wiki:Arappavan (1961)

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Arappavan

aka Half a Sovereign 1961 158’ b&w Malayalam d K. Shankar pc Seva Films p K. Kumar s/lyr Kothamangalam Sadanandan c Thambu m G.K. Venkatesh lp Sathyan, Prem Nawaz, Kalakkal Kumaran, S.P. Pillai, T.S. Muthaiah, G.K. Pillai, Sreenarayana Pillai, Kothamangalam Sadanandan, Pattom Sadan, Sulochana, Ambika

Set in the working-class milieu of toddy tappers and coir workers in Kerala. Paramu, the son of a toddy tapper, marries Kallu, a woodcutter’s daughter. As Kallu did not bring the promised dowry of half a sovereign, Paramu’s domineering mother harasses the new bride until she returns to her own parents and the lovers are reduced to meeting on the sly until the dowry issue has been settled. Kallu becomes pregnant and a local toddy-shop owner tries to rape her, resulting in rumours in the village that her child is illegitimate. When Kallu’s brother returns having earned the money for her dowry, he rejects his sister and Kallu commits suicide. The grim melodrama, realistically filmed, was not successful on its initial release.

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