Vilaiyattu Pillai (1970)

Vilaiyattu Pillai was written and directed by AP Nagarajan. The story was penned by Kothamangalam Subbu, and the screenplay was by SS Vasan, who owned Gemini Studios.

The hero of Vilaiyattu Pillai, Muthiah (Sivaji Ganesan) tames a ferocious bull named Neelamani, owned by Maragatham (Padmini), a rich man’s (VS Raghavan) daughter. After he wins, Maragatham further challenges him to participate in the Rekla race too.

This film was most likely the first Tamil film to have a Rekla race as its theme. Muthiah participates in the race, which is an exciting event, and wins the race. Maragatham falls in love with him.

His mother (SN Lakshmi), a poor widow, is happy about the prizes won by her son, but thinks he is way too playful, (hence the title Vilaiyattu Pillai) and advises him to get married and lead a responsible life. A relative of his, (TS Balaiah) agrees to meet and talk to Maragatham’s father and fix the marriage, but he has other devious plans. He instead fixes the marriage for his useless son (Cho Ramaswamy) and returns. On the day of the wedding, Maragatham and Muthiah elope and marry. Eventually, the couple has a son (Master Prabhakar). One day, the elephant that belongs to the royal prince runs amok and Muthiah overpowers the elephant and saves the princess. The princess (Kanchana) is all admiration for Muthiah and invites him along with his family to the palace. The butler of the royal family (Typist Gopu), who is jealous of Muthiah, hatches a plan to ruin the goodwill that Muthiah has gained with the royal family, and spreads rumours about Muthiah and the princess. Finally, Muthiah is forced to overpower a bull, whose horns are painted with deadly poison. Muthian wins, and the family lives happily.

Vilaiyattu Pillai was an interesting story excellently directed by AP Nagarajan. The film was shot in Gemini Studios and also processed in the studio Color Lab with high technical values. The film has excellent performance by Sivaji Ganesan and Padmini and supporting actors like TS Balaiah, VS Raghavan, Cho, Kanchana and others.

Cinematography was by KS Prasad. The film was edited by M Umanath, who was part of the Gemini Studios ‘family’ and the art direction was by Ganga. With a talented cast, highly technical values and very well-written screenplay and dialogue, the film was a booming box-office success and ran for 100 days.

Music was composed by KV Mahadevan, with lyrics by Kavignar Kannadasan, Sankaradas Swamigal, and the songs were rendered by TM Soundararajan, P Susheela, and S Janaki.

Sadly, while this film was under production, SS Vasan passed away in 1969, and the movie was dedicated to the memory of Vasan.

Remembered for: The interesting storyline, superb performances by Sivaji Ganesan, Padmini, TS Balaiah, VS Raghavan and Cho. Excellent direction of AP Nagarajan.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 8:21:32 AM |

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