Prem Nazir, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair, T. K. Balachandran, Ambika, L. Vijayalakshmi, Junior Padmini etc.
Popular producer T. E. Vasudevan produced several Malayalam films with a social message. He produced entertainers such as Nayaru Pidicha Pulivaal (1958) also. Satyabhama, released on April 13, 1963, is the only mythological film produced by him. A big budget film which featured the popular stars of the time was a failure at the box office. In a recent interview with the legendary film producer, he said it was the low budget films that brought him more popularity and collection at the box office. His very next film after Satyabhama was a low-budget social film Kuttikkuppayam (1964), which was a roaring success and made up for the failure of Satyabhama.
Produced under the banner of Associated Producers, Satyabhama was directed and edited by M.S. Mani. Shot at Golden Studios, Madras, the film had brilliant cinematography by Mehli Irani and dialogues, which were written by Ponkunnam Varkey.
The playful mythological film featured three important episodes from the Bhagavatha Purana, the sacred text of Hindus. The episodesi n the film were Bhama Parinaya (Sree Krishna’s wedding with Sathyabhama), Parijatha Pushpaharana (the rivalry between Rukmini and Sathyabhama, the consorts of Krishna on account of the sacred flower Parijaatha) and Sree Krishna Thulaabhaara (Sathyabhama’s pride being doused by Rukmini’s devotion). Paarijaatha PushpaaharanamBhama ParinayamSyamanthakamaniKrishna ThulaabhaaramPaarijaathamPaarijaatham
Lord Krishna (Prem Nazir) alleged of stealing the magical gem Syamanthaka by killing Prasena (Kottarakkara), brother of King Sathrajith (Thikkurissi), proves his innocence in the case. Krishna weds Sathrajith’s daughter Sathyabhama (Ambika). Possessive of her husband’s love, Sathyabhama’s rivalry with Krishna’s other wife Rukmini ( L. Vijayalakshmi) leads to the controversy over the sacred flower parijaatha. The ensuing incidents lead to trials in the lives of Sathyabhama and Rukmini when Krishna was given as “daana” (gift) to Narada (T. K. Balachandran) as a part of a ritual. While Sathyabhama’s wealth fails to release Krishna from the possession of Narada, the true devotion of Rukmini succeeds in getting back their husband from the custody of the sage.
Sando Krishnan as Jambavan, Junior Padmini as Jambavathi, G. K. Pillai as Shathadhanvavu and C. R. K. Nair as Balarama impressed the audience. Hilarious comedy scenes involving S. P. Pillai, Adoor Bhasi and Adoor Pankajam as usual gave moments of laughter.
Twelve songs written by Abhayadev were set to tune by V.Dakshinamoorthy. The solo by P. B. Sreenivas Mannavanaayaalum pandithanaayaalum… was an instant hit.
Other hits include Oru vazhi chelken… (S. Janaki), Prakasharoopa… , Prabhathakaale brahmaavaay… (Both by K. J. Yesudas), Vaadaruthee malarini… (K. P. Udayabhanu, P. Leela), Maathey jaganmaathe…, Mathi mathi maya leelakal… (both by Leela).
Will be remembered: As a good mythological film and for the music, especially for the song Mannavanaayaalum…