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.

Nenjam Marappathillai
Nenjam Marappathillai 1963 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byC. V. Sridhar
Screenplay byC. V. Sridhar
Story byM. S. Kasi
Produced byM. S. Kasi
StarringKalyan Kumar
CinematographyA. Vincent
Edited byN. M. Shankar
Music byViswanathan–Ramamoorthy
Manohar Pictures
Release date
  • 2 August 1963 (1963-08-02)
Running time
144 minutes

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.[3] It was the maiden venture of Manohar Pictures.[1] Cinematography was handled by A. Vincent, and editing by N. M. Shankar.[3] Shooting took place prominently in Kerala.[4] The makeup for Nambiar's character of the zamindar took three hours to apply.[2][5] 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.[6] The final length of the film was 4,472 metres (14,672 ft).[7]


The music was composed by the duo Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy, while the lyrics were written by Kannadasan assisted by his nephew Panchu Arunachalam.[8] The title song exists in four different versions: a male version, a female version, and two duet versions – one happy and one sad.[9] It took five months to compose the song.[10] That, and the song "Azhagukkum Malarukkum" attained popularity.[11][3]

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length
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.[12] 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."[1] 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.[13] However, the critic from The Illustrated Weekly of India said, "Ah, what a comedown from the mighty Nenjil Oor Alayam!".[14] The film did not succeed commercially;[2] according to historian Randor Guy, this was because "many were sceptical about people having recollections of their previous birth."[3]


Nenjam Marappathillai attained cult status in Tamil cinema.[15] 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."[16] 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".[17] M. N. Nambiar said that it was one of his favourite films he acted in.[2][18] A 2019 TV series and a 2021 film were named after the film.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ramachandran, T. M. (24 August 1963). "An Unforgettable film". Sport and Pastime. Vol. 17. p. 50.
  2. ^ a b c d Dipak Nambiar, M. N. (7 March 2019). Nambiarswami: The Good, the Bad and the Holy. HarperCollins. p. 43. ISBN 978-93-5302-843-5.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Guy, Randor (2 February 2013). "Nenjam Marapathillai 1963". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  4. ^ Narayanan, Aranthai (1981). தமிழ் சினிமாவின் கதை [The story of Tamil cinema] (in Tamil). New Century Book House. p. 546.
  5. ^ Shekar, Anjana (21 November 2019). "The villain with a heart of gold: Remembering MN Nambiar on his birth centenary". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 20 February 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  6. ^ Raman, Mohan V. (16 November 2010). "Reel villain, real hero". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  7. ^ Film News Anandan (2004). Sadhanaigal Padaitha Thamizh Thiraipada Varalaru [Tamil film history and its achievements] (in Tamil). Chennai: Sivagami Publishers. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Nenjam Marappadhillai (1963)". Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  9. ^ Mathevan, Santhosh (14 July 2018). "My favourite six by the King of Melodies MSV". Santhosh Mathevan. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  10. ^ சிவரஞ்சன் (2001). சுராவின் சுவையான சினிமா துணுக்குகள் [Sura's delicious cinematic snippets]. Sura Books. p. 20. ISBN 817478246X.
  11. ^ Muthahar, Syed (29 December 2002). "Traditional music should not be diluted". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Nenjam Marappathillai". The Indian Express. 2 August 1963. p. 3.
  13. ^ "Nenjam Marappathillai". Conservative. Vol. 3. 1963. p. 45.
  14. ^ "Dwindling market for regional films". The Illustrated Weekly of India. Vol. 84. 1 September 1963. p. 53.
  15. ^ Shekar, Anjana (5 July 2018). "These Tamil thrillers from before the '90s are a must-watch". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  16. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (13 July 2007). "Filmmakers' favourites". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  17. ^ Sangeetha, P. (29 March 2009). "Indian cinema is growing". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 8 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  18. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (15 March 2007). "A legend in his own right". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  19. ^ Vijayakumar, Sindhu (9 September 2017). "When television borrows titles from movies". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 14 March 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.

External linksEdit