Madurai Veeran (1956)

 ●  Tamil ● 3 hrs 19 mins

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A megahit version of the legend of Madurai Veeran (played by actor-politician MGR), a a popular Tamil Nadu village deity and the subject of numerous ballads and plays. Set in the 17th C. court of the Poligars, the story starts with Veeran, rather like Oedipus, being abandoned in a forest as an infant because of a bad omen, but he is protected by the wild animals and later adopted, amid much celebration, by a cobbler and his wife (Krishnan and Mathuram). He rescues and falls in love with Princess Bommi (Bhanumathi), who is promised, by convention, to her maternal uncle. Just before her forced marriage, he abducts her, while she, in turn, rescues him from atop an elephant when he is sentenced to death. The happy end is in sight when, in tune with the MGR narrative showing two women vying for the unreachable hero, he also falls for Velaiammal (Padmini), causing a love triangle which ends when the hero’s body is mutilated, and he becomes - with his two consorts - the icon of Tamil Nadu. The film belongs to the type of action spectacular made popular by the Gemini and Vijaya studios, but extends into a rampant animism as all of (studio-bound) nature participates in and applauds the hero performing death-defying feats shot in ways that often recall the late silent era (cf. Hamir’s acrobatics in Diler Jigar, 1931). Extending the resemblance is the film’s use of framing devices, presented frontally before an unusually submissive, imagined audience, and underlined by its final image: the prone, foreshortened body of the hero flanked by two mourning women, flowers raining down on the trio from the heavens as metallic statuettes of the threesome emerge. The narrative, however, takes on a new dimension by equating the hero’s physical mobility with the character’s movement from underdog to tragic lover to nobleman and eventually to divine status. It was written by the noted DMK rationalist poet Kannadasan, and is an early example of the political appropriation of Tamil folk ballads praising heroes like Chinnadan, Chinnathambi, Jambulingam and others. Most of these heroes, according to Vanamamalai (1981) quoted by Pandian (1992), are ‘low- caste men who protect crops, protect the cattle, protect the rights of lower-caste women, challenge sexual norms, challenge the privilege of higher-caste groups and demand equal rights for the lower-caste men with talent and skill’.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Bhanumathi Ramakrishna, MG Ramachandran, Padmini

Crew: D Yoganand (Director), MA Rehman (Director of Photography), G Ramanathan (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Action, Drama

Release Dates: 13 Apr 1956 (India)

Tamil Name: மதுரை வீரன்

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as Veeran
as Velliaiyamma
Supporting Actress
as Sanggili Karuppan
as Queen of Kasi
Supporting Actor
as Thirumalai Nayakar
as King Of Kasi
Supporting Actress
as Kutilan
as Narasappan

Direction

Director

Production

Production Company

Writers

Screenplay Writer
Dialogue Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography

Choreography

Editorial

Editor

Stunts

Stunt Director
Film Type:
Feature Film
Language:
Tamil
Colour Info:
Black & White
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Stereoscopy:
No
Music Label: Saregama India Limited
01 
02:56
02 
03:44
Music Director: G Ramanathan
Lyricist: Kannadasan
Playback Singer: TM Soundararajan, Jikki
03 
05:52
Music Director: G Ramanathan
Playback Singer: ML Vasanthakumari
04 
04:10
05 
02:49
06 
03:00
Music Director: G Ramanathan
Playback Singer: TM Soundararajan, P Leela
07 
Music Director: G Ramanathan
Playback Singer: P Leela
08 
03:44
Music Director: G Ramanathan
Playback Singer: TM Soundararajan, Jikki
09 
04:18
Music Director: G Ramanathan
Playback Singer: P Leela
10 
Music Director: G Ramanathan
Playback Singer: TM Soundararajan