Madhu and Sreevidya from a scene in the film Hrudayam Oru Kshethram
Madhu, Raghavan, Kedamangalam Sadanandan, Bahadur, Sreevidya, Baby Sumathi, Aranmula Ponnamma, KPAC Lalitha etc
Remakes of successful films from other languages were a trend in Malayalam cinema from its early days. But most such remakes were not as successful as the originals. Nenjil Oru Alayam (Tamil, 1962) written, produced and directed by V. Sreedhar, was a trendsetter. It was produced in less than a month and without the superstars of that time. Remade in other languages, Dil Ek Mandir (Hindi, 1963), Manase Mandiram (Telugu, 1966), Kunkuma Rakshe (Kannada, 1976), these versions were successful. The simple ‘love triangle’ story impressed audiences.
Hrudayam Oru Kshethram, the Malayalam remake of the successful story was released on December 24, 1976 remains an unusual success among the remakes. Produced and directed by P. Subramaniam under the banner of Neela Productions, and shot at Merryland Studios, this colour film was a musical hit. It had excellent music by G. Devarajan.
Madhu, Raghavan, Bahadur, Sreevidya, Aranmula Ponnamma were some of the popular stars in the film. Baby Sumathi became very popular after this film.
Doctor Ramesh (Madhu) and Prema (Sreevidya) are lovers. Ramesh goes abroad for higher studies. In his absence Prema is forced by her family to marry Harindran (Raghavan). On his return Ramesh is devastated when he hears this news. He decides never to marry and to devote the rest of his life in research and treating patients.
Years roll by. One of his patients is critically ill and has to be operated upon. The treatment progresses well. The patient is Harindran and Prema gets upset when she comes to know that the doctor treating her husband is her former lover. She is worried that Ramesh may take revenge on her by not treating her husband well.
Meanwhile, Harindran comes to know about the relationship between Ramesh and Prema. Without revealing that he knows their past, Harindran requests Ramesh to marry Prema in case his operation fails and he dies. The reason he gives is that he does not want his wife to be remain a widow. Prema, who loves her husband more than her life, tells Ramesh that she will end her life if her husband dies. And Ramesh promises her that he will save her husband even at the cost of his life.
Taking it as a challenge, Ramesh works day and night, consulting other doctors, to prepare well before he conducts the surgery. The surgery is successful and Harindran is cured. Ramesh gets excited at the result. All the hard work and pressure takes its toll on Ramesh’s health. He dies of a heart attack.
The emotionally charged story, tautly narrated on screen with pleasing music and impressive dialogues, ends with the inauguration of a hospital constructed in the name of Doctor Ramesh who devoted his life for cancer patients.
Sreevidya and Madhu excelled in the lead roles. Baby Sumathi, as a cancer patient who succumbs to the disease, also impressed.
The songs written by Sreekumaran Thampi and set to music by Devarajan stood out. Some of them likeMangalam nerunnu njaan…, Oru devan vaazhum….(both by K.J. Yesudas), Manassil theenaalam …. (P. Madhuri) became very popular. The other hits include Punchiriyo poovilveena….and Enthinenne vilichu …. (Madhuri)
Will be remembered: As a good social film and for its music.