Maheswari (1955)

Somewhat interestingly, very few films have been made in this part of the country with the East India Company as the background.

Updated - April 05, 2015 03:34 am IST

Published - April 04, 2015 06:54 pm IST



Somewhat interestingly, very few films have been made in this part of the country with the East India Company as the background.

Maheswari, produced by T. R. Sundaram of Modern Theatres, is one such.

Written by C.V. Sridhar, the film was directed by T. R. Raghunath. A younger brother of Raja Chandrasekhar, who directed the early films of M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, Raghunath began his career as an assistant sound recordist at Srinivasa Cinetone. In the evening of his life, he worked as the Director of the Tamil Nadu Films Division and Film Institute Department, when M. G. Ramachandran was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He passed away some years ago. Maheswari had music composed by G. Ramanathan, and lyrics by A. Marudhakasi, Atmanathan, and Kalyanasundaram. M. L. Vasanthakumari, Jikki, T.V. Ratnam, A.M. Rajah and S.C. Krishnan sang the songs. There was a dance sequence by Lakshmikantha (of ‘Ayya Saami Aaaoji Saami’ fame), choreographed by A. K. Chopra and V.P. Balaram, which became popular.

Maheswari narrates the story of Manickam (Gemini Ganesan) who is chased by the East India Company army and seeks refuge in a house belonging to Maheswari (Savithri). Both fall in love. Manickam’s father Dharmalingam (Thangavelu) demands a fat dowry. Though Maheswari’s mother, Kanthimathi (Saradambal), manages to give it, she is ridiculed by the villagers as a woman of loose morals. Dharmalingam refuses to accept Maheswari and sends her out of his home. Manickam, who is dependent on his father for everything, marries again. Shocked by the turn of events, Maheswari’s mother commits suicide. Maheswari moves around for a living when she meets a robber gang led by Mayathevan (N.S. Narayana Pillai) who is wanted by the East India Company. Impressed by her, Mayathevan makes her his chief assistant and renames her Rani Rangamma. In spite of living in comfort like a queen of the gang, she yearns for her husband. The East India Company offers rewards for her capture and Dharmalingam raises funds to pay the Company unaware of her real identity. What happens thereafter forms the rest of the film. In spite of the presence of Gemini and Savithri and well-written screenplay by Sridhar, the film did not do well at the box office.

Remembered for: the different theme, period sets and technical values of Modern Theaters, and good performaces by the leads.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.