wiki:P. Neelakantan

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P. Neelakantan (b. 1916)

Tamil director associated mainly with MGR’s persona; also worked in Sinhalese (Suneetha and Sujake Rahase) and Kannada. Born in Villuppuram. Congress Party worker aged 15. Former journalist (with Jeevamani in 1935, Vijayan in 1936, Indira in 1940 and established his own journal Kalaivani in 1940) and radio playwright. Broke through with two famous plays, Mullil Roja, performed by the TKS Brothers and attacking the Devadasi system, and Nam Iruvar, staged by N.S. Krishnan’s theatre troupe (Krishnan was in jail at the time and the play was done by T.A. Mathuram and S.V. Sahasranamam). Nam Iruvar was later filmed by A.V. Meiyappan (1947) as a stridently nationalist drama with Neelakantan’s script (he was also asst. d). Its success established AVM and was followed by other scripts for Meiyappan, including the hits Vethala Ulagam (1948) and Vazhkai (1949). Directorial début: Ore Iravu, based on a noted play by the DMK’s founder, C.N. Annadurai, who also scripted the film. Shifted briefly to Kannada to direct two films produced by and starring B.R. Panthulu (Modalatedi and Shivasharane Nambekka), before returning to the DMK film idiom with Tamil hits like Ambikapathy with Sivaji Ganesan. Directed two films with Karunanidhi scripts, Poompuhar and Poomalai. Was a partner in Panthulu’s Padmini Pics before starting his own Arasu Prod. (1957). Most of his films star MGR. According to M.S.S. Pandian (1992), the hit Thirudathe inaugurated the MGR persona of a subaltern in the service of society. This trend continued in Mattukkara Velan with MGR playing the double role of the cowherd and the lawyer, and in Ninaithathai Mudippavan with MGR demonstratively consuming proletarian food and displaying an inability to eat peas with a fork.

FILMOGRAPHY: 1951: Ore Iravu; 1954: Kalyanam Panniyum Brahmachari; 1955: Gomathiyin Kathali; Modalatedi/Mudhal? Thedi; Shivasharane Nambekka; 1957: Ambikapathy; Chakravarthi Thirumagal; 1958: Thedi Vantha Selvam; 1960: Advantha Daivam; 1961: Nallavan Vazhvan; Thirudathe; 1962: Ethayum Thangam Idayam; 1963: Koduthu Vaithaval; Raj Mahal; 1964: Poompuhar; 1965: Anandi; Poomalai; 1966: Avan Pithana; 1967: Kavalkaran; 1968: Kanavan; Kannan En Kathalan; 1969: Mattukkara Velan; 1970: En Annan; 1971: Neerum Neruppum; Oru Thai Makkal; Kumari Kottam; 1972: Raman Thediya Seethai; Sangey Muzhangu; 1974: Netru Indru Nalai; 1975: Ninaithathai Mudippavan; 1976: Needhikku Thalai Vanangu; 1981: Daiva Thirumanangal.