FRIDAY REVIEW

Thalai Koduthaan Thambi (1959)

The Film , Thalai Koduthaan Thambi was directed by T. R. Sundaram of Modern Theatres, Salem. The film is about a princess (Tambaram Lalitha) who falls in love with a commoner (Manohar) from another kingdom. The king, however, objects to her marrying a common man.

The princess feigns her suicide, and elopes with her lover to his kingdom. Upon reaching, the princess is shocked when she comes to know that the man is already married and has a child too.

The husband loses both his arms in an accident and hands over his first son (Ramasami), born to his first wife, to a friend. The princess also delivers a son (Rajendran), who grows up with her.

On her death bed, the princess reveals the truth about her husband, and about the existence of a step-brother. The enraged son vows to kill the man who duped his mother.

In the course of events, the two brothers end up in the same prison, and when they meet, they are unaware of their real identity. What happens to the brothers as they find out about their real identities forms the rest of the movie. S. S. Rajendran excelled in his performance. His delivery of the chaste Tamil dialogues written by Murasoli Maran won much praise.

His diction and dialogue delivery was lauded by many actors and critics. He virtually carried the film on his shoulders.

This film, a tautly-told action melodrama, was written by screenwriter and filmmaker Murasoli Maran.

The lyrics were written by A. Marudhakasi, Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram, and Kavingnar Suratha. The film had fine sets and costumes (shot entirely at Modern Theatres), and some memorable melodies too. Interestingly, the film is narrated in the format of a villupaattu performance, where the performers narrate the story to the audience. This kind of narration was something novel and was an experiment by T. R. Sundaram. Music was composed by Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy, cinematography by C. A. S. Mani and G. R. Nathan, art direction by A.J. Dominick, and choreography by P. S. Gopalakrishnan and B. Jayaram.

Interestingly, T. R. Sundaram was assisted by K. S. Sethumadhavan, who was then working for Modern Theatres; he later became one of the top filmmakers of India. He made several classics in Malayalam and Tamil. Songs were rendered by T. M. Soundararajan, Sirgazhi Govindarajan, A. L. Raghavan, P. Susheela, S. C. Krishnan, Jikki, Jamuna Rani, and N. L. Ganasaraswathi.



Remembered for : The interesting storyline and S. S. Rajendran’s dialogue delivery

Randor Guy

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