S Pavamani | A Producer of Classics and Popular Cinema.

Ayodhya (1975)

S Pavamani‘s first film production, it was the remake of the NTR starrer Samsaram (1950), directed by PN Sundaram under the newly formed PrathapChithra banner. He spared no expense in getting Prem Nazir, the reigning celluloid god to play the hero and KR Vijaya as the main female lead. A pure commercial blockbuster, he made sure the buzz factor notched up a few notches up with getting the one and only Kishore Kumar to sing in Malayalam. This must have been probably the only song Kishoreda has sung in Malayalam ! The song  ABCD, Chettan KD, Aniyanu pedi..was as nonsensical it could come, but it was on everyone’s lips after the movie was released. I remember humming it around, in a continuous loop, like a moronic ditty stuck in your head that refuses to go away. Devarajan Master also incidentally became the only Malayalam music director who got around to compose for Kishoreda in Malayalam.

Here is Kishore da singing in Malayalam (ahem).
Song : ABCD Chettan KD
Lyrics(!) : P Bhaskaran
Music : G Devarajan.

Vilakkum Velichavum (1978)

Vilakkum Velichavum, would sadly signal the soon-to-be culmination of a fruitful directorial career of P.Bhaskaran. He would go on to direct Enikku Vishakkunnu (1983), that too after a gap of 5 years, which would also become his swan song in directing feature films. Vilakkum Velichavum had nothing special to boast in story department, it was a case of death-at-childbirth-baby-swapped-father-pines-for-the-rest-of-his-life  movie, with Prem Nazir, as usual, as the long-suffering father. The film had a fair run at the box-office. The late seventies were also a time when the then-existing ‘market-forces’ had more or less helped spread the impression that the old school’s time had come – specially P Bhaskaran and the music maestro K Raghavan. It was time for new talent and new mainstream trends to take center stage. S Pavamani, as defiant as he was when it came to nurturing and encouraging great talent, and giving it its due, went ahead and got both of them, and along with A.Vincent, as director,  signed up for his project Ponnum Poovum in (1983). The movie was a success, and the songs popularity went on to prove that afterall , maestros will remain maestroes.

Here is the folksy Neelamalapoonkiyiley, sung by P Jayachandran, lyrics by P Bhaskaran, set to music by K Raghavan.

Njan Ekanaanu(1982)

Njaan Ekanaanu(1982)

I wish someone could help me here and shed clarity on this aspect. It is widely believed that S Pavamani was instrumental in bringing KS Chithra into Malayalam Cinema, even going to the extent of personally getting her to Chennai and making her sing under MG Radhakrishnan, who incidentally was her Guru too.  But the production details tell another story. It was a project financed by Madhu himself, under his Uma Banner. Though it was distributed jointly with another company, Chalachithra. What remains to be known was whether Chalachithra was also a distributorship under S Pavamani. It has to be. Even otherwise, S Pavamani was the kind of person and businessman who would go the extra mile ,  to ensure deserving talent got its worthy platform. I wish someone would offer more clarity on this fact. It would be highly appreciated.

Here is KS Chitra’s first song as playback singer,  Rajani Parayoo, lyrics by Sathyan Anthikad, music by MG Radhakrishnan. The Nightingale was said to be all of 16 years, and singing like a professional.

Kaliyil alpam Kaaryam(1984)

Neelima's debut in Kaliyil Alpam Karyam (1984)
Neelima’s debut in Kaliyil Alpam Karyam (1984)

It was also said that S Pavamani was so impressed with this highly talented assistant director to Dr.Balakrishnan, by the name of Sathyan Anthikkad who had just completed this movie called Appunni (1984), and and wanted him to direct a movie that he produced, based on the script from MT. Sathyan was by then 4 films old as an independent director. Despite numerous meetups, nothing materialised, and S Pavamani then attempted to get P Padmarajan to write a screenplay for Sathyan’s next project which also never materialised. I wonder how it would have been, if it had come through.Or for that matter, Sathyan and MT has collaborated on a project. Eitherways, S Pavamani got to produce a film directed by Sathyan, Kaliyil alpam Karyam (1984), that too with a script from his guru, Dr Balakrishnan. The film was also the debut of Neelima, who disappeared after the project. Sadly, Sathyan would also direct the last film S Pavamani produced, Gayathridevi Ente Amma (1985), scripted by Venu Nagavalli, probably the first and last time they worked together. I also wonder why they never tried again , coming together for a project.

Here is Manatharil, a beautiful composition from the early works of Raveendran Master.

Uyarangalil (1984)

Uyarangalil (1984)One of the finest noir-films of crime, decadence and greed that MT ever wrote for the Malayalam screen. Mohanlal revisited his dark and manic side with this tale of greed and  unbridled lust for money, power and women. Directed by IV Sasi, who had by then become a force to reckon with in Tamil and in Malayalam, this was also IV Sasi’s first foray into feature films based on MT’s script. As far as MT and S Pavamani were concerned, they were reuniting after Nirmalyam (1973), a good 10 years! personally, this was undoubtedly, one of the best roles Mohanlal has ever portrayed on Malayalam cinema, the wily, remorseless, scheming, lusty Jayarajan. This was also one of the three movies that featured Kajal Kiran, the Hum Kisis se Kum Nahin actress, who would also disappear from the movie scene after a disastrous stint in the Ramsey Brothers’ productions.IV Sasi would enjoy a long string of commercially and aesthetically superior movies after this, with this association with MT, including Allookattathil Thaniye (1984), which I personally believe is Kuthiravattam Pappu‘s greatest movie ever. If you havenot yet watched this movie, I insist that you don’t miss it. Mohanlal would play the avenger in a yet another noir-masterpiece from MT, but this time with the legendary Bharathan, in Thazhvaram (1990). Uyarangil also had the principal cinematography handled by the highly talented Jayanan Vincent and was also his 5th film in a row with IV Sasi! He is also incidently, S Pavamani’s son-in-law.

Here is an excerpt from the film Uyarangalil.

Gaythridevi Ente Amma (1985)

Scripted by Venu Nagavalli and directed by Sathyan Anthikkad, this was the last film production handled by S Pavamani in a fruitful career that nourished and nurtured some great talents in Malayalam cinema.

Related : S Pavamani | The visionary who gifted MT, Sathyan Anthikkad and KS Chithra to Malayalam Cinema

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