The Malayalam VCD Production Kolaveri – Adoor Bhasi’s surgery

Cleaver Along with one of life’s ( the average Malayali’s) mind-numbing mysteries of shoving VCDs down the throat of the hapless cinephile is the equally dark and mystical world of the ‘editor’ who tries to dismember and pack a conventional movie into two a 2-disc VCD set which sometimes lead to horrifying results. In the long list of dismemberment, disembowelment and plain lobotomies that have  left me very, very angry ( without much use, may I add) is a recent surgery committed by someone at the production center on a movie  I deeply cherish, Aadyakiranangal (brought out by HORIZON AUDIO and VIDEO) on Adoor Bhasi, whose presence has a historic significance in the movie. Who in their right minds would do this, I don’t have the faintest idea. Is it that the ones who markup and delete content from the master file have absolutely NO idea about what they have just erased forever ? Let me explain.

Aadyakiranangal (1964).

AadyaKiranangal VCD cover
Courtesy : MSI

The movie, which according to Vijay ji was the first “Christian social movie“, and also  one which received the Certificate of Merit at the National Awards of that year, holds a special place in any Malayalam movie lover’s heart for a very different reason.

It was the debut of Adoor Bhasi as a playback singer. It was also, as far as I know, the first and last instance of Kuthiravattam Pappu turning to playback singing!

But, thanks to some idiot at Horizon Audio and Videos, we will NEVER get to see them. WHY ? Because, the role played by Adoor Bhasi, that of a traveling bard ( a small-time kathaprasangam artiste) has been surgically removed from the VCD content. To add insult to injury, one of the songs  that Adoor Bhasi sings, ” ആനച്ചാല്‍ നാട്ടിലുള്ള ചന്തയിലെ കല്ലോലതുല്ല്യയാകും മെയ്യിലെഴുന്ന മങ്കേ” has an equally rip-roaring chorus backup, Kuthiravattam Pappu ! I do not know of any other track recorded for a movie by Kuthiravattam Pappu, so this could mean his only track, and that too, along with Adoor Bhasi. Priceless ! The sad part is that the technical minds with  the aesthetic and historical sensibilities of a doorknob can rarely understand the consequences of their actions.

Here is the list of songs that we all have been denied.

Song

Singers

Aanachaal Naattilulla Adoor Bhasi, Kuthiravattom Pappu
Car Lorreel Keri Adoor Bhasi
Kallupaalathil Kariyaachan Adoor Bhasi
Kannoor Dharmadam Adoor Bhasi & Chorus
Manjulabhaashini Baale Adoor Bhasi
Shanka Vittu Varunnallo Adoor Bhasi

Thanks to Horizon Audio and Videos, with a paid-for legal copy of Aadyakiranangal in hand, I am now on the lookout for a copy of the movie with some private collector who would have a copy with the precious portion in the content.

Thank you, Horizon Audio and Video, and a big smackeroo to that trigger-happy scissor-hands whose knowledge of Malayalam cinema can be written on the head of a pin, with room to spare for a teashop.

Adoor Bhasi and Kuthiravattam Pappu ripping it up !

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12 thoughts on “The Malayalam VCD Production Kolaveri – Adoor Bhasi’s surgery

  1. I am mad too hearing this..why dont we contact Maebag,Horizon etc and convey our concern to them..so just in case they get hold of a master print they wont do it again.
    Also this bring to mmy mind. Kottaram Vilkanundu..the evergreen hit song Chandrakalabjam was in that movie. Doordarshan telecast this song repeatedly for a special program around 8am the day Nazir Sir died. I saw that show and remember the song sequence in which he was wearing a poloshirt tucked into a mund singing near a pond..which means DD had it once. Well now that I am here I am going to go there and see how it can be retrieved..

    1. Dear Sibi,
      Glad to know you are in India for your vacation. How about some photographs of those favorite Chayakkadas that you mentioned ? 🙂 And all the best with your archive hunting at DD. Let me know how it went..regards..cinematters

    2. Also, regarding conveying our plain displeasure, would be mostly an exercise in futility as they will squarely put the blame on the source file ( “This is how we recvd it Saar”) for starters. It would also mean a fundamental shift in throwing away the VCD culture and sticking only to DVDs, which, am sure these creatures of comfort would find an arduous task..regards..cinematters

  2. Video and audio companies need people who are not only technically
    competent but also have an aesthetic sense. And did Kuthiravattom
    Pappu act in this movie? . If so- to my knowledge it would be the only
    movie in which Pappu shared screenspace with Sathyan.

    1. sorry boss.. pappu was there in THACHOLI OTHENAN and it was he and kaduvakkulam (if my memory is right) bring sathyan infront of ponnapuram kelu and in the process sathyan hit several times on pappu’s back.. pappu’s character was the main gang leader of ponnapuram kelu in that movie.

  3. its not a new matter… the crucial climax portion (which was picturised in colour) of dev anand’s classic movie TEEN DEVIYAAN (1965) was deliberately deleted from the copy during late 1980s and now there is only the re-edited portion is circulating.

    similarly the 5 reels of old malayalam movie UNNIYARCHA was removed from the movie in 1983 and added the AAROMALUNNI song PAADAM PAADAM AAROMAL CHEKAVAR in that place just to cut down the cost of re-certification and by doing that they denied us the chance of seeing entire portions of AAROMAL CHEKAVAR – ARINGODAR fight and CHANTHU KILLING AAROMAL CHEKAVAR and later the death of CHANTHU..

    and for aadya kiranangal, we cant blame the “SO CALLED IDIOTS” because you are not going to see that portions even if ii is telecasted at any T V channels.. these scenes were removed from the movie much earlier.. doordarshan telecasted AADYA KIRANANGAL TWICE nad ASIANET once and on all the 3 occassions, these scenes were not telecasted..

    1. Dear Gopalji,

      I guess the massive botchup on Unniyarcha is something of a legend now :). And with reference to aadyakiranangal being telecast on DD and Asianet with the scenes removed, I am just so past that stage of even giving these blinkered primates the benefit of doubt. I am so weary being enraged that it just doesn’t seem to matter, after a certain point of time.. Regards..cinematters

      1. yeah.. you are right.. but no such benefit of doubts to my neighbours, empire videos thrissur for removing as many scenes of addor bhasi and the popular song VANNATTE OH MY DEAR BUTTERFLY from the movie PANCHAMI.. they did it deliberately and the same print is telecasted repeatedly by KAIRALI (ie without bhasi and that song)

        but i have a full length print of panchami in my collection including that song courtsey to ASIANET..

  4. You know what the problem is? Now, we will NEVER get the original film in its entirety because anyone making even a DVD print will just copy it from this VCD. It’s like the crucial 30 minutes excised from Teesri Manzil – people who haven’t seen the movie before are always going ‘Huh, what?’ when they see it for the first time. Aaaargh!

    1. Hi Anu,
      THAT exactly is what has been repeated across a lot of movies across a lot of languages in India, treading roughshod over historical moments with deliberate stupidity that borders on criminal, and this is EXACTLY what enrages me. Why stop at Teesri Mansil, even Teen Deviyan’s lost moments is legion.As I mentioned, private collections, to a certain extent. After that, I really don’t know..regards..cinematters

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