Sindhu Bhairavi is a 1985 Indian Tamil-language musical drama film written and directed by K. Balachander. The film stars Sivakumar, Suhasini and Sulakshana. It revolves around the three lead characters: a Carnatic singer J. K. Balaganapathi (JKB), his wife Bhairavi, and his girlfriend Sindhu. At the peak of his career, JKB gets addicted to alcohol following complications with his affair, and his career goes into a downward spiral.
|Directed by||K. Balachander|
|Written by||K. Balachander|
|Produced by||Rajam Balachander|
|Cinematography||R. Raghunatha Reddy|
Sindhu Bhairavi released worldwide on 11 November 1985, and opened to positive reviews from critics, and was a blockbuster. The film won three National Awards for Best Actress (Suhasini), Best Music Direction (Ilaiyaraaja) and Best Female Playback Singer (K. S. Chithra), in addition to the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil. The film has a sequel in the format of a television series named Sahana (2003), produced by Balachander, with Sulakshana reprising her role.
J. K. Balaganapathi (JKB) is a gifted Carnatic singer, but his wife Bhairavi, despite her love and loyalty, fails to satisfy or challenge him intellectually. For JKB, this and her inability to have children, is a problem. JKB's band includes the mridangam player Gurumoorthy, and the tanpura player Gajapathi, who is a compulsive liar.
JKB goes to a concert where he finds Gurumoorthy drunk. He instructs Gurumoorthy to leave the premises and performs in the concert without the use of the mridangam, which is considered a basic/compulsory instrument to perform a Carnatic concert. When Gurumoorthy is asked to permanently leave the band, he promises not to drink again.
While Bhairavi's grandfather is going to receive his pension, which he does on the first of every month, Gajapathi lies to him that his pension has been cancelled. The old man starts crying, and JKB intervenes to confirm that his pension is not cancelled and that he can go and collect it. JKB then scolds Gajapathi for it and tells him the old man could have died on hearing such a lie as he is very particular about his pension. Following this, when JKB finds that Gajapathi has lied to him too and others causing problems, he asks him to promise to speak the truth.
Sindhu, a music teacher in a school, attends one of the concerts of JKB, where he is performing a Tyagaraja keerthana which is in Telugu. She finds some the audience speaking to each other instead of listening to the music. Hence, she asks JKB to translate the song that he is singing into Tamil, which everybody in the audience can understand. He then gets angry and challenges her to demonstrate. She successfully demonstrates it and is applauded by the audience, causing JKB to leave without completing the concert.
A few days later, Sindhu apologises to JKB, and he finds out that she is an intellectual equal and admires her knowledge of music. However, this intellectual attraction is misunderstood based on the cultural limitations. Gajapathi, who has promised not to lie, informs Bhairavi that her husband is going out with Sindhu. Meanwhile, Sindhu really has fallen for JKB, and both of them get intimate with each other.
One day, JKB is caught coming out of Sindhu's apartment by Bhairavi. Sindhu is seen as the home wrecker and is forced to end her association with JKB. He pines for her and leans on alcohol for support, which leads to his downward spiral, ending in an embarrassing barter of his musical knowledge for a drink. He even steals money from Bhairavi's grandfather, which leads to his death. Sindhu re-enters his life and brings him around; however, she has a secret of her own: her pregnancy. After Sindhu rehabilitates JKB, his friends pressurise her to leave the town and never come back, which she does the next day. Bhairavi and JKB are distraught as Bhairavi had agreed to marry Sindhu to JKB.
Months later, during one of JKB's concerts, Sindhu is seen coming back and sitting down to listen to his music. However, she refuses to marry JKB, saying that she would not deny Bhairavi her rights. Instead she leaves them with a "present"; Sindhu gives up her child to be brought up by Bhairavi in a classic act of defiance to society's rules and leaves town to pursue and share her knowledge of music with the less fortunate.
- Sivakumar as J. K. Balaganapathi (JKB)
- Suhasini as Sindhu
- Sulakshana as Bhairavi
- Delhi Ganesh as Gurumoorthy
- Janagaraj as Gajapathi
- Pratap as Sanjeevi
- T. S. Raghavendra as Judge Bharathi Kannan
- Manimala as Sindhu's mother
- Kavithalayaa Krishnan as Bharathi Kannan's driver
- R. Sundaramoorthy as JKB's driver
Sivakumar recalled the instance when he had to grapple with high tides when he sat on the rocks at the Visakhapatnam beach during the shoot. He recalled, "Nothing would deter KB [Balachander] from extracting the best out of the actors. He would ask us to get ready for a retake even if he finds a slightest slip in our performance". When offered to act in the film by Balachander, Suhasini agreed after knowing that he would enact and explain every scene. Suhasini and Sulakshana's characters were named after the two parts of the name of the Carnatic raga, Sindhu Bhairavi.
Themes and influencesEdit
The film's theme is based on extramarital affairs interwoven with Carnatic music. Ajayan Bala stated: "most compatible minds in Sindhu Bhairavi, the singer and his fan, were not allowed to live together, even after the wife reconciled herself to that". Kandhasamy, Balachander's son-in-law, stated, "Sindhu Bhairavi established the sanctity of the institution of marriage and the dignity of the concubine". Sowmya Rajendran compared the film to another Sivakumar starrer Rosappu Ravikkaikari (1979) due to adultery being the mutual theme, the difference being that Sivakumar's character in Sindhu Bhairavi is the adulterous one, unlike Rosappu Ravikkaikari where it is his wife.
The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and lyrics written by Vairamuthu. Sindhu Bhairavi is Balachander's first collaboration with Ilaiyaraaja. Balachander recalled that, after doing several films with M. S. Viswanathan, he wanted a different composer for Sindhu Bhairavi, so he approached Ilaiyaraaja after seeking permission from Viswanathan. When the song "Paadariyen" was to be set to tune, Ilaiyaraaja asked Balachander for a day's time. The next day he was ready with the tune, which Balachander described as a "folk song with a blend of Carnatic music".
Many of the songs are set in Carnatic ragas; "Naanoru Sindhu" is in Sindhu Bhairavi, "Kalaivaniye" in Kalyani, "Poomaalai" in Kanada, "Paadariyen" in Saramati, "Aanantha Nadanam" in Rathipatipriya, and "Thanni Thotti Thedi Vantha" in Kapi. Ilaiyaraaja composed "Kalaivaniye" entirely in Arohana without Avarohana, which he considers practically impossible. "Mahaganapathim" is based on the composition of the same name by Muthuswami Dikshitar. "Moham Ennum" and "Manadhil Urudhi Vendum" were taken from the verses of poet Subramania Bharati.
Historian G. Dhananjayan considers Sindhu Bhairavi a film where Balachander was considered successful in reflecting the thoughts of Ilayaraaja. Innovatively, there is no use of mridangam in "Mahaganapathim". "Mari Mari Ninne" by the Carnatic musician Tyagaraja, was reused in this film. Ilaiyaraaja faced staunch opposition from classical musicians for having changed the original raga from Khamboji to Saramati.
|1.||"Mahaganapathim" (Originally taken from the work of the Muthuswami Dikshitar and reused by Ilaiyaraaja)||K. J. Yesudas||4:32|
|2.||"Mari Mari Ninne" (Originally taken from the work of Tyagaraja and retuned by Ilaiyaraaja)||K. J. Yesudas||2:48|
|3.||"Poomaalai Vaangi Vanthaan"||K. J. Yesudas||4:30|
|4.||"Moham Ennum" (Features verses of poet Subramania Bharati)||K. J. Yesudas||2:41|
|5.||"Kalaivaniye"||K. J. Yesudas||3:54|
|6.||"Naan Oru Sindhu"||K. S. Chithra||4:03|
|7.||"Paadariyen"||K. S. Chithra||5:29|
|8.||"Thanni Thotti Thedi Vantha"||K. J. Yesudas||6:00|
|9.||"Manadhil Urudhi Vendum" (Features verses of Subramania Bharati)||K. J. Yesudas||2:00|
|1.||"Mahaganapathim"||Muthuswami Dikshitar||K. J. Yesudas||4:59|
|2.||"Mari Mari"||Tyagaraja||K. J. Yesudas||3:05|
|3.||"Moham Manudu"||Aarudhra||K. J. Yesudas||1:08|
|4.||"Nee Dayarada"||Tyagaraja||K. J. Yesudas||3:06|
|5.||"Nekudithi"||Vijay Ratnam Gona||K. J. Yesudas||4:42|
|6.||"Nenoka Sindhu"||G. Satyamurthy||P. Susheela||4:54|
|7.||"Paadalenu"||G. Satyamurthy||K. S. Chithra||5:17|
|8.||"Poomala"||Acharya Athreya||K. J. Yesudas||4:34|
|9.||"Rasamanjari"||Aarudhra||K. J. Yesudas||4:01|
Release and receptionEdit
Sindhu Bhairavi was released on 11 November 1985, coinciding with Diwali. In a review dated, 24 November 1985, Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan rated the film 55 out of 100. The film was a major commercial success, running for over 200 days in theatres. The 200th day celebration was held at a theatre in Madurai.
At the 33rd National Film Awards, Sindhu Bhairavi won in three categories: Best Actress (Suhasini), Best Music Direction (Ilaiyaraaja) and Best Female Playback Singer (K. S. Chithra). The film also won the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil.
A sequel in the form of a TV series named Sahana, also created by Balachander, premiered on Jaya TV on 24 February 2003. While JKB and Sindhu were portrayed by Y. G. Mahendran and Anuradha Krishnamoorthy, Sulakshana was the only actor to return in the same role.
- Rajadhyaksha & Willemen 1998, p. 474.
- Nathan, Archana (31 January 2019). "Audio master: 'Sindhu Bhairavi' is an ode to the absence of boundaries in music". Scroll.in. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
- Dhananjayan 2014, p. 286.
- "Sindhu Bhairavi Cast and Crew". Moviefone. Archived from the original on 30 November 2021. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
- ராம்ஜி, வி. (11 November 2020). "கே.பாலசந்தரும் இளையராஜாவும் இணைந்த முதல் படம்; ஜே.கே.பி., சிந்து, பைரவி, மிருதங்க டெல்லி கணேஷ், ஜனகராஜின் தலை; 'மரிமரி நின்னே', 'நானொரு சிந்து', 'பாடறியேன்' - 'சிந்துபைரவி' வெளியாகி 35 வருடங்கள்". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 11 November 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
- "K. Balachander's contribution to Tamil cinema and theatre hailed". The Hindu. 12 July 2010. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- "சிந்து பைரவி ஒரு காவியம்: 3 தேசிய விருதுகளை பெற்றது". Maalai Malar (in Tamil). 29 April 2018. Archived from the original on 23 April 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
- "Did You Know?". Chennai Times. 13 February 2011. p. 38. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
- "KB's Classical Movie: Sindu Bhairavi". Behindwoods. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Kolappan, B. (22 June 2013). "The limits to on-screen affections". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Rao, Subha J (15 March 2005). "This is KB unplugged for you!". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 January 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Rajendran, Sowmya (27 April 2022). "Kannagi to Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kadhal: Adultery in Tamil cinema". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 27 April 2022. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
- "Sindhu Bhairavi Tamil Film LP Vinyl Record by Ilayaraaja". Mossymart. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
- "Sindhu Bhairavi". Gaana. Archived from the original on 30 November 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
- Dhananjayan 2014, p. 287.
- Kumar, S. R. Ashok (31 January 2012). "An occasion to cherish". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Mani, Charulatha (10 May 2013). "Light and melodious". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 September 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Saravanan, T. (20 September 2013). "Ragas hit a high". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Mani, Charulatha (14 October 2011). "A Raga's Journey: Kinetic Kalyani". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Srinivasan, Anil (1 June 2013). "The King and I". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
- Sundararaman 2007, p. 154.
- Mani, Charulatha (14 February 2014). "A rare treat". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
- Sundararaman 2007, p. 151.
- Mani, Charulatha (3 January 2014). "The Priya principle". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 June 2021. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
- Sundararaman 2007, p. 161.
- Shiva Kumar, S. "Ilayaraja: Music is my fate". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 2 August 2021. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
- "ராஜா ராஜாதான் தொடர் – சிவக்குமார் 7–03–18 | அபிநயத்துடன் கூடிய பாடல்!". Dinamalar (in Tamil). Nellai. 6 March 2018. Archived from the original on 30 November 2021. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
- Raman, Venkat (13 February 2020). "Young Mridangist impresses music aficionados in Chennai". Indian Newslink. New Zealand. Archived from the original on 23 February 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
- மாதேவன், சந்தோஷ் (11 December 2019). "`நேர்கொண்ட பார்வை', `சூரரைப் போற்று', `புதுமைப் பெண்'... தமிழ் சினிமாவும் பாரதியார் ரெஃபரென்ஸும்!". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 15 March 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
- Rajamani, Rajesh (7 June 2020). "To Appreciate Ilaiyaraaja's Anti-Caste Politics, You Have To Listen To His Music". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 22 November 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
- "Master of melody". Frontline. 10 September 1993. Archived from the original on 21 October 2021. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
- "Sindhu Bairavi". Spotify. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
- "சினிமா விமர்சனம்: சிந்து பைரவி". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 24 November 1985. Archived from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
- "சித்திரச்சோலை 22: வழிப்பயணி". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). 18 December 2020. Archived from the original on 16 April 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
- "33rd National Film Festival" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
- Chandran, Rina (28 February 2003). "Jaya airs a movie sequel made for TV". Business Line. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
- Swaminathan, Chitra (12 March 2003). "From Sindhu Bhairavi to Sahana". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
- Warrier, Shobha (6 March 2003). "Sindhu Bhairavi is back". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
- Dhananjayan, G. (2014). Pride of Tamil Cinema: 1931–2013. Blue Ocean Publishers. OCLC 898765509.
- Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1998) . Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (PDF). British Film Institute and Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-563579-5.
- Sundararaman (2007) . Raga Chintamani: A Guide to Carnatic Ragas Through Tamil Film Music (2nd ed.). Pichhamal Chintamani. OCLC 295034757.