Then Nilavu

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Then Nilavu
Then Nilavu poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byC. V. Sridhar
Produced byC. V. Sridhar
Written byC. V. Sridhar
Starring
Music byA. M. Rajah
CinematographyA. Vincent
Edited byT. R. Srinivasulu
Production
company
Chitralaya Films
Release date
  • 30 September 1961 (1961-09-30)
Running time
160 minutes[1]
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil

Then Nilavu (lit.Honeymoon)[2] 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.

Plot[edit]

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.

Cast[edit]

Other supporting roles were played by K. Natarajan, V. Mahalingam and Padmini Priyadarshini.[3][6]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Then Nilavu was written and directed by C. V. Sridhar,[3] and was the first film produced by him under his Chitralaya Films,[7][8] which he founded in the early 1960s.[a] A. Vincent was the cinematographer,[11] Ganga was the art director and T. R. Srinivasulu was the editor.[12] 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.[13]

Filming[edit]

Then Nilavu was the South Indian film to be shot in Jammu and Kashmir,[14] unlike most Tamil films of that period, which were shot mainly within studios.[15][16] The first scene of the film was shot during an India-Pakistan cricket match at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Madras (now Chennai).[17][18] This scene was also used as the background for the film's introductory credits.[19] Film News Anandan was Chitralaya's public relations officer for the film.[20] While filming at Dal Lake, Vyjayanthimala almost drowned but was rescued by the cameraman.[21] It was over here that the song "Nilavum Malarum" was filmed.[22] The song "Oho Endhan Baby" was picturised on Ganesan and Vyjayanthimala water skiing; the latter refused to use a body double.[13] Other shooting locations included Shalimar Bagh and Gulmarg.[23] Principal photography lasted roughly two months,[24][13] with the final cut measuring 15,125 feet (4,610 m).[25]

Soundtrack[edit]

The film's music was composed by A. M. Rajah, and the lyrics were written by Kannadasan.[3] The song "Oho Endhan Baby" is set in the carnatic raga known as Keeravani.[26] "Nilavum Malarum Paaduthu" is set in Mohanam.[27][28] N. Krishnaswamy, writing for The Indian Express in 1988, claimed that "Kaalaiyum Neeye" was set in Hamsanandi,[29] a view shared by Shoba Narayan, writing for Mint in 2009.[30] Singer Charulatha Mani says it only has "Hamsanandi-like phrases", and is not strictly based on the raga itself.[31] Carnatic musicologist Sundararaman identifies it as being set in Basant,[32] while K. Easwaralingam, writing for Thinakaran, claimed it to be in Hamsadhvani.[33] "Oorengum Thaedinaen" is set in Charukesi,[34] and "Paattu Padava" is set in Keeravani.[35] It was remixed by Aadithyan for the album Freak Out Remix (2011),[36] and was later adapted into an entirely different song in Goli Soda (2014), titled "All Your Beauty".[37]

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."[38] Film critic Baradwaj Rangan said, "Oh, the songs... Chinna Chinna Kannile, Kaalayum Neeye, Nilavum Malarum Paadudhu... I'm misting up as I write this!"[39] 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".[40]

Track list[41]
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Chinna Chinna Kannile"KannadasanA. M. Rajah, P. Susheela3:44
2."Kaalaiyum Neeye"KannadasanA. M. Rajah, S. Janaki3:28
3."Malare Malare Theriyatha"KannadasanP. Susheela3:43
4."Nilavum Malarum"KannadasanA. M. Rajah, P. Susheela3:42
5."Oho Endhan Baby"KannadasanA. M. Rajah, S. Janaki3:13
6."Oorengum Thaedinaen"KannadasanJikki3:02
7."Paattu Padava"KannadasanA. M. Rajah3:42

Release and reception[edit]

Then Nilavu was released on 30 September 1961.[25] It was a huge success at the box office, and became one of Sridhar's biggest hits.[42] [43]

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."[39] Writing for The Hindu, Mohan Raman praised Nambiar's villainous performance, calling it "unforgettable."[44] He also named Then Nilavu as one of "the best examples" where Thangavelu played a 'father' role.[45] Juri of The Hindu Tamil praised Sridhar's script and direction.[46] BBC News labelled the film as one of Gemini Ganesan's "memorable films".[47] Thangavelu's dialogue "Kashmirikku ponakka cash meeruma?!" (Will we have cash left if we go to Kashmir?) attained popularity.[48]

Home media[edit]

Then Nilavu was released on VCD by Moser Baer on 5 June 2007,[49] and on DVD four years later, on 9 August.[50]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ While S. Theodore Baskaran says in his 1996 book The Eye of the Serpent that Chitralaya Films was founded in 1961,[9] Sanjit Narwekar says in the 1994 book Directory of Indian film-makers and films that it was founded in 1960.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thennilavu". Complete Index to World Film. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  2. ^ Ganesh 2011, p. 63.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g தேன் நிலவு (songbook) (in Tamil). Chitralaya Films. 1961.
  4. ^ "செல்லுலாய்ட் பெண்கள்" [Celluloid girls]. Kungumam (in Tamil). 16 July 2017. Archived from the original on 2 April 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  5. ^ Balabharathi 2012, p. 242.
  6. ^ "Travelogue-cum-romantic Social Due Tomorrow". The Indian Express. 29 September 1961. p. 3.
  7. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (24 October 2008). "Sridhar will live on ..." The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Quizzin' with Ram'nan". Madras Musings. 1–15 November 2008. Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  9. ^ Baskaran, S. Theodore (1996). The eye of the serpent: an introduction to Tamil cinema. Chennai: East West Books. p. 198.
  10. ^ Narwekar, Sanjit (1994). Directory of Indian film-makers and films. Flicks Books. p. 317.
  11. ^ Kolappan, B. (26 February 2015). "Cinematographer Vincent dead". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Thennilavu". The Indian Express. 30 September 1961. p. 3.
  13. ^ a b c Narasimhan, T. A. (27 April 2018). "டி.சி(ரி)த்ராலயா 15: காஷ்மீரில் கட்டிப்போட்ட சலுகை!". The Hindu (Tamil). Archived from the original on 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Tamil film director Sridhar passes away". Screen. 20 October 2008. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  15. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (21 July 2016). "The director's fine cut". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  16. ^ "பார்த்தது படித்தது ரசித்தது – சுதாங்கன்". Dinamalar (in Tamil). 30 July 2017. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Did You Know?". The Times of India. 4 December 2013. Archived from the original on 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  18. ^ Mahendra, Y.Gee. (9 March 2010). "Where arts and academics met". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  19. ^ C. N. R. (10 February 1963). "The Growing Burden Of Taxation". The Illustrated Weekly of India. Vol. 84, Part 1. p. 124.
  20. ^ Naig, Udhav (21 March 2016). "'Film News' Anandan, cinema historian, passes away". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  21. ^ Bali 2007, pp. 93-96: "I fell headlong into the lake [...] Besides, I had swallowed so much water that I thought it was the end of me. Just then, the cameraman dived, put me on his shoulder, swam back with me, turned me over and started pumping water. It was sheer luck that I was rescued from getting drowned."
  22. ^ Gopalakrishnan, P. V. (4 April 2017). "Filmy Ripples: Moonlit Movies (Part 2)". The Cinema Resource Centre. Archived from the original on 23 March 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  23. ^ Ganesh 2011, p. 69.
  24. ^ "தேனிலவ க்கு பட்ட கஷ்டம்; குறித்து ஸ்ரீதர் விளக்கம்". Thinakaran (in Tamil). 30 October 2012. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  25. ^ a b Film News Anandan (2004). Sadhanaigal Padaitha Thamizh Thiraipada Varalaru. Sivagami Publishers. Archived from the original on 1 May 2017.
  26. ^ Mani, Charulatha (26 April 2013). "Harmonious symmetry". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  27. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 149.
  28. ^ Saravanan, T. (20 September 2013). "Ragas hit a high". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  29. ^ Krishnaswamy, N. (22 January 1988). "Killing spree". The Indian Express. p. 5.
  30. ^ Narayan, Shoba (23 January 2009). "Music is the mood, the muse and the meaning". Mint. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  31. ^ Mani, Charulatha (23 December 2011). "A Raga's Journey – Heart-rending Hamsanandi". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 6 February 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  32. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 135.
  33. ^ Easwaralingam, K. (12 June 2012). "ஏ.எம்.ராஜhவை நீங்கா புகழ்பெறச் செய்தவை துயரத்தையும் தாபத்தையும் தேக்கிய பாடல்களே". Thinakaran (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 2 April 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  34. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 150.
  35. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 152.
  36. ^ "Freak Out Remix – Aadithyan Tamil Film Songs (2011)". Music India Online. Archived from the original on 2 April 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  37. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (25 January 2014). ""Goli Soda"... Little men". Baradwaj Rangan. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  38. ^ Balasubramaniam, V. (16 June 2006). "In a class of his own". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  39. ^ a b Rangan, Baradwaj (27 March 2005). "Tribute: Gemini Ganesan". Baradwaj Rangan. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  40. ^ Guy, Randor (20 August 2004). "Her tantalising voice will live forever". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 November 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  41. ^ "Then Nilavu (1961) All Songs Jukebox". YouTube. Saregama. 8 August 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  42. ^ "C.V Sridhar, veteran director passes away!". Sify. 20 October 2008. Archived from the original on 22 January 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  43. ^ Narayanan, Arjun (22 August 2012). "Serenading the Silver Screen". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  44. ^ Raman, Mohan V. (16 November 2010). "Reel villain, real hero". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  45. ^ Raman, Mohan V. (24 September 2016). "King of comedy". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  46. ^ Juri (10 April 2015). "1960களின் அற்புதங்கள்: சிரிப்புக்குப் பஞ்சமில்லை". The Hindu Tamil. Archived from the original on 2 April 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  47. ^ "Southern Indian movie star dies". BBC News. 22 March 2005. Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  48. ^ Krishnan, Raghu (22 April 2007). "Once upon a stand-alone theatre". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 29 March 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  49. ^ "Then Nilavu". Amazon.in (in Tamil). Moser Baer. 5 June 2007. Archived from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  50. ^ "Platinum Series – Then Nilavu". Amazon.in (in Tamil). Moser Baer. 9 August 2011. Archived from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]