Remembering a classic
Once Ramu Kariat had decided to make a film based on Thakazhi's novel `Chemmeen,' he approached several people including the State Government for funds to produce the film. On one of these journeys, he met Babu Sait (Kanmani Babu). Then in his early twenties, Kanmani Babu agreed to finance the film. ` Chemmeen' went on to become the first Malayalam film to win the President's gold medal in the year 1965.
Kanmani Babu and others associated with the film were honoured at a function organized by Amateur Cultures Trivandrum (ACT), a drama and film society, on the 40th anniversary of the release of the film.
Actors Madhu, Adoor Pankajam, Latha Raju, still photographer Sivan, singer Udayabhanu and the producer Kanmani Babu attended the function. Speaking on the occasion, Madhu went down memory lane. He described how Sathyan escaped being drowned in the sea during the shooting and how the fisherfolk of Nattika, Thrissur, cooperated by offering their homes and clothing for the filming.
A Vayalar-Salil Choudhury sangeetha sandhya followed in which film songs of the duo were presented.
It was the Vayalar Rama Varma-Salil Choudhury team that created the super hit songs of `Chemmeen'. Srinivas rendered the opening song `Manasa maine varu' followed by `Pennale pennale' by Udayabhanu.
Vani Jairam stole the show with her youthful voice in `Sourayudhathil vidarnoru,' `Natan paatile maina,' `Ayilyam paadahe penne,' `Dhum thana' and so on. Biju Narayan sang `Pravachakanmare parayoo,' `Kadu karathe kadu.'
Some of the other songs that were sung were `Ujjainiyile gaayika,' `Evide kaatinu sugadhan,' `Kaatu vannu kalanepole,' `Neelaponmane,' `Shrava chandrika,' `Sangamam,' `Yamune neeurangoo' and `Kadalinakare ponore.'
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