CHENNAI: The astounding fandom of matinee idol MGR continues to this day, 26 years after his death. This was evident by the large crowd that gathered at a theatre complex in Egmore to celebrate the 100th day of the run of the former CM’s old megahit, Ayirathil Oruvan.
The crowd of almost a 1,000 people took part in a festive parading of an old aluminum box with the reels of the film.
Ayirathil Oruvan had been released 49 years ago, in 1965. The movie was an instant hit, and added greatly to MGR’s phenomenal rise.
A remastered version of the film has been running at the Albert Theatre complex in Egmore. This is where the crowds gathered, and blocked traffic on the busy stretch for a short while.
The dramatic abishekams to a huge cut-out of MGR with milk, turmeric water and sandalwood paste attracted huge cheers in the upbeat atmosphere, even as some distributed sweets and toffees.
Also ubiquitous was a massive hoarding with the picture of MGR’s political heir and the incumbent Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa. It was in Ayirathil Oruvan that Jayalalithaa had first appeared in a film alongside MGR, to begin one of the most successful screen partnerships in Indian cinema.
The celebration of the 100-day run of the movie’s second coming had been organized by an outfit named Puratchi Thalaivar - Amma Bhaktargal Kuzu.