Talk:Chandralekha (1948 film)

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Featured article Chandralekha (1948 film) is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
September 21, 2013 Peer review Reviewed
October 27, 2013 Good article nominee Listed
October 26, 2014 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article
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Useful sources[edit]

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Chandralekha (1948 film)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: 1ST7 (talk · contribs) 00:44, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

I'll review this nomination. Initial comments should be posted soon. --1ST7 (talk) 00:44, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

I did some minor copyediting; I hope you don't mind. Here's the review:

  1. Well-written
    • Can you please edit the lead so as not to include so many parentheses? For example, you could change the phrase "tells the story of two royal brothers (Veersimhan and Sasankan, rivals for the throne) and a country maiden and dancer, Chandralekha" to "tells the story of two royal brothers and rivals, Veersimhan and Sasankan, and a country maiden and dancer, Chandralekha".
    Yes check.svg Done. That edit was made by a member of the Guild of Copy Editors, so I thought there's nothing wrong. But I've fixed it now. ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 08:00, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
    • This sentence is a little confusing: "However, when he launched an advertising campaign for the film all he had was the name of the heroine (from a storyline he had rejected about a tough woman)." You could probably just edit out the part in parentheses, which is the main source of confusion.
    Yes check.svg Done ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 11:23, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
    • "It was the most expensive film made in India to date." Should that be "is the most expensive film"?
    Yes check.svg Done It is no longer the most expensive Indian film. It's budget was surpassed by Mother India afterwards. So I wrote "till then". ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 11:23, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
    • "3 million." Can you please provide the dollar equivalent for this so non-Indian readers can understand how much this is? The same applies to other references to currency in the text.
    Comment: Already in the Filming section, it is listed as 3 million (about $600,000 in 1948). ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 07:59, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
    Can you please use the {{INRConvert|3|m}} template for all references to currency? I believe it would be more convenient for readers. --1ST7 (talk) 23:27, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
    • This phrasing from the "Plot" section is a little strange: "To avenge his father, Sasankan leaves the palace and forms a gang of thieves who embark on a crime spree." It implies that Sasankan is trying to get revenge against someone else for a wrong committed against his father, but the context implies otherwise. Can you please rephrase to something like "to get revenge against his father"?
    Yes check.svg Done. He wanted to take revenge on his father for not making him the king. Either way, I have fixed it. ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 07:59, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
    • The "Further information" tag under the "Cast" section is unnecessary, as it directs to a section in the same article.
    Yes check.svg Done. I've removed it. ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 07:59, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
    • "K. J. Mahadevan was chosen by Vasan to play the younger prince, and T. G. Raghavachari agreed to direct the film; however, after the first few scenes, Mahadevan was dismissed. He was also a scriptwriter and an assistant director." Mahadevan was also a scriptwriter and assistant director?
    Yes check.svg Done. He was dismissed because the director was dissatisfied with his performance. He did however serve as one of the film's scriptwriters, and was an assistant director as well. ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 07:59, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
    • This sentence (from "Casting") is not very clear: "He called on Veppathur Kittoo several times asking for a break, even an also-ran role." Please rephrase.
    Comment: I don't know how to rephrase it. But it comes from this source. ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 07:59, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
    I went ahead and did the rephrasing. I hope that's alright with you. --1ST7 (talk) 23:27, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
    • "Film critics V. A. K. Ranga Rao and Shoma A Chatterji have noted that the music is influenced by Carnatic and Hindustani music..." Wikipedia:Words to watch discourages using the word "note" or any of its variants as synonyms for "said".
    Yes check.svg Done. I've taken out the term "noted" ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 07:59, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
  2. Verifiable with no original research:
  3. Broad in its coverage:
    • Is there any information available about why Mahadevan was dismissed?
    Yes check.svg Done. Because his performance was deemed "too soft". ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 11:23, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
  4. Neutral:
  5. Stable:
    • No edit wars, etc.
  6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:

I'm going to put this on hold for a week to give you time to address these issues. Thanks for your work! --1ST7 (talk) 06:54, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

I'd also like u to check whether everything is written according to the sources, which I believe is true. ---- Kailash29792 (talk) 07:59, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
In response to your comments on my talk page: Thanks for the message. I still think it would be better to use the INR convert in the article, as I believe most readers are aware that the exchange rate would be different from the 1940s, but the article does appear to meet the GA criteria as it is. Therefore, I'm going to pass it now. Congratulations, and thanks for the work you've put into this! --1ST7 (talk) 03:33, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Tamil sources[edit]

This is the English translation of the contents from this article

To @Kailash29792:@Vensatry: and whomsoever it may concern,

Chandralekha, made at a cost of 30 lakhs

Sixty years ago, the cost of making a Tamil film was just 3 lakhs. S. S. Vasan of Gemini Studios planned to make Chandralekha on par with Hollywood films with a budget of 30 lakhs. While the hero was M. K. Radha, Ranjan was cast in an equally important villain role.

The heroine was T.R. Rajakumari while N.S. Krishnan, T.A. Mathuram, Sundari Bai and L.Narayanarao formed the supporting cast. The story department at Gemini consisting of K.J. Mahadevan, Kottamangalam Subbu, Veppathur Kittu and Nayina worked day and night for months and came up with the story.

When Vasan expressed his desire to include circus scenes in the film, the story was modified to suit it. The officials at Gemini Studios travelled from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and finalised a circus troupe to act in the film. (The circus company was later renamed as Gemini Circus) While Papanasam Sivan and Kottamangalam Subbu wrote the songs, S. Rajeshwara Rao scored the music.

Cinematography: Kamaal Ghosh; Art: A. K. Sekar; Editing: Chathru. Acharya, who had earlier directed Mangamma Sabatham, was supposed to direct this film too. Due to creative differences with Vasan, he withdrew from the project and Vasan took over the director's mantle making it his directorial debut.

In all departments of Gemini Studios, the production work was in full swing. Since Chandralekha was a slightly modernised historical, numerous costume designers and tailors worked on the costumes through day and night. Horses, Elephants, caged Tigers and Lions filled the studio. For the grand drum dance sequence that appears at the end, numerous carpenters worked on creating the huge drums.

To cover the production costs, Vasan gathered funds by mortgaging his properties. Even after about three years of production, the film wasn't complete and Vasan kept financing the film. Vasan later revealed in an interview, "The budget required to produce the film Chandralekha overshot than what I had expected. After spending all the money I had, I mortgaged all my properties including Gemini. Still, the film could not be completed. More than the worry of the loan I took, the huge interest I paid for it shook me slightly. People including those who knew me well wrote me off saying 'This will be the end of Vasan. He can never recover from such a huge debt'. Sreenivasa Iyengar, the editor of The Hindu, came to know of this and called me one day. When I reached his residence, he asked me, 'I heard that you have taken a huge amount as a loan for your film Chandralekha. Is it true?' I answered that it was true. 'How much do you expect the film would collect?' I said it would collect 60 lakhs in TamilNadu alone and more in the Hindi market. If dubbed and released in other languages, it would gross crores. 'When you are producing a film that could earn so much, why are you worried about your debts?', he asked. I replied that I was more worried about the interest I pay and not much about the debts. After a few minutes of silence, he asked, 'If you get the huge debt you owe without having to pay any interest, can you complete the film?' I replied that I would definitely complete and release the film with more enthusiasm and vigour.

The very next moment, when I had least expected, he understood that the money was my only concern and solved my problem. I was dumbfounded. Like a devotee standing in front of the God, I stood there, eyes flooded with thanks. He then asked me, 'In exchange for my help, can you promise to do me a favour? I am providing you financial assitance only after getting to know about your brilliance, talents, capabilities, bravado, hard work and straight forwardness. If you come to know that someone who is equally talented as you but his talents doesn't help him due to lack of money, you should help him just as I helped you.' I promised that I would."

(He kept his promise later in his life when director K. S. Gopalakrishnan had a money crunch during the making of his film Pesum Deivam. Though Vasan never knew him before, he invited him and financed him with 2 lakhs. When Gopalakrishnan asked the reason for helping him, Vasan revealed the help he had got from Sreenivasa Iyengar and the promise he made to him.)

When Chandralekha was nearing completion, the film once again ran out of funds. When Vasan was home worrying, his mom came there. "What happened Seenu? Why are you are looking dull?"

"Nothing mom. I have exhausted every means in gathering money. I still need 75,000 to complete the film. Where to find that much money?"

"Oh! Is that the matter? Just wait" Saying so, she went in and came back with a plate full of jewellery that were in the house. "Whether you sell them or mortgage them, complete the film either way. You bought these with your hard work. If it doesn't help you, why should I have them?" smiled his mom, Vaalambal. He sold the jewellery and completed the film. (Later, he bought jewellery twice as his mom had, gave it to her, fell at her feet and got her blessings.) Chandralekha was first screened on 9 April 1948.

During those days, a new film will be released in only about 10 towns. After running there, the film negatives will be sent to the next few. But Chandralekha was released simulataneously in 120 towns. The film was entertaining and ran for 18,364 feet.

The swashbuckling sword fight between M.K. Radha and Ranjan at the end was as interesting as English films. The drum dance was a grand spectacle and surprised everyone. The film was a big success everywhere.

Yet, Vasan wasn't pleased. While the film was made at ten times the cost of normal films, the collections weren't tenfold. Vasan became worried that the film might not recover the cost of production.

Regards. -- Sriram speak up 09:41, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Sriram. Now let me see where I can fit new content in the article. Kailash29792 (talk) 10:24, 7 April 2014 (UTC)


Edited main body of article to change Indian/international English to standard English and some punctuation. Not clear if sources have been checked or not. I have not edited the introduction to the article, which I think should ideally be done by someone who is familiar with the film. Isthisuseful (talk) 20:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC) As far as I can see the introduction still needs to be re-written by someone with good English skills who is familiar with the film. Isthisuseful (talk) 22:15, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

All India Hit????[edit]

As per sources, it was Meera that was the first Tamil film to be released in Hindi and become a nationwide hit. The Hindi version of Meera was released on December 5, 1947 in Delhi, shortly before Chandralekha. V. Gangadhar, in M. S. Subbulakshmi: The Voice Divine writes "Meera was soon released in packed theatres all over India and broke box office records." And I believe that a book published by Rupa Books is more reliable than Tea Kadai 14:57, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Ravichandar84, I already removed the claim about Chandralekha being India's first nationwide hit. I asked you to search for more inaccurate claims in the article. Kailash29792 (talk) 16:33, 13 February 2015 (UTC)