Ravichandran, K.R. Vijaya, Kumari Rukmini, T.S. Balaiah, Sheela, K. Balaji, S.V. Sahasranamam, R.S. Manohar, S.R. Dakshinamurthi, C.R. Lakshmi, Arni Ramasami, Sriram, ‘Jayakodi’ Natarajan, Prabhakar, Karikol Raju, ‘Kottapuli’ Jayaraman
K.R. Vijaya (born in 1948) was one of the most successful multilingual actresses who appeared in leading roles in hundreds of movies in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi. She also played major roles in many popular television series. She grew up in the pilgrim town of Palani and was drawn to theatre and cinema. Her movie innings began with a small role in the film Kalyana Mandapam, directed by screenwriter Ma.Ra.
Writer-director-producer-studio-owner K.S. Gopalakrishnan gave her a major role in Karpagam (1963). In this film, the song sung by Susheela and picturised on her ‘Athai Madi Methai Adi’ became a hit and turned her a star overnight. More success came in the form of Idhaya Kamalam, one of her early films.
Ravichandran (originally P.S. Raman) belonged to Tiruchy and spent his early life in Malaysia. He came to Madras for further studies, and drew the attention of iconic filmmaker C.V. Sridhar who cast him as hero in his super hit Kadhalikka Neramillai. Soon Ravichandran became a top star along with Jai Shankar, ranking next only to MGR and Sivaji Ganesan.
Vijaya and Ravichandran were the lead pair in Idhaya Kamalam. It was written by noted Marathi writer Jayant Dehle. It was made in Marathi as Paatlag (The Chase in 1964) and in Hindi as Mera Saaya (My Shadow in 1966) with Sunil Dutt and Sadhana in lead roles. The Tamil version ran for 100 days while the Hindi version, directed by hit maker Raj Khosla, celebrated silver jubilee.
The film’s a story of twins — one turns out to be a good girl Kamala (Vijaya) and the other, a wayward woman Vimala (Vijaya again). The mother, on her deathbed, wants the well-behaved girl to forget about her sister who abandons home and becomes involved with a gang of robbers. Kamala’s husband (Ravichandran) is in London studying Law. When she falls ill, the husband is sent for, and she dies in his arms! He erects a memorial for her in his house.
Meanwhile, police inspector (Balajee) arrests a robber’s mistress. She claims to be the wife of the lawyer and the matter goes to court. The lawyer denies she is his wife. But, it turns out she is, in deed, Kamala and that the one who died in his arms was Vimala. The truth comes out and both live happily thereafter.
The interesting storyline was excellently narrated on screen by the film’s director Srikanth. Excellent cinematography (K.S. Prasad) also contributed to the visual appeal of the movie. Music by the maestro K.V. Mahadevan was a major factor in the box-office success, which included songs such as ‘Tholeykanden Tholey Kanden…’ (P.B. Sreenivos), ‘Nee Pogum Idamellam…’ (PBS and P. Susheela), ‘Ennathan Ragasiyamo…’ (Susheela), ‘Malargal Ninaindhana…’ (Susheela), ‘Melathai Mella Thattu Mama…’ (S. Janaki). The lyrics were by Kannadasan. Vijaya’s emotion-drenched performance also played a part in the success of the movie. Ravichandran as the husband and Balaiah as the comical uncle too were impressive.
Remembered For The interesting storyline, excellent on-screen narration, brilliant performance by Vijaya, impressive acting by Ravichandran, Kumari Rukmini, Balaiah and the melodious music of Mahadevan.