Pookari (1973)

Cast: Mu. Ka. Muthu, Ambarish, Manjula, ‘Venniraiaadai’ Nirmala, Jayachitra, ‘Thengai’ Srinivasan, V. K. Ramasami,

Published - July 16, 2016 03:30 pm IST



Produced by Anjugam Pictures, this Mu. Ka. Muthu-starrer was released in 1973. The story and dialogues were written by T. N. Balu.

The story goes thus. Valli (Manjula) is a flower seller and her brother, Srinivasan, a house broker. One day, Valli meets the hero (Muthu) and they fall in love.

V. K. Ramasami, meanwhile, is a wealthy man with a daughter, Shyamala (Nirmala). His nephew Ravi (Ambarish, also known as Amarnath), who owns a part of the estate, is a womaniser, and has an affair with Jayamala. Ravi also eyes Muthu’s sister (Jayachitra), and eventually rapes her. Due to the trauma, she loses her power of speech.

Ravi and Muthu cross swords often, and during one such fight, when Muthu is about to strike him, Jayachitra pleads with her brother to spare Ravi and not to harm him.

During that incident, she also regains her power of speech and after that, Ravi agrees to marry her. Hearing the news, Ravi’s mistress (Jayamala) is shocked, and hatches a plan to go to the wedding venue in disguise, with a hidden revolver, with plans to shoot Ravi.

Shyamala, who learns of the plan, rushes to save him, but Valli falls, when she takes the bullet instead. Before her death, she unites Shyamala and Muthu. The film ends with Ravi marrying Jayachitra.

The film was directed by Krishnan-Panju, the successful directorial duo, and as usual, Panju edited the film under his pseudonym ‘Panjabi.’ The film was photographed by Amritham, a member of Mu. Karunanidhi’s family.

The handsome Mu. Ka. Muthu gives a creditable performance, and is striking especially in the emotional scenes and fight sequences. Manjula, Nirmala, Jayachitra, V. K. Ramasami, S. V. Subbaiah, Srinivasan and Amarnath all do justice to their roles.

Music by M. S. Viswanathan, who was assisted by Joseph Krishna, is a plus point in Pookari .

One song in particular, a duet called ‘Kaadhalin pon veedhiyil’ (sung by T. M. Soundararajan and S. Janaki, with lyrics by Panju Arunachalam) became a superhit and is considered to be one of the finest melodies of Tamil cinema.

Remembered For: The impressive performances by Mu. Ka. Muthu, Manjula, Nirmala, Jayachitra , V.K. Ramasami, Ambarish

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