.  But to me, the film that stands out as the best testimony of the quality and power of her work is Saran’s Parthen Rasithen. 

Parthen Rasithen is the story of two vastly different characters in love with the same man (Prashanth).  The Simran character is a feisty, fiery one, in sharp contrast to the timid Laila – Savitha dubbed for both of them!  When Simran realizes that her love is going to go unrequited, she goes about chalking out a devious plan and finally, reveals her cards at the most inopportune moment for Prashanth. 

The scene where she reveals her plan and her love for Prashanth is a memorable one.  Savitha’s voice is in lockstep with Simran’s terrific performance.  Simran’s character is not evil, just an obsessive one who has as much pain in her heart as steely determination.  This is revealed beautifully by both the actress and the voice behind screen.  Observe the way Simran places a stethoscope on her chest and says, “Shankar…Shankar…  The shriek right afterwards where she barks, “Unaku puriyadhu…” is superbly delivered.  As the sequence progresses, the juxtaposition of pain and mad fury escalates.  Especially poignant is the way Simran grabs Prashanth’s shirt and says, “Naasama poga…una thedo thedu-nu theditaaLe…  Savitha’s voice cracks just a little to reveal the pain but the clear enunciation and the changes in tone are beautifully done. 

Equally effective is the scene where Simran taunts Laila.  By now the Simran character has switched the gears of obsession and desperation up many notches.  And she decides to threaten Laila with dire consequences.  This is a rather scary sequence where she orders Lawrence to disrobe Laila.  Simran is in dazzling form in this scene; so is Savitha.  There are several standout lines written by Saran, none more powerful than, “Ena mela paakareKrishna Paramaathma vandhu pudava kudupaar na…”  Also, the manner in which Savitha delivers the, “Unai pudavaiyil paarka aasai” line reveals the full magnitude of Simran’s scorn. (It was a line uttered by Prashanth earlier.)  The way Simran pinches Laila’s cheek while uttering the line is a non-violent but an intense moment nevertheless.  This is another instance of the acting on screen and the acting behind the mic being in perfect sync.  That Savitha dubbed for Laila too and the voice sounds vastly different from the voice for Simran speaks volumes (pun intended!) of her talent.

That sync between the voice artiste and the actor is achieved only when there is complete dedication on both fronts.  There have been many instances where an actress’ lip sync goes awry and it is left to the voice artiste to repair the damage done on screen! (Check out pretty much any of Shriya’s movies for a demonstration!)  But as Baradwaj Rangan mentioned in his recent interview with Simran, the latter has been one that takes great pains to ensure that the lip sync, or lack thereof, never serves as a distraction.  When the actress inhabits the character she is playing with the kind of conviction that Simran does, I am sure that it is a pleasure for the dubbing artiste to complement the efforts with their voice.  I was equally chuffed that Simran graciously acknowledged the contribution of voice artistes like Savitha and Deepa Venkat.  To me, Parthen Rasithen and Savitha’s voice work will be a crown jewel for both Savitha and Simran.  In short, Parthen RasithenKaetten Rasithen!

1 comment:

Viveka Parasuram said...

Lovely read. I can’t imagine myself to analyze and write about a dubbing artist. I would be clueless as to what to write. I like how you mentioned “Vaali” and Savitha’s contribution as a dubbing artist. I agree with you, Simran is too good with lip sync. Shriya tells her dialogues in Hindi -which is why her lip sync is sooo bad. That’s what sets Simran apart from the crowd.
Only an exceptional artist can dub for two heroines in the same movie. Wow!!! I didn’t know Savitha did that! I would like to know what you think of the others like Deepa Venkat and Chinmayi?