Vaazhkai (1949 film)
Vaazhkai (English: Life) is a 1949 Indian Tamil-language social guidance film produced and directed by A.V. Meiyappan through AVM Productions. It stars Vyjayanthimala in her screen debut with M. S. Draupadi, T. R. Ramachandran and S. V. Sahasranamam forms an ensemble cast along with many actors appearing in other significant role. Telugu Jeevitham (1950 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||A. V. Meiyappan|
|Produced by||A. V. Meiyappan|
|Written by||P. Neelakantan|
|Story by||M. V. Raman|
M. S. Draupadi
T. R. Ramachandran
S. V. Sahasranamam
|Narrated by||M. V. Raman|
|Music by||R. Sudarsanam|
|Cinematography||T. Muthu Samy|
|Edited by||M. V. Raman|
|Distributed by||AVM Productions|
Upon release the film was well received and it won the Best Tamil Film Award at the 1st Film Fans' Association Awards. Vyjayanthimala and M. S. Draupadi received the Second Best Tamil Actress and Third Best Tamil Actress Awards respectively. It also broke some box office records in South India.
The film was simultaneously released in Telugu as Jeevitham. The film was later remade in Hindi as Bahar (1951) directed by M. V. Raman. Vyjayanthimala played the lead role in all these versions with Meiyappan as the producer.
Murthi (S. V. Sahasranamam) comes to a village and spend time with Meenakshi (M.S. Draupadi) and leaves for his home town. After returning there he wants to marry Mohana (Vyjayanthimala) while Mohana loves Nathan (T. R, Ramachandran). Lakshmi discovers she is pregnant and goes to Murthi, who claims ignorance. She jumps into the sea in a suicide attempt. A passerby saves her and she has the baby. She leaves the baby with Nathan, in his car. He takes care of the baby and faces many problems. Learning about the baby, Mohana gets suspicious. Finally the actions of Murthi are exposed and he accepts Meenakshi as his wife while Mohana and Nathan reunites.
Cast according to opening credits of the film
Vaazhkai was the first film to be shot at the new AVM's new studio at Chennai. For the lead female role A.V. Meiyappan wanted to launch a new face. M. V. Raman, the story writer of Vazhkai, spotted Vyjayanthimala performing Bharata Natyam in Chennai Gokhale Hall, impressed by her talent he later recommended her to Meiyappan. Vyjayanthimala, the daughter of the actress Vasundhara Devi was just 13 years old when Meiyappan approach her for the film. Despite Meiyappan's initial reservations to have her as the lead actress, she was chosen after he was convinced by watching her dance performance. Kannada actress Pandari Bai was considered for the other female role. However she was rejected by Meiyappan because he was not satisfied with her Tamil; she was replaced by M. S. Draupadi. However the actress later played that role in the Hindi version two years later in Bahar (1951) under the screen name Padmini.
The film's story line was inspired by a few Bollywood and Hollywood films. Hollywood film such as Bachelor Mother (1939), where the protagonist Polly Parrish Ginger Rogers finds a baby and searches for its father. A Bollywood film that inspired the film is Kunwara Baap (1942), which was later remade with the same name (1974) and had a similar plot.
The music is composed by R. Sudharsanam, lyrics are by Mahakavi Bharathiyar and K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam, and sung by T. R. Ramachandran. Playback singers are D. K. Pattammal, M. L. Vasanthakumari, T. S. Bagavathi, M. S. Rajeswari and A. G. Rathnamala.
|1||Manamevum Aasai.... Un Kangal Unnai Emaatrinaal||M. S. Rajeswari||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam||02:13|
|2||Manamevum Aasai.... Un Kann Unnai Emaatrinaal||T. R. Ramachandran||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam||01:50|
|3||Uzhuthundu Vaazhvaar.... Paadupattaale Palan Koodum||T. S. Bagavathi and M. S. Rajeswari||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam||10:18|
|4||Gopaalanodu Naan Aaduvene||M. L. Vasanthakumari||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam||04:49|
|5||Senthamizhum Suvaiyum Polave||T. R. Ramachandran and M. S. Rajeswari||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam||02:32|
|6||Annaiye Nee Ennai.... Ennam Ellaam Kanavu Pole||T. S. Bagavathi||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam||02:37|
|7||Enni Enni Parkka Manam||M. S. Rajeswari||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam||3:01|
|8||Bharatha Samudhaayam Vaazhgave||D. K. Pattammal||Mahakavi Bharathiyar||03:13|
|9||Senthamizhum Suvaiyum Polave||T. R. Ramachandran, M. S. Rajeswari and T. S. Bagavathi||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam||01:20|
|10||Ezhaikku Edhu Inbam||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam||03:11|
|11||Manadhinil Pudhuvidha||M. S. Rajeswari||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam|
|12||Avan Porukku||T. S. Bagavathi||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam|
|13||Aasai Kollum Meesaiyulla||M. S. Rajeswari and A. G. Rathnamala||K. P. Kamatchi Sundharam||03:45|
The film became a sleeper hit at the box office, later labelled as blockbuster when it completed 25 weeks of its theatrical run. Subsequently, the film was awarded a trophy in which Meiyappan's son M. Saravanan described as the tallest trophy of the company by the distributors in Karaikkudi for its 25 weeks of theatrical run.
The film was awarded with Best Tamil Film Award at the 1st Film Fans Association Award, where it secured 2,512 votes. At the same event, the lead actresses Vyjayanthimala and M. S. Darupadi also awarded with the Best Tamil Actress Award, Second Prize and Third Prize respectively. The former secured 1,676 votes, while the latter got 1,386 votes.
- 1st Film Fans Association Awards (1950)
- 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 20 February 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- Rajan, Anjana (20 January 2007). "A golden innings". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- Ramachandran, T. M. (30 October 1965). "Raman Looks Back". Sport and Pastime. Vol. 19. p. 51.
- Guy, Randor (14 February 2003). "Actress who glowed with inner beauty". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- Guy, Randor (9 June 2012). "Vazhkai 1949". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "AVM Production". Avm.in. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- Rangarajan, Malathi (19 February 2010). "History created ... and preserved!". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
- "Bhanumathi Best Star in Tamil and Telugu – Film Ballot Result". The Indian Express. 11 May 1950. p. 6.
- "Bhanumathi Ranked Best Actress". The Indian Express. 10 May 1950. p. 9.