Blast from the Past Cinema

'Meenda Sorgam' 1960

An icon of Indian cinema, C.V. Sridhar made movies in all the major South Indian languages and Hindi. During his heyday, he came up with cult classics such as Nenjil Or Aalayam, Kadhalikka Neramillai and Kalyana Parisu.

He started writing plays during his school days, and one of his plays, Ratha Paasam, was staged by well-known theatre person, T. K. Shanmugam. The play went on to become a big success and it was later made into a movie, and that too was a big hit.

Sridhar, then, scripted and directed Meenda Sorgam, and the film was produced by T.A. Durairaj. The story is about a poor but talented young girl (Padmini), a dancer who falls in love with a rich man’s son (Gemini Ganesan), but he is forced to marry a rich man’s daughter (Tambaram Lalitha). The dancer promises to her lover that she will never dance in public. Due to various circumstances, the hero’s house is up for auction, and in order to save him, she performs in public and with the money she makes, she saves his house. But the lover is unaware of this.

When he comes to know the truth, he goes in search of her, and in the meantime, his wife, who is now reformed, commits suicide. He meets the dancer (who is on the verge of committing suicide) and they are united in an emotional climax. Gemini Ganesan’s performance was impressive in this film, but he seemed a bit old to play that role. Padmini excelled as always in the dancer role. Thangavelu as a rich man with a wayward son (Ramachandran) played his role to perfection. In spite of all the good elements, the film did not do well as expected, as it was thought to be too highbrow and idealistic.

The film’s onscreen presentation was superb, with fine direction by Sridhar and brilliant cinematography by Aloysius Vincent. The film was edited by N. M. Shankar.

Music by Tatineni Chalapathi Rao (multilingual movie maestro T. Prakash Rao’s cousin) was of high standard with songs such as ‘Kalaiye En Vaazhkayin Thisai Maatrinaai…’ (lyrics Kannadasan, voices A.M. Rajah, and P. Susheela). ‘Aadum Arul Jyothi Arulvaai’ (a captivating classical Bharathanatyam dance sequence by Padmini, with M. L Vasanthakumari playback, lyrics, and choreography by P.S. Gopalakrishnan, a famed nattuvanar) was a hit. A fast-paced cabaret-style dance number by Padmini in skimpy clothes, along with a group of girls, plays a part in the story development.

Remembered for: the brilliant performance by Padmini, her amazing dance numbers, Gemini Ganesan’s acting and the melodic music and excellent photography of Vincent.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 9:52:11 AM |

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