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Naalvar 1953

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A. P. Nagarajan, Kumari Thangam, N. N. Kannappa, M. N. Krishnan, S. R. Janaki,R. Balasubramaniam, C. R. Vijayakumari,T. P. Muthulakshmi, V. M. Ezhumalai,E. R. Sahadevan, S. S. Majid, Ratnakumari,N. S. Narayana Pillai, V. N. Natesan, A. R. Damodaram, T. K. Swaminathan, V. R. Natarajan, T. V. Satyamurthi, Gauthamdas K. N. Kanakasabai and dances, Kumari Kamala, Rita and Sulochana

Akkammapettai Paramasivan Nagarajan is one of the brilliant but sadly underrated personalities of Indian Cinema. In just two decades, he created many classics, spiritual and mythological, in Tamil cinema. These were not only box office hits but also achieved cult status, being constantly revived on television channels in the South and also in movie houses. Actor, screenwriter, lyricist, producer and director, some of his best films are Thillana Mohanambal, Thiruvilayaadal, Kandhan Karunai and Thirumaal Perumai.

His Thillana Mohanambal, based on a magazine serial by noted Tamil writer Kothamangalam Subbu, portrayed the social conditions and the upper class milieu in Thanjavur district of the bygone era. The film captures the spirit of the times so well that an American cultural institution acquired a copy of it for preservation as a classic example of south Indian culture.

One of his earliest films was Naalvar which he wrote — he also played the hero in it. Not many are aware that earlier he played the heroine in TKS Brothers' successful stage play, “Gumasthavin Penn.” He was then slim, and when the Indian movie mogul S. S. Vasan, who bankrolled the movie version, watched the play, he expressed the opinion that the girl who played the female lead could play the same role in the movie version! He was surprised when Nagarajan without the make-up and costume appeared before him to be introduced as the heroine of the play! Same was the reaction of the multilingual star of south Indian Cinema M. V. Rajamma who played the female lead in the movie when she came to watch the play. Such was Nagarajan's costume, make-up and body language.

In Naalvar , Nagarajan plays a duty-conscious police officer, the eldest son of the secretary of a mill owner. Another son is a lawyer, the third a supervisor in a mill, while the youngest is a social activist. The top cop meets the mill owner's daughter (Kumari Thangam) and not knowing her identity he charges her for an offence she commits. He does not hesitate even to arrest his own brother when he thinks he has infringed the law. When conspirators try to implicate his father with gold smuggling and printing fake notes, he surrenders himself to the police as the culprit to save his father and the family prestige. Of course, all is well that ends well, the wrongdoers are caught and the family lives happily ever after.

Kumari Thangam, a popular Malayalam actor, and Muthulakshmi, a later day successful comedienne, play major roles. Vijayakumari, who later became a prominent Tamil film star, played a minor role. Kannappa, who played the lead role in a few movies, played one of the brothers. The film also featured quite a few noted actors of the day Krishnan, Janaki, Balasubramaniam, Sahadevan and Ezhumalai.

Naalvar was directed by V. Krishnan and the script was by Nagarajan, while the music was composed by one of the most successful music directors K. V. Mahadevan who also sang off screen. The film was made at the noted Central Studios of Coimbatore and was produced by M. A. Venu for Sangeetha Pictures.

Somewhat interestingly, Nagarajan also sings a song along with composer Mahadevan. Naalvar did well at the box-office and the hero came to be known as ‘Naalvar' Nagarajan.

Remembered for the impressive performance of Nagarajan and the family values the story highlighted.

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