The husband, wife and the other woman has been a favourite theme in literature. Indian cinema, in particular South Indian cinema, has frequently adapted such stories. The ancient Tamil classic Chilappathikaram that followed a similar storyline was filmed in Tamil as Kannagi (1942) and in Malayalam as Kodungallooramma (1968). Early Malayalam films like Ponkathir, Ashadeepam (1953), Mariyakutty (1958) etc, were successful films with this theme.
Snehadeepam, produced and directed by P. Subramaniam was another Malayalam film in this genre. Released on March 31, 1962, this film bombed at the box office. Produced under the banner of Neela Productions and shot mainly at Merryland Studios, this film marked the debut of music director M. B. Sreenivasan. The film also introduced Lata Raju (Baby Lata then) as playback singer.
The film had cinematography by N. S. Mani and editing by K. D. George. The script and dialogues were by the noted novelist Muttathu Varkey. The dances, choreographed by Thankappan, were a big draw.
Sreedhar (Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair) runs a factory, which is the ancestral property of his wife Lakshmi (Miss Kumari) and her brother Chandran (T. K. Balachandran). Sreedhar falls for the charm and guiles of a dancer Vilasini (Shanthi), who is the friend of Shankar (Kottarakara Sreedharan Nair), the assistant manager of the factory.
Gradually, Shankar and Vilasini manage to siphon off the wealth of Lakshmi’s family. When Shankar and Sreedhar realise that Chandran is in the know of their actions, they decide to act. Chandran is beaten up and abandoned in a lonely place. He is saved by Shankar’s daughter Prabha (Ambika). Chandran and Prabha take a liking for each other.
Meanwhile, Lakshmi refuses to believe Chandran when he tells her about her husband’s affair with Vilasini and how he has squandered the assets. Lakshmi even misunderstands her brother. Chandran flees home. The goons engaged by Sreedhar and Shankar push Chandran out of a moving train. News is spread about Chandran’s suicide.
By now Lakshmi loses all her property and the factory. The workers turn against Sreedhar. He is locked inside a room and they set it on fire. Chandran who escapes from the train accident appears on the scene. He rescues Sreedhar, who repents for his misdeeds. Shankar and Vilasini are brought before the law. Chandran marries Prabha.
The songs, some of which became very popular, were written by P. Bhaskaran and set to music by M. B. Sreenivasan. The Chandrante prabhayil… (Kamukara Purushotaman-S. Janaki) was a huge hit.
The other songs that came to be noted were Onnamtharam balloon tharaam… (Lata ), Aaromalaaley karayalley…(P. Leela ), and Asha vasantham anuraga sugandham…(Janaki).
Will be remembered: As the debut film of music director M. B. Sreenivasan and playback singer Lata. For its good music, especially for the immortal duet Chandrante prabhayil…