Veerapandiya Kattabomman (film)

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For the 1993 film, see Kattabomman (film).
Veerapandiya Kuttabomman
Veerapandiya Kattabomman Poster.jpg
Promotional Poster
Directed by B. R. Panthulu
Produced by B. R. Panthulu
Padmini Pictures
Screenplay by Sakthi T. K. Krishnasamy
Based on Kattabomman 
by Sivaji Nadaga Mandram
Starring Sivaji Ganesan
Gemini Ganesan
Padmini
S. Varalakshmi
V. K. Ramasamy
Music by G. Ramanathan
Release dates 16 May 1959[1]
Running time 166 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil

Veerapandiya Kattabomman (English: The Hero Kattabomman) is a 1959 Tamil feature film written by Sakthi T. K. Krishnasamy and directed by B. R. Panthulu. The cast includes Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, Padmini, S. Varalakshmi, and V. K. Ramasamy. Veerapandiya Kattabomman is based on the story of the eponymous Tamil chieftain who rose in rebellion against the East India Company and fought with alien combination. One of the earliest freedom fighters of India he laid his life in sacrifice at the altar of freedom of his motherland.This film was dubbed in Telugu (Veerapandya Kattabrahmana 1959) and Hindi (Amar Shaheed 1960)

1959

Sivaji`s performance won him an international award at the Egypt Film Festival. Veerapandiya Kattabomman is notable for being the first Tamil film to be shot in Technicolor.[2] This movie ran 100 days in 28 theatres in those days which is worth to mention for all time. When this movie was re released in USA i.e. in third round, ran with houseful shows in second week. Padmini(Nattipaeroli) said in one interview.

Plot[edit]

Veerapandiya Kattabomman is the Rajah of Panchalankurichi in the extreme south of India — a brave fighter and a devotee of his family deity, Lord Subrahmaniya of Tiruchendur. On receiving the news of loot and arson in his territory, he himself sets out in disguise to encounter the robbers. The robbers are captured and they confess that they had been hired by the British to create unrest in his domain. They also tell him that the British had enticed the neighbouring chieftain Ettayappan to help their endeavour to annex Panchalankurichi.

Ettayappan is promised by the British an addition of two villages to his land as a price for his betrayal. Ettayappan goes in disguise to Kattabomman's court and tries to frighten him with his account of the omnipotence of the British. Kattabomman is indignant and tears out the mask of Ettayappan but spares him because he had come to his court as an ambassador. At Chayalkudi, a village near Panchalamkurichi, lives a beautiful damsel, Vellaiamma, who would marry the man who tames her bull, a proud pet. She takes her bull for participation in the games to be held at Panchalamkurichi under the patronage of the king. No-one dare touch Vellaiamma's bull. At Kattabomman's call, his Commander-in-chief Vellaiathevan, comes forward, subdues the bull and gets the prize — the hands of the beautiful Vellaiamma.

Kattabomman is delivered a message from the collector Jackson that he should meet him on an appointed day, following which he would be deprived of his kingdom. Davison, a British friend of Kattabomman advises him to go and see the collector. Jackson, finding that Kattabomman has come to see him with his troops, changes his camp from place to place and finally meets him at Ramnad. In the interview, Jackson insults him and orders his arrest. Though surrounded by the British troups, Kattabmman fights his way out and joins his troupes. But his Minister is captured by the British.

Some time after, the Minister is released. He brings the news that Jackson has been transferred home on the advice of Davison. Life in Panchalamkurichi goes on with the usual gaiety. At Kattabomman's court, a British messenger comes and reports that the Minister and his men have looted their granaries and killed their men at Srivaikuntam. The Minister justifies his act, by saying that he instructed his men to do it as there was a shortage of food grains due to the British amassing all rice in their granary.

The king accuses him of injustice and he is ashamed of his Minister's acts. The Minister apologises and offers himself as a fugitive to the messenger, whose soldiers are about to handcuff the Minister. But Kattabomman is infuriated and cries that he will never betray his Minister and fail in his duty as a king. The messenger hangs down head in shame and walks out. The king's brother Oomaithurai says that the British will start attacking them. A spy is sent by Kattabomman to the enemy camp and discloses the plans which Ettayappan has drawn up for the British forces for launching an attack on Panchalamkurichi on the day of the festival at Tiruchendur when Kattabomman and most of the people would be away from the capital. Kattabomman gets prepared to meet the enemy.

On the day of the battle, Vellaiamma pleads Vellaiathevan not to go for fighting because the previous night she has had bad dream and seen evil omens in those dreams. Notwithstanding her entreaties, Vellaiathevan sets out for the battle, and so does Kattabomman. The British win because of their brutal strength. Vellaiathevan is killed, and Vellaiamma seeks out under cover of night, the man who killed her husband and avenges her husband's death by killing him. Crawling back, she falls dead on her husband's corpse.

Kattabomman is wounded in the neck. He is, however saved by his devoted followers, who take him to the adjoining kingdom of Kovilapatti. The old woman who protects the royal brothers, sends the prying soldiers away with a clever ruse. Minister Thanapati misleads the British soldiers who are on the trial of Kattabomman by dressing himself as the chief. From Kovilapatti, Kattabomman and his brother flee to Pudhukottai. Rajah of Pudhukottai, afraid of the British, instructs his men to capture Kattabomman. Kattabomman is captured and taken to the British. Undaunted Kattabomman faces a trial by the British and is hanged.

Cast[edit]

W. C. Jackson (C. R. Parthiban, left) and Kattabomman (Sivaji Ganesan, right) confront each other
Crew
  • Produced: B. R. Panthulu, Padmini Pictures
  • Directed: B. R. Panthulu
  • Music : G. Ramanathan
  • Lyrics : Ku. Ma. Balasubramaniam
  • Screenplay & Dialogues: Sakthi T. K. Krishnasamy[3]
  • Art Director: Ganga
  • Editing : R. Devanarayanan
  • Costumes : M. G. Naidu
  • Choreography : Hiralal, P. S. Gopalakrishnan & Madhavan
  • Cinematography : W. R. Subbarao & Karnan

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Kattabomman was a popular play staged 100 times between 1957 and 1959 by Sivaji Ganesan through his Sivaji Nadaga Mandram. Director B. R. Panthulu, on seeing the play, decided to adapt it into a feature film, and hired Sakthi Krishnaswamy to write the dialogues.[4] For the purpose of making the popular play as a film, a "History-Film Format Research Group" was formed under the leadership of Ma. Po. Sivagnanam with Sakthi Krishnasamy, Panthulu, Ganesan, P. A. Kumar, K. Singamuthu and S. Krishnaswamy as members.[5]

Casting[edit]

C. R. Parthiban was chosen to play the role of the "arrogant British officer" Jackson Durai.[6][7] Ganesan originally offered the role of the character Vallaithevan to S. S. Rajendran, but he declined it due to his commitment with the film Sivagangai Seemai. He later advised actress Savitri to send her husband Gemini Ganesan to play the role, which she agreed to.[4][8] Actress Padmini was chosen to play Vallaithevan's love interest Vellaiyamma, and S. Varalakshmi as Kattabomman's wife Jakkamma. O. A. K. Thevar was chosen to play Kattabomman's brother Oomaithurai, and V. K. Ramasamy as the antagonistic Ettappan.[9]

Filming[edit]

Shooting for the film took place at Jaipur. With help from Janakaraja – the man in charge of the cavalry division, the team of Veerapandiya Kattabomman managed to get hold of the cavalry and soldiers for the shot.[4] The film was made in Gevacolor, and then converted to Technicolor at London, to offer superior quality prints. During the making of the film, producer S. S. Vasan was also planning to make Kattabomman as a film and was writing a series in his magazine Vikatan. Ganesan had to personally meet him and request him to drop the plan.[5]

Soundtrack[edit]

Veerapandiya Kattabomman
Original CD Cover
Soundtrack album to Veerapandiya Kattabomman by G. Ramanathan
Released 1959
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 72:16
Language Tamil
Label Saregama
Producer G. Ramanathan

Veerapandiya Kattabomman's original soundtrack was composed by G. Ramanathan, while the lyrics were written by Ku. Ma. Balasubramaniam.[10] The album became a major breakthrough for P. B. Srinivas, then a struggling playback singer, who was recruited by Ramanathan to sing the track Inbam Pongum Vennila picturised on Gemini Ganesan, with P. Susheela.[11]

Telugu songs

Release[edit]

Reception[edit]

Ananda Vikatan (24.5.1959) said, "Kattabomman will not leave the hearts of the people who have seen it... Sivaji Ganesan has acted so well. This film adds pride to every person born as a Tamilian".[5] L. K. Advani, said, "I have seen the Tamil movie of Veerapandia Kattabomman, acted by Shivaji Ganesan, many times. It is fresh in my memory."[12] IndiaGlitz said, "Shivaji as Kattabomman gives a tremendous act and the scene when Kattabomman confronts Jackson instantly comes into our mind. This movie is sure to give you the Goosebumps with Shivaji's powerful acting and a sense of what rebellion and freedom fighting is."[13] Janani Karthik of The Times of India said, "Watch this [film] for the legendary actor's performance, something that old-timers remember even today".[14]

Awards[edit]

Historical accuracies[edit]

In 2011, Tamil film historian S. Theodore Baskaran criticised Veerapandiya Kattabomman along with two other films—Parthiban Kanavu and 7aum Arivu—because of their historical inaccuracies. He said, "Kattabomman was not even a king. His arsenal had just about three to four guns. All this is well-documented, but the film showed just the opposite".[16]

Re-release[edit]

Veerapandiya Kattabomman is due to be re-released as a 3D film in early 2013.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nadigarthilagam.com/vpkb50anniv/vpkb50annivfunctn.htm
  2. ^ Narayanan, Sharadha (2010-10-24). "One hundred years of superstardom". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  3. ^ Mohan V Raman (2013-04-08). "The power of the pen". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  4. ^ a b c Sivaji Ganesan (2002). Autobiography of an actor. pp. 120–121. 
  5. ^ a b c G. Dhananjayan (2011). The Best of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 1976. Galatta Media. pp. 182–184. 
  6. ^ http://lite.epaper.timesofindia.com/mobile.aspx?article=yes&pageid=9&edlabel=TOICH&mydateHid=15-04-2013&pubname=&edname=&articleid=Ar00900&format=&publabel=TOI
  7. ^ http://mohanramanmuses.blogspot.in/2009/07/kattabomman.html
  8. ^ "Serial story, Thiraichuvai — Potpourri of titbits about Tamil cinema, gemini ganesan". Kalyanamalai Magazine. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  9. ^ http://www.oneindia.in/independence-day/2011/english-remembering-veerapandiya-kattabomman.html
  10. ^ "Veerapandia Kattabomman Songs — Veerapandia Kattabomman Tamil Movie Songs — Tamil Songs Lyrics Trailer Videos, Preview Stills Reviews". Raaga.com. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  11. ^ B. Kolappan (2013-04-14). "Veteran singer PBS passes away". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  12. ^ "Advani supports Lankan Tamils". rediff.com. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  13. ^ "End of the world movies: - Tamil Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  14. ^ Janani Karthik (15 August 2013). "Evergreen biopics in Tamil Cinema". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "7th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  16. ^ "7 Aum Arivu row: Debate rages over Bodhi Dharma's identity". Deccan Chronicle. 9 November 2011. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Yet Another Classic In 3d — Titanic 3d — Sivaji Ganesan — Veerapandiya Kattabomman — Karnan — Tamil Movie News". Behindwoods.com. 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 

External links[edit]