Blast from the past: Vijayakumari (1950)

Reformist Theme: Vijayakumari

Reformist Theme: Vijayakumari

After the trailblazing victory of Velaikkari (1949), Jupiter Pictures gave the green signal to the successful director A. S. A. Sami to write and direct their next production Vijayakumari with the same hero K. R. Ramasami, hoping to repeat the success of their earlier film. Sami had on mind a revolutionary theme of an inspired young man Vijayan (Ramasami) working to bring changes in society, destroying evils such as corruption and superstitious beliefs. He set the story in a folklorish milieu of ‘once upon a time, there was a king, a queen, wily ministers, beautiful princesses, magicians, et al’. At the crowning ceremony of the princess (Rajakumari), Vijayan who has established an art centre to spread reformatory ideas, performs with his sister (Kumari Kamala). The wily Prime Minister (Sama) realises the hero and his ideas could be dangerous and plans to get rid of him. His son known for his stupidity (Balaiah) is being groomed to marry the princess and take over the kingdom. However, aware of the evil designs, Vijayan has his own plans to work for the betterment of the people. Meanwhile, the princess and he fall in love. On learning about this, the Prime Minister banishes Vijayan on false charges. The princess follows him wherever he goes…

The hero and his dancer-sister reach an island ruled by a young woman Maya (Saraswathi). The queen subjects the hero and his sister to torture in prison, when he rejects her advances.

A fisherwoman (Bhagyam) and her brother (Nambiar) find a magic stone with which they save Vijayan’s sister but are captured before they can save Vijayan …

Meanwhile, a look-alike of the princess (Rajakumari again) visits the kingdom and is duly married to the PM’s son. More complications follow but in the end evil is destroyed; the princess and her lover ascend the throne and rule the kingdom introducing the reforms Vijayan had in mind.

Despite the reformist theme, the complicated story did not gel with the public who expected another Velaikkari from Sami, Ramasami and Jupiter.

To make the movie interesting, the director and producer (Jupiter Somu) packed it with 14 songs - there were western style song-dance sequences by Lalitha-Padmini and a solo by Vyjayanthimala.

The dance song “laalu...laalu…laalu...” (lyrics K. D. Santhanam, music C. R. Subbaraman, choreography Vedantam Raghavaiah) was excellently rendered by Vyjayanthimala which proved popular.

Somewhat surprisingly, Rajakumari as the fake princess also sings and dances in western style… ‘Pozhudu vidinja raja rani naam…’ (music Subbaraman, lyrics Udumalai Narayana Kavi, choreography Raghavaiah). However her body structure did not suit such a dance and her movements evoked laughter in cinema houses.

Lalitha and Padmini had a western style song-dance sequence ‘Aanavathinaale azhivu thedaadhey…’ (lyrics Santhanam, music Subbaraman, choreography Raghavaiah).

The film had impressive photography (Mastan) and some fine trick shots (W. R. Subba Rao).

Remembered for: the western-style dances by Vyjayanthimala and Lalitha-Padmini, catchy western tunes and good production values.

Cast: K. R. Ramasami, T. R. Rajakumari (double role), T. S. Balaiah, Serukalathur Sama, Kumari Kamala, P.K. Saraswathi, R. Balasubramaniam, K. R. Ram Singh, M. N. Nambiar, ‘Pulimoottai’ Ramasami, K. S. Angamuthu, M. S. S. Bhagyam, K. Sayeeram, Vyjayanthimala, Lalitha-Padmini (dances)

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2022 12:17:15 am |