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Koodi Vaazhnthaal Kodi Nanmai 1959

Koodi Vaazhndal Kodi Nanmai  

A Narasu Studios production, this film came out after the demise of V.L. Narasu, founding father of the company, and was understandably dedicated to his memory. Narasu was a successful coffee dealer and his brand Narasu’s Coffee was a bestseller in the 1940s and later. From the coffee business, he moved to movies as a distributor and later as a producer. He took over an old studio on Mount Road, Guindy, and named it Narasu Studios. The studio soon became a beehive of film production, with him making movies in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi.

One such film made by Narasu Studios was Koodi Vaazhnthaal Kodi Nanmai. Narasu’s son-in-law K. Venkatesan, a senior bank executive, resigned his job and took over the management of the studio. However, its later ventures ran into problems, landing the company in financial trouble. Finally, the studio was sold to Campa Cola, a popular soft drinks manufacturer of the day.

The film under review was written by noted writer Thuraiyur Murthi for T.R. Ramanna and R.R. Pictures. The lyrics were penned by Thanjai Ramaiah Das, a former Tamil pundit who came into movies as a writer and made a name. The film was directed by D. S. Rajagopal who directed movies such as Thanga Malar, Magaley Un Samatthu, Naaga Pooje (Kannada), and also worked as an assistant director on The Jungle, the English film produced by T. R. Sundaram as a joint venture with William Berke of Hollywood. Today Rajagopal is hardly remembered.

The music was directed by T. Chalapathi Rao, while the choreography was by K.N. Dhandayuthapani Pillai and Jayaraman.

In keeping with the title, the film highlighted the importance of unity. Based on this theme, a complicated story of people belonging to different linguistic backgrounds like Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam was woven. The hero (S.S. Rajendran) comes to Madras in search of employment and finds it difficult to get accommodation. A Malayalee refuses to rent his place because he is a Tamil! While hailing a taxi, he meets Janaki (Saroja Devi), and they soon become lovers. Ultimately, all the characters realise that true happiness lies in staying united and get over their linguistic prejudices. The film begins with a female chorus song, ‘Jaya Jaya Bharathi’ written by Thanjai Ramaiah Das about unity of the motherland. Another sung off-screen about unity was rendered by T.M. Soundararajan. P.B. Sreenivos and S. Janaki also sang.

Rajendran was very impressive with his Tamil dialogue delivery and performance and so was Saroja Devi, providing glamour. Girija, the Telugu actress who acted in several Tamil films, also did well. Prem Nazir as a Malayalee was his usual self. Veterans playing patriarchal roles such as V.K. Ramaswami, D. Balasubramaniam, and S.V. Subbaiah were very good. Noted actress C.K. Saraswathi played the traditional Tamil mother. Sayeeram provided the comedy. Despite the excellent cast, the film was an average success mainly because of the predictable storyline and treatment.

Remembered for: the impressive performances of Rajendran, Nazir, V.K. Ramasami, D. Balasubramaniam, S.V. Subbaiah, and Saroja Devi, and the dances.



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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 4:26:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-columns/blast-from-the-past/article6365115.ece

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