Rani Samyuktha (1962)

A still from Rani Samyuktha   | Photo Credit: HINDU PHOTO ARCHIVES

The love story of Rani Samyuktha and Prithviraj is one of the most popular romantic tales of India. Samyuktha is the daughter of Jai Chand, King of Kanouj. She falls in love with Prithviraj after a mere glance at him and he too begins to share the feeling.

When Jai Chand comes to know about the affair, he gets upset and wants to get his daughter married to someone else. For this, he organises a swayamwara. He invites all the eligible kings and princes from near and far, and deliberately avoids Prithviraj.

To insult Prithviraj, he then commissions a clay statue that resembles Prithviraj and has it installed at the entrance of the swayamwara venue. Samyuktha, who walks into the swayamwara in tears , finds her lover Prithviraj’s statue, walks towards it and garlands the statue. Prithviraj, who had been hiding behind the statue all throughout, carries her away on his horse and marries her.

This popular romance has been made into a movie many times in Indian cinema. It was made in Tamil in 1942 with the title Prithvirajan, wherein P. U. Chinnappa played Prithvirajan and A. Sakunthala played his princess. Incidentally, this couple fell in love during the making of the film and got married. In 1962, when the story of Prithviraj and Samyuktha was made into a film, M. G. Ramachandran was cast as Prithviraj and Padmini played Samyuktha. The film was produced by A. C. Pillai, a small-time bank clerk who became a film producer. Rani Samyuktha’s music was composed by K.V. Mahadevan, and some songs in the film were huge hits, including ‘Chithirathil Penn Ezhuthi’ (K. Jamuna Rani), ‘Mannavar Kulam Paaramma’ (P. Susheela), ‘Idhazh Irandum Paadattum’(T.M. Soundararajan and T.S. Bhagavathi), ‘Nilavenna Pesum Kuyilenna Paadum’ (T.M. Soundararajan and P. Susheela).

The major highlight of the film was Padmini’s performance. MGR also fared well, but according to his close friends, a misunderstanding with the producer affected his performance. The film was directed by D. Yoganand, who was active during that period and had worked with L.V. Prasad, one of the top filmmakers of India. But this film did not help his track record because of the problems between the producer and its hero.The dialogue by Kavignar Kannadasan and the lyrics by Avinashi Mani were much appreciated.

The movie did not fare well at the box office and was considered a flop.

Remembered for: The melodious music of K.V. Mahadevan, the brilliant performance of Padmini in the title role and MGR as Prithviraj.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 10:46:02 AM |

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