Blast from the Past Cinema

En Thambi (1968)

Krishnamachari Balajee, hailing from the family of a prominent lawyer in Madras, worked in the telephone department, during which time he developed an interest in theatre and went on to act in many plays. He joined a local studio in the production department and learned about the film industry. He then went on to establish his own production company and specialised in remaking successful films from Bollywood. Besides producing movies, he also played leading roles in them. En Thambi, directed by A. C. Thirulokchandar, was one such remake and stars Sivaji Ganesan and Saroja Devi. The film was a remake of Aasthiparulu, a successful Telugu film produced by Jagapathi Pictures that won awards at both the national and regional levels.

The film is a tale of two step- brothers, Sivaji Ganesan born to Kannamba, and Balajee, born to Sundari Bai, who are fathered by a character played by Major Sundararajan. After the death of the father, the first son played by Sivaji, of exemplary character, takes care of the family wealth handed over to him. Balajee, a drunkard, addict and gambler, isn’t too pleased about this, and always pesters his brother for money. So bothered is he that he eventually hatches a plan to kill him by drowning and pushes him from a boat. A passing theatre group, however, saves Sivaji from drowning. He later joins this group and becomes an actor. The younger son proclaims to the world that the elder son will never return. A nephew (Nagesh) learns about the actor that Sivaji has now become, and brings him back to the family. Nobody, however, believes that he is actually the missing son. After many twists, the villain gets exposed, the brothers unite, and Sivaji marries his beloved.

Sivaji Ganesan delivers an excellent performance, while Balajee is also impressive. Nagesh and his girlfriend’s father (V. K. Ramasami) provide comic relief. The story and dialogues were by Thanjai Ramaiah Das. While the Telugu version was an award-winning major hit, En Thambi did not quite live up to expectations and was considered a flop.

Remembered For: Excellent performance of Sivaji Ganesan in dual roles, and equally impressive performances by Balajee, and Nagesh

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 3:42:51 AM |

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