Monday, January 25, 2010

Kaalam Maarunnu (1955)

Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Sathyan, K. S. George, Kambissery Karunakaran, KPAC Sulochana etc.

MUSICALLY RELEVANTKaviyoor Revamma in a song sequence from the film

‘Kaalam Maarunnu,' introduced to Malayalam cinema music director G. Devarajan and lyricist O. N. V. Kurup. The film also introduced several stage actors like KPAC Sulochana, K. S. George, O. Madhavan, Kambissery Karunakaran, and Sree Narayana Pillai.

Most of the early Malayalam films are remembered today for its rich music. ‘Kaalam Maarunnu' is one among them. Interestingly, true to the title, which when translated means ‘times are changing,' brought a refreshing change to Malayalam film music with the introduction of ONV-Devarajan.

There are numerous instances in Indian cinema when a film became a hit because of its excellent music. But ‘Kaalam Maarunnu,' despite excellent music failed probably because of a weak story line.

The story revolved around Kunju Pillai (Kambissery Karunakaran), well respected by the villagers, his son Balan (Sathyan) and his lady love Santha (KPAC Sulochana). The wicked landlord Shekhar (Thikkurissi) has an eye for Santha. Balan weds Santha and this turns Shekhar's ire towards Balan.

Balan gets elected as secretary of the local temple festival committee. This happens after the villagers expel Bhasi (Sree Narayana Pillai) from the post. This creates a wedge between Bhasi and Balan. Taking advantage of the situation, Shekhar joins with Bhasi to harm Balan. Amidst the festival celebrations, Balan is murdered by Shekhar's men. The blame is put on Thevan (O.Madhavan), Balan's friend.

Shekhar and Bhasi offer support to Balan's widow. But Kunju Pillai is suspicious of their motives. Badly beaten by Kunju Pillai for his behaviour, Bhasi spreads scandals about Santha. Shekhar supports Bhasi in all his deeds. Kunju Pillai and Santha, who is pregnant flee the village.

On the way Kunju Pillai saves Shekhar's son from the river and takes himalong. Santha gives birth to a baby girl. Shekhar's son, now named Ramu (Master Mohan) and Santha's daughter Sarala (Kumari Leela) grow up together.

Shekhar and his wife Sharada (Pankajavalli) believe that their son was drowned. Sharada who was always against the cruel deeds of her husband now turns mad due to the loss of her son. Ramu grows up as an upright man who fights against injustice. One day Kunju Pillai punishes Ramu for quarelling with a boy in the neighbourhood. Humiliated, Ramu leaves home and wanders the streets of a nearby city.

Sharada comes to know about her husband's immoral relation with Bhasi's wife Komalam (Chandni). The family life of both Shekhar and Bhasi is in mess now. Kunju Pillai reaches the city in search of Ramu, and finds him hospitalised after having been beaten up for stealing food from Shekhar's house.

Then comes the reconciliation. Kunju Pillai reveals the fact that Ramu is none other than Shekhar's lost child. All misunderstandings are cleared. Shekhar repents. The enmity between Shekhar and Kunju Pillai end and become good friends.

There were nine songs in the film. Two songs penned by Thirunainar Kurichi Madhavan Nair were composed by Brother Lakshmanan. The other songs were by ONV-Devarajan team. All the songs became instant hits. The romantic duet they made, ‘Aa malar poykayil …' sung by K. S. George and Sulochana was the pick of the songs. The children's song, again by ONV-Devarajan, ‘Ambili mutthachan picha nadathunna...' (Lalitha Thampi) was another big hit. In fact, the singer is remembered today for this song. The two songs by Thirunainarkurichi and Brother Lakshmanan, ‘Marayathe vilasavoo...' and ‘Painkiliye vaa vaa panchara...,' both sung by Kaviyoor Revamma, were hits. The singer also appeared in the former song sequence. Other hit songs include ‘Povano povano...'(Kamukara, George and chorus) and ‘Aelayile Punjavayal...' (Kamukara, Santha P. Nair, chorus).

Will be remembered: As the debut film of G. Devarajan and O. N. V. Kurup, the first film of singers K. S. George, Lalitha Thampi, Jayan-Vijayan (they sang in the chorus). It will be remembered as the first film of KPAC Sulochana, Kambissery Karunakaran, Sree Narayana Pillai, O. Madhavan and Sudharma. And, of course, for the excellent music.

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