Friday, January 15, 2016

ഗാനാലോകവീഥികളുമായി കൊച്ചി എഫ് എം

എം എസ് ഐയുടെ  അധികാരിയായ ശ്രീ ബി വിജയകുമാർ സജീവമായി ഗവേഷണം നടത്തിയ ഗാനലോകവീഥികളിൽ  വീണ്ടും
AIR KOCHI-682021
Dated;  Jan 13, 2016

മലയാള ചലച്ചിത്രസംഗീതശാഖയുടെ വികാസപരിണാമങ്ങളെ സമഗ്രമായി വിലയിരുത്തുന്ന ഒരു പ്രതിവാര സംഗീതപരമ്പര അടുത്ത ആഴ്ച മുതല്‍ കൊച്ചി എഫ്എം നിലയം പ്രക്ഷേപണം ചെയ്തു തുടങ്ങുന്നു.

“ഗാനാലോകവീഥികളി ല്‍” എന്ന ഈ പരമ്പര , മലയാളത്തിലെ ആദ്യസിനിമ ആയ ബാലന്‍ തുടങ്ങിയ ചിത്രങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നുമുള്ള ഗാനങ്ങളെ , ഇന്ത്യന്‍ സിനിമയുടെ വിശാലപശ്ചാത്തലത്തി ല്‍ ഗവേഷണാത്മകതയോടെ വിശകലനം ചെയ്യുന്നു ഈ പരിപാടിയില്‍.ജീവിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നതും അല്ലാത്തതുമായ സംഗീതകലാകാരന്മാരുടെ അനുഭവവിവരണങ്ങള്‍ക്കൊപ്പം , ആകാശവാണിയുടെ ഗാനശേഖരത്തില്‍ നിന്നുമുള്ള അപൂര്‍വ ഗാനങ്ങളും ഉള്‍ക്കൊള്ളുന്ന ഈ പരമ്പര വ്യാഴാഴ്ച്ചകളില്‍ രാവിലെ 8.05 നാണ് കൊച്ചി എഫ്എം നിലയം[102.3mhz] പ്രക്ഷേപണം ചെയ്യുന്നത്.

അവതരണം: ആകാശവാണി കൊച്ചി

ഗവേഷണം :  ബി വിജയകുമാർ
ആഖ്യാനം: വി എം ഗിരിജ സഹകരണം: ആർ ഗോപാലകൃഷ്ണൻ, എൻ അജിത്തു്, ഷാജി യോഹന്നാൻ, സുനിൽ ഏലിയാസ് രചന, ഏകോപനം, നിർ‌വ്വഹണം: കെ വി ശരത് ചന്ദ്രൻ

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cheenavala (1975)

When love prevailsPrem Nazir and Jayabharathi in a still from ‘Cheenavala’
When love prevailsPrem Nazir and Jayabharathi in a still from ‘Cheenavala’
Cheenavala , released on December 24, 1975, was Udaya Studio’s Christmas gift for the Malayali audience. A huge box office hit, the story pivots around the life of fishermen living on the banks of Vembanad Lake who depend on Cheenavala or Chinese fishing nets for their livelihood.
Shot at Udaya Studios, the film was produced and directed by M. Kunchacko for XL Productions. The story, dialogues and script by Sarangapani were complimented by breathtaking cinematography by Balu Mahendra. The film was edited by T.R. Shekhar and M.K. Arjunan scored the music.
Prem Nazir, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Sankaradi, Adoor Bhasi, Jayabharathi, Meena, and KPAC Lalitha played important roles in the film.
Rana (Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair), Konthi (Sankaradi) and Pappu (Adoor Bhasi) are fishermen living on the banks of Vembanad and jointly involved in fishing using the Cheenavala. They dream of educating and bringing up their children as doctors and engineers. Rana strikes fortune and soon becomes a millionaire. Konthi and his wife Manikkya (KPAC Lalitha) wanted their son Pushkaran (Prem Nazir) to marry Pappu’s daughter Pennaal (Jayabharathi). Pappu and his wife Paru (Meena) were only happy for this alliance as Pennaal and Pushkaran knew each other from childhood.

After his school education, Pushkaran studies photography. Rana’s son Prathapachandran (K.P. Ummer) becomes attracted to Pennaal and expresses his desire to marry her. Rana’s wealth and position bring about a change in Pappu and Paru. They break the word given to Konthi regarding the marriage of their children and decide to give Pennaal’s hand in marriage to Prathapachandran.
To keep Pushkaran away from the village Prathapachandran sends him to the forests in Wayanad asking him to shoot pictures of the wildlife there. He sends his man Pachan (Janardhanan) as an escort with orders to kill Pushkaran.

The tribals in Wayanad inform Pushkaran about a pregnant tigress on the mountain slopes. Pushkaran decides to shoot this rare scene and climbs a tree for a good vantage point. Prathapachandran, who reaches Wayanad, climbs a nearby hilltop to keep a watch on Pushkaran. Meanwhile, Pachan has second thoughts and becomes friends with Pushkaran. Now, rather unexpectedly a tiger jumps on Pushkaran. He engages the animal in a brave fight. Prathapachandran switches on his camera and shoots the scene instead of aiming his pistol at the tiger and trying to save Pushkaran. The tiger drags Pushkaran into the depths of the jungle.

Prathapachandran spreads the news of Pushkaran’s death. He sells the rare visual of Pushkaran’s fight with the tiger to channels for an exorbitant price. On seeing this film Pennaal suffers a mental breakdown. Everyone believes Pushkaran to be killed by the tiger. Arrangements for Prathapachandran’s marriage with Pennaal are made. On the day of the wedding Pushkaran reaches the venue with Pachan, much to the surprise of all gathered there. Pushkaran had managed to escape from the tiger and was taken care of by the tribals. He reached there on hearing the news of Pennaal’s marriage. The film ends on a happy note with the wedding of Pennaal and Pushkaran.

Balu Mahendra’s brilliant cinematography turned the film into a visual treat. Prem Nazir and Jayabharathi were at their romantic best. The comic track involving Kuthiravattom Pappu, Kunjan and Pattom Sadan created moments of laughter.

Vayalar Rama Varma’s lyrics and Arjunan’s tunes made the film a musical hit. Songs like Thalir valayo thamara valayo … (K.J. Yesudas), Poonthurayil Arayande … (P. Susheela), Kanyadanam ….(Yesudas-B.Vasantha) and Aazhimukhathu … (Yesudas) turned huge hits.
Will be remembered : For its cinematography and for the music, especially for the song Thalir valayo …

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Kannur Deluxe (1969)

Adoor Bhasi and Prem Nazir in Kannur Deluxe
Special Arrangement
Adoor Bhasi and Prem Nazir in Kannur Deluxe

‘This time it is solely intended to entertain you for two and half hours’, is what the title cards of the Malayalam film Kannur Deluxe, released on May 16, 1969, said. And this box office hit proved to be just that.
Produced by T.E. Vasudevan under the banner of Jayamaruthi, and directed by A.B. Raj, the film was shot at Vahini, Arunachalam, and Newton Studios. Popular director I.V. Sasi worked as assistant director, SL Puram Sadanandan wrote the dialogues for the story written by T.E. Vasudevan under the pseudonym V. Devan.
The story pivots on a theft that occurs in a bus and it is said that the modus operandi adopted to apprehend the thief was based on a real incident that took place at Cherthala in Alappuzha district.
AVM’s romantic Hindi film Chori Chori (1956) starring Raj Kapoor and Nargis was derived from Frank Capra’s Hollywood film It Happened One Night (1934). A trendsetter, a major part of the film was shot in a public transport bus. Not only romantic films like Chori Chori, but crime and suspense thrillers like the Tamil film Madras to Pondicherry (1966) were successful Road Movies. Kannur Deluxe falls under this genre.
Most of the scenes in Kannur Deluxe were shot inside the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus called Kannur Deluxe, a service that was started in 1967 and is still on.
Editing by T R Sreenivasalu, cinematography by T.N. Krishnankutty, and music by V. Dakshinamoorthy were the highpoints of the film.
Prem Nazir, K.P. Ummer, G.K. Pillai, N. Govindankutty, Adoor Bhasi, Kottayam Chellappan, Nellikodu Bhaskaran, Sheela etc. played significant roles.
Jayasree (Sheela) runs away from her home to avoid getting married to an old man. In Thiruvananthapuram she is harassed by some city wastrels and seeks refuge in K.B. Pillai’s (G K Pillai) house. Pillai, a businessman, takes pity on her and appoints her in his office. His son Venugopal (K.P. Ummer) takes a liking for her.
Pillai sends Jayasree to Kozhikode with two bundles of currency notes worth Rs. 25,000 rupees to be paid to his partners KBS Nair (Govindankutty) and Abdul Kader (Abbas) as part of the profit share. One of the bundles comprised counterfeit currency notes. She is instructed to hand over the money to Abdul Kader at the Kozhikode bus stand. Jayasree travels by Kannur Deluxe.
On the way, she finds that the bag containing the money is replaced by a similar bag. When alerted, the Conductor (Nellikodu Bhaskaran) finds one passenger missing. He immediately takes the driver’s seat, reverses, changes the destination board to Thiruvananthapuram and speeds in that direction.
Gopalakrishnan (Jose Prakash), who had stolen Jayasree’s bag, gets into the bus without knowing that it is the same bus from where he had alighted and is arrested by the police at Kayamkulam. The police find the fake currency, but cleverly hands over the entire money to Jayasree.
A mentally challenged Namboodiri (Prem Nazir) and his escort Chandu (Adoor Bhasi) get into the bus from Kayamkulam. The bus reaches Kozhikode. But Abdul Kader does not come to collect the money. Jayasree goes to KBS Nair’s office. On the way she is attacked by Dineshan (Kottayam Chellappan) who has been sent by Nair to track her. Namboodiri and Chandu come to her rescue. K.B. Pillai reaches Nair’s office at Kozhikode. The police also reach the office to arrest Jayasree.
And now for the climax. Namboodiri and Chandu reveal their true identities. They are police officers deputed to investigate cases related to fake currency and Jayasree is an officer from the Central Intelligence Department. KBS Nair, K.B. Pillai and Abdul Kader are arrested.
Prem Nazir and Adoor Bhasi were impressive, while Sankaradi as Kamath, the Konkani speaking Brahmin, stood out in a cameo role.
Songs written by Sreekumaran Thampi and set to music by Dakshinamoorthy based on Carnatic ragas turned timeless hits. Songs like Thaippooya kavadiyattam… (K.J. Yesudas) based on Mohanam,Marakkaan kazhiyumo…(Kamukara Purushothaman) in Neelambari, the Kalyani-based Ethra chirichalum… (Yesudas) and Thulli odum pulli maane… (P.Jayachandran) in Sarasangi are still popular. Some of the other songs in the film like Varumallo raavil… (S. Janaki), Kannundaayathu ninne kaanaan… (P.B. Sreenivas-P.Leela) and the Qawwali En muhabath enthoru… (Yesudas-Sreenivas-Janaki) also became hugely popular.
Will be remembered: As a good entertainer and probably the first Road Movie in Malayalam. And for its lovely songs.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Pavappettaval (1967)

Even if the story is simple and artistic, technical brilliance can bring unusual success for a film. B. N. Reddy’s black and white classic Telugu film Devata (1941) is a best example for this. Exhibited in various film festivals, the film was praised in popular magazines by critics. Malayalam film Pavappettaval released on October 12, 1967 was a remake of the Telugu classic film. Produced by ‘Movie Masters’ and directed by P.A. Thomas, the Malayalam remake failed to impress the audience and flopped. Some film critics attribute the film’s failure to the lack of “artistic and technical brilliance” and improper star cast. Popular stars like Chittoor V. Nagiah, Kumari, Parvathi Bai and T Suryakumari were cast in important roles in the Telugu classic and the film is counted among one of the best of these legendary stars.

Sathyan, Kamaladevi, Aranmula Ponnamma and Vidhubala were assigned with the corresponding roles in the Malayalam remake. Kamaladevi and Vidhubala were “new faces” at the time. Other artists who acted in the film were Adoor Bhasi, Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai, Govindankutty, Khadeeja and others. This was the debut film of Rani Chandra who appeared in a guest role (her name appeared in the title cards and song booklet as ‘Miss Kerala’ – she won the title in 1967) Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai wrote the script and dialogues; the original story for the Telugu film was written by K Ramnath. The opening scene and the ending were exact copies of the original. Shot at Syamala and Thomas Studios, cinematography was by P. K Madhavan Nair and the editing was by Ceylon Mani. Some of the songs composed by Chidambaranath became popular. The film opens with the a prayer song as in the Telugu film. Bhavani Amma (Aranmula Ponnamma ) lives happily in a village with her highly educated son Gopi (Sathyan) and daughter Radha (Vidhubala) who is a student. Bhavani Amma treats their servant Lakshmi (Kamaladevi) and her brother Ramu (Master Shaji) as her own family members. Bhavani Amma gives Lakshmi all the privileges of a daughter.

Gopi is attracted towards Lakshmi. One night , when the family members are away from the home to attend a marriage in a neighbouring village, Gopi takes advantage of Lakshmi with a promise of marriage. Soon Gopi leaves the village when he gets a job in the city. Lakshmi gets pregnant. She is unable to contact Gopi, and is unable to disclose her condition to others out of shame. Lakshmi leaves home with Ramu without telling anything to Bhavani Amma. A helpless Lakshmi works as a maid in order to earn a livelihood and even “sells” her blood to hospitals. She gives birth to a baby boy. Gopi is shocked on learning of Lakshmi’s departure when he returns to the village. Bhavani Amma pressurises Gopi to get married. Gopi is emotionally broken by Lakshmi’s departing. He confesses to his mother about his relation with Lakshmi. The girl with whom Gopi’s marriage is fixed elopes. Bhavani Amma requests Gopi to go in search of Lakshmi. Ambujakshy (Sukumari) who runs a hotel gives refuge to Lakshmi. She has a hidden agenda - of exploiting Lakshmi’s youth. A guest in the hotel tries to molest Lakshmi and as she attempts to escape Ambujakshi is injured.

 Lakshmi meets with an accident as she runs away to escape Ambujakshi’s men and is admitted to the hospital. Gopi meets Ramu on the way and reaches the hospital. In a happy ending to the social movie. Bhavani Amma accepts Lakshmi as her daughter-in-law. The film ends with the scene of Gopi and Lakshmi , along with their child, singing in a garden, an exact replica of the scene from the original Telugu film. Comedy involving Adoor Bhasi (as the manager of Ambujakshi’s hotel), Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai (as a marriage broker) and S. P. Pillai (as Pappu ‘Ashaan’) were repetitions of slapstick scenes from earlier films. Such scenes diluted the emotional tempo of the social movie.

 Songs written by P. Bhaskaran and M.K.R Pattyath were set to tune by Chidambaranath. The romantic duet Vrindavaniyil Radhayodoru naal… (K.J. Yesudas-P. Leela) was an instant hit. Other hits include Ambili mama ambili mama… (Leela), Nin mukham kandappol… (B. Vasantha), and Saranam Ayyappa saranam Ayyappa… (Leela, Vasantha and Renuka). Will be remembered: As the debut film of Rani Chandra and for the song Vrindavaniyil Radhayodoru naal…

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Marunaattil Oru Malayali (1971)

Light-hearted comedy Prem Nazir in a still from the film
special arrangement
Light-hearted comedy Prem Nazir in a still from the film
A breezy comedy, Marunattil Oru Malayali, released on September 24, 1971, was remade as Sree Rajeswari Vilas Coffee Club (1976) in Telugu by Aluri Chakrapani, producer- director-journalist, co-owner of Vijaya Studios and founder of Chandamama Publications. The resemblance of the Malayalam film with his super hit Telugu/Tamil bilingual Missamma/Miss Mary (1955) might have prompted Chakrapani to go for the Telugu remake. In the bilingual film the un-married hero and heroine pretend to be married in order to get a job, which was ‘reserved for married couples.’ Here the heroine, a Christian, poses as a Brahmin girl. Produced by T.E. Vasudevan under the banner of Jayamaruthi Productions based on a story written by himself under the pseudonym V.Devan, and directed by A.B. Raj, Marunattil Oru Malayali was shot at Syamala, Prakash and Bharani Studios. The dialogues were by S. L. Puram Sadanandan, editing by B.S. Mani, cinematography by P. Dutt and music, which was the highpoint of the film, composed by V. Dakshinamoorthy.
Prem Nazir, Sankaradi, Adoor Bhasi, S.P. Pillai, Govindankutty, Vijayasree, Sadhana were cast in important roles.
After his pre-university exams, Mathew (Prem Nazir), who belongs to a conservative Christian family in Alappuzha, leaves for Madras in search of a job. Despite his efforts he fails to get one. That is when he finds a vacancy for the job of a ‘supplier’ in Lakshmi Nivas Hotel owned by Seshadri Iyer (Sankaradi). But Iyer has a condition that only a Brahmin would be appointed. Mathew gets the job posing as a Brahmin and introducing himself as Vilwadri Iyer. Not able to perform his duties successfully Mathew is dismissed from the job. Taking pity on him, Seshadri Iyer’s daughter Geetha (Vijayasree) recommends him for the post of Accountant when she comes to know that he has passed the pre-university exams. Geetha falls in love with Mathew believing that he is a Brahmin but Mathew tries to keep away from her as he understands the consequences that can follow.
Narasimham (Adoor Bhasi) the chief cook who hails from Mathew’s village recognises him but agrees to keep his identity a secret.
With Mathew’s sister’s marriage proposal underway the boy’s uncle Chandy (Alummoodan) comes to Madras along with his daughter Sosamma (Prameela). In attempt to salvage the tricky situation Mathew introduces Narasimhan as Mathew and Chandy who has not seen Mathew before believes this. The story follows several hilarious twists and turns. Geetha does everything to please Mathew, who in turn cleverly manages to keep his true identity intact.
Meanwhile, Sosamma falls in love with Narasimham thinking he is Mathew and get married. Finally, in a crucial situation Mathew is forced to reveal his identity to Geetha and Seshadri Iyer. Now, Iyer narrates an interesting parallel to his early life in Madras and that of Mathew. Iyer reveals that he is actually Pathrose, who had to pose like a Brahmin and live like one due to circumstances similar to that of Mathew. The film ends on a happy note with the wedding of Mathew and Geetha.
Prem Nazir and Vijayasree were at their romantic best. The hilarious comedy scenes involving Adoor Bhasi, S.P. Pillai and Sadhana (as hotel supervisor Vittal and servant Rajamma respectively) created waves of laughter. Also impressive were the classical and folk dances choreographed by E.Madhavan.
Music was an integral part of this film and an important factor for its roaring success. Songs written by Sreekumaran Thampi and set to tune by Dakshinamoorthy turned timeless hits. Manassilunaroo Usha sandhyayal… (K.J. Yesudas-S.Janaki), a ragamalika in Poorvi Kalyani, Sarang, Sreeranjini and Amrutha Varshini ragas, Ashoka poornima vidarum…(Yesudas), Govardhanagiri kayyiluyarthiya…(Janaki), Swargavaathil ekadasi…(P. Leela) and Kaali Bhadrakaali…(P. Jayachandran-Leela) are still fresh even after so many years.
Will be remembered: As a hilarious comedy, for its music, especially for the song Manassilunaroo Usha sandhyayal…

Monday, May 11, 2015

Karutha Kai (1964)

The Hindi detective novel Laal Panjha , written by Durga Prasad Khathri, and published in 1927, was translated to Malayalam by Mohan D. Kangazha and was titled Chemanna Kaipathi . Published in 1958, it was a bestseller and had several reprints. The story centred on a dacoit who threatened and blackmailed people by sending letters signed Chemanna Kaipathi (Red Palm) and then executing the crime.

The resemblance between the Malayalam filmKarutha Kai , released on August 14, 1964, and this novel was much talked about at that time. The main character in the novel and the film who commit the crime leave their signature asChemanna Kaipathi in the novel, and Karutha Kai (Black Hand) in the film.
The title cards and song book of the film credit the story and dialogues to Sree. It was usual for writers to use pseudonyms but in this case it is not a person but perhaps a pseudonym for the story department of the production house. Directed by M. Krishnan Nair, the film had cinematography by M. Kannappan, editing by N. Gopalakrishnan, dances choreographed by E. Madhavan and music by M.S. Baburaj.
Prem Nazir, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Jose Prakash, Paravoor Bharathan, Adoor Bhasi, S.P. Pillai, Sheela, Shanthi and others were cast in important roles.

The coastal town of Parakkoottam is terrorised by a gang of dacoits. The leader who goes by his signature Karutha Kai executes his plans through his faithful assistant Vijayan (Kundara Bhasi). He is only person who knows the real identity of their leader. The Government appoints Bhasu (Prem Nazir), Inspector of Crime Branch to investigate into the murder of a coast guard. Bhasu comes to the town in the disguise of an artist. Here, Bhasu meets his college mate Latha (Sheela). She introduces Bhasu to her father Thampi (Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair), a respectable person who works for the welfare of the society. Bhasu stays in the beach bungalow owned by Thampi and begins his investigation. Gradually, Latha is drawn towards Bhasu.

Radha (Shanthi), daughter of the murdered coast guard, joins hands with Bhasu in the investigation. Karutha Kai sends a letter to Madhava Menon (Jose Prakash) demanding Rs. 5,000 failing which his daughter would be kidnapped. Menon seeks the help of Thampi who advises him not to give the money. Thampi announces reward of Rs. 10,000 to anyone who helps to bring Karutha Kai before law. Two private detectives, Damu (S.P. Pillai) and Soman (Adoor Bhasi) take charge of the security of Menon’s house. But Karutha Kai kidnaps Menon’s daughter (Baby Vinodini). Menon sends the ransom amount to the place specified by Karutha Kai. Bhasu reaches the spot and follows Karutha Kai’s men and manages to locate their hideout, a lodge in the town. Radha, feigning to be speech impaired, finds a job in this lodge. Here she takes care of Menon’s daughter now under custody of the dacoits. Bhasu, Damu and Soman enter the lodge disguised as dancers. Radha escapes with Menon’s daughter while the dacoits were engrossed in the dance performed by Bhasu and his group. The manager of the lodge is arrested by the police, but he is murdered on the way to police station by Karutha Kai.

Now, Thampi gets a threatening letter from Karutha Kai with a demand of Rs. 10,000. Thampi seeks the support of the police. Vikraman and Kader (Paravoor Bharathan), members of the dacoit gang lose faith in their leader whom they have never met and decide to stake a claim in the booty. They move towards the hideout followed by Bhasu.

In the climax scene the identity of Karutha Kai is revealed. Everyone is stunned to find that it was Thampi who was heading this gang. He was clever enough to send a letter to himself in order to divert the attention of the police. In a desperate attempt to escape Thampi shoots down Vikraman and Kader. In the ensuing fight between the police and Karutha Kai’s men, Latha is killed. Thampi is arrested. Bhasu leaves the town after a successful mission.

The songs penned by Thirunainarkurichi Madhavan Nair and set to music by Baburaj like Panchavarna thattha pole …(K.J. Yesudas, Kamukara Purushothaman and chorus) which is considered the first song in Malayalam cinema composed in the Qawwali style, Kannukal kannukal daivam nalkiya …(Kamukara-L.R. Easwari), Ezhu nirangalil ninnude …(Kamukara-S. Janaki), Paalappoovin parimalamekum … (Janaki) and Manathe penne … (P. Leela) became very popular.
Will be remembered : As a successful crime thriller, for its music, especially for the songPanchavarna thatha pole …

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sarpakkadu (1965)

Snake worship is an established cult in several countries including India from time immemorial. Snake groves or sarpakaavu are still found in various ancient households and temples in the State. Snakes, snake charmers and snake worship have always been a favourite ingredient in Indian cinema. The Bengali-Hindi bilingual starring Kanan Devi Sapurey/Sapera (1939) was probably the first successful film that worked on this theme. S.S. Vasan’s Telugu classicBalanagamma (1942) had as a sub plot, the revenge of a snake. Filmstan’s Hindi film Nagin (1954) that was based on snake charmers and their life was a musical hit. This film popularised ‘been music’ or the music of snake charmer’s flute. The celestial world of snakes was the plot of Tamil films likeKanavane Kann Kanda Deivam (1955) and Naga Panchami (1956).
Sarpakkadu, released on December 31, 1965, was the first Malayalam film that had snakes and snake worship as its theme. Produced by Oriental Movies, owned by P.K. Sathyapal, under the banner of Naga Films, the film was shot at Syamala Studios and directed by J.D. Thottan. Dances choreographed by Chinni Sampath, Rajkumar and E.Madhavan were impressive. Been music was effectively used in this film. Cinematography by P.K. Madhavan Nair, editing by Venkitaraman and Narayanan, dialogues by Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai, for the screenplay developed by Sathyapal based on a story written by KVR Acharya added to the charm of this film.
Madhu, Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair, Kottayam Chellappan, Adoor Bhasi, Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai, Ambika, Sukumari and others starred in the film.
Dr. Krishnan (Kottayam Chellappan) and his son Dr. Balan (Madhu) are dedicated to eradicating death by snake bite. They go on a mission to the dense forests surrounding the mountain ranges in search of the Thanka Sarpam or the Golden Snake, believed to be the most poisonous in the world. Their intention is to conduct research based on its venom and perhaps invent anti-venom that would be a remedy for all snake bites. Their compounder (Adoor Bhasi) also accompanies them. They stay in the forest guest house and the watcher there, Raghavan Pilllai (Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai), guides them in their search. But their efforts fail
Balan falls in love with Nagaprabha (Ambika), the elder daughter of Swami (Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair), a hermit who lives in the forests along with his daughters and engaged in worshipping his family deity Nagamma, the Snake Goddess. The compounder falls in love with the younger daughter Nagalatha (Sukumari). One day, Balan and the compounder reach Swami’s hermitage and happen to see the Thanka Sarpam on the idol of Nagamma inside the cave temple there. Balan and his father request Swami to hand over the Thanka Sarpam to them and offer a huge sum of money. Swami becomes furious and drives them away. Meanwhile, Nagalatha is attacked by a bear and Krishnan’s attempts to save her fail. Swami is shocked when he comes to know on his return to the hermitage that the Thanka Sarpam is stolen by Balan when he was away. Swami reaches the guest house and begins playing the makudi or the snake charmer’s flute. The Thanka Sarpam comes out of the pouch in which it was tied up. Swami forces the snake to bite Balan and Krishnan is unable to save him. Nagaprabha begs her father to save the life of her beloved. Swami accedes to the request. He plays the makudi, the snake sucks out the venom, strikes its head on the floor and kills itself. Balan is saved. Kari Nagam or the Mountain Cobra believed to be the companion of the Thanka Sarpam reaches there and bites Swami. Krishnan shoots the snake to death. Before dying Swami wishes Krishnan all success in inventing the anti-venom but also requests him to respect snake worship, not to kill snakes, and to honour the traditional methods of treatment for snake bite.
Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair came up with a superb performance. Adoor Bhasi, Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai, and Sukumari created ripples on laughter in the comic sequences.
Some of the songs written by Abhayadev and tuned by M.S. Baburaj became popular. The romantic duet sung by K.J. Yesudas and P. Leela, Asha nabhassil…aarumariyathe njanumariyathe….was one. The other popular numbers include Nanma cheyyanam njangalkkennum… (Kamukara Purushothaman, Leela, and A.P. Komala), Innale njanoru swapnam kandu…. (Leela), Malamakal thannude…. (Leela-Komala), Naattil varaamo…(Baburaj- Komala), and Srungara lahari than…(Baburaj-Purushothaman).
Will be remembered: As the first Malayalam film with snake worship as its theme and for some of the songs, especially the duet Asha nabhassil...aarumariyathe....