Aana Valarthiya Vaanambadi (1959)
The Elephant and the Lark
Release date : 18 February 1960
The first successful ‘jungle movie’ in Malayalam, P Subramanian produced this as a bi-lingual – in Tamil & Malayalam. Strangely, the Tamil version was released first in Kerala with the Malayalam dubbed-version followed the following year. The star attractions, along with Miss Kumari in this novelty, ‘adventurous’ role were the two animal performers, Bheema (the elephant) & Pedro (the chimpanzee) whose on-screen antics played a huge part in the success of the film. Both the Tamil & Malayalam versions were both box-office successes. Miss Kumari was in a dual role, playing the role of the mother and the protagonist, Malli, a la lady Tarzan.
Publicity Still from Aana Valarthiya Vaanambadi (1959)
More about the Movie
|MN Nambiar||Miss Kumari|
|Pattom Saraswati Amma||Sreeram|
|‘Friend’ Ramaswamy||Thikkurussi Sukumaran Nair|
|SP Pillai||KV Santhi|
|D Balasubramaniam||MS Karuppaiah|
|CK Saraswati||SD Subba Lakshmi|
|Story||Neela Story Division|
|Screenplay||Thikkurussi Sukumaran Nair|
|Dialogues||Thikkurussi Sukumaran Nair|
|Distribution||Kumara Swamy & Co|
|Art Direction||MV Kochappu|
|Lyrics||Thirunayinaarkurichi Madhavan Nair|
|Playback Singers||P Leela, PB Sreenivas, AM Raja, Jamuna Rani, T Lokanathan|
Copyrights & Courtesy : The Hindu (B Vijayakumar’s MetroPlus Kochi Column)
The story of the film was inspired by the fictional character Tarzan created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the jungle series films produced earlier in Hindi and Tamil.
Lakshmi (Miss Kumari) along with her infant daughter take a flight to Singapore to join her husband Selvapathi (Thikkurissi) who is an estate owner there. The plane crashes and all the passengers, except the infant daughter of Lakshmi lose their lives. The child clad in a thick blanket lands in a forest somewhere in Kerala. Aadhiappan (Pedro), a chimpanzee finds the child on the top of a tree and takes the child to his master in the forest, Dharmarajan (D. Balasubramaniam) who had made the jungle his abode being fed up with city life.
The child is named Malli and is brought up by Dharmarajan as his own daughter. Malli grows up in the jungle playing with Aadhiappan and Bheemarajan, an elephant. Selvapathi returns home and he brings up his sister Saraswathi’s (S. D. Subbalakshmi) son Shekhar (Sreeram). Time goes by. Malli (Miss Kumari) grows up and Shekhar becomes an investigating officer. The chief of the bandits operating in the forest is after Malli. Shekhar is deputed to capture the bandits and bring them before law. In the jungle Shekhar meets Malli and falls in love with her. Dharmarajan does not approve of their love affair. After several twists and turns in the story, the bandits are captured by Shekhar. Dharmarajan’s hut in the jungle catches fire and all believe that he is killed. Shekhar takes Malli and Aadhiappan home.
Mohana (Shanthi), daughter of Selvapathi’s brother Arunachalam (Friend Ramaswamy) is in love with Shekhar. But Mohans’s mother Angamuthu (C. K. Saraswathi) wants to give her daughter in marriage to Azhagasundaram (M. N. Nambiar). The story takes strange twists. Dharmarajan rerturns to the city to meet Malli. They then come to know from Dharmarajan that the chief of the bandits, who had escaped, is none other than Azhagasundaram and that Malli is the daughter of Selvapathi. Azhagasundaram is punished for the crimes committed by him. Shekhar marries Malli.
Miss Kumari excelled in the “Lady Tarzan ” type role. Sreeram who had acred in a few Tamil films of early 1950s as hero performed his adventurous role well. S. P. Pillai created a laugh with his comic scenes especially those involving the wild animals.
The film was edited by K. D. George. The scenes shot at Merryland Studios and in a forest were very professionally edited. The major portion of the film was shot in the studio. Camera work by N. S. Mani also good. The scenes involving fights with the wild animals was effectively captured.
Songs from the Movie
The only difficulty during the shoot of Aana Valarthiya Vanambadi (1959) was acting along with the wild animals. Interestingly, the daily allowance, remuneration & transportation allowance of ‘Pedro’ the chimpanzee was higher than any of the human cast members.