Naan Yean Pirandhen is based on the Telugu hit Brathuku Theruvu (Livelihood) (1953), produced by Bhaskar Productions and directed by P.S. Ramakrishna. The same film was also made in Hindi by L.V. Prasad under the title, Jeene Ki Raah , which was a big hit too.
The Tamil version, Naan Yean Pirandhen , released in 1972, features MGR, Kanchana and K.R. Vijaya, and was written by ‘Vietnam Veedu’ Sundaram and directed by M. Krishnan Nair.
Kannan (MGR), a young man, lives with his wife (K.R. Vijaya) and kid. His mother (S.N. Lakshmi), sister (G. Sakunthala), her husband and children, also live with him as a joint family.
Kannan finds it difficult to make ends meet. So, he takes up a position with a rich businessman (Major Sundararajan), whose daughter (Kanchana), is confined to a wheelchair. She also develops health problems after the sudden death of her mother. Major Sundararajan hires Kannan as his manager, with the hope of marrying off his daughter to him, as he is under the impression that Kannan is a bachelor. Kannan also hides the fact that he is a married man, in order to get the job. He lives in the house of the businessman and his daughter, and faces many problems.
K.R. Vijaya’s performance as Kannan’s wife and Kanchana’s as the rich man’s daughter are impressive. Kannan’s sister is a troublesome person and her husband (Nagesh) is a gambler, who pledges his very son. When Kannan sends money home, his greedy sister takes away everything, with little left for his wife and other members of the family. Nambiar plays the role of a greedy man, who has his eye on the rich man’s estate while ‘Thengai’ Srinivasan is interested in marrying the girl for her inheritance.
Kannan reaches out to the rich man’s nephew Shankar (V. Gopalakrishnan), who is in America studying medicine, and informs him about the problems he is facing with the rich man’s daughter and requests him to come back soon. All the problems are solved soon, and the hero is reconciled with his wife and family. Shankar marries the rich girl who is now in good health, thanks to the attention and care bestowed on her by Kannan.
MGR is impressive and his dialogue contains much of his political philosophy and the teachings of his guru, Arignar Anna.
Music was composed by Shankar-Ganesh, and two songs became popular – ‘Chithirai Solaigale’ (voice: T.M. Soundararajan, lyrics: Puratchi Kavignar Bharathidasan), and ‘Naan Paadum Paadal’ (TMS, Vaali).
Despite a super star cast and good performances by MGR, the two heroines and Nagesh, the film did not do as well as expected, and ran for just 10 weeks, in stark contrast to the thumping success of the Telugu and Hindi versions.
Remembered for: The excellent performances by MGR, Kanchana, K.R. Vijaya, superb comedy by Nagesh and pleasing music by Shankar-Ganesh.