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 roles.
|Directed by||A. V. Meiyappan|
|Produced by||A. V. Meiyappan|
|Screenplay by||P. Neelakantan (dialogues)|
|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|
Upon its 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. A year later, the film was re-released in a new copy with selected song sequences in hand-tinted colour.
The film was simultaneously released in Telugu as Jeevitham (1950). The film was later remade in Hindi as Bahar (1951). 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.
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 Vaazhkai, spotted Vyjayanthimala performing Bharatanatyam 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. Pandari Bai was initially cast in the other female role, but was removed because Meiyappan was not satisfied with her Tamil diction; she was replaced by M. S. Draupadi. However, Pandari Bai later played that role in the Hindi remake Bahar (1951) under the screen name Padmini. The final length of the film measured 14629 feet.
|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|
Release and receptionEdit
Vaazhkai was released on 23 December 1949. The Indian Express wrote, "The appeal of fresh youthful stars is truly enhanced by original treatment of situations that are not unrelated to Life. T. R. Ramachandran and Sahasranamam score easily in major roles and Sarangapany adds to the real gaiety of the film that is too long without boring". It became a major box office success, and 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 Karaikudi 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, Vyjayanthimala and Draupadi were 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)
- "Life". Indian Daily Mail. 30 October 1950. p. 4.
- Rajan, Anjana (20 January 2007). "A golden innings". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 30 December 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- Ramachandran, T. M. (30 October 1965). "Raman Looks Back". Sport and Pastime. Vol. 19. p. 51.
- Guy, Randor (9 June 2012). "Vazhkai 1949". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 December 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- Guy, Randor (14 February 2003). "Actress who glowed with inner beauty". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- 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.
- வாழ்க்கை (song book) (in Tamil). AVM Productions. 1949.
- "Life". The Indian Express. 23 December 1949. p. 1.
- "Life". The Indian Express. 9 April 1950. p. 6.
- Rangarajan, Malathi (19 February 2010). "History created ... and preserved!". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. 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.