Mangalyam (1954)

The Hindu: Cinema Plus Tabloid: Title: MANGALYAM

The Hindu: Cinema Plus Tabloid: Title: MANGALYAM

One of the interesting features of this film was that it had two stars of South Indian cinema — Rajasulochana and B.S. Saroja. However, when the film was made, Saroja was already known while Rajasulochana was on her way to stardom.

Saroja hailed from Kerala and lived in Madras. She worked in circus companies as a performer of stunts before she entered films through Gemini Studios as a group dancer. She made her way to the top through movies such as Vikatayogi (1946), Dhana Amaravathi (1947), Vichitra Vanitha (1947), Inbavalli (1949), Geetha Gandhi (1949), Natya Rani (1949), Paarijatham (1950), Oru Iravu (1951), Pichaikaari (1951), and Koondukkili (1954, the only film in which both MGR and Sivaji Ganesan acted together).

One of the most successful actors in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam movies, Rajasulochana had learnt Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak and Kathakali. Not surprisingly, movies beckoned her, and she entered the Tamil industry with Mangalyam . Earlier, she had acted in the Kannada film Gunasagari (1953), a Gubbi Veeranna production dubbed in Tamil as Sathyasodhanai . Rajasulochana has acted with almost all the top actors of the time, and Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum is considered one of her most successful film in which she was paired with S.S. Rajendran.

In this film, a young rich doctor Kumar (Nagarajan) wishes to marry the family domestic help Selvaathaal (Saroja). His sister (Rajasulochana) falls in love with his city friend Gopi (Nambiar) and the two decide to marry. However, Kumar’s wealthy mother refuses to let him marry Selvaathaal and sends her away. She manages to become a stage actor under a new name Manorama, and makes a name for herself. Coming to know about her, Kumar and Gopi go in search of her in the city. Meanwhile, others who are after the actor, kidnap her to a secret hideout. The hero and his friend come to know about it all. How they save her from the clutches of the villain (Natarajan) forms the rest of the story, and all ends well. The film was shot at Central Studios, Coimbatore. It was directed by veteran K. Somu, with script by Nagarajan. An interesting feature was a nagaswaram interlude by Namagiripettai Krishnan. K.V. Mahadevan provided the film’s music. Though well-presented, the film was not a success as expected.

Remembered for: The Tamil movie debut of Rajasulochana, impressive performances by B.S. Saroja, Nagarajan, Nambiar, pleasing music by Mahadevan and commendable direction by Somu.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 8:47:28 pm |