Naam (1953)

M.G. Ramachandar, V.N. Janaki, M.N. Nambiar, P.S. Veerappa, M.G. Chakrapani, P.K. Saraswathi, S.R. Janaki, R.M. Sethupathi, S.M. Thirupathisami, T.M. Gopal, M. Jayashree, A.C. Irusappan, M.M.A. Chinnappa (Chinnappa Thevar), D.K. Chinnappa

December 29, 2012 08:17 pm | Updated 08:17 pm IST

A still from Naam

A still from Naam

During the 1950s, M.G. Ramachandran spelt his name as Ramachandar for a short period in his movies, and Naam was one of them. He felt Ramachandar sounded stylish. Besides, he wanted to distinguish himself from another popular actor of that period, T.R. Ramachandran.

Naam was a joint venture of Jupiter Pictures and Mekala Pictures, in which Mu. Karunanidhi, Rajaram (a noted film journalist), MGR and Janaki were partners. Karunanidhi wrote the screenplay, dialogue and lyrics, based on the story Kaadhal Kanneer (Tears Of Love) by Kashi, a talented screenwriter who is today forgotten.

The story revolves around Kumaran (MGR), a young man with progressive views about life and society. He’s the heir to a zamindari estate, which he learns from his mother in her death bed. However, the will and the related testament are hidden by a vicious Malayappan (Veerappa). A rural doctor Sanjeevi (M.G. Chakrapani) is also interested in the property and wants his daughter (Saraswathi) to marry Kumaran. But, Kumaran is in love with Malayappan’s sister Meena (Janaki). But when she gets possession of the will, Kumaran suspects her intentions, and leaves the village. In the city, he becomes a boxing champion. Meanwhile, Malayappan sets fire to Kumaran’s house and people assume he’s dead, but he is saved by Meena. More complications arise about the missing will, and simultaneously, the boxer, whose face is disfigured, moves around at night, giving rise to rumours about a ghost in the village. However, the truth is finally revealed, and the lovers are united.

A. Kasilingam, a talented editor too, directed the film and held good control over the film and its narration. The film’s music was composed by noted singer Chidambaram S. Jayaraman (of ‘Indru Poyi Naalai Vaa…’ fame). Besides Jayaraman, singers including Nagoor Hanifa, A.M. Raja, Jikki, M.L. Vasanthakumari, A.P. Komala, K.R. Chellamuthu and T.R. Gajalakshmi lent their voices. Despite this line-up and meaningful lyrics, the songs did not become popular.

The film itself, in spite of Karunanidhi’s script, Kasilingam’s direction, and impressive performances by the cast, was not successful. It did not contribute to MGR’s popularity either.

Remembered for: The interesting storyline, meaningful dialogue, impactful direction, good performances by MGR, Chakrapani, Veerappa, Janaki and Saraswathi.

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