Cinema

Annavin Aasai (1966)

A still from Annavin Aasai  

Annavin Aasai was written by S.I. Peruman and directed by the Marathi lawyer-turned-filmmaker Dada Mirasee. The film was produced by Sujatha Cine Arts that belonged to K. Balaji, who mostly made remakes of successful Hindi films. Annavin Aasai is also a remake of a movie written and directed by the Bengali and Hindi filmmaker, Dulal Guha. This film has an interesting storyline, unusual for a Tamil movie of that period. Gemini Ganesh and his wife Savithri face hardships after Gemini loses his job. He wishes to help his younger brother Ravi (Balaje) to pursue MBBS, and in order to finance his education, he takes an insurance policy for Rs. 1 lakh.

He then fakes his death by using a mangled man’s body near a railway line. He leaves his diary there and also places his ring on the dead man’s finger. Gemini Ganesh is considered dead by the police. His wife, who is in a state of shock, requests Ravi to pursue his studies using the insurance money she gets.

In the meantime, Ravi loses interest in studies, and with the insurance money, he indulges in betting on race horses and becomes wealthy. He falls in love with Vijaya (daughter of a rich businessman, K. Sarangapani). Manohar, a family friend, finds out that Gemini Ganesh is alive and shares the information with his widow. But she prefers to keep it a secret. Ravi misunderstands Manohar’s visits at night and assumes that they both are having an affair, and begins to taunt his sister-in-law.

Savithri then gets Ravi married to Vijaya, whose rich dad commits suicide as he has been cheated by an insurance fraud. Ravi realises later that he has been responsible for his brother’s death (he does not know the truth yet), surrenders to the police and is brought to trial before a judge (top Hindi star Ashok Kumar as a guest artiste).

During the trial, Manohar, who is a lawyer, says that the man is not dead and Ravi decided to plead guilty to the murder of someone who is very much alive. At the right moment, Gemini Ganesh appears in court and tells the truth. Ravi is acquitted. Gemini Ganesh is sentenced to a term in prison for cheating the insurance company by faking his death.

The film had excellent cinematography by Kamal Ghosh. Music was composed by K.V. Mahadevan and lyrics were by Kannadasan and Vali. The story being somewhat different for Tamil cinema audiences at that time, it made a good impact. The performances of Gemini Ganesh, Savithri, Balaje and Manohar were well appreciated. Though it was not a hit film, it did fairly well.

Remembered for: The unusual and interesting storyline, impressive performances by Gemini Ganesh, Savithri, Balaje, Manohar and Nagesh.



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Printable version | May 11, 2021 3:56:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/annavin-aasai-1966-tamil-film/article7719684.ece

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