Dharmam Engey (1972)

Published - June 14, 2017 02:30 pm IST

Dharmam Engey was written and directed by AC Thirulokachandar, with dialogues by Sakthi Krishnaswami.

Sivaji Ganesan and Jayalalithaa played the lead roles. They were supported by R Muthuraman, Nagesh, TV Kumudhini, Kumari Padmini and MN Nambiar.

The story deals with a cruel ruler played by MN Nambiar and his henchmen, led by SV Ramadas, trying to exploit poor villagers. Sivaji Ganesan, works in the fields picking flowers and selling them, and goes on to become the leader of the villagers. He faces a lot of problems, but does not give up, and emerges victorious as the leader of the people against Nambiar. Jayalalithaa (Rupa) is a gypsy dancer who saves Sivaji Ganesan from death, and they fall in love.

There are several stunt sequences performed by Sivaji Ganesan in which he uses swords, chains and various other weapons. The climax sequences are especially packed with action, where Rupa is hanging on for dear life with deadly snakes below. The hero finally saves her and the villain falls into this pit full of snakes.

Dharmam Engey was produced by a member of the Sivaji Ganesan family. Unlike other Sivaji films, where we could see his scintillating delivery of dialogue, this film is action-oriented and reminded people of an MGR movie. There are lots of stunt sequences involving Sivaji Ganesan and the villain Nambiar. The film did not do well at the box office, mainly because critics and cinemagoers felt that it was a movie that would have suited MGR better.

A dance number by Jayalalithaa in a duet which was more like an ‘item number’, was a hit. The film was shot at AVM Studios and cinematography was by Thambu; he was assisted by KS Prasad.

Music was composed by maestro MS Viswanathan, and a couple of songs, one sung by TM Soundararajan, and another by TMS and LR Easwari became popular.

Remembered for: Breezy music with a couple of hit songs, dance sequences by Jayalalithaa, brilliant cinematography by Thambu, and also Sivaji Ganesan doing a different role a la MGR.

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