Monday, October 19, 2009

Rosy (1965)

P. J. Antony, Prem Nazir, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Kaviyoor Ponnamma

REALISTIC THRILLER P. J. Antony with Kaviyoor Ponnamma and Prem Nazir in the film 

Produced by Mani under the banner of ‘Vrindavan Pictures,’ ‘Rosy’ was the first directorial venture of P. N. Menon. The script and dialogues for this crime-melodrama by P. J. Antony was based on a story authored by the director himself. Unlike earlier crime thrillers in Malayalam like Avakasi (1954), CID (1955), Jailpully (1957), Poothali (1960) that were unrealistic with several twists simply introduced for entertainment, the storyline of ‘Rosy’ was closer to real life.

The film was not a huge hit. One reason must have been that the usual ingredients like dances, stunts, comedy etc. were not incorporated in the film. In fact, the film completely dispensed with comedy scenes and comedians.

P. J. Antony was the hero of the film. Prem Nazir also had a main role in the film. ‘Rosy’ is one of the very few films in which Kaviyoor Ponnamma acted as heroine.
The film maps the consequences of an unintentional murder committed by the hero in a very realistic way. The script and dialogues penned by P. J. Antony were impressive. The whole story was picturised in the backdrop of remote villages and forests.

Having unintentionally murdered a man to save his sister’s honour, Thoma (P. J. Antony) flees. He finds shelter in the hut of a fisherman, Ouseph (T. S. Muthiah). Thoma helps Ouseph in his job and days pass by. Ouseph’s daughter Rosy (Kaviyoor Ponnamma) falls in love with Thoma. Thoma conceals his past from all of them.

Ouseph becomes furious when he comes to know about Rosy’s love affair with Thoma and asks him to leave his house. Ouseph’s neighbour Kasim (D. K. Chellappan), his daughter Nabeesa (Vijaya Nirmala) and her lover Salim (Prem Nazir) support Rosy. They succeed in getting Ouseph’s consent for the marriage of Rosy and Thoma. Kasim, Nabeesa and Salim leave for another village to start a business there.

Rosy and Thoma lead a happy married life. That was when a police officer, Sankaran Nair (Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair) happens to see Thoma. Thoma runs away from the village along with Rosy. They seek shelter in the village where Kasim had settled. Thoma reveals his past to Rosy, Kasim and his family. They take pity on him. Thoma gets a job in the forest, Rosy becomes pregnant. Days pass and Rosy’s health deteriorates. Nabeesa nurses her.

The arms of law reach the forest in search of Thoma. Rosy dies during childbirth. Thoma buries his family and surrenders before the police.
The film stood out for its technical perfection. Sound recording by ‘Revathi’ Kannan and Jagannathan; editing by Venkatraman and Mani; and camera work by E. N. Balakrishnan was praise worthy.

P. J. Antony and Kaviyoor Ponnamma excelled in their roles. The drunken scenes involving Ouseph (Muthiah) and his aide raised a few laughs. Thikkurissi and D. K. Chellappan also impressed.

All the five songs in the film, penned by P. Bhaskaran and set to tune by Job, were hits. The all-time romantic hit, ‘Alliyambal kadavil annu...’ sung by K. J. Yesudas, is considered one of his best. This song is easily the best of the film songs created by Job, who has only a handful of film songs to his credit. The romantic duet by Udayabhanu and L. R. Easwari, ‘Kannil enthaanu...’ was a unique in that Udayabhanu whispers melodically. This song also became a super hit. The folk song modelled on ‘Pulluvanpattu’ sung by P. Leela ‘Engilo pandoru...,’ the Easwari solo ‘Chalakudi puzhayil...,’ and the song ‘Velukkumbam puzhayoru...’ sung superbly by Yesudas and chorus, are all songs that linger in memories even after four decades.

Will be remembered: As the directorial debut of P. N. Menon. It will also be remembered for its excellent music and as a well-directed crime-melodrama.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Aadyakiranangal (1964)

Sathyan, Madhu, P. J. Antony, Adoor Bhasi, S. P. Pillai, Master Ajith, Ambika, K. R. Vijaya, Philomina etc.

CHRISTIAN SOCIAL K. R. Vijaya and Madhu in ‘Aadyakiranangal’ 

Released in 1964 this film was one of the regional films to receive the Certificate of Merit at the National film awards that year. Several movies with social themes were released in Malayalam during 1950s and 1960s. ‘Adyakiranangal’ is considered as the first Christian social made in the language.

The film was an adaptation of a popular novel under the same title authored by K. E. Mathai popularly known by his pen name, ‘Parappurath’. The film was jointly produced by P. Bhaskaran and V. Abdulla. The script and dialogues was by Thoppil Bhasi and the film was directed by P. Bhaskaran. Primarily a social movie, national integration goals like rural development, eradication of alcoholism, etc. were set as side tracks. The presence of super stars of the time, Sathyan, P. J. Antony, Madhu, Ambika and others added star value to the film. The film was mainly shot at Vauhini Studios making use of splendid sets. Some of the scenes were shot outdoors like those in the forest and a raging wild fire.

The story of the reformation of a delinquent hero to a family man is set in a remote village called Aanachaal, on the outskirts of a forest. Kunjukutty (Sathyan) is the eldest son of a rich landlord Kariachan (P. J. Antony). Kariachan is also the president of the panchayat. Kunjukuuty is a rowdy and a terror in the village. Avaran (S. P. Pillai) and his group support Kunjukutty in all his activities. Kunjukutty’s mother Annamma (Philomina) feels that a married life would transform her son and begins planning for his marriage. One such proposal for marriage is rejected by Marykutty (K. R.Vijaya), an educated girl from a neighbouring village. Kunjukutty considers this an insult.

Kunjukutty gets married to Gracy (Ambika). The marriage does not change him and his activities. Gracy gives birth to a baby boy whom they name Joymon (Master Ajith). Kunjukutty starts stealing money from his own house. Disputes and quarrel with his parents on account of his misdeeds leads to Kunjukutty’s expulsion from home. He leaves home with Gracy and Joymon and stay in a separate house. Marykutty gets selected as Gramasevika (Village Assistant) and she is posted to Aanachaal.

Pappachan (Madhu), younger son of Kariachan, who was in Singapore returns home. Pappachan falls in love with Marykutty. Gracy becomes pregnant again. Kunjukutty and his group plan to cut of wood from the forest illegally to meet their financial needs. The forest guards chase them and Kunjukutty and his group escape by igniting a forest fire. They hide in a forest.

Gracy’s health worsens. Marykutty nurses her. She decided to pledge her ornaments to raise money for Gracy’s hospitalisation. For this she travels to the neighbouring village to meet the moneylender. On the way she faints when she sees a wild elephant. Kunjukutty saves her life.
Kunjukutty come to know about the noble work of Marykutty and her selfless service to his family. Kunjukutty realises his mistakes and is reformed. He even gets into a quarrel with his group when he comes to know of their selfish motives. In the ensuing quarrel he is seriously injured. Marykutty nurses him. Rumours are spread that Marykutty and Kunjukutty were in the forest together, there was an illegitimate relationship between them. Kunjukutty comes forward to clear the air.
Marykuty opts for a transfer to her village, but Pappachan stops her from this. He marries Marykutty.

The dialogues of the film were impressive. There were also some heart-rending scenes. The film dispensed with the usual melodramatic and unrealistic scenes.
The comic scenes involving Adoor Bhasi as Krishnan Asan, a Kathaprasangam artiste was one of the main attractions of the film. Adoor Bhasi sang for the first time in his own voice. The few parody songs became instant hits.

Sathyan as Kunjukutty excelled. Ambika and K. R.Vijaya also impressed. Adoor Bhasi’s role in the film is considered as one of his best comic performances. P. J. Antony, Philomina, and S. P. Pillai, who acted in a negative role, also did full justice to their roles.
There were 11 songs in the film penned by P. Bhaskaran that includes the parodies sung by Adoor Bhasi. The music was composed by K. Raghavan (K. Raghunath in the title cards) was excellent and the songs still remain popular. The patriotic number ‘Bharathamennaal parin naduvil...’ sung by P. Susheela and chorus is considered as one of the best songs in the genre.

The romantic numbers like ‘Pathivaayi pournami thorum…’ (Susheela), ‘Malamoottil ninnoru maappila...’ (K. J. Yesudas) and ‘Kalyana mothiram kaimarum neram...’ (P. Leela) turned super hits.

A lullaby that narrates a traditional children’s tale, ‘Oonjale ponnoonjale, muthyamma muttaittu... (Leela) remains one of the best lullabies in Malayalam cinema. Another children’s song ‘Kizhakku dikkile chenthengil...’ (A. P. Komala) is the best rendered by the singer in the language.

Even the parody numbers sung by Adoor Bhasi became popular, particularly those that sing about a bus journey, ‘Kannur Dharmadam....poroo poroo Keralam kanaan...’

Will be remembered: As a film with a good social theme. For its excellent music and Adoor Bhasi’s debut as playback singer. The film will also be remembered as one that won National honours (Certificate of Merit).