K. R. Ramasami, Savithri, B. R. Panthulu, T. S.Balaiah, K. A. Thangavelu, P. Kannamba, 'Javert'Seetharaman, Pandari Bai, P. D. Sambandam, 'Kaka'Radhakrishnan, C. C. V. V. Panthulu and Vadhiraj
Showering affection or enforcingrigid discipline, which one isnecessary in bringing up a child,especially if he is an orphan?This was the theme of ChellaPillai, produced by AV. Meiyappanand directed by M. V. Raman.The film was written by'Javert' Seetharaman and thein-house composer R. Sudarshanamcontributed the musicwith lyrics by Udumalai NarayanaKavi, K. P. Kamakshi,Ku. Ma. Balasubramaniam andV. Seetharaman.
Ramasami, a popular hero ofthe day after his smashing successin Velaikkari, is an orphanbrought up by his brother (B. R.Panthulu) and his wife (Kannamba).Fond of the growingchild, she covers for all his mischievousdeeds, even pettycrimes, without bothering tocorrect him. Soon he grows intoan irresponsible young man addictedto gambling.
He meets a young woman(Savithri) who dreams of becominga movie star. He promisesto introduce her to movies.Meanwhile, the family decidesto get him married to a modestyoung woman (Pandari Bai) inthe hope that he would becomea better human being.
The hero leaves home tomake a movie with the youngwoman. Needing money for theproduction, he commits a theftin the shop where his brotherworks, resulting in the kindman losing his job.
The hero gets involved in theprinting of fake notes and whenthe brother seeks his help, hegives him the counterfeit currency,resulting in the poorman getting arrested.
How the erring hero changeshis ways forms the rest of theplot. A different kind of storyfor the day, Chella Pillai hadgood performances by Ramasami,Kannamba and Panthuluwith Savithri as the aspiringstar exuding glamour.
Music played its role in thefilm and some of the songs suchas 'Podanum kulla podanum','Naadu nadakkira nadaiyileynamakkey onnum puriyaley','Madanaa ezhil raja' and'Ooooo nigarilladha star-aaguvenkalaiulagil naaney' becamepopular.
Most of the tunes werestraight lifts from popular Hindimovies and were rendered byP. Susheela, Jikki, T. M. Soundararajanand T. S. Bhagavathi.
Editor-turned-filmmaker M.V. Raman directed the story inan interesting manner, mixingthe sentimental sequences withsong and dance numbers bySavithri and others.
Ramasami acquitted himselfwell in the role of the vagabondand excelled as usual in hisdrama-drenched dialogue delivery.Kannamba as the affectionatesister-in-law was asgood as ever. Pandari Bai as thenaive rural woman was herusual self with her soft looks.
T. S. Balaiah as the film directorYaman and Thangaveluas Avathaaram contributed tothe laughs.
Well known Kannada actorand film producer Vadhiraj enjoyeda brief innings in Tamilcinema during the 1950s. Hisdwarf-like appearance itselfraised laughs. 'Stunt' Somu, oneof the earliest stunt composersin Tamil cinema, played a doublerole somewhat ironically asa cop and a professional gambler.The dance sequences werechoreographed by Hiralal andK. N. Dhandayudhapani Pillaiwith a dancer, Roopamala, alsotaking part in them.
Remembered for: The differentstoryline, impressiveperformances of Ramasami andSavithri and tuneful music.