Blast from the past Cinema

Idhayakkani (1975)

Idhayakkani

Idhayakkani  

Star Cast: M.G. Ramachandran, Radha Saluja, Rajasulochana, R.S. Manohar, Pandari Bai, S.V. Ramadas, ‘Vennira Aadai’ Nirmala, V. Gopalakrishnan, V.S. Raghavan, ‘Thengai’ Srinivasan, ‘Isari’ Velan, ‘Kavartchi Villain’ K. Kannan, Rathna, S. Leela S.V. Subbaiah, Vishwaprasad Kanakadurga

Idhayakkani is among the biggest hit films of MGR, and also the only Indian film to be screened at the Tashkent International Film Festival in 1978.

The film is about Mohan (MGR), a kind-hearted person who believes in equality, and therefore donates all the profits of his estate to the workers, without taking any share for himself. In fact, the opening song in the film, running to six minutes, ‘Neenga nalla irukkanum naadu munnera’ (lyrics: Pulamaipithan; voices: T.M. Soundararajan, Sirgazhi Govindarajan and S. Janaki) says as much, and projects MGR as a leader.

In due time, MGR becomes a senior police officer and is assigned the duty of solving the murder of an atomic scientist (Vishwaprasad). He meets an impoverished girl, Lakshmi (Radha Saluja), and following the advice of a domestic help, permits her to stay in his house. Mohan eventually decides to marry the girl. However, the happiness of his married life is short-lived. It turns out that his wife is the prime suspect in the murder mystery that he is investigating. The rest of the story deals with Mohan trying to nab the real murderers.

‘Vennira Aadai’ Nirmala plays the role of a dancer in this film, and performs a western dance number with MGR for the hit song ‘Hello Lover Mr. Right’ (lyrics: Randor Guy; voice: Usha Uthup). Rajasulochana and R.S. Manohar play the villains in the film.

Idhayakkani was directed by A. Jagannathan, who had worked as an assistant under noted directors like Tatineni Prakash Rao, Pa. Neelakantan and R. M. Veerappan of the noted unit Sathya Movies, the company that gave him his much-needed break. He went on to make more than 60 films, even though this film was the biggest of his career. Music, by M. S. Viswanathan, is a big plus point. The story was written by S. Jagadeesan and the screenplay by R. M. Veerappan. Radha Saluja, the actress of this film, later moved to the U.S.

The film was used as a vehicle of political propaganda for MGR, and to emphasise his devotion for his guru, Arignar C. N. Annadurai. In the beginning of the film, there are shots of Anna, with a voiceover explaining why MGR is called ‘Ithayakkani’ (Fruit of the Heart) of Annadurai.

Remembered for: Good performances by MGR, Radha Saluja, and Pandari Bai, hit songs, and excellent dance performance by Nirmala.



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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 5:40:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/mgr-and-radha-saluja-in-idhayakkani/article8483409.ece

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