Every single movie of Sridevi’s in Malayalam must have had a dance sequence incorporated in a song, in the great tradition of the ones from Travancore Sisters’ movies, from what I have seen. I always hope and pray for at least one and in Satyavan and Savithri (1977), it comes surprisingly early.
Satyavan Savithri was the only movie of that genre directed by PG Vishwambharan, a director known for his ‘populist’ movies. His second outre’ on something that was in the similar veins would come in 2002, in the form of hilarious-but-serious version of his take on Vadakkan Paattukal, starring Vani Vishwanath as Unniyarcha – a clunky dud called Puthooram Puthri Unniyarcha ! Back to Satyavan Savithri. The story is from the Mahabharatha, and was about the unflinching, steadfast love and devotion of a wife for her husband that transcend even the prospect of death, to the point where she manages to bring back her husband, born with a terminal curse, to life, impressing even Yamadharma, the Lord of Death.
If you haven’t watched Poombatta (1971), yours truly recommends you to do that. Not just for the fact that it was a simple, straightforward story, without any fussy ‘superstars’ of that era ( well..almost, it does have Raagini in a guest role), but for laying it out in brilliant contrast, the acting prowess of a little girl called Baby Sridevi, or the Sridevi as we know her today. Karoor Neelakanta Pillai’s literary work ( I am of the belief that it has to be one of his short stories, if it ever was, or else he wrote it for the screen, and no, I have NOT read any of his literary works which I plan to, soon). The story was the done-to-death oneliner of little-girl-redeemed-from-her-suffering-by-kindly couple, and BK Pottekkad ( the director), gives you an advance warning that it is of course, a ‘Children’s Film.’