Gemini Ganesan, C.R. Vijayakumari, B. Saroja Devi, A. Nageswara Rao, M.N. Nambiar, S.D. Subbulakshmi K.A. Thangavelu and M. Saroja

Kalyana Parisu marked the successful debut of the iconic writer-director Sridhar. He began his career as a playwright with Raththa Paasam, which was successfully filmed. Sought after for writing dialogue, Sridhar with no political background or interest attracted attention with his simple Tamil. His characters spoke only what should be spoken under the circumstances — they didn’t indulge in long-winded speeches, drenched in similes, metaphors or other figures of speech!

A few years earlier, he became a partner in the successful production unit, Venus Pictures, along with S. Krishnamurthi and T. Govindarajan. Both started their careers in a humble manner and it will not be wrong to say that their initial success was contributed in fair measure by Sridhar.

With Kalyana Parisu, Sridhar donned the directorial hat and wrote a love triangle of two sisters in love with one man and in the end one sacrificing the lover for the sister. The sisters were played by C. R. Vijayakumari and the upcoming actor B. Saroja Devi who made a mark with MGR’s Nadodi Mannan. Gemini Ganesan was the man caught in the vortex of emotions.

Much of the film’s success could be attributed to the work of cinematographer, and later a successful multi-lingual filmmaker, Aloysius Vincent, and his associate V. N. Sundaram. Sadagopan, popularly known as Chitralaya Gopu, ably assisted Sridhar in the departments of writing and direction. N. M. Shankar was the editor. The music by noted playback singer A. M. Raja and the lyrics by Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram also played a key role in the film’s success.

Songs such as ‘Kaathaliley tholviuttran kaalai oruvan’ were hits, and the background score was impressive. Raja attracted attention as a college student singing at college competitions and soon became a noted multilingual playback singer. He was married to the successful singer ‘Jikki.’ He died in a freak train accident. Even today, many of his songs are popular both in Telugu and Tamil.

The comedy by K.A. Thangavelu and M. Saroja proved a major highlight of the movie. Indeed, the comedy sequences were released as an audio cassette which proved a bestseller.

With the remarkable success of Kalyana Parisu, Sridhar went on to scale greater heights not only in Tamil but also in Telugu, Kannada and Hindi. He owned a production company along with others named ‘Chitralaya’, well-known in the history of Indian Cinema. Later, Kalyana Parisu was produced in Telugu as Pelli Kanuka and in Hindi as Nazrana featuring Raj Kapoor as the hero.

Remembered for the deft direction, interesting storyline, cinematography, music, and, above all, the comedy sequences of Thangavelu and Saroja.

Keywords: Kalyana Parisu