blast from the past Cinema

Amara Deepam (1956)

A still from Amara Deepam  

Amara Deepam (released in 1956), starring Sivaji Ganesan, Padmini and Savithri, was a hit and ran for over 100 days.

The story, a love triangle, is about Aruna (Savithri), from a wealthy family, and how her parents want her to marry her cousin Sukumar (Nambiar). She, however, does not like him because of his dictatorial behaviour. He even breaks her radio, which convinces Aruna that he is certainly not the person for her. She leaves the house one night without informing anyone to escape from the marriage. She ends up being chased by some goons, and gets saved by Ashok (Sivaji Ganesan). Suddenly, somebody hits Ashok on the head, which causes him to lose his memory. Later, he meets a lovely young woman in a gypsy camp called Rupa (Padmini) and falls for her. Aruna, however, can’t forget him and never ceases her search for him. She finally meets him at a show with Rupa. Whether he regains his memory and what eventually happens forms the climax.

The film is an Indianised version of James Hilton’s bestselling novel Random Harvest. The story and dialogues were written by C.V. Sridhar, with screenplay by Tatineni Prakash Rao. The film was directed by T. Prakash Rao.

The movie has pleasing music; in particular, one song with the unusual lines, ‘Jollilo gymkhana… dolilo gumkhanaa… aalungo Round Tana... asandhittaa tahalkhanaa…’ that was filmed on Padmini and sung by Jikki, with lyrics by Thanjai Ramaiah Das, became a superhit.

Performances of Sivaji Ganesan, Padmini and Savithri were much appreciated. Thangavelu and E.V. Saroja provided the comic relief in an otherwise melodramatic film.

Amara Deepam, dubbed in Telugu as Amara Jeevi, had music by Tatineni Chalapathi Rao and lyrics by Udumalai Narayana Kavi, Thanjai Ramaiah Das, K. P. Kamakshi, M.K. Atmanathan, and K.S. Gopalakrishnan. Songs were rendered by T. M. Soundararaj6an, A. M. Rajah, Sirgazhi Govindarajan, S. C. Krishnan, M. L. Vasanthakumari, P. Susheela, Jikki, A. P. Komala, and T. V. Ratnam. This film was produced by Venus Pictures, that had Venus S. Krishnamurthi, T. Govindarajan and Sridhar as partners. All their films were usually directed by Prakash Rao, till Sridhar himself eventually became a hit filmmaker with Kalyana Parisu.

Remembered for: The fine performances of Sivaji Ganesan, Savithri and Padmini, and the hit song ‘Jollilo Gymkhana…’

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Printable version | Oct 10, 2021 11:25:13 PM |

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