Pallandu Vazhga (1975)

Updated - April 23, 2016 06:26 pm IST

Published - March 19, 2016 02:06 pm IST

Chennai: 14/11/2015: The Hindu: Cinema Plus: Blast from the Past Column:
Title: Pallandu Vazha Cast: MGR, Latha and others.

Chennai: 14/11/2015: The Hindu: Cinema Plus: Blast from the Past Column:
Title: Pallandu Vazha Cast: MGR, Latha and others.

Pallandu Vazhga was the remake of Hindi film Do Aankhen Barah Haath , directed by V. Shantaram.

The film is all about Rajan (MGR), a jail warden who reforms six deadly prisoners, who are let out on parole to lead a normal life. He takes these prisoners and makes them work hard with him on a dilapidated country farm. His aim is to rehabilitate them and convert them into persons of virtue. He guides them through the period, and they eventually produce a good harvest.

The team from prison is first besotted by a flower seller anmed Saroja (Latha), but she falls in love with MGR. As Saroja is homeless, all the six prisoners plead with the warden to let the girl stay with them, and he agrees.

When a convict Sangili (Manohar) accidentally runs into his long-lost family, he tearfully reunites with them. As Sangili's family too is homeless, the warden them to share the house with other prisoners. This, however, angers the prisoners, who feel that the warden did not give them any freedom, and they hatch a plan to kill him. Mayandi (VKR), one of the prisoners, who was a barber before his arrest, agrees to give the warden a shave (a trick to kill the warden). The warden has no idea that he is going to be killed and blissfully sits for the shave, but the prisoner sees the warden’s magical eyes and is hypnotised, thus compelling him to abort the idea.

The prisoners attempting to escape while the warden is having a shave, however, happen to see a statue of C. N. Annadurai, and see the warden’s spirit in the statue’s eyes and they return to the warden. The prisoners gradually reform themselves get closer to the warden.

Rajan, in the meantime, plans to marry Saroja, with his mother’s (Pandari Bai) blessings. Complications arise, and a villain tries to destroy the crops by using elephants, but Rajan and his reformed men repulse all attacks, and save the crops for the benefit of the poor.

In Pallandu Vazhga , MGR gives a subdued performance, projecting the principles of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and his guru Arignar Anna, whose statue is seen in the film quite a few times. In this film, MGR preaches the principles of his guru Anna. The convicts’ roles are played by seasoned stars like Nambiar, Veerappa, V.K. Ramasami, ‘Thengai’ Srinivasan, and stunt actor ‘Gundu’ Mani. Pandari Bai plays MGR’s mother.

The Tamil version was produced by S.V.S. Manian, (better known as Idhayam Pesugirathu Manian) and Vidwan Ve. Lakshmanan, under their banner Udhayam Productions, and was written by a team of writers such as Manian, Ve. Lakshmanan, Thaamarai Manaalan, and Na. Pandurangan; the story is credited to V. Shantaram. The film was directed by K. Shankar, who also edited the movie, and cinematography was by T.V. Rajaram.

Music by K.V. Mahadevan greatly contributed to the success of the movie. There are as many as 13 songs, with ‘Ondrae Kulamendru….’ being sung more than once. There are duets for MGR-Latha, and one song, ‘Sorgathin thirappu vizhaa’, became popular. All the lyrics were by noted lyricist Pulamaipithan.

Cast: M.G Ramachandran, Latha, R.S. Manohar, V. Gopalakrishnan, M.N. Nambiar, P.S. Veerappa, V.K. Ramasami, ‘Thengai’ Srinivasan, Pandari Bai, ‘Gundu’ Mani

Remembered for: The music of K.V. Mahadevan and the impressive performances of MGR and all the senior artists who play reformed prisoners.

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