4 Measures (of Rice)
Release date : 24 August 1958
The first Thakazhi novel to be adapted onscreen, this was the second in the trilogy of movies that featured Miss Kumari as a representative of the agrarian, working class, fighting the system for sheer survival. Randidangazhi (1958) was also the debut of one of the onscreen legends of Malayalam cinema, PJ Antony, and KPACs singing star KPAC Sulochana. Miss Kumari played Chirutha, the heart of a love triangle, with Koran (PJ Antony) & Chathan ( TS Muthaiah), best friends and equally besotted with her. A bigot landowner, a way ward son all form part of a volatile mix that rushes to a violent climax. Thakazhi’s dialogues set fire to the narrative that made it a huge draw at the box-office.
Movie Hand Bill
Movie Still of Randidangazhi (1958)
More about the Movie
|PJ Antony||Miss Kumari|
|JAR Anand||Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair|
|Muttathara Soman||SP Pillai|
|TS Muthaiah||Adoor Pankajam|
|Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair||Vaanakkutty|
|Dialogues||Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai|
|Lyrics||Thirunayinaarkurichi Madhavan Nair|
|Music||Br Lakshmanan, Trichur P Radhakrishnan|
|Playback Singers||Kamukara Purushothaman, CS Radhadevi, KPAC Sulochana, Meena Sulochana|
|Sound Design||Krishna Ilamon|
Copyrights & Courtesy : The Hindu (B Vijayakumar’s MetroPlus Kochi Column)
Chirutha (Miss Kumari) is the beautiful daughter of a peasant Ittitharakali. Her avaricious father wants to marry her off to the first person who can provide the penpanam’ or a sort of dowry system that prevailed in the community. Koran (P. J. Antony) and Chathan (T. S. Muthiah), two peasants are in love with Chirutha.
Chirutha has a soft corner for Koran who decides to sell himself to the local landlord for a loan. Using this loan money Koran pays the ‘penpanam’ and wins Chirutha’s hand in marriage. A dispute arises during the marriage. The landlord demands ‘Thampran panam,’ a tax levied by the landlords at the time of marriage from their tenants, especially lower cast tenants. Chathan stands by Koran here.
Koran and Chirutha move to the neighbouring village, work in the paddy fields, and lead a happy life. Ouseph, the landlord here, is a cruel bigot who exploits his labourers terribly. Koran protests against this. He organises the labourers and forms a union to protect their rights. For this he has to pay a huge penalty. Koran is whipped by the landlord. He turns a revolutionary, organises protests against the landlord that also includes a strike in the fields.
Koran also brings to light the shady deals of the landlord. These incidents make Koran a sort of rebel. The landlord hatches a conspiracy against Koran and the peasant leader falls into the trap. He is implicated of charges of theft. Fearing police arrest Koran flees the place. Chacko, the landlord’s son, attempts to molest Chirutha but is foiled by timely arrival of Koran.
In the ensuing struggle he strangles Chacko to death. Before Koran is arrested and sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment, he hands a pregnant Chirutha to Chathan, his intimate friend, and who always nursed a silent love for her. Chathan looks after her like his own sister till Koran is released from jail.
Songs from the Movie
I loved playing Chirutha in Thakazhi Sivashankara Pilla’s ‘Randidangazhi.’ It was one of my favourite characters . This was also PJ Antony’s debut on celluloid. It was a wonderful project that ought to have been a great success at te box-office. Sadly, it wasn’t.