While Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s contributions to movies continue, his extended family comprising son MK Muthu and grandsons Arivunidhi and Udayanidhi are out to reclaim tinsel town fame. While Muthu and son M Arivunidhi have turned crooners, Udayanidhi is busy making a name for himself as a producer. Narrating his experience under the tutelage of music director Srikant Deva for a new movie Perumal, Arivunidhi said: “I have been interested in playback singing since my childhood and my love for it increased further even after I became a doctor. When Srikant Deva offered me a chance, I grabbed it.”Maternal uncle Chidambaram Jayaraman and father Muthu were instrumental in instilling the love for music in him, he added. Actress Khushboo’s husband Sunder C plays the lead in Perumal, under director Vincent Selva. Muthu recently sang a number for the forthcoming venture Maatu Thaavani, directed by Pavithran, whose opening lines significantly address all family members in Tamil.
“I never had a trained voice or practised hard to culture my voice. I obtained the blessings of my paternal aunt Shanmughasundari and just sang. And it was okayed in a single take,” said Muthu. He expressed a keenness for being featured on screen again. “I am waiting for good offers. Director Rajeshwar has offered a role in his ensuing project Indira Vizha. Hopefully, I will be sporting make-up again,” he added.
Muthu was promoted in the seventies by Karunanidhi as a competitor to then reigning thespian M G Ramachandran with the backing of the then government and readymade fan-clubs. Following a miserable failure, he went into hibernation and even dallied briefly with the opposition without success. Living in a hamlet in Chengalpattu on the southern outskirts of Chennai on a monthly allowance from his father, Muthu was in a bad state after a lifetime of alcohol abuse.
Only his hit numbers sung during minor events were his solace till Arivunidhi admitted him to a de-addiction clinic, quietly worked for his comeback and finally success visited the sixty-plus actor again. Following the moderate success of Kuruvi starring Vijay at the box office, Karunanidhi’s grandson Udayanidhi Stalin has announced his next untitled project featuring Tamil hero Vishal.
Vishal is known for his action oriented roles and has become hot property in Kollywood with his new film Sathyam all set for release. The film stars rumoured love interest Nayanthara in the lead role opposite him. Karunanidhi, a one-time dramatist and stage actor who shot to fame with his movie scripts, is actively involved in the conversion of two of his short stories into films. His late nephew and former union minister Murasoli Maran had done the same. The family owned a film production company as well. His grandnephews Kalanidhi and former union minister Dayanidhi Maran together own a bouquet of satellite television channels, newspapers and magazines.