The Amazing Other Side Of Legendary SPB

By - June 04, 2014 - 05:19 PM IST

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S.P.Balasubrahmanyam - the name itself is interchangeable with South Indian Film playback singing. He brought a new essence to the way a singer can perform a song- by adding his own expressions, amazing diction and at the same time fantastic melody. He became a role model for generations of aspiring singers who aim to venture into film singing. We have already heard, seen and experienced the best of Balu as a singer, the wonders he created in Telugu Cinema and so on. On the eve of the legend’s birthday, let us shift the gears back now to explore the other side of this multi talented personality.

Dubbed As 'Dubbing King'...

Balu’s biggest asset is the will to learn and improvise – without getting carried away by the heaps of praises or accolades. Forgetting the fact that he is a fantastic singer, Balu’s voice itself is capable of many modulations and variations. Even when he speaks, it sounds like a melody is being played! This must be the reason why he became such a brilliant dubbing artist right from early 80s. Apart from having a good voice, Balu understands and gets into the character with such an ease and he makes sure the difference is reflected in every role he lends voice for. Let it be a staunch classical dancer’s voice for Girish Kharnad in Jandhyala’s Ananda Bhairavi, or the eccentric scientist played by Tinu Anand in Aditya 369,  or Lord Venkateswara played by Suman in Annamayya, Balu could bring earthliness and nativity to the characters.  Irrespective of the characters he dubbed for, Balu’s voice has a tinge of fun element and vigor which makes the viewer attentive and entertained. He can competently speak any Telugu slang with tremendous ease thereby getting to the character in every possible way.

With Kamal Haasan...

Balu’s dubbing association with legendary actor Kamal Hassan deserves a great mention here. He has got the most unique and amazing opportunities to dub for Kamal’s interesting roles for every film right from the 80s. Except for few masterpieces like Sagara Sangamam and Swathi Muthyam, most of Kamal’s films had Balu’s voice. He dubbed for four different characters portrayed by Kamal in Michael Madana Kama Raju and for the toughest Mayor character in Indrudu Chandrudu. In fact, Kamal’s ex-wife Sarika herself was under the impression that it was Kamal who gave voice but later shocked to know it was SPB. She was so delighted and congratulated SPB with a boquet! SPB dubbed brilliantly for Kamal’s attired as an old orthodox woman in Bhamane Satyabhamane as well. But the real innovation of dubbing was done for nearly eight contrasting characters in Dasavataram. SPB’s contribution to the success of the film in Telugu is indispensable.

Balu's Third Avatar...

Coming to another dimension of this fantastic personality, Balu is a phenomenal actor. He can outperform any other actor in the frame with his confident body language, emotional voice and brilliant histrionics. It was indeed the great director K.Balachander who discovered the acting talent in Balu where he acted for the first time in Sister Nandini as a musical doctor. Let it be a middle aged widower in Oh Paapa Laali, funny policeman in Vivaha Bhojanambu, drunkard musician in Prema, a friendly father in Premikudu- SPB brought life to every character he adorned in his career. He gave a new meaning to the word ‘character actor’ in Telugu Cinema.  He did not hesitate to shake a leg with dancing storm Prabhu Deva in Premikudu for ‘Andamaina Premarani’ which became a rage those days.

His performance in full length roles were brilliantly received by the audience as well.  His performance in Tanikella Bharani’s Mithunam as Appadas made him invincible as an actor who can make the viewer laugh with joy or break down crying with his brilliant histrionics.

There is no limit for innovation in art and talent- Balu is one unique film personality who kept on proving in every different way possible!

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