Nenjam Marappathillai (1963 film)
Nenjam Marappathillai (transl. The Heart Never Forgets) is a 1963 Indian Tamil-language film written and directed by C. V. Sridhar. The film stars Kalyan Kumar and Devika, while M. N. Nambiar, S. V. Sahasranamam, Nagesh, Padmini Priyadarshini and Manorama play supporting roles. It focuses on a college boy who, while exploring a dilapidated villa, learns all the details about his past life.
|Directed by||C. V. Sridhar|
|Screenplay by||C. V. Sridhar|
|Story by||M. S. Kasi|
|Produced by||M. S. Kasi|
|Edited by||N. M. Shankar|
The film was conceived by Sridhar based on numerous news reports he read about people claiming to remember their past lives. It was produced by M. S. Kasi under his banner Manohar Pictures, had music composed by Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy, cinematography by A. Vincent and editing by N. M. Shankar. The story was credited to Kasi, and Sridhar's brother C. V. Rajendran worked as the associate director.
Nenjam Marappathillai was released on 2 August 1963. The film received a number of positive reviews but did not succeed commercially, though it later attained cult status in Tamil cinema.
While on a visit to his friend's village, Anand, a college boy explores a dilapidated villa, falls unconscious and learns all the details about his past life of love and sorrow.
When he was staying in the village , Anand hears a screaming voice of girl from one of the room that was kept locked in his friends house. When he inquires with his friend he skips away from answering. But when Anand insists, his friend narrates the incident how his own sister became insane after seeing the dilapidated palace in that village. Out of curiosity he , Anand , goes to the Villa without the knowledge of his friend and realises that he was once son of a prominent Zamindar. This Zamindar's son was in love with a low caste girl and firm to marry her in spite his Father's protest. When the lovers tries to elope, the girl was shot dead by Zamindaar and his son was kept in House arrest . The Zamindar also challenge that he would not allow to marry her even if he takes seven births. Eventually the boy dies after few days.
When he was in the palace he happens to meet an elderly person aged 109 years, who is nobody but the same old Zamindaar. Without knowing that he is the Zamindar, father of his previous birth, he reveals that the girl who was shot dead by the Zamindar also born in the same village. Now being reminded by his challenge, the zamindar tries to kill that Girl but the boy comes in between. Since Anand is his own son, the Zamindar avoids him and targets the girl. When Anand approached near the Zamindar, the later fells in Quicksand. Lest with the best efforts, Zamindar sinks in the Quicksand and dies. Anand then marrys the girl.
On 26 November 1935, The Hindu carried a news article about a nine-year-old Delhi-based girl named Shantha Devi who claimed that she remembered all the details about her past life in which she lived in the town of Mathura. There were similar news reports published by newspapers in Kerala and Rajasthan in 1939. Director C. V. Sridhar was attracted by these news reports, and developed a screenplay titled Nenjam Marappathillai based on the theme of reincarnation. Chitralaya Gopu was hired as associate dialogue writer, and Sridhar's brother C. V. Rajendran as associate director. The film was produced by M. S. Kasi under Manohar Pictures, and Kasi claimed credit for the story. It was the maiden venture of Manohar Pictures. Cinematography was handled by A. Vincent, and editing by N. M. Shankar. Shooting took place prominently in Kerala. The makeup for Nambiar's character of the zamindar took three hours to apply. During the filming of a scene where the zamindar chases the hero and heroine via horse carriage, one of its wheels suddenly came off. Even though the driver panicked, Nambiar asked him to continue driving the carriage and as it overturned, jumped out, took aim and shot. The final length of the film was 4,472 metres (14,672 ft).
The music was composed by the duo Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy, while the lyrics were written by Kannadasan assisted by his nephew Panchu Arunachalam. The title song exists in four different versions: a male version, a female version, and two duet versions – one happy and one sad. It took five months to compose the song. That, and the song "Azhagukkum Malarukkum" attained popularity.
|1||"Azhagukkum Malarukkum"||P. B. Sreenivas, S. Janaki||Kannadasan||03:53|
|2||"Kadu Malai Medu Kanda"||T. M. Soundararajan||03:20|
|3||"Mundhanai Panthada"||L. R. Eswari, P. Susheela||04:05|
|4||"Nenjam Marappathillai" (Duet)||P. B. Sreenivas, P. Susheela||04:04|
|5||"Nenjam Marappathillai" (Lady)||P. Susheela||04:21|
|6||"Nenjam Marappathillai" (Man)||P. B. Sreenivas||04:06|
|7||"Nenjam Marappathillai" (Sad)||P. B. Sreenivas, P. Susheela||03:36|
|8||"Thenadi Meenadi"||T. M. Soundararajan, P. Susheela||03:59|
Release and receptionEdit
Nenjam Marappathillai was released on 2 August 1963. Reviewing the film for Sport and Pastime, T. M. Ramachandran said, "Nenjam Marappathillai is one of those rare films which have the makings of a box-office hit without compromising realism or sacrificing good taste." A reviewer for Conservative said, "Sridhar has shaped the [film] on the lines of popular Hindi versions and has used his skill to render the [film] covering two generations extremely interesting and spectacular", and was appreciative of the cinematography and performances of Kalyan Kumar, Devika and Nambiar. However, the critic from The Illustrated Weekly of India said, "Ah, what a comedown from the mighty Nenjil Oor Alayam!". The film did not succeed commercially; according to historian Randor Guy, this was because "many were sceptical about people having recollections of their previous birth."
Nenjam Marappathillai attained cult status in Tamil cinema. Director Ameer named it one of his most favourite films and said, "Nenjam Marappadhillai not only breaks free from the formulaic screenplay, but director Sridhar does something revolutionary by introducing new faces in it." Cinematographer P. C. Sreeram stated, "I still remember how terrified I was while returning home after watching Nenjam Marapathillai and Athey Kangal. Spooky themes were great entertainers". M. N. Nambiar said that it was one of his favourite films he acted in. A 2019 TV series and a 2021 film were named after the film.
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