P. V. Narasimha Bharathi, C. R. Rajakumari, P. S. Veerapppa, Pollachi Kamala, M. L. Pathi, M. V. Navaneetham, ‘Pulimoottai' Ramaswami, K. S. Angamuthu, V. M. Ezhumalai and ‘Loose' Arumugam

Madana Mohini is an interesting folktale about a king and his two attractive nieces. The king, a non-believer, loses his cool when one of them, Madana (Rajakumari), performs prayers against his orders. He banishes Madana who in the guise of a male joins a Robin Hood type of gang with the idea of robbing the rich and helping the poor.

One night, a prince (Bharathi) in disguise meets Madana and tells her that he is a palace servant and knows the secret passage to the palace treasury. He leads her to it where Madana picks up only one rare precious stone, leaving the other two. The two are arrested and produced before the king who realises the person in disguise is his son who has fallen in love with Madana. The king is anxious to get his other niece Mohini (Kamala) married but loses his cool when she offers prayers. Enraged, he orders all the idols to be broken in which process he falls down and gets seriously hurt.

The two women look alike and the prince mistakes Mohini for Madana and after many twists and turns, the couple unite to live happily thereafter.

Narasimha Bharathi, an import from Tamil theatre, was active in Tamil cinema during the late 1940s and the early 1950s. Good looking and talented, he played the lead in Ellis R. Dungan's Ponmudi (a Modern Theaters' production) and also Lord Krishna in Jupiter Pictures' Krishna Vijayam. However, his career did not take off as expected and in later years he promoted a school for children to make a living.

Rajakumari (no relation of her famous namesake!) hailed from Kancheepuram and made a mark as an attractive dancer appearing in vamp roles in many films. In this movie, she was cast as the heroine. In later years, she slid down the greasy pole and kept herself busy as a dubbing artiste.

Pollachi Kamala, an attractive woman, showed early promise, but did not rise to expectations.

The director M. L. Pathi, now forgotten, also played a major role in the movie and the filmmaking was supervised by the noted Madras-based Bengali film personality of yesteryear, Jyotish Sinha, the maker of P. Kannamba's Telugu hit of the early 1940s, Talli Prema, and the first Sinhala movie Kadavunu Porunduwa.

The music composer was K. V. Mahadevan and interestingly he also sang behind the screen, solo and duet. After establishing himself as a successful composer, he stopped singing.

An interesting piece of trivia is about the stunt composer of the film, Srinivasulu Naidu better known as ‘Arya Veera Seenan', one of the accused in the sensational Lakshmikantham Murder Case which rocked India and abroad in the mid-1940s. His unusual name became popular and came to be permanently attached in this case along with M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar and N. S. Krishnan who were all unjustly accused of murder.

The movie did not fare well but in recent years it has been repeatedly screened on television networks which made it quite popular.

Remembered for: Mahadevan's music, and the impressive performances of Bharathi and Rajakumari.


Man with the Midas touchMarch 18, 2010