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Updated: December 1, 2013 20:07 IST


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The cover of the song book for the film
Special Arrangement
The cover of the song book for the film

Most of the early Malayalam movies were made by directors from other languages.

Rakthabandham, which released on May 18, 1951, was directed by Velswamy Kavi, who was an assistant to T.R. Sundaram, popular South Indian director and owner of Modern Theatres in Salem.

Sree Andaal

Bhakta Gowri Rakthabandham Produced under the banner of Jayabharath Pictures, Aluva, the film was shot at Ratna Studios, Salem. Popular playwright and stage actor K. Chellappan Pillai wrote the story, script and dialogues for the film.

The film introduced an array of stage artists to Malayalam cinema, popular among them being Paravoor Bharathan, Kaalaakkal Kumaran, Kuttappan Bhagavathar and lyricist Swami Brahmavrathan. The hero of the film, S.D. Subbiah, was from Tamil cinema SatyavaniHarihara MayaBhakta Gowri (1941) and Arundathi (1943). Rakthabandham

The storyline of the film resembled most Tamil and Telugu films of that period. Ravi (Cherthala Vasudeva Kurup), Appu (Kuttappa Bhagavathar ) and Valsala (Ambalappuzha Saraswathi Amma) are members of ‘Thamarasserry’, an ancient family in Kerala. On Valsala’s wedding day, the bridegroom Vijayan (S.D. Subbiah) is arrested by the police, who charge a murder case against him.

Ravi leaves for Madras in search of a job. Doctor Easwara Pillai (S.J. Dev), who is a rich businessman in Madras, was once a dependent of the Thamarasserry family. Pillai drives away Ravi when he approaches him for a job. Pillai’s daughter Kanchana (Omana) falls in love with Ravi at first sight. Ravi gets a job in a private bank with the help of Kanchana.

Mohan (Vaikom Raju), an associate of Pillai, lays down a trap to swindle Pillai out of his wealth. He introduces his friend Vahini (Ambalapuzha Meenakshi Amma) to Pillai. Now, Pillai is a puppet in her hands. Vahini plays nasty tricks to break the love affair between Kanchana and Ravi with the intention of getting Kanchana married to Mohan so that they can take over Pillai’s wealth.

Vahini manages to bring Valsala and Appu to Madras by sending a letter to them in Ravi’s forged handwriting.

As a part of her plan to damage Ravi, Vahini sends Pillai to the hotel where Valsala is staying. Pillai attempts to molest Valsala, but a strange masked man intervenes and vanishes after saving Valsala from Pillai.

Vahini pressurises Pillai to conduct the marriage of Kanchana with Mohan. Ravi loses his job because of the tricks played by Vahini. The strange masked man saves the life of Ravi when he attempts to commit suicide out of disappointment. Pillai comes to know about the evil deeds of Vahini and Mohan and their plan from his faithful servants Muzhuvan (Kaalaakkal Kumaran) and Sammatham (Rajamma). Again the strange masked man appears and saves the life of Pillai, when Mohan attempts to murder him.

The masked man turns out to be none other than Vijayan, who escaped from prison and was trying to prove his innocence in the murder case. The real culprit was Mohan and he is arrested by the police. Kanchana is wedded to Ravi and Valsala to Vijayan and the action packed social film has a happy ending.

The film was not successful at the box office. The stage artists Cherthala Vasudeva Kurup, S.J. Dev and the hero S.D. Subbiah performed their roles well.

Ten songs written by Abhayadev, Thumpamon Padmanabhankutty and Swami Brahmavrathan were set to tune by S.N. Chami and S.M. Subbiah Naidu jointly. ‘Vishaadame ee ulakey’, ‘Manikkuyiley Marathaka Poomale’ (S.D. Subbiah), ‘Bhooloka Bhagyasali’ (Malathi) and ‘Shambho Gowreesha Mahesha’ (Kuttappa Bhagavathar) became popular.

Will be remembered: Only Malayalam film directed by Velswami Kavi and debut Malayalam film of S.D. Subbiah. Debut film of Paravoor Bharathan (as a bank peon), Kuttappa Bhagavathar and lyricist Swami Brahmavrathan. Introduced R.S. Prabhu to Malayalam cinema.

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