Nalla Theerpu (1959)

Nalla Theerpu  

Sundar Lal Nahatha, a noted personality of Indian cinema, started his life as a manager at financier-distributors Chamaria Talkie Distributors in Bezawada (now Vijayawada). He came down to Madras (now Chennai) and set up his own firm for producing films in Tamil, Telugu and other languages under different banners. Nalla Theerpu was one of his productions under the banner Sri Productions. The story and dialogue were written by screenwriter and later a politician-journalist Murasoli Maran. Lyrics were by Ku.Ma. Balasubramaniam, Udumalai Narayana Kavi, Suratha and Pattukkottai Kalyanasundaram. Music was composed by S.M. Subbaiah. The film was directed by Prakash Rao who had made several box-office hits in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Ace cinematographer and filmmaker Kamal Ghosh, with several hits such as Chandralekha (he was the main cameraman for the historic drum dance) to his credit handled the camera with his usual masterly touches.

A young lawyer (Ganesh) scores a significant victory at the very beginning of his career and is blessed by his mother (Kannamba) who struggled hard to bring him up. To congratulate him, a wealthy man throws a party and decides to marry his daughter to the lawyer. Coming home, the lawyer is shocked to see his mother — usually dressed in a white sari she’s now clad in colourful clothes, hair decorated with flowers and ‘kunkuma pottu’ on her forehead. He asks her about it and she breaks into uncontrollable sobs and narrates the past. Her husband (Nagaiah) who was working for a bank is thrown into prison for the murder of a woman, a crime he did not commit. He writes a letter to his wife asking her to tell the world that he’s dead and that she’s a widow. He asks her to bring up the son as a lawyer so he fights for justice. She shows her son the letter and he vows to fight for justice and bring his father out of the prison by proving his innocence. Finally, he achieves success and the family is happily united A predictable story perhaps, but the impressive performances of Gemini Ganesh as the lawyer, Kannamba as the suffering mother, and Nagaiah as the father in prison added value to the movie. Jamuna, Rajam, Chakrapani, Sahasranamam and Ramachandran provided good support. The film was shot at the Vijaya-Vauhini Studio (sadly, it does not function any more). Well-known singers such as P. Leela, T.M. Soundararajan, Jikki and P. Susheela lent their voices to the songs but the tunes did not become popular.

Remembered For The impressive performances of the cast, meaningful dialogues, captivating camera work, and deft direction.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 4:28:11 PM |

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