Monday, July 20, 2009

Bhagyajathakam ( 1962 )

Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair, T S Muthiah, Nanukuttan, M G Menon, Adoor Bhasi, Bahadur, Sree Narayana Pillai, Sheela, Pankajavalli, Adoor Bhavani, Adoor Pankajam

Melodramatic hit Satyan and Sheela in a still from the film

Bhagya Jathakam’, a family melodrama, was produced by P. Bhaskaran in association with B.N. Konda Reddy, one of the reputed film producers of South Indian cinema and brother of the legendary B.N. Reddy, founder of Vijaya - Vauhini studios. The film succeeded at the box office, though it cannot be considered as a block buster.
It was directed by P. Bhaskaran under the banner of ‘Kerala Pictures’.
The script, also penned by P. Bhaskaran, adopted the then prevalent formula for family melodramas with several twists and turns and on most occasions far from real life. Dialogues, penned by Jagathi N K Achari, was impressive and succeeded in conveying the emotions of the characters to the audience. The art portfolio of the movie was handled by P. N. Menon.
Except for a few scenes, the entire film was shot on the spectacular shooting sets at Vijaya, Vauhini and Udaya studios. The film was a pure family entertainer with all the mandatory factors like comic scenes, tear jerking sentiments, dances, songs, fights etc. One of the important factors that led to the success of the film was the performance of the super star Satyan in a double role. This was the first film in which Satyan performed a double role and probably the second Malayalam film with a double role performance (the first being ‘Poothali’ - 1960).
Doctor Surendran (Satyan) is the only son of the wealthy estate owner Shankaran Thampi (M G Menon). Surendran marries Radha (Sheela), daughter of a yoga teacher, Achuthan Pillai (Sree Narayana Pillai). Surendran’s mother, Parvathy Amma (Adoor Bhavani) loses her power of speech due to a brain tumour and she is bedridden. Shankaran Thampi’s nephew Rajasekharan Thampi (Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair) and his wife Vilasini (Pankajavalli) manage the assets and household of Shankaran Thampi. RajasekharanThampi’s evil eye is on the wealth of Shankaran Thampi.
Shankaran Thampi suffers from a cardiac arrest when Surendran is away. Rajasekharan Thampi manages to get the signatures of his uncle, Shankaran Thampi on blank papers which he converts to documents and gets the entire wealth in his own name. Shankaran Thampi poisons his uncle then. Before breathing his last, Shankaran Thampi reveals to his bedridden wife the wicked deeds of Rajasekharan Thampi.
Surendran rushes home when he comes to know about the tragedy. On the way he has an accident, the head injury causes loss of memory and he is admitted to the mental asylum run by Dr. Poonjar (T S Muthiah). Radha is framed with false charges of immoral relations with one Surendran’s friends and is ill treated by Rajasekharan and his wife Vilasini.
A pregnant Radha is mercilessly turned out of the house. Chandran Pillai (Satyan), a comedian in a drama troupe resembles Dr. Surendran. Chandran Pillai visits the mental asylum where Surendran is admitted as an inmate. Dr. Surendran attacks Chandran Pillai and escapes from the asylum and Chandran Pillai is mistaken for Surendran by mental asylum authorities
A huge branch of a tree falls on Surendran’s head and in the shock, he regains his memory. Fate unites the couple, Surendran and Radha on the streets. Radha delivers a boy.
The culprits, Rajasekharan and his wife are arrested in the end and all ends well.
All believe that the ‘Bhagya Jathakam’, the lucky horoscope of the new born child of Radha and Surendran brought luck and peace to the family. Adoor Bhasi’s role of the Bhagavathar is considered as one of his best.
The ten songs penned by P Bhaskaran were set to tune by M S Baburaj.
A duet by K J Yesudas and P. Leela – ‘Adyathe kanmani ....’ has stood the test of time and remains one of the best songs in Malayalam cinema.
Will be remembered:
First Malayalam film of actress Sheela. First double role performance of Satyan.

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