blast from the past Columns

Aadavantha Deivam (1960)

T.R. Mahalingam, E.V. Saroja, Anjali Devi, M.R. Radha, Lakshmiprabha, K.D. Santhanam, Manorama, A. Karunanidhi, S. Ramarao, Seethalakshmi, Kamakshi, Pakkirisami, T.R. Radharani and Kamala

The story was an adaptation of the Tamil novel Ghaleer Ghaleer written by LRV. The screenplay was by Era. Shanmugham, with dialogue by Viruthai Ramaswami, ‘Murasoli’ K. Sornam (later a successful dialogue writer for MGR) and Guruswami.

Majestic Studios produced the film with the backing of Muthukumarappa Reddiar, who owned the studio, which was active in those decades. It was later acquired by K.S. Gopalakrishnan who changed its name to Karpagam Studios. Indrani Films presented the film.

The hero, (Mahalingam), a rich landowner known as ‘mittadar’ dedicates his life to the fine arts — such as music, dancing, painting, and sculpting. While on a Nature study on the hills, the hero is involved in an accident caused by a granite explosion. Injured, he seeks refuge in the hut of a street-smart dancer (E.V. Saroja) who lives alone, holding her own against men. Unaware of his identity, she attends to his injuries, and both fall in love. After he recovers, the hero leaves for his home where he meets his dancer-cousin (Anjali Devi). Her father (Santhanam) becomes insolvent and is to be imprisoned for the non-payment of debts. So he seeks refuge in his sister’s house (Lakshmiprabha), the hero’s widowed mother.

Meanwhile, another of the hero’s uncle (M.R. Radha) sets his eyes on the hero’s estate and the dancer-cousin. She escapes the villainous uncle and meets the street dancer. The two women become friends. Realising that the street dancer is in love with the man she herself is in love with, the cousin decides to sacrifice her love. She pretends to agree to marry the villainous uncle, but at the wedding, she consumes poison and collapses at the end, doing what she does best — dancing.

True to its title, this film had quite a few dances performed singly and together by Saroja and Anjali Devi (choreography by P.S. Gopalakrishnan).

Music by maestro K.V. Mahadevan was a major plus for the film and many songs became popular. One of them, ‘Sottunu Sottunu…’, a duet (lyrics by A. Marudhakasi in the voices of Mahalingam and P. Susheela) filmed on the hero and the street dancer in her hut leaking in the rain became a super hit.

Mahalingam gave a good performance, singing in his usual style while Saroja drew attention with her dancing talent. Anjali Devi was her usual self, and her performance as the woman who gives up her love was touchingly impressive. M.R. Radha played the characteristic on-screen villain in his inimitable style, voice and dialogue delivery, punctuated with humour and satire. The film did fairly well at the box-office.

Remembered For The performances of the lead actors and the melodious music.

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Printable version | May 21, 2020 9:48:41 PM |

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