Banner : Neela Productions

Producer/Director : P Subramaniam

Dialogues : Nagavally

Lyrics : Vayalar, ONV

Music - Devarajan

Starcast: Gemini Ganeshan, Thikkurissi, Kottarakkara, T K Balachandran, Kundara Bhasi, Padmini. Aranmula Ponnamma, Pankajavalli, Sri Vidya, Rajasree, T R Omana etc

Mythological films on Lord Subramanya were made in South Indian languages, particularly in Tamil, from the beginning of sound films. Most of such films told the story of his marriage with Valli, a tribal girl. Probably ‘Sree Skanda Leela' (Tamil-1938) was the first film that told on the screen the legend behind his birth and his mission. ‘Kandhan Karunai' (1967), one of the best mythological Tamil films directed by A. P. Nagarajan, told the story of the birth of Subramanya. A huge hit the film introduced actress Sridevi, who was cast in the childhood role of Lord Subramanya.

Probably, the success of ‘Kandhan Karunai' must have prompted P. Subramaniam to produce the Malayalam film ‘Kumarasambhavam' (1969) that adapted sequences from the Tamil film. The film went on to become a huge box office hit. Shot in Eastman colour at Merry Land Studios, the film had cinematography by U. Rajagopal and editing by Gopalakrishnan. Dialogues were by Nagavalli R. S. Kurup and dances choreographed by eminent dance masters like Guru Gopinath, Thankappan and Parthasarathi. The film was also a musical hit that had some excellent compositions by G. Devarajan. When the Kerala State Awards were instituted in 1969 this film had the honour of being judged the best feature film.

This was Sridevi's debut Malayalam film. Popular artistes like Gemini Ganeshan, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair, T. K. Balachandran, Padmini, Aranmula Ponnamma, Pankajavalli also starred in the film.

The film is said to be based on Kalidasa's epic poem ‘Kumarasambhavam.” But the story deviates from this poem by bringing in some stories glorifying the deity. The film was released on December 25, 1969.

Himavan and his wife (Thikkurissi and Aranmula Ponnamma) are worried about the marriage of their daughter Parvathi (Padmini) who is firm on her decision to marry none other than Lord Siva (Gemini Ganeshan). Lord Siva had vowed never to marry and was meditating following the death of his consort Sati (also played by Padmini). This was because of Siva's enmity with Sati's father Daksha (Kottarakkara). Sati is reborn as Parvathi with a mission to give birth to Siva's son who would kill the powerful demon Tharakasura (Kundara Bhasi) who was now in control of heaven and the gods. Narada (T. K. Balachandran) advises Parvathi to worship Lord Siva and win his love. By her penance and determined efforts Parvathi manages to win the love of Siva. Their marriage takes place. Parvathi gives birth to Subramanya (Sridevi) who grows up and duly kills Tharakasura.

Deviating from the epic poem, the film included some sequences related to Lord Subramanya, like his meeting with Avvayyar (T. R. Omana), quarrel with Ganapathi, etc.

Padmini excelled in the roles of Sati and Parvathi. Also impressive were Sridevi, Gemini Ganeshan and Pankajavalliessayed the role of Daksha's wife impressively.

The songs written by Vayalar Rama Varma and ONV Kurup were set to tune by Devarajan. Most of them were based on classical ragas, like ‘Priyasakhi Gangey…' (Madhuri) in Suddha Dhanyasi, ‘Satya Siva soundaryangal…' (K. J. Yesudas) in Kalyani, and the dance number ‘Maya natana…' (P. Leela and Radha-Jayalakshmi) set in Khamas. The other hits include ‘Indukalamouli….' (Madhuri), ‘Nalla Haimavatha…' (P. Susheela and chorus), and a ragamalika, ‘Saravana poykayil…' (Kamukara Purushotaman).

Will be remembered:As the first film to win Kerala State award in the feature film category, as the debut Malayalam film of Sridevi and for the excellent music.

Keywords: Mollywood