Thanga Pathakkam

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Thanga Pathakkam
Thanga Pathakkam.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byP. Madhavan
Produced byShanthi Narayanaswamy
T. Manohar
Story byJ. Mahendran
StarringSivaji Ganesan
K. R. Vijaya
Sreekanth
Prameela
Music byM. S. Viswanathan
CinematographyP. N. Sundaram
Edited byR. Devarajan
Production
company
Release date
  • 1 June 1974 (1974-06-01)
Running time
165 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil

Thanga Pathakkam (transl.Gold medal) is a 1974 Tamil-language action drama film, directed by P. Madhavan and written by J. Mahendran. Based on the play of the same name, the film stars Sivaji Ganesan, K. R. Vijaya, Sreekanth and Prameela in the lead roles, while Major Sundarrajan and Cho Ramaswamy play supporting roles. It focuses on a disciplined Superintendent of Police who is dedicated to his job, while his son, on the contrary, is rebellious by nature and grows to resent his father. Ganesan reprises his role from the play.

Thanga Pathakkam was released on 1 June 1974. The film was a commercial success, running for over 175 days in theatres, and thereby becoming a silver jubilee film. It was remade in Telugu as Kondaveeti Simham (1981), and served as an inspiration for the Kannada film Kadamba (2004) and the Hindi film Shakti (1982).

Plot[edit]

Choudhry is a dedicated Superintendent of Police, caring husband and a respected man in the community. Being a policeman, however, makes him a strong disciplinarian, even at home. Because of Choudhry's dedication to his job, his son Jagan grows up more under the care of his mother Lakshmi than under his father. As Jagan grows up he becomes more and more rebellious. He begins to play truant, gamble and lie to his parents. Choudhry's attempts to discipline him only result in Jagan resenting him.

Cast[edit]

Adapted from credits:[1]

Production[edit]

Irandil Ondru was a play written by J. Mahendran for actor Senthamarai.[2] While naming the male lead character, a Superintendent of Police, Mahendran could not find any convincing name in Tamil; he found the Bengali name "Choudhry" convincing, and decided to give the character that name.[3] After seeing the play, Sivaji Ganesan bought the rights and staged the play again with some changes under the title Thanga Pathakkam, starring as Choudhry.[4][5] This play, which was inaugurated in 1972, was directed by S. A. Kannan.[6] It became a huge success, being staged more than 100 times.[2] Ganesan's company Sivaji Productions decided to adapt it into a film with the same title, with P. Madhavan directing.[4][5] Ganesan's daughter Shanthi Narayanaswamy produced the film along with T. Manohar.[6][1] Mahendran wrote the film's dialogues and was also credited for the original story.[7] Ganesan reprised his role from the play as Choudhry,[8] K. R. Vijaya was cast as his wife Lakshmi, reprising the role originally played by Sivakami while Sreekanth was cast as Choudhry's son Jagan, reprising the role originally played by Rajapandian.[6][3] Cho Ramaswamy was cast in the comic role of a politician named Vaiyapuri.[9] Mahendran did not write any dialogue for the scene where Lakshmi dies, instead he "visually depict[ed] the sorrow of a widower, which was very challenging. But Sivaji managed it in a single take."[10] Cinematography was handled by P. N. Sundaram, and editing by R. Devarajan.[1]

Themes[edit]

According to Ganesan, Thanga Pathakkam is not about a man killing his son to receive a gold medal, but a police officer's commitment to his post. In his view, the story elucidates the code of conduct for police officers and how they should perform their duties; the character upholds justice, so the title "Thanga Pathakkam" (meaning gold medal) actually personifies this dutiful police officer.[4] Within the film, Cho's character calls the policy Annaism (introduced in 1973 by politician M. G. Ramachandran, described by him as "a blend of the fine aspects of Gandhism, communism and capitalism") as "Appaism" (Anna meaning elder brother and Appa meaning father), as a means of ridiculing the policy which was known for being very radical.[11]

Soundtrack[edit]

The music was composed by M. S. Viswanathan, with lyrics by Kannadasan.[12] The song "Thatti Sellum" is set in the Carnatic raga known as Valaji,[13][14] and "Sumaithangi Saaithal" is set in Harikambhoji.[15][16]

No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Sothanai Mel Sothanai"KannadasanT. M. Soundararajan3:54
2."Thatti Sellum"KannadasanVani Jairam, Sai Baba4:49
3."Nallathoru Kudumbam"KannadasanT. M. Soundararajan, P. Susheela4:04
4."Sumaithangi Saaithal"KannadasanT. M. Soundararajan3:37

Release and reception[edit]

Thanga Pathakkam was released on 1 June 1974.[5] F. C. Arul, the then Inspector General of Tamil Nadu, made all possible arrangements to exhibit the film in 16 mm in all police stations throughout Tamil Nadu.[17] On 30 June 1974, the Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan appreciated the film and mentioned that Ganesan showed how a police officer should behave and live through his fantastic acting, and added that the film was a gold medal for Ganesan.[18] Thanga Pathakkam was a commercial success, running for over 175 days in theatres, thereby becoming a silver jubilee film.[19][20]

Impact[edit]

Thanga Pathakkam was dubbed in Telugu as Bangaru Pathakkam in 1976,[4][21] and was remade in the same language as Kondaveeti Simham (1981).[22] It served as an inspiration for the Kannada film Kadamba (2004),[23] and the Hindi film Shakti (1982).[24] According to Rediff's N. Sathiya Moorthy, Ganesan's characterisation of Choudhry "became a role model for aspiring young police officers".[25] The characterisation of the role became a benchmark in such a way that many later Tamil films would often refer to Choudhry when mentioning an "honest and upright officer".[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Thanga Pathakkam (motion picture) (in Tamil). Sivaji Productions. Opening credits, from 0:00 to 2:51.
  2. ^ a b "செலுலாய்ட் சோழன் சிவாஜி தொடர் 152 – சுதாங்கன்". Dinamalar (in Tamil). Nellai. 20 November 2016. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b Mahendran 2013, p. 224.
  4. ^ a b c d Ganesan & Narayana Swamy 2007, p. 183.
  5. ^ a b c "என்றும் மின்னும் 'தங்கப் பதக்கம்'" [The ever-shining Thanga Pathakkam]. The Hindu (Tamil). 22 November 2018. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d "Thanga Padhakkam : From stage to celluloid". The Cinema Resource Centre. 21 May 2015. Archived from the original on 11 December 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  7. ^ Mahendran 2013, p. 343.
  8. ^ Dhananjayan, G. (7 October 2014). "Sivaji: Benchmark for long, colossus forever". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 22 August 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  9. ^ "ஜக்குவுக்குள் ஒரு துக்ளக்!". The Hindu (Tamil). 9 December 2016. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  10. ^ Prabhakar, Siddharth; Ramesh, Neeraja (3 April 2019). "When silence spoke more than words". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  11. ^ "When Annaism sought de-mon". The Indian Express. 15 August 2017. Archived from the original on 11 December 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  12. ^ Viswanathan, M. S. (1974). Thanga Pathakkam (liner notes) (in Tamil). EMI Records. Archived from the original on 22 August 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  13. ^ Mani, Charulatha (16 August 2013). "Wake up to Valaji". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  14. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 161.
  15. ^ Mani, Charulatha (6 December 2013). "Positively tranquil". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2 July 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  16. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 159.
  17. ^ David, C. R. W. (1983). Cinema as Medium of Communication in Tamil Nadu. Christian Literature Society. p. 40.
  18. ^ "சினிமா விமர்சனம்: தங்கப் பதக்கம்" [Movie Review: Thanga Pathakkam]. Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 30 June 1974. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  19. ^ Selvaraj, N. (20 March 2017). "வெள்ளி விழா கண்ட தமிழ் திரைப்படங்கள்" [Tamil films that completed silver jubilees]. Thinnai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  20. ^ Ganesan & Narayana Swamy 2007, p. 242.
  21. ^ "Bangaru Pathakam (Celluloid)". Central Board of Film Certification. 22 June 1976. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  22. ^ Srikanth (18 January 2004). "Kadamba – Kannada". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  23. ^ Nanda Kumar, S. (22 October 2016). "Buzzing with ideas". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  24. ^ Verma, Sukanya (22 August 2013). "This tragedy is never a spoiler in Shakti". Rediff.com. slide 3. Archived from the original on 19 December 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  25. ^ Sathiya Moorthy, N. (22 July 2001). "Sivaji: Actor who revolutionised Tamil cinema". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 13 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]