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Kanaka Chilanga (1966)


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Credited cast:
T.S. Muthaya


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First ever masala movie
2 October 2014 | by (Kerala,India) – See all my reviews

Kanakachilanka features Shekhar (Prem Nazir), an unapologetic, unashamed criminal but a man with a heart of gold. Shekhar unexpectedly finds himself involved with a young lady called Latha (Sheela) and her father (Muthayyaa), both of whom have more than their share of difficulties. The person responsible for their misery is Gopala Panikkar (Thikkurishi Sukumaran Nair), who has his own cross to bear in the form of a son who was lost almost 20 years ago.

Will Shekhar succeed in resolving the problems in Latha's life? Will her father manage to get back his lost dignity? Will Gopala Panikkar find his lost son?

***Spoilers ahead*** No marks for guessing who Gopala Panikkar's long lost son will turn out to be, though the end must have been totally unexpected for audiences in '66. Kanakachilanka was the first ever Malayalam movie to feature themes like lost and found, an anti-hero and pregnancy out of wedlock. In many ways, this movie contained the blueprint for countless movies in the 70s and 80s.

Seen today, Kanakachilanka may seem just another run of the mill movie, but its worth remembering that it was a path breaking movie that was was ahead of its time.

This movie is Prem Nazeer's all the way. Already one of the leading actors of his time, Kanakachilanka made him the superstar of Malayalam cinema. Nazir sir's resemblance (face and voice) to his younger brother Nawas is astonishing.

The music of Kanakachilanka is outstanding for a 60s movie, not least the 'Manaswinee Manaswinee Nin Maanasa Veenayil' song, whose romantic overtones made it a wildly popular song in the 60s. In short, Kanakachilanka is a paisa vasool masala movie- the precursor to the I.V Shashi brand of filmmaking.

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