Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Movie review-Sivaji Ganesan's classic

Movie review of old classic
Motor Sundaram Pillai.

This is a very old film of the sixties , with a popular star cast--
veteran actor Sivaji Ganesan, Sowkar Janaki, Jayalalitha, Kanchana, Nagesh, Sachu ,Nagaiya etc..,
Sivaji Ganesan-Sundaram Pillai
SowkarJanaki- wife of Sundaram Pillai
Kanchana,Jayalalitha,Sailasri-Three grownup daughters
Manimala-Sundaram Pillai's wife's sister and his first girl friend who sacrifices her love for her sister.

The story is about a very rich man Sundaram Pillai, a self made industrialist who has a motor company of his own. He is portrayed to have established a good name for himself and looks the typical classic upper-class gentleman. He has a huge family of roughly eight children ; three of them are grownups while the others are kids in primary classes. While Kanchana is the eldest daughter married to Siva Kumar, Jayalalitha and Sailasri are the two other grownup unmarried daughters. Jayalalitha is in love with Ravichandran , the son of a college principal and Saialsri falls in love with the brother of a friend.
The love affair is brought to light but unlike other normal stories, our Sundaram Pillai raises no objection to the marriage and fixes up the alliance after talking to the boys’ parents. The parents are delighted and on an auspicious day they arrive at the big bungalow for the engagement. Here comes the sudden twist in the story..
While the guests are eagerly waiting for Sundaram Pillai[Sivaji Ganesan] to come back from his office, there arrives a taxi and a young adolescent boy enters the scene. He innocently enquires after Sundaram Pillai and reveals that he has come in a hurry to collect his school fess from him. To the utter dismay of all around he declares that Sivaji Ganesan[Sundaram Pillai ] is his father. Sowkar Janaki , , Sivaji Ganesan’s wife is appalled to hear this and the parents of the prospective grooms are shocked that there is such a mystery in the life of the respectable gentleman. They are hesitant to go through with the alliance because now the whole reputation of the family is at stake.
Sundaram pillai[Sivaji] makes his entry at this point of time and there is an unpleasant stillness in the atmosphere. The guests leave without a word and the whole family takes cudgels against the father.Sivaji Ganesan is at his best in this scene where he entertains the young boy with sweets and milk and gives him money for the school fees. The youngster is totally perplexed at the undercurrents and his embarrassment in the hostile environment is portrayed beautifully by the adolescent boy. He goes back and Sundaram Pillai is now condemned by the whole family. Soon after ,we have Sowkar Janaki going to the house of the ‘other lady’ with the intention of unraveling the mystery. Here she encounters two young kids, and a teenage girl. They are very well behaved and in the course of the conversation Sowkar Janaki comes to know that their mother is dead. She is further shocked to see the photograph of the dead mother and faints.
She goes back to her own place and the last scene unfolds another piece of drama where the eldest married d daughter is sent back to the father’s house because she is suspected by her paretnsinlaw of being a woman of dubious virtue. Sundaram Pillai has invited the college principal and the other parents too when the elder daughter’s parents in-law storm in accusing Kanchana of misconduct. There is a heated exchange of words after which Sivaji Ganaesan reveals his past. He was an orphan brought up by a gentleman who had two daughters. While Sivaji was in love with the younger daughter Manimala, the elder one[Sowkar Janaki] is also in love with him and the father fixes up the marriage with the elder daughter. Sivaji and Manimala decide to sacrifice their happiness and Sowkar Janaki is married to Sivaji. They go to Rangoon because Sundaram has a job offer from that city and they join his sister who is already there. The period is during the war and one day when Sundaram is in the factory there is a bomb blast and it is reported that people in certain streets have been totally wiped out.Sundaram is shocked and returns to India. His mentor, though distressed at the daughter’s demise , now decides to marry the younger daughter to Sundaram once he inadvertently hears their conversation about their personal sacrifice.
But, soon after the wedding is over, there arrives a telegram informing them that the first wife Sowkarjanaki has survived from the bomb blast. The father is now totally aghast and after extracting a promise from Sundaram that the existence of one wife should not be revealed to the other ,dies.
Sivaji Ganesan explains the trauma he had to face in order to keep his word and keep both the women happy and oblivious of the other.
The guests understand his plight and all is well at the end.
The film brings out the best in veteran actors Sivaji Ganesan and Sowkar Janaki.Jayalalitha is one of the daughters, bubbly and beautiful , dances gracefully and looks decorative.Nagesh is also in the cast and he portrays a character like that of Thupariyum Sambu, the famous ‘detective’ in Devan’s novel ‘Thupariyum Sambu’.
The film is a classic with excellent portrayals of subdued dialogue delivery and superb emoting.SivajiGanesan is every inch the perfect gentleman and all the stars vie with one another in their acting capabilities. The strong story line and the well-maintained tempo are highlights of this old classic.

1 comment:

  1. I am a dye hard fan of Sivaji.I too have seen this long time back.Incidentally I have been toying with the idea of watching this classic again.Yourartice made me do this immediately.And another movie I need to see is Irumbuthirai for a love scene enacted with the most romantic expressions and dialoge by Sivaju and Viyanthimala.One has to see it to belive it.This scene is the pinnacle of shbtle acting.