Malathi (1970)

Malathi was written, directed and produced by KS Gopalakrishnan, who entered the Tamil film industry as a lyricist. He later ventured into direction and production as well, Panama Pasama being one of his biggest hits.

A family melodrama, Malathi was based on a story by Gomathi Subramaniam. A young woman, Saroja Devi, from a wealthy family, pursues MBBS in a medical college, where she meets a senior student, Gemini Ganesan. They intend to marry, but due to her family circumstances, she marries a rich relative Ravichandran, who is a drunkard and a drug addict. She takes it on herself to reform him, and how she goes about it and whether she succeeds in her endeavour, forms the rest of the story.

Malathi was moderately successful at the box office. Gemini Ganesan and Saroja Devi excelled in their performances. Ravichandran and ‘Major’ Sundararajan also gave memorable performances in the film. Music was composed by maestro MS Viswanathan, assisted by Govardhanam and Joseph Krishna. The songs were written by Kannadasan and sung off screen by SP Balasubrahmanyam, Sirgazhi Govindarajan, TM Soundararajan, LR Easwari and P Susheela. One particular song from the film, a duet that Gemini Ganesan and Saroja Devi sing, became a hit. Cinematography was by KS Prasad, and his expertise is seen, especially in the outdoor sequences.

Remembered for: The superhit scooter duet. Superb performance by the lead pair and the unusual negative role by Thengai Srinivasan.