Sathyan, Nellikkodu Bhaskaran, Premji, M. S. Namboodiri, Adoor Bhasi, Sarada, Vasanthi, Baby Sreelatha etc.
Pakalkinavu, releasaed on April 7, 1966, was a runaway success. The dialogues were by M. T. Vasudevan Nair for a story specially developed by him for the film. Directed by S. S. Rajan, the film was produced by N. R. Vaidyanathan under the banner of Kannamma Films.
The story line had similarities to some of the Tamil films like Thirumbippaar (1953), directed by T. R. Sundaram, and Raktha Kanneer (1954), directed by Krishnan-Panju.
The protagonist in these films has a negative shade; a womaniser who changes by the end of the film. In fact, this theme was experimented with success in early costume dramas like Gemini’s Mangamma Sapatham (1943) and Telugu social movies like B. N. Reddy’s Swarga Seema (1945).
Pakalkinavu was shot at Satya and Venus studios. The outdoor locations were the villages in Wayanad. Cinematography by Bhasker Rao, editing by G. Venkitraman and music by B. A. Chidambaranath were commendable.
Babu (Sathyan) is a rich planter and businessman. For Babu, life is meant to be enjoyed to the full. In Bangalore he befriends Chandran (Nellikkodu Bhaskaran) who had come in search of a job. Chandran stays with Babu in a hotel. Here, Chandran meets Malathi (Sarada) who is also job-hunting.
Babu helps them get jobs. Chandran is in love with Malathi, while Babu also has an eye on Malathi. Soon, Malathi falls into Babu’s evil trap. And the moment Babu knows that Malathi is pregnant, abandons her.
Chandran gives refuge to Malathi. They fail to locate Babu’s whereabouts despite their continued search. Malathi dies after giving birth to a baby girl. Malathi’s father Sreedharan Nair (Premji) takes the child to their native village in Kerala. Malathi’s younger sister Shari (Vasanthi) looks after the child, Thankamani (Baby Sreelatha).
Fed up with a wasted life Babu returns to his estate bungalow in Kerala. Here he becomes friends with Thankamani. He goes on to meet and marry the child’s aunt Shari not knowing the identity of Thankamani.
In due course, Babu finds Thankamani an irritant in his married life.
He even suspects that Thankamani is Shari’s daughter and begins to ill-treat her. Babu’s attempt to send Thankamani to Sreedharan Nair’s house is objected to by Shari. Angered, Babu leaves for Bangalore.
Babu meets Chandran and comes to know that Thankamani is his daughter. Babu repents his cruelty towards Malathi and Shari. He returns to the village and confesses to Sreedharan Nair and Shari. He lives happily with Shari and Thankamani bringing the film to a happy ending.
Sarada and Sathyan virtually carried the film on their shoulders. Adoor Bhasi, as a waiter, and M.S. Namboodiri, as the estate manager, impressed in their cameo roles.
All the five songs written by P. Bhaskaran and set to tune by Chidambaranath turned super hits. Keshadi paadam thozhunnen…(S. Janaki), Kaakkakkum poochakkum kalyanam…(K.J.Yesudas), Guruvayoorulloru Kannanoru dinam…(Janaki), Pakalkinavin sundaramamoru…(Yesudas) and Nidra thann neeraazhi…(Janaki) have stood the test of time.
Will be remembered: As a good social film and for its memorable songs.