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Updated: January 5, 2014 17:41 IST

Omanakuttan 1964

B. VIJAYAKUMAR
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A still from 'Omanakuttan'
Special Arrangement A still from 'Omanakuttan'

Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Sathyan, S. P. Pillai, T. K. Balachandran, Ambika, Chandni, Baby Vinodini, Pankajavalli etc.

Popular novelist Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai is well known for the varied social subjects that he chose for his literary works. ‘Maatta Kalyanam’ or exchange marriage, a form of marriage involving an arranged and reciprocal exchange of spouses between two families was the subject for the film Omanakkuttan, which was based on a short story written by him. Produced by KKS Kaimal under the banner of Keralasree Productions, the script and dialogues of the family drama was written by Thoppil Bhasi. The film was released on October 8, 1964.

Directed by K. S. Sethumadhavan, the film was shot at Neptune and Newton studios. Music by G. Devarajan was the highpoint of the film.

Sankunni Nair (Thikkurissi) lives happily with his children Bhavani (Ambika) and Govindan Nair (T. K. Balachandran). Through a marriage broker, Paramu Pillai (S. P. Pillai), he arranges an ‘exchange marriage’ with the family of Kunjulakshmi Amma (Pankajavalli). Bhavani’s marriage is fixed with Kunjulakshmi Amma’s son N. P. Pillai (Sathyan) and Govindan Nair’s marriage with her daughter Yashoda (Chandni).

To the dismay of the two families, Yashoda’s marriage with Govindan Nair could not be conducted on the fixed date. She fell ill and the marriage was postponed. Along with his wife, Pillai returns to Madras where he is employed. Pillai and Bhavani lead a happy life. The marriage between Yashoda with Govindan Nair is cancelled once again this time because Govindan Nair is busy with official commitments.

Bhavani, who is pregnant, comes back to the village. Another date is fixed for the wedding of Govindan Nair and Yashoda is fixed. This time it is cancelled for shocking reasons. Govindan Nair is forced to marry Sreedevi (Sukumari), his colleague, whom he loved and was pregnant by him. In fact, they get married a day before Govindan Nair’s marriage with Yashoda. The incident deranges Yashoda and paves the way for the split between the two families. Pillai, who comes on leave for the marriage of his sister returns to Madras without even meeting his wife and new born child. He later flies to the US on an official assignment.

Pillai returns. Kunjulakshmi Amma dies after a prolonged illness. Sankunni Nair who comes to attend the funeral is insulted and driven away. Pillai’s little son Omanakuttan (Baby Vinodini) is shocked at the rude behaviour of his father whom he meets for the first time.

Omanakuttan is a ‘disturbed child.’ In school he is teased by his classmates. Plunged in agony the boy develops fever and is hospitalised. The boy’s condition melts Pillai’s heart. He rushes to the hospital to see his son. The boy recovers in the presence of his father. Yashoda regains her mental equilibrium bringing about a happy reunion of the shattered family.

The songs written by Vayalar Rama Varma were set to tune by Devarajan. The film also included a traditional song Kani kaanum neram… by Poonthanam set in ragamalika (and sung by P. Leela and Renuka, which became very popular. The other hits include, Aakasa Gangayude karayil… (solo versions by A. M. Raja and P. Susheela), Ashtami Rohini rathriyil… (Susheela) , Illatthamma kulichu varumbol… (Susheela-Leela), Kuppivala kaikalil… (A. P. Komala-chorus) and Thaaraattu paadaathe thaalolamaadaathe… (Susheela).

Will be remembered: As a good social movie and for its memorable songs.

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