Sri Rama Pattabhishekam (1962)
The Coronation of Sree Rama
Release date : 11 September 1962
Choosing to portray the role of Kaikeyi, rather than Sita, seems to have been a wilfully chosen decision on Miss Kumari’s part, acknowledging the progressing ‘maturity’, literally & figuratively. And without a doubt, the meatiest role in the onscreen drama too. Her onscreen performance was brilliant, as usual. “Sree Rama Pattabhisekam” attempted to depict the story of Rama, from his birth to his coronation, and was all of 3 hours. This was also one of the earliest adaptations from the Ramayana in Malayalam cinema. The movie saw the debut of Kaviyoor Ponnamma and Vasanthi (in Malayalam). Sri Rama Pattabhishekam was a huge commercial hit.
Movie still from Sree Rama Pattabhishekam
More about the Movie
|Prem Nazir||Prem Navas|
|Miss Kumari||Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair|
|Vasanthi (Old)||GK Pillai|
|KV Santhi||TK Balachandran|
|Padmini Priyadarshini||Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair|
|Jose Prakash||Adoor Pankajam|
|Kaviyoor Ponnamma||Aranmula Ponnamma|
|Master Hari||Santo Krishnan|
|Dialogues||Nagavally RS Kurup|
|Screenplay||Nagavally RS Kurup|
|Lyrics||Thirunayinaarkurichi Madhavan Nair, Thunchathezhuthachan|
|Playback Singers||KJ Yesudas, S Janaki, P Susheela, P Leela, PB Sreenivas, Kamukara, AP Komala, Jikki (PG Krishnaveni), Vaidehi|
|Cinematography||GK Ramu, M Kannappan|
|Sound Design||Krishna Ilamon|
Copyrights & Courtesy : The Hindu (B Vijayakumar’s MetroPlus Kochi Column)
‘Sree Rama Pattabhishekam,’ released on October 11, 1962 was the second Malayalam film based on the ‘Ramayana’, the first being ‘Seetha’ (1960) produced by Udaya Studios. The film was produced and directed by P. Subramaniam under the banner of Neela Productions.
Almost all the popular stars of the time like Prem Nazir, Prem Navaz, Thikkurissi, G. K. Pillai, Kottarakkara, T. K. Balachandran, Jos Prakash, Miss Kumari, Adoor Pankajam, were part of ‘Sree Rama Pattabhishekam.’
Vasanthi , who had acted in Tamil films like ‘Maadappura’ (1962) was cast in the role of Seetha. This was her first Malayalam film. The versatile Kaviyoor Ponnamma also made her film debut in this film. She played the role of Mandodari, the consort of Ravana.
The dialogues written by the noted playwright Nagavalli R. S. Kurup were impressive. Camera by Kannappa, coupled with special effects, brought to the screen flying images, magic arrows, etc. The film was edited by another debutant N. Gopalakrishnan. The dances were choreographed by Thankappan and performed by Padmini Priyadarshini, Sukumari and Shanthi. The music composed by Brother Lakshmanan was based on classical ragas, dispensing with the usual practice of imitating other language film tunes.
One of the scenes in the film won wide appreciation, even from the critics. This showed Ravana trying to justify his actions including the abduction of Seetha. Here the ten heads of Ravana speak, which revealed the imagination and cinematic skill of the director.
The duration of the film, full three hours, was too short to depict the story of Rama, from his birth to his coronation. The director attempted to string in important scenes through song sequences.
The emotional and dramatic sequences like banishment of Rama to the forest, death of Dasharatha, wedding of Rama, encounter with Parasurama etc. were given prominence. A few scenes, like the parents of Sravan Kumar cursing Dasharatha, were shown as a flashback.
On the whole the film succeeded in showing the main events of the epic quite effectively. The film was a huge hit.
Prem Nazir played Rama, while his real life brother Prem Navaz was Lakshmana. Both of them came up with impressive performances. Thikkurissi as Dasharatha, T. K. Balachandran as Bharatha, G. K. Pillai as Vishwamithra, Jos Prakash as Sumanthra did justice to their characters, while Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair was superb as Ravana. Miss Kumari excelled as Kaikeyi. Adoor Pankajam as Manthara and Kaviyoor Ponnamma as Mandodari impressed. But Vasanthi as Seetha was a flop. Not being very charming and comparing her to others before her who were captivating in the same role were reasons attributed to Vasanthi’s failure.
Comic scenes involving S. P. Pillai also failed to create a ripple of laughter.