After watching Kanyakumari (1974) by the KS Sethumadhavan – MT Vasudevan Nair duo, there are places your eyebrows go, at times in puzzlement, at times in amusement and at times with sheer curiosity. These are what I felt had to be put down in a separate, yet related note. Who knows, you would find more, once you have watched the movie, or recall it from the times you watched it four decades back.
This is fondly dedicated to a “Kanyakumari Evangelist “ 🙂
Kanyakumari (1974), directed by KS Sethumadhavan based on MT Vasudevan Nair’s screenplay also had a unique pairing onscreen that was never repeated ever – Kamal Haasan with Rita Bhaduri ( NOT to be confused with the younger sister of Jaya Bhaduri), that too in a Malayalam film production! It was her second movie in her career having graduated from the Pune Film Institute in 1973. Zarina Wahab, her batch-mate, however decided to stick with Malayalam films along with her work in Hindi, and even started off paired opposite, guess whom – Kamal Haasan in Malayalam, in Madanolsavam (1978).
This was also Kamal Haasan’s first film in Malayalam in a leading (?) role, after his debut in Kannum Karalum (1961), which again was by KS Sethumadhavan. Kanyakumari (1974) portrays a brief increment in time, centred around the three focii – Kanyakaumari and its enduring myths, the main Rest House of the tourist destination and the vistors to the coastal town who stay there, the squalid tenement of the leading protagonist, Parvati and the events that bind them, riding on sheer chances and coincidences. In a way, as I see it, Kanyakumari is an interesting study of helplessness, sexual and spiritual – of the leading members of the cast pitted against unbridled virility without any morality, and the how destiny addresses each in its own celestial logic.
[ This is the prize-winning entry from the MT Classics 500 Contest entries submitted, which ran in the month of May, 2011 at Old Malayalam Cinema. The author Mohammed Naseef is a software engineer working in Bangalore, from Malappuram, passionate about films and reading. He says, “M.T Vasudevan Nair is one of my favourite literary & film personality, and Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha is one of my favourite movies. This prompted me to put forth my thoughts about it at your site. I owe a lot to my friends with whom I have discussed this movie, whose thoughts are also reflected in what I have sent as my entry for the contest.” ] Congratulations Mohammed !
[ Please don’t try clicking through the thumbnails. They are NOT pdf bundles of the Maestros’ Screenplays. If you love their movies, why not show your appreciation by buying them legally?]
MT Vasudevan Nair’s Screenplays
Though it took three years for all the three to come around, it just didn’t matter. I consider all three of them close to my heart and would recommend these to anyone who truly appreciates the works of the masters. Had the rest of them (read Bharathan, P Bhaskaran and the likes of them Maestros) had effected the same at some point in their career, to have their screenplays kept together for future generations, this would have been a better place. It is also poignant that all the three are brought out, courtesy of DC Books, perhaps a venture very unique to the publishing industry in India. Maybe this would serve as an example of bringing out the scripts of the Hindi Classics too – what a delightful experience would that be!