wiki:Nadodi Mannan

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Nadodi Mannan

1958 220’ b&w/col Tamil d/p M.G. Ramachandran pc Emgeeyar Pics st R.M. Veerappan, V. Lakshmanan, S.K.D. Sami co-dial/co-lyr Kannadasan co-dial Ravindran co-lyr Suradha c G.K. Ramu m S.M. Subbaiah, N.S. Balakrishnan lp M.G. Ramachandran, P. Bhanumathi, P.S. Veerappa, M.N. Rajam, M.N. Nambiar, Chandrababu, T.K. Balachandran, B. Saroja Devi, T.P. Muthulakshmi, M.G. Chakrapani

MGR’s period adventure fantasy, with 19 songs, and important DMK propaganda film repeating his successful screen pairing with Bhanumathi (Alibabavum Narpatha Thirudargalum, 1955 and Madurai Veeran, 1956) in a style derived from Gemini’s post-Chandralekha (1948) films. The good king Marthandan (MGR) is dethroned by the Rajguru (Veerappa) and replaced by a double, the commoner Veerangam (MGR again). Nakedly propagandist (e.g. colour sequences showing the red and black DMK flag and its rising sun party symbol), the film presents the good guys as waiting to overthrow the Rajguru’s corrupt rule, a thinly disguised reference to the Congress Party. Inaugurating MGR’s personal political programme with songs like Thoongathe thambi thoongathe (‘Don’t sleep, young brother’), its commercial success was followed by a public reception for MGR by the DMK Party, taking him in procession in a ‘chariot drawn by four horses, thronged by the people. The chariot had a background of a rising sun on a lotus. At the beginning of the procession there were party volunteers carrying festoons. Elephants garlanded MGR twice’ (M.S.S. Pandian, 1992). Apparently Karunanidhi read out a poem he wrote about the film at the festivities. The film’s success was a turning point in the star’s film and political career marking him as the Puratchi thalaivar (revolutionary leader).