Aalayamani (transl. Temple bell) is a 1962 Tamil language drama film directed by K. Shankar. The film features Sivaji Ganesan, S. S. Rajendran, B. Saroja Devi, C. R. Vijayakumari and M. R. Radha in lead roles. The film, produced by P. S. Veerappa, had musical score by Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy and was released on 23 November 1962. The film was remade in Telugu as Gudi Gantalu in 1964 and in Hindi as Aadmi in 1968.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||K. Shankar|
|Produced by||P. S. Veerappa|
|Written by||Javar Seetharaman|
|Screenplay by||Javar Seetharaman|
|Story by||G. Balasubramaniam|
S. S. Rajendran
C. R. Vijayakumari
|Edited by||K. Shankar|
P. S. V. Pictures
|Distributed by||P. S. V. Pictures|
Aalayamani is a tale of possessiveness and distrust towards one's partner and the eventual redemption by sacrifice. The story is an essential interplay of feelings and the shadows cast upon by darker feelings of one person and the effect it produces on himself and in his immediate circle of friends and family.
The hero of the story is Thyagarajan (Sivaji Ganesan), a lonely rich bachelor, subjected to a deep seated trauma from having witnessed the death of a childhood playmate, caused by his possessiveness. This is recurring theme in Thyagarajan's life, leading to disastrous results.
The movie begins with an imposing bell being rung, a voice narrates the story of a poor man, Arumugam Pillai, who was about to commit suicide on the death rock, but was stopped by the sound of the divine bell from the temple. He decides to take another chance with his life and soon he becomes a rich man and his son is none other than Thyagu, our hero!
Thyagarajan meets and becomes close friends with a virtuous man Sekhar (S. S. Rajendran) and there is a well grown sense of mutual admiration and fondness amongst the friends. Sekhar and Meena (B. Saroja Devi) are in love and Sekar promises he will ask her hand in marriage. Unbeknownst to both of them, Thyagu comes across Meena, whose father (Nagaiah) works in Thyagu's estate and impressed by her vivacity, Thyagu falls head over heels for her. This has all the makings of a typical love triangle.
Meena has a sister, Pushpalatha, who falls in love with the villain's (M. R. Radha) son who demands a large amount in dowry. Nagaiah is unable to rustle up the requisite cash and is now in the doldrums concerned about the fate of his elder daughter's marriage. Thyagu comes helping with the cash and they are wedded. Shortly thereafter, Thyagu proposes to marry Meena and sends Sekhar as his messenger.
Except Sekhar and Meena, to their obvious shock and despair, it looks to the rest of the relatives that Thyagu and Meena are a pair made for each other. Sekhar, realizing the extent of love and the depth of feelings of Thyagu asks Meena to forgo their feelings and that she should go ahead and marry Thyagu. The family members of both the families get together and agree to the arrangement. By this time, Thyagu, injured in a serious accident loses the use of both his legs and ends up being a cripple for life. The loyal partner Meena pitches into the effort to care for Thyagu and spends all her time caring for him.
Sekhar can't forget Meena and tries to be close with her, while she honors her commitment to Thyagu and keeps Sekhar at a distance. Thinking Sekhar as a single, Prema (C. R. Vijayakumari), daughter of the villain, expresses her feelings for Sekhar and he fails to respond in kind.
All these pent up emotions of love, friendship, loyalty, jealousy and physical debilitation boils over at one point and things take a turn for the worse for all three. Goaded by the feelings of inadequacy, Thyagu builds in his mind a picture, that his dear friend Sekhar is out to get his love, and decides to take matters into his hands and get rid of Sekhar. The lingering doubts about his friend and lover is now fueled by his restive passions which are burning brightly.
Thyagu plans that the appropriate location for revenge is the Death rock known for its enchanting scenery and dangerous cliffs, where once his father attempted suicide. He was to drive Sekhar to the edge and push him to death from the face of the cliff. Thyagu leads Sekhar to the cliff and reveals his anger and frustration about their perceived relationship, questioning the sincerity of his friend and his lover. A visibly angered Sekhar repulses by revealing the magnitude of his sacrifice he made for his close friend and to prove his innocence, Sekhar swears to take his own life from the same Death rock. Truth dawns on Thyagu, now deeply humiliated, jumps from the cliff to the tumultuous sea below.
While Sekhar and Meena are mourning for their loss, Thyagu gets rescued by a fisherman and the shock of falling from the cliff has given back Thyagu the partial use of his legs. Meena now deems her as a widow and convinces Sekhar to marry the girl who loves him. On the wedding day, Thyagu, now dressed as a nobody shows up for the wedding and happens to overhear a conversation of Meena declaring that there is no life and happiness left due to Thyagu's death. This convinces Thyagu to reveal his identity and console Saroja, while the villain with an eye on Thyagu's money thinks otherwise. Thyagu is hit on the head and falls unconscious, the marriage completes and Meena decides to take her life from the same cliff Thyagu plunged to death and seen running towards the cliff. Conscious now, Thyagu goes after Meena to stop her from committing suicide, calling out loud to stop and limping all the way behind her.
Meena sees Thyagu is alive and changes her mind and the lovers unite. In the background, the song "Ponnai Virumbum Boomiyile" (meaning: In a world of wealth lovers, the dear one who loved me) is being played, a happy Thyagu and Meena waves us a farewell, the movie ends.
- Sivaji Ganesan as Thiyagu / Thiyagarajan
- B. Saroja Devi as Meena / Vanampadi
- S. S. Rajendran as Sekar
- C. R. Vijayakumari as Prema
- P. S. Veerappa as Pakkiri (Thiyagu Home Sarvent)
- M. R. Radha as Aatkondan Pillai
- M. V. Rajamma as Sekar's Mother
- Pushpalatha as Parvathi
- T. R. Ramachandran as Aatkondan pillai's Son
- Chittor V. Nagaiah as Muthaiah Pillai (Thiyagu Estate Managar, Meena, Parvathi Father)
- K. Natarajan
|Soundtrack album by|
The music was composed by Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy and lyrics for all songs were written by Kannadasan.Playback singers are T. M. Soundararajan, Seerkazhi Govindarajan, M. S. Viswanathan, P. Suseela, S. Janaki & L. R. Eswari.
The songs like "Kallellam Manikka", "Satti Suthadhada" and "Ponnai Virumbum" were well received. Philips, an autodidact guitarist, played the guitar for "Satti Sutthadhada". It was based on the raga Bilaskhan-i Todi. The song "Kallellam Maanikka" is based on Mayamalavagowla raga. Writing for The New Indian Express, Sujatha Narayan noted that the song "Nallai Allai" from Kaatru Veliyidai (2017) was similar to "Ponnai Virumbum" from this film "in its mood, with the man reminiscing how his love for a woman of such character has changed him for the better."
|1||"Kallellam Manikka"||T. M. Soundararajan & L.R.Eswari||Kannadasan||05:00|
|2||"Kannana Kannanukku"||Seerkazhi Govindarajan & P. Suseela||05:10|
|3||"Karunai Magan"||M. S. Viswanathan||00:57|
|5||"Ponnai Virumbum"||T. M. Soundararajan||04:03|
|6||"Satti Sutthadhada"||T. M. Soundararajan||04:21|
|7||"Thookkam Un Kangalai"||S. Janaki||03:22|
The Indian Express wrote, "Aalayamani is an engrossing film, which though sometimes exceeds the bounds of possibility assures a fair return for cinegoers' fare." The film celebrated its 100th day at the Vijaya Gardens, Kodambakkam.
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- "A Raga's Journey — The magic of Mayamalavagowla". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 November 2015.