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Updated: July 13, 2013 19:08 IST
blast from the past

Thulasimaadam (1963)

RANDOR GUY
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Thulasi Madam. Cast: A.V.M. Rajan R.S. Manoharm and others.
Thulasi Madam. Cast: A.V.M. Rajan R.S. Manoharm and others.

A.V.M. Rajan, V. Gopalakrishnan, Sarada, Chandrakantha, S.N. Lakshmi, M.S. Sundari Bai, Seethalakshmi, ‘Master’ Gopal, A. Karunanidhi and S. Kathiresan

Despite humble beginnings, M.A. Venu became an active producer and was associated with Modern Theatres, Salem. He produced a number of films, including Thulasimaadam. However, major success eluded him except in Sampoorna Ramayanam. Mudalaali, one of his early successes that also won National Awards, marked the impressive debut of the successful and leading South Indian film personality Muktha V. Srinivasan.

Thulasimaadam, written by Thamizhmaaran, tells an interesting story of two look-alikes (Chandrakantha in a double role) who are not twins separated at birth, as is the case in most such stories! In a small town lives a retired Collector with an attractive daughter Mary (Chandrakantha) and another middle class family with a daughter Janaki (Chandrakantha again). Mary is affianced to an Army officer Thomas (Gopalakrishnan, more popularly known as ‘Gopi’) while Janaki marries a company executive (A.V.M. Rajan) who works in the city.

Janaki gives birth to a child. Since Janaki is found to have tuberculosis, her mother-in-law (S.N. Lakshmi) separates the child and the mother. Soon, Janaki loses her mother (Seethalakshmi) too, and becomes an orphan. However, the mother-in-law’s adopted son Peter is fond of both the newborn and its abandoned mother, and wants to see them get together. Around then, he chances upon Thomas and Mary during a motorcycle accident. Struck by the resemblance between Mary and Janaki, the smart boy hits upon a clever plan, which includes woman’s activist Mary swapping places with Janaki. Expectedly, several complications ensue, leading to tense situations. Finally, everything is solved, much to the delight of the two couples.

Directed by K.B. Srinivasan, this film with an interesting storyline, had melodious music by the maestro K.V. Mahadevan. The song ‘Aaadum Mayiley Un Aattam Engey…’ sung by T.M. Soundararajan became a super-hit.

Chandrakantha in a difficult double role gave a fine performance with A.V.M. Rajan and Gopi providing her good support. Venkataraman Gopalakrishnan, the handsome Honours graduate with good voice, diction and style of delivery, was in movies since his boyhood, making an impressive performance with his role as the office buy in Gemini Studios’ cult movie Miss Malini (1947). Gopi played major roles in quite a few films, and was also into English and Tamil theatre with a troupe of his own. He was also involved in television. Despite all these, major success eluded him. A.V.M. Rajan also played the lead role in many movies and was a successful hero, who later took to preaching. His actor-wife Pushpalatha too was popular. Sarada, played a minor role as the woman who is tried to be married to Rajan as the second wife. But, the plan does not work out. The finest performance was by ‘Master’ Gopal who plays Peter, the moving force in bringing the two women together and paving the way for an end to their problems. After this film, he was not heard of. One wonders whatever happened to his career! Despite all these highlights, Thulasimaadam did not fare well at the box-office.

Remembered for The interesting storyline, the melodious music and good performances by Rajan, Gopi, Chandrakantha, and ‘Master’ Gopal.

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