Cinema

Kanchana 1952

Inspired by life: Kanchana  

In those days, a young doctor who wrote novels revolving around middle-class women, their dreams and future under the pen name ‘Lakshmi', (original name Dr. Tripurasundari), was very popular for her serials published in Ananda Vikatan, a widely-read Tamil weekly. She received considerable encouragement from its owner S. S. Vasan, who was also a movie mogul. One such serial which was extremely popular, especially with female readers, was ‘Kanchanavin Kanavu' (Kanchana's Dream).

(She got married and relocated to South Africa, and returned to India years later. Her stories were based on real-life events.)

S. M. Sriramulu Naidu acquired this story for filming under his banner Pakshiraja Studios. As usual, he produced and directed the movie. K. R. Ramasami, the popular hero of Velaikari, was cast as the hero with Lalitha and Padmini as the two women in his life.

A young zamindar (Ramasami) and his aged mother (Gnanam) lead a happy life. Into the hero's life enters an evil-minded friend (Nambiar) who persuades him to construct a mill to defraud him. A poor, old, retired manager (Duraiswami) lives on the zamindari estate with his young granddaughter Kanchana (Lalitha). They are constantly nagged by the new manager (Durairaj). To settle the problem, the hero meets the old man. There he notices the young woman, falls for her and marries her.

The bride dreams of a happy married life, but things go awry. The proud mother-in-law and the estate manager taunt her about her indigent past, making life miserable for her. Meanwhile, the hero falls for a Devadasi (Padmini) and takes her as his mistress.

Kanchana has a child and is happy for a while. But soon she comes to know of her husband's mistress…

Her brother, a doctor (Manohar), has a girlfriend (Kumari). When she visits the heroine, the hero falls for her too, leading to further complications. Kanchana leaves home with her child; her husband goes in search of her, takes the child away, leaving Kanchana in the lurch…

After several trials and tribulations, the husband and wife are united. The music was by S. M. Subbaiah Naidu and the lyrics were by Papanasam Sivan, V. A. Gopalakrishnan and Namakkal Balasubramaniam. There were dances by Padmini choreographed by Gopinath of the famous Gopinath-Thangamani duo.

Despite the popularity of Lakshmi's magazine serial, the impressive cast and fine performances by Ramasami, Lalitha, Padmini and Duraiswami, Kanchana did not fare well at the box office. The film's Malayalam and Telugu versions also didn't do well.

Kumari, the well-known Malayalam film star of that day, played the role of the lady doctor.

The film was shot at Pakshiraja Studios in Coimbatore which Sriramulu Naidu promoted in the mid-Forties, taking over Kandhan Studios.

Remembered for the interesting storyline and impressive performances by Ramasami, Lalitha and Padmini.


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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 8:13:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Kanchana-1952/article16137698.ece

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