Vijayasree | The Songs and Dances

Vijayasree in  Othenante Makan

Vijaysree paired with Prem Nazir has to be one of the cleverest and most devious brand creations ever  in Malayalam cinema. It  ensured maximum returns at the box-office, and worked both ways. It  gave the leading pair  some of their most popular movies and to us, most importantly a treasure trove of songs that simply seemed to come together with with the bankable, winning pair. It was a dream run. The best pair cavorting with some of the most popular songs ever – if you don’t mind the tripe they dished out to support the whole exercise. It was sheer fun.

I have tried putting together some of of my favorites that best exemplifies the  magic created by Vijaysree and her leading man- in most cases, Prem Nazir. Now, some may not be the obvious ones, as I have tried to strike a balance across the years with those that are my favorites when it comes to Vijayasree, the ones that bring out her effortless grace as a dancer, the sizzling chemistry between the lead pair, amongst others. There is also another objective : to get you, Constant Reader to pitch in with your favorites, so that together, this becomes a single repository of the best songs ever picturised on her onscreen

Marunaattil Oru Malayaali  ( 1971 )

Nothing beats Govardhana giri when it comes to her showing off her remarkable poise, grace and sensuality with the ‘perceived’ classical dance sequences on screen. This was her first movie with director AB Raj.

Govardhana Giri from Marunattil oru Malayali (1971)

Anweshanam (1972)

By Anweshanam, Vijayasree seemed to have been turned a pet favorite of Sasi kumar as a valuable addition for his prolific rate of output as a Director. This was her fourth movie with Sasi Kumar. She played Priyamvada, the spoilt-rich brat who falls for the principled leading man ( yawn ! ). The song is one of my favorites. The chemistry is so palpable :) When Prem Nazir sings, “മാനത്തു നിന്നൊരു നക്ഷത്രം വീണു, മണ്ണില്‍ വന്നപ്പോള്‍ കന്യകയായി”, you are at a loss deciding whether he is referring to Priyamvada or Vijayasree !

Maanathu ninnoru from Anweshanam (1972 )

Aromalunni (1972 )

Her real entry into the larger-than-life persona that she would acquire over the years would start with this assembly-line production of Udaya : that’s what I believe. In keeping with typical Udaya production values, everything was so loud and over-the-top-kitschy that the song sequences in themselves remain partly memorable for those striking colors and the whole pastische ambience.The songs, melodious and catchy were somehow a perfect fit to the ambiance Kunchacko & Company created for her. I had to add two songs :)

Kanna, Aaromalunni kanna from Aromalunni (1972 )

Marimaan mizhi from Aromalunni (1972 )

Maya ( 1972 )

Her only movie with Ramu Kariat and an albeit short role.The movie adaptation of  K Surendran’s award winning novel, this was one was from the TE Vasudevan Nair stable and as such, its commercial and aesthetic values were unquestionable. Lyrics by Sreekumaran Thampi and set to music by Dakshinamoorthy, though I should it add that Madhuri sounds a little odd here. Guess its just me.

Kattile poomaramaadyam from Maya (1972)

Manthrakodi (1972)

Her first one with M Krishnan Nair’s brand of movie-making :) A CID crazy movie where Vijaysree was again paired opposite Prem Nazir ( as the CID officer Venu …yawn ). When Prem nazir sings “മലരമ്പന്‍ എഴുതിയ  മലയാള കവിത “, you have absolutely no doubt whom he is referring to. :)

Malarambanezhuthiya from Manthrakodi (1972)

Maravil Thirivu Sookshikkuka (1972 ).

Postmaane Kaanaanilla  (1972 )

It was difficult choosing between all the fabulous songs in this chucklious movie – ranks right up there along with lankadahanam in my list :) I selected Kaalam kankeli as it a unique composition that doesnot tread the usual story board of a traditional Prem nazir – Vijayasree duet in its picturisation. Ok, PN again gets to show off the Mythology props from Udaya’s prop department, but I am always hooked, everytime I listen to the song. Anyone knows the relevance of the book she is reading?

Kalam Kankeli from Postmaane kaananilla (1972)

Pushpaanjali (1972 )

It was again tough choosing between Nakshathra Kinnaranmaar and this , and settled down on this as it also shows the effortless chemistry between both of them. Don’t forget to check out Prem Nazir’s gait from 2 : 03. ( Pssst: My dad had the EXACT same T-Shirt :-P )

Padmavyooham (1973)

Sit back and enjoy.
Kuyilinte mani nadam from Padmavyooham (1973)

Panchavadi  (1973)

One of the rare occasions where Prem Nazir romances on a motorbike. This was another treasure trove of great songs – Nakshathra mandala, poovani ponnum Chingam, all from the genius of Sreekumaran Thampy, set to music by MK Arjunan. Never mind if they don’t move an inch most of the time :) , the song is just perfect.

Manassinakathoru Palazhi from Panchavadi (1973)

Ponnapuram Kotta (1973)

Roopavathi Ruchirangi   from  Ponnapuram Kotta (1973)

Veendum Prabhatham ( 1973 )

One of the popular favorites. Her only movie with P Bhaskaran.

Nalinamukhi  from Veendum Prabhatham (1973 )

Ankathattu (1974 )

Ankathattu was a clone of the Udaya brand of Vadakkan pattukal on celluloid. And the songs kept coming along with the heady color and kitschy wardrobe. But the songs, as usual, never disappointed. Here is one of my favorites.

Swapnalekhe Ninte from Ankathattu (1974 )

Youvanam (1974)

One amongst her posthumous releases, from what I can gather. The leading man is Raghavan for a change. Maybe its just me, but doesn’t she look far more younger and slimmer in this than the others? Was this perhaps a project that took a couple of years to get into whatever semblance it was . I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel right. But the song, is a poignant melody.

Swarnappoonchola from Youvanam (1974 )

Added : 13 April 2012.

A rare video clipping from Gopalji’s archives.
Manorame nin from Bobanum Molyum (1971)

Do write in with your favorites.

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11 thoughts on “Vijayasree | The Songs and Dances

  1. Vijayasree loved children with all her innocence, she used to distribute sweets or candies whenever she saw children nearby.

  2. Vijayasree’s personal charisma, beauty and body language are the main factors successfully contributed for the Box office and record gains of her films. Still it is very pathetic she was not paid, most of all heroines were thus financially ill treated by producers and directors if not protected by other factors, we have many examples of such heroines in front of us. why those girls committed suicide or even killed brutally? Because……………..

    • Hi Vinod,
      The veracity of talking points with regard to being over-worked, over-exploited and under-paid, are all, I feel, a matter of dispute. 40 years (almost) since her passing, all we have is hearsay and random mentions in the print media ( specifically personal memoirs, and hence colored ) to go by. We will stick to her movies and her roles, shall we :) Thanks, cinematters

  3. Vijayasree songs and dances clearly shows her talent as a genuine artist of all forms of dances and an actress as a whole. Many more of her songs are expected, please add. Thanks a lot.

  4. As always your articles brings back lot of nostalgia and of course, the long lost memories, of growing up in India in the 70′s. I’d give anything to go back to that era again!!! Keep pumping out more articles on that bygone era. Can’t say enough thanks to you, Cinematters!!!

  5. Post script: The book she is reading in the song from Postmane Kaanaanilla revealed itself with a bit of photoshopping…it’s title reads “Kachadevayaani” (the mythical love story of Kachan and Devayani). The daydream picturisation is based on this :)

    • Aha ! That puts the matter to rest :) Was wondering the sudden decision of PN to appear in “Udaya Color” with the same ill-fitting size -11 toupee. Thanks Susie !..cm

  6. It was a very interesting and well researched article,which I very much enjoyed reading. A surprising coincidence that she was originally from my home town of Manacaud, and had not even heard that she was from there in the 70′s growing up(Unlike Sathyan, who was from around there, too)! Saw her on all the posters at that time, of course.Well done, Cinematters.

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