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Updated: October 27, 2012 16:40 IST
BLAST FROM THE PAST

Indira En Selvam 1962

Randor Guy
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Tear-jerker Indira En Selvam.
Tear-jerker Indira En Selvam.

M. R. Radha, Pandari Bai, S. A. Asokan, Nagesh, A. Karunanidhi, P. C. Kittan, T. K. Sampangi, A.P.S. Mani, ‘Gemini' Chandra, Pushpamala, Saradambal, Suryaprabha, ‘Baby' Sumangala, Laksmirajyam and Meenakumari

Indira En Selvam is a tear-jerker built around a child Indira (‘Baby' Sumangala) whose mother dies in labour. A kind-hearted nurse (Pandari Bai) brings her up as her own child.

A villainous doctor (Radha) who is after the nurse makes her life miserable. Left with no choice, she moves to another town where she joins a hospital and as part of the conditions of employment, she declares that she has no dependants. Thus the child is left alone in a school and the nurse loses touch with her. The kids at the school taunt her for being an orphan and not knowing who her father is. In sheer despair, the little girl writes a letter to her father ‘Care of God!' Much to her surprise and delight, she receives a toy as a gift in the name of her father! With justifiable pride, she shows it to her friends. The villain now tries to blackmail the nurse.

After many hurdles, the child is saved from his clutches by the nurse and her doctor-lover (Asokan). In the end, they marry and adopt Indira. Pandari Bai plays the nurse-mother and lives the role with her soft looks and finesse. Asokan is his strong assertive self.

That was the period when M. R. Radha virtually ruled over Tamil cinema and appeared in every other film; here too he was his debonair villainous self. Nagesh, A. Karunanidhi and Pushpamala are in charge of raising laughter.

The film had pleasing music (composers: H. R. Padmanabha Sastri and C. N. Pandurangam; lyrics: ‘Suratha' and several others.) The script was by Viruthai Ramasami and the film was directed by C. Padmanabhan.

The songs rendered by P. B. Sreenivos, K. Rani, Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi, and (Radha) Jayalakshmi, and a comedy number by S. C. Krishnan and Ratnamala attracted attention. ‘Inbam Kondadum Maalai,' a duet by PBS and Rani, became a hit — it was written by Thamizhagan.

There were dance sequences by Laksmirajyam, Meena Kumari and Suryaprabha (Pushpavalli's sister and the wife of well-known dance-master and director Vedantham Raghavaiah). Suryaprabha also plays a supporting role in the movie. Her daughter, Subha, was a fairly successful actor, who faded into oblivion later. Critics and spectators felt that the duets (even though one song became a hit), filmed on Asokan and Pandari Bai, were highly inappropriate!

The outdoor sequences were shot in Yercaud, in and around Salem, and attractively photographed by V.G. Nair.

The film was an average success.

Remembered for the interesting storyline, impressive performance by the child artiste Sumangala and the melodious music.


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