Blast from the Past Cinema

Chakkaram 1968

A poster of Chakkaram  

Produced under the banner Annai Films and presented by K. R. Balan, Chakkaram was directed by the successful editor-director, A. Kasilingam. Written by noted screenwriter Madurai Thirumaran, the film had music by S.M. Subbaiah Naidu and lyrics by Vali. The film was shot at Vauhini Studios by cameraman Vijayan about whom very little is known today.

The film narrates the tale of Jambu (A.V.M. Rajan), a thief who lives in the dense forests avoiding the cops in pursuit of him. He carries a reward of Rs. 1 lakh on his head. Meenakshi, an estate owner with some debts hanging over her head, has a son (Gemini Ganesh). Babu is her secretary who has a sister (‘ Vennira Aadai’ Nirmala) studying in college in Madras, and she falls in love with Meenakshi’s son. To marry him, Meenakshi lays down a condition that she is to be paid Rs. 50,000 without which there would be no ringing of wedding bells!

Babu and his pals head to the forest in search of the elusive Jambu to get the money he has robbed and the reward. How the money is obtained after various twists and turns makes for an interesting climax. This film has melodious music, and one song about money with meaningful lyrics by Vali, ‘Kasethan kadavulappa antha kadavulukkum athu theriyum appa’, became a hit. Filmed on A.V.M. Rajan in a car, the song is rendered off-screen with much feeling by T.M. Soundararajan. Interestingly, it is intercut with many events and artistes taking the wheel like Nagesh, O.A.K. Thevar, M.R.R. Vasu and others. It was something novel and attracted much attention from the critics of the day.

Another one, a love song filmed on Gemini Ganesh and ‘ Vennira Aadai’ Nirmala in the flowing waters, was also popular.

Nagesh, Manorama, C.S. Pandian and S.S. Sivasuriyan provided comic relief. M.R.R. Vasu also gave a fine performance in his usual way.

However, in spite of the impressive cast consisting of many veterans and tuneful songs, the movie did not do well.

Remembered for: the performances, the songs, the creative manner in which ‘Kasethan kadavulappa’ was picturised, and the cinematography of Vijayan.




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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 8:26:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/blast-from-the-past-chakkaram/article7386628.ece

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