Soman (Nair) is married to Laxmi (Saroja), a poor village performer. His brother, employed by the local capitalist, and wicked sister-in-law resent this and break up the joint family. Soman goes to the city while Laxmi, with her infant son, faces local harassment. She follows her husband to the city, but when she sees him in the company of rich women, she misunderstands and keeps away. Soman then searches for his wife and son and the nuclear family is reconstituted, although the sister-in- law is punished when she is forced to become a beggar. The second big production of the famed duo Koshy and Kunchako (after Nallathanka, 1950) and the first Malayalam megahit, the film combined the talents of Sebastian Bhagavathar who, with Augustine Joseph, was one of the last great actor-singers from the stage, alongside future stars Nair, Pankajavalli and composer Dakshinamurthy. Both the title and the character of Saroja evoke Osten’s Jeevan Naiya (1936), but the major dramatic influence was probably Vauhini Studio’s 1940s cinema, which Koshy in his autobiography maintained as his ideal. Tamil and Hindi versions were also made, probably dubbed.
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