Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||C. V. Sridhar|
|Produced by||C. V. Sridhar|
|Written by||C. V. Sridhar|
|Music by||A. M. Rajah|
|Edited by||T. R. Srinivasulu|
Then Nilavu (lit. Honeymoon) is a 1961 Indian Tamil-language romantic comedy film written, produced and directed by C. V. Sridhar. The film stars Gemini Ganesan and Vyjayanthimala in the lead, with K. A. Thangavelu, M. N. Nambiar, M. Saroja and Vasanthi in supporting roles. The soundtrack was composed by A. M. Rajah while the lyrics were written by Kannadasan.
The film deals with a young man Raj who falls in love with a young woman Shanti, but she disapproves of him. She returns to her home in Bangalore city, to join her father Sokkalingam and his newly married second wife on their honeymoon to Kashmir. Raj also joins them on tour, after being mistaken for Shanti's appointed manager (also named Raj), who no-one from the family has yet seen. Raj and Shanti eventually fall in love during the trip, but everything takes a drastic turn when the real Raj who was appointed as Shanti's manager arrives.
Then Nilavu was the first film produced by Sridhar's production company Chitralaya Films, as well as the first South Indian film to be shot in Jammu and Kashmir, while additional shooting took place in Madras (now Chennai). Principal photography lasted roughly two months. The film was released on 30 September 1961, and became a huge commercial success.
A man named Raj meets a girl named Shanti at a cricket match in Madras, and falls in love with her. Shanti does not reciprocate his love, and leaves for her home place Bangalore. Shanti's father Sokkalingam, a widower, marries Thangam. They decide to go to Kashmir for their honeymoon, and Shanti also wants to come. A friend of Sokkalingam suggests an alliance between Shanti and his nephew Raj who is now in Madras. Raj-2 ditches his wife Lalitha (who he had secretly married) when he learns of this proposed alliance and leaves for Bangalore, but misses the train. Just then Raj-1 arrives in Bangalore for a different reason, and Sokkalingam mistakes him for his friend's nephew. Sokkalingam and Thangam leave for Kashmir along with Raj-1 and Shanti, who still dislikes Raj-1, but eventually returns his love.
Raj-2 reaches Kashmir in search for Sokkalingam. Lalitha, fearing the safety of her husband, also reaches Kashmir in search for him. She meets Raj-1 and stays in his house. Lalitha meets Sokkalingam and tells that she is married to "Raj". Sokkalingam misinterprets this as Raj-1 and fires him as Shanti's manager. Meanwhile Raj-2 meets Sokkalingam and explains everything, therefore he replaces Raj-1 as Shanti's manager, despite Shanti's dislike for him. Shanti later learns that Lalitha is Raj-2's wife and reconciles with Raj-1, while Sokkalingam and Thangam are still unaware.
Raj-2 learns that Shanti loves Raj-1, and becomes jealous. At the same time, he meets Lalitha who he orders to return, else she will be killed. Lalitha flees, but secretly writes a letter to him showing her affection. Raj-2, touched by the letter, decides to take Lalitha on a boat ride, but has another plan: to kill Lalitha and frame Raj-1. When she joins Raj-2 on the boat ride, he forcefully rides the boat, causing her to fall into the lake. Subsequently, he frames Raj-1. Sokkalingam files a complaint about Lalitha's murder to the Kashmir Police, and soon they chase Raj-1, who elopes with Shanti — his only testimony of innocence.
Raj-1 and Shanti run into a forest for shelter, where they discover that Lalitha is still alive, but kept under custody by a group of terrorists. Raj-1 and Shanti are also put into the same prison as Lalitha, who reveals what happened: she was washed ashore and was discovered by one of the terrorists. He started torturing her, and she pushed him off the cliff to his death, hence imprisoned for murder. Suddenly, a gypsy dancer from the terrorist group helps them escape secretly. But by the time they escape, the nearby guards see them and start shooting at them. The three escape onto a boat, but the boat develops a crack and starts drowning, leading to Raj-1's separation from Lalitha and Shanti. When he swims to the shore, the police capture him.
During Raj-1's trial in the high court, Shanti and Lalitha arrive, leading to his acquittal. But the letter Lalitha wrote to her husband is discovered and after reading the last line (in which Lalitha advised her husband to kill her if wanted), the court suspects Raj-2 of the attempted murder. Lalitha saves him by claiming that she fell by herself into the lake, and does not reveal Raj-2 as her husband. The case is dismissed, and Sokkalingam and Thangam continue their honeymoon.
- Gemini Ganesan as Raj-1
- Vyjayanthimala as Shanthi
- K. A. Thangavelu as Sokkalingam
- M. N. Nambiar as Raj-2
- M. Saroja as Thangam
- Vasanthi as Lalitha
Then Nilavu was written and directed by C. V. Sridhar, and was the first film produced by him under his Chitralaya Films, which he founded in the early 1960s.[a] A. Vincent was the cinematographer, Ganga was the art director and T. R. Srinivasulu was the editor. While Gemini Ganesan and Vyjayanthimala were cast as the male and female leads respectively, K. A. Thangavelu, M. N. Nambiar, M. Saroja and newcomer Vasanthi were cast in supporting roles.
Then Nilavu was the South Indian film to be shot in Jammu and Kashmir, unlike most Tamil films of that period, which were shot mainly within studios. The first scene of the film was shot during an India-Pakistan cricket match at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Madras (now Chennai). This scene was also used as the background for the film's introductory credits. Film News Anandan was Chitralaya's public relations officer for the film. While filming at Dal Lake, Vyjayanthimala almost drowned but was rescued by the cameraman. It was over here that the song "Nilavum Malarum" was filmed. The song "Oho Endhan Baby" was picturised on Ganesan and Vyjayanthimala water skiing; the latter refused to use a body double. Other shooting locations included Shalimar Bagh and Gulmarg. Principal photography lasted roughly two months, with the final cut measuring 15,125 feet (4,610 m).
The film's music was composed by A. M. Rajah, and the lyrics were written by Kannadasan. The song "Oho Endhan Baby" is set in the carnatic raga known as Keeravani. "Nilavum Malarum Paaduthu" is set in Mohanam. N. Krishnaswamy, writing for The Indian Express in 1988, claimed that "Kaalaiyum Neeye" was set in Hamsanandi, a view shared by Shoba Narayan, writing for Mint in 2009. Singer Charulatha Mani says it only has "Hamsanandi-like phrases", and is not strictly based on the raga itself. Carnatic musicologist Sundararaman identifies it as being set in Basant, while K. Easwaralingam, writing for Thinakaran, claimed it to be in Hamsadhvani. "Oorengum Thaedinaen" is set in Charukesi, and "Paattu Padava" is set in Keeravani. It was remixed by Aadithyan for the album Freak Out Remix (2011), and was later adapted into an entirely different song in Goli Soda (2014), titled "All Your Beauty".
V. Balasubramaniam of The Hindu said, "A. M. Rajah's tryst with composing includes super duper hit songs from the films Kalyana Parisu, Aadi Perukku and Then Nilavu." Film critic Baradwaj Rangan said, "Oh, the songs... Chinna Chinna Kannile, Kaalayum Neeye, Nilavum Malarum Paadudhu... I'm misting up as I write this!" Film historian Randor Guy wrote, "Jikki sang thousands of songs during her career and it is difficult to make a choice. However mention must be made of some of them", and mentioned "Oorengum Thaedinaen".
|1.||"Chinna Chinna Kannile"||Kannadasan||A. M. Rajah, P. Susheela||3:44|
|2.||"Kaalaiyum Neeye"||Kannadasan||A. M. Rajah, S. Janaki||3:28|
|3.||"Malare Malare Theriyatha"||Kannadasan||P. Susheela||3:43|
|4.||"Nilavum Malarum"||Kannadasan||A. M. Rajah, P. Susheela||3:42|
|5.||"Oho Endhan Baby"||Kannadasan||A. M. Rajah, S. Janaki||3:13|
|7.||"Paattu Padava"||Kannadasan||A. M. Rajah||3:42|
Release and reception
Baradwaj Rangan said, "People from an older era may claim that the definitive Gemini romance was Missiamma, which reportedly was our grandmothers' Titanic, what with the actor wooing a charmingly young Savitri to the strains of Vaarayo Vennilaave. I, however, go with Then Nilavu, if only for the too-cool image of him in swimming trunks, water-skiing alongside the charmingly young Vyjayanthimala." Writing for The Hindu, Mohan Raman praised Nambiar's villainous performance, calling it "unforgettable." He also named Then Nilavu as one of "the best examples" where Thangavelu played a 'father' role. Juri of The Hindu Tamil praised Sridhar's script and direction. BBC News labelled the film as one of Gemini Ganesan's "memorable films". Thangavelu's dialogue "Kashmirikku ponakka cash meeruma?!" (Will we have cash left if we go to Kashmir?) attained popularity.
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