The Ragini chronicles in Sarangapani’s Vadakkan Pattukal

The early editions of Vadakkan pattukal that came out from Udaya studios had a delightful set of commonalities. The scripts were either by TK Sarangapani or N Govindankutty, and until Sheela came along, it was Ragini who brought to life the women-centric ballads onscreen. I have tried to feature the ones that TK Sarangapani and Ragini came together in this post, and then go on to the similar roles Ragini did in other Malayalam Cinema productions (both for Udaya and others), and onto the Vadakkan Pattukal scripted by N Govindankutty.

Unniyarcha (1961)

Ragini in and as Unniyarcha (1961)
The genre of Vadakkan pattukal in Malayalam cinema as we know it, starts with Udaya Studio’s Unniyarcha (1961). In addition to creating  a genre out of thin air, Sarangapani also set the template for all the future ones to follow.  Iwould say with some reasonable amount of conviction that even Unniyarcha (1961) was the blueprint for Hariharan‘s magnum opus Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha (1989), even to the point of borrowing sequences and scenes, but with a far greater sensibility of the medium than its Black and White predecessor.

Continue reading The Ragini chronicles in Sarangapani’s Vadakkan Pattukal

TK Sarangapani | The Master Craftsman of the Vadakkan pattukal on celluloid.

TK Sarangapani With TK Sarangapani’s passing, Malayalam cinema lost something significant that it would have never even realised in the first place  (or though realised, callously relegated it to those places where one normally stores stuff which don’t have ‘dollar’ value) – he was the last living custodian of Udaya studio’s history, one who was Udaya Studio’s soul-keeper (I know that sounds tacky but that comes close to it). Sarangapani, who was virtually whisked away in his work clothes from his ‘lowly’ existence as a seamster at the Alleppey South Indian Rubber Works to the the hallowed portals of Udaya Studio bowled over Kunchacko, the reigning emperor of Malayalam Cinema ( read Udaya Films) with his very first attempt in rewriting a couple of lines of  Moidu Padiyath‘s screen adaptation of Umma (1960).

Continue reading TK Sarangapani | The Master Craftsman of the Vadakkan pattukal on celluloid.