|Produced by||Gugan Films|
|Written by||K. Balachander|
|Based on||Server Sundaram
by K. Balachander
K. R. Vijaya
|Music by||Viswanathan Ramamoorthy|
|Cinematography||S. Maruthi Rao|
|Edited by||S. Panjabi
|December 11, 1964|
Server Sundaram is a 1964 Indian Tamil language comedy film produced by A. V. Meiyappan and directed by Krishnan-Panju. The film stars Nagesh in the titular character as a waiter, along with R. Muthuraman and K. R. Vijaya in prominent roles. The film was adapted from a play of the same name by K. Balachander in which Nagesh had played the lead role.
Released on 11 December 1964, the film earned critical acclaim and went on to became a commercial success. At the 12th National Film Awards, it won a Certificate of Merit, besides winning a Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Film. It was remade into Hindi as Main Sunder Hoon (1971).
Sundaram (Nagesh), a poor man, comes to Madras with aspirations of becoming a film actor. However, he ends up getting a job in a restaurant as a waiter. He falls in love with Radha (K. R. Vijaya), the daughter of the restaurant owner Major Sundarrajan. Sundaram is unaware of the fact that she doesn't reciprocate the love for him, as she is only amused by his wit and humour. In the meantime, he happens to meet his friend Raghavan in the restaurant, who helps him get into films. Sundaram becomes a star overnight and believes that his stardom and popularity will help his love. Then he discovers that Raghavan is engaged to Radha. This tragedy, followed by his mother's demise, makes Sundaram understand the reality of life. In the end, he quits acting and becomes a waiter again.
- Nagesh as Sundaram, a poor waiter
- R. Muthuraman as Raghavan, the branch manager in Nelson Co and is a close friend of Sundaram
- K. R. Vijaya as Radha, Chakravarthy's daughter
- S. N. Lakshmi as Sundaram's mother
- Major Sundararajan as Chakravarthy, owner of the restaurant
- S. V. Ranga Rao (Guest appearance)
- Manorama (Guest appearance)
Server Sundaram was based on a play that was written by K. Balachander, who was then a playwright. The play was written by Balachander after Nagesh had requested him that he give a role in one of his plays. The original play had Nagesh himself in the titular role along with Major Sundarrajan and S. N. Lakshmi who would reprise their roles in the film. A. V. Meiyappan had acquired the rights of the play and decided to make a film based on it. K. Balachander was recruited as the writer while director duo Krishnan Panju directed the film. Meiyappan decided to cast Nagesh in the film after he watched the latter's performance in the play. Nagesh, who in turn was impressed with S. N. Lakshmi's performance in the city, asked Balachander to request Meiyappan to include her in the film.
The film includes behind-the-scenes looks at various processes involved in film-making, such as studio interiors and song recording. It was the first Tamil film to show such scenes. In one sequence, S. V. Ranga Rao and Manorama are seen as actors performing a scene for a film, using the concept of film within a film. The film was also considered a biographical of Nagesh's own life.
|Soundtrack album by Viswanathan Ramamoorthy|
The film's score and soundtrack was composed by the duo Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy, with lyrics written by Kannadasan, V. Seetharaman and Vaali. The guitar portions for the song "Avalukenna" were performed by Philips. The music troupe for the song consisted of Noel Grant (Drums), Mangalamurthy (Accordion), Nanjappa (Flute), Fobes (Violin), Henry Daniel and Joseph Krishna. According to Gopal Krishnan, in his book, Chords & Raaga, "Avalukenna" involved "a complicated arrangement of mambo and bossa nova."
|1||Avalukenna||T. M. Soundararajan, L. R. Eswari||Vaali||05:18|
|2||Palum Thenum||S. C. Krishnan, A. L. Raghavan, P. Susheela||V. Seetharaman||09:57|
|3||Pattonru Tharuvar Paradi||P. Susheela, L. R. Eswari||Kannadasan||04:43|
|4||Poga Poga Theriyum||P. B. Sreenivas, P. Susheela||04:26|
|5||Silaieduthan Intha Chinna||P. Susheela||05:17|
|6||Thathai Nenjam||P. Susheela, A. L. Raghavan||04:04|
Server Sundaram was released on 11 December 1964. Nagesh's performance garnered critical acclaim. Many critics opined that it was one of the finest performances of his career. In 2014, at the fifty-years celebration of the film, The Hindu called the film as a "trendsetter" in Tamil cinema for showcasing scenes involved in film-making. On the scene where Nagesh auditions in front of the film producers introduced to him by Muthuraman, Baradwaj Rangan, writing for The New Indian Express, said, "Audiences that grew up with Nagesh will cotton on to the slyness of this apparently ungrateful gesture as the most identifiably Nagesh-like among everything that's transpired during these five minutes of Server Sundaram, but every other aspect — the easy laughter, the easy tears, the easy contortions of that easily flexible frame — was as indispensable a part of the great actor's arsenal". The film's success led to a Telugu-dubbed version, and a Hindi remake titled Main Sunder Hoon in 1971, in which Mehmood played the lead role.
|National Film Awards||12th National Film Awards||Certificate of Merit for Third Best Feature Film in Tamil||A. V. Meiyappan (producer)
Krishnan Panju (director)
|Filmfare Awards South||12th Filmfare Awards South||Best Tamil Film||A. V. Meiyappan||Won|
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