Sanyasi-Samsari (1942)

Updated - March 29, 2016 04:50 pm IST

Published - August 22, 2015 05:39 pm IST



Samsari: Star cast: Gavai Sathasivam, P.T. Ram, Puthukottai S. Rukmani, ‘Vikatakavi’ Mariyappa, T. K. Ranjitham, K. Varalakshmi, K. Rajalakshmi, T.A. Rajeswari, M. Natanam, T. S. Lokanathan, P.S. B. Thondaiman

Sanyasi: Star cast: P.A. Kumar, P.G. Venkatesan, M.L. Pathi, C.S.D.Singh, ‘Kottapuli’ Jayaram, P.S. Gnanam, P.R. Mangalam, T.S. Jaya, ‘Loose’ Arumugam, ‘Master’ Thangavel, M.V. Swaminathan and Kumari Selva

In the early decades of Tamil Cinema, there was a trend of producing several films simultaneously and releasing them all together in a single package. In 1939, Sirikkathey (Don’t Laugh), a five-in-one-package consisting of five comedies, was released. This movie was promoted by S. S. Vasan through cartoon-based advertising (with the help of cartoonist Mali) very successfully.

In keeping with this trend, there was a two-in-one movie package Sanyasi-Samsari,  produced by Pudukottai-based production company, Jupiter Films. The first film, Samsari, was written by Gavai Sathasivam, who also played the lead role. The music was composed by Nataraja Achari. Both the films were directed by M. Krishnaratnam.

Samsari is about a native doctor ( vaithian ) who believes that Indian medicine is far superior to the Western system. People, however, make fun of him and call him ‘ Vaikunta Vaithian’. This doctor has two daughters — the elder one, Gunavathi, and the younger one, Gowri. He intends to find a groom who well-versed in the native system of medicine for his elder daughter. When the father comes across one such groom, Kulapathi, who is also well-versed in Western medicine, he decides to give his daughter in marriage to him. Gunavathi also shows interest in him.

But the villain, the brother-in-law of the doctor, claims his right to marry Gunavathi. Exasperated, the father says that anybody who gets information about Muppu, an ancient system of medicine, can marry his daughter. The villain manages to steal the information from the old doctor, but Gowri, the younger daughter, gets it back. In a fit of rage, the villain kidnaps Gunavathi and what happens afterwards forms the story. All ends happily, of course.

The second film, Sanyasi, was written by the popular Kannada film comedian and stage personality K. Hirnayya, who acted in a few Tamil films. The music was composed by M. S. Gnanamani. The film is about a rich crook who robs and engages in several vices. He sets his eye on a lovely woman, Seetha, the wife of Rajaram. When Rajaram approaches this crook to seek financial assistance for his son’s education, he tries to get Seetha, and later kidnaps her. Seetha, however, is saved from his clutches by another woman. How the problems get resolved is narrated in the rest of the film.

Sanyasi had known  actors like P. A. Kumar (he also wrote many dubbing  films),  P. G. Venkatesan, and also had other well-known artists like P. S. Gnanam, P. R. Mangalam, T. S. Jaya and ‘Kottapuli’ Jayaraman, who later became a star in his own right. There was also ‘Loose’ Arumugam, whose style of dialogue delivery became quite the rage.

Both films did well.

Remembered for:  pleasing music and good acting by the veterans.

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