blast from the past Cinema

Aalayamani (1962) TAMIL

A still from Aalayamani  

Aalayamani was one of the biggest hits of 1962, produced by veteran character actor and star-villain of Tamil cinema, P. S. Veerappa. The film’s formidable star cast included stars like Sivaji Ganesan, B. Saroja Devi, S. S. Rajendran, M. R. Radha, C. R. Vijayakumari and Chittoor V. Nagaiah. Aalayamani is about two close friends— rich man Thyagu (Sivaji Ganesan), and his friend Sekhar (S. S. Rajendran)—who both of them fall in love with the same woman Meena (Saroja Devi) without either being aware of it. Thyagu goes on to propose to Meena. Sekhar, who realises the depth of Thyagu’s love, asks Meena to go ahead and marry Thyagu. Complications arise when the truth comes out about Meena’s feelings for Sekhar, after Thyagu and Meena get married. Further, Thyagu is confined to a wheelchair as he loses his legs in a motor car accident. Thyagu’s heart is filled with jealousy, possessiveness and anger. With burning rage, Thyagu decides to kill Sekhar by pushing him off a mountain cliff overlooking the ocean.

To do this, Thyagu invites Meena and Sekhar to the cliff. Sekhar tells the truth about his love for Meena and when Thyagu pushes him off the cliff, he manages to escape unhurt. In due course of time, Sekhar marries Prema (Vijayakumari). All the problems and misunderstanding get resolved and Thyagu and Meena live happily thereafter.

The film had brilliant performances by Sivaji Ganesan, S. S. Rajendran, Saroja Devi and Chittoor V. Nagaiah, as the poor man and the father of two daughters, Saroja Devi and Pushpalatha. This film was dubbed in Telugu and Hindi, but it was only the Tamil version that excelled at the box office. The story was written by G. Balasubramaniam, then popularly known as ‘GBS’.

The screenplay and dialogue were by ‘Javert’ N. Seetharaman, a lawyer-turned-film personality, who made his debut in a minor role in the Gemini Studios’ satirical classic Miss Malini (1947) before becoming a top screenwriter and actor.

His role as Inspector Javert in the classic Ezhai Padum Paadu (1950) gave the prefix ‘Javert’ to his name. The lyrics were by Kavingnar Kannadasan and the songs were by T. M. Soundararajan, Sirkazhi Govindarajan. P. Susheela and S. Janaki. Music by maestros Viswanathan-Ramamurthi, assisted by Henry Daniel, was a huge reason for the film’s success. Several songs became hits, including ‘Satti suttathadaa kai vittathadaa...’ Other popular songs include ‘Kallellam maanicka kallaagumaa….’, ‘Ponnai virumbum bhoomiyile…’ and ‘Thookkam un kangalai…’. Remembered for:

The interesting storyline, excellent performances by Sivaji Ganesan, S. S. Rajendran, Saroja Devi, and Chittoor V. Nagaiah, and the hit songs, which are popular even today.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 8:05:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/tamil-film-aalayamani-was-one-of-the-biggest-hits-of-1962/article7877439.ece

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