One of the greatest actresses of the Malayalam screen, Ambika was always in a league of her own and will remain so in the history of Malayalam cinema. Most of her Malayalam movies are classics. Today I am reviewing one such classic movie only in which Ambika has done a role starring opposite Sathyan and Madhu, two different heroes coming from two generations. This movie is Ammaye Kaanan (1963).
Ammaye Kaanan (To See The Mother) is the re-harsh version of another movie - Manasakshi (1954) in which Raja Sulochana has played the lead role starring opposite Prem Nazir and Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair. This new version of Manasakshi is damn impressive and can be termed as excellent by all standards.
Barrister Panicker (Kottayam Chellappan) wishes to send his son Chandran (Sathyan), a law graduate, to England for higher studies in law (Bar-at-Law). Before leaving Chandran goes on an excursion to a small island in Kerala to for a short holiday. There he meets and falls in love with Madhavi (Ambika), daughter of the ferry man Kuttayi ( Kunjandy) and marries her secretly . She becomes pregnant. Panicker comes to the island and takes Chandran with him for his journey to England. Before Madhavi can tell Chandran she is pregnant, he leaves for England.
Kuttayi dies of a heart attack when he finds out Madhavi is pregnant. Madhavi leaves home. She gives birth to a girl and abandons the child at the gate of an orphanage. She ties the ring given to her by Chandran around the child's neck.
Madhavi attempts to commit suicide, but is saved by a wealthy woman, Parvathi Amma (Lakshmi) who gives refuge to her. Parvathi Amma stays with her cousins Sukumaran Nair (P J Antony) and Rema (Vasanthi).
Chandran's sister Leela (K.P.A.C Leela) leaves home after her marriage with Balagopal (Madhu). Rema is Leela's friend and she takes care of Chandran's father thereafter. After his studies Chandran returns home and Rema is appointed headmistress at the orphanage school.
Chandran, despite earnest efforts, cannot find Madhavi. He concentrates on his profession and becomes a Sessions Judge. Chandran is invited for the Annual Day celebrations of the orphanage where he befriends a little girl called Suhasini (Baby Vinodini), whom he identifies as his daughter by the ring tied around her neck.
Chandran takes Suhasini home and brings her up. Rema is appointed as her tuition teacher. Rema expresses her love for Chandran but is disappointed when he tells that he loves her as a sister. An intoxicated Sukumaran Nair attempts to molest Madhavi. Madhavi yells for help. A jealous Rema, who witnesses this does not help Madhavi. She knows it is because of Madhavi that Chandran rejected her. Sukumaran Nair's friend intervenes and in the ensuing fight Nair is killed. Madhavi is arrested. The case comes to the court where Chandran is the judge. Chandran meets Madhavi in jail and finds out that she is innocent. The only witness, Rema, refuses to give evidence to prove Madhavi's innocence despite Chandran's repeated requests.
Suhasini comes to know the facts and that Madhavi is her mother. She pleads with Rema to appear before the court. Finally Rema appears before the court on the day of judgment and Madhavi's innocence is proved. Chandran, Madhavi and Suhasini live happily.
The story of Ammaye Kaanan has been penned by E.M Kovoor. However this story contains shadows of a very old and lesser known Hindi novel of eminent Hindi author Acharya Chatursen - Narmedh (the yajna involving sacrifice of human life). Anyway I won't call it plagiarism. May be due to the inspiration taken for the story of the movie or due to pure coincidence. The screenplay has also been written very well and proficient director P.Bhaskaran has directed it superbly. Dialogs are also impressive.
The story of the movie is an emotional one and hence it's the emotional sequences that impress the most. However the courtroom drama taking place in the climax of this social drama is also very imposing. Ample doses of romance are also there and the songs are the icing on the cake. Cinematography, art direction,editing and other technical aspects of this black&white movie are up to the mark.
Ragavan has composed the music of a lifetime for this movie with the help of the lyrics of P.Bhaskaran containing high literary value. Unarunaroo Unnippoove-Karikkodi thanalathu-Kattile kalippennin- kavitha ketturanghunna poove fills the listener's heart with the fragrance of eternal love. Ditto for Konna Poove Kongini Poove . In addition to these two songs, A.P Komala has sung the immortal Ghazal also for Ambika in this movie - Daivame-Kai thozham kelkkumarakanam. Leela's lesser known song - Gokkale Mechum is also there. And which romantic heart is not thrilled by listening to the evergreen romantic duet of P.Leela - Katha katha painkiliyum ? Ammaye Kaanan is, by all means, Ambika's movie and she has entered the skins of the role - that of the mother . That's a splendid performance while being cast opposite two different heroes - Sathyan who is much older to her in age and Madhu who is younger to her in age. Both the heroes have also delivered natural performances and the complete supporting cast has also done justice to the assigned roles.
Ammaye Kaanan carries immense repeat value due to the impactive presentation of the sentimental story, the immortal songs and above all, the memorable performance of Ambika. It was remade as Uthar Falguni (1963) by casting Suchithra Sen in double role. Though Suchithra Sen was nominated for the Filmfare award for the best actress for her performance in Uthar Falguni, she was far behind the mesmerizing performance of Ambika in Ammaye Kanan.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?