Shanti Nilayam

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For ashram of Satya Sai Baba, see Prasanthi Nilayam.
Shanti Nilayam
Shanti Nilayam.jpg
Theatrical Poster
Directed by G. S. Mani
Produced by G. S. Mani
S. S. Vasan
Written by Chitralaya Gopu[1]
Starring Gemini Ganesan
Kanchana
Music by M. S. Viswanathan
Cinematography Marcus Bartley
Edited by Umanath
Production
company
Gemini Studios
Release date
  • 23 May 1969 (1969-05-23)[2]
Running time
149 minutes[2]
Country India
Language Tamil

Shanti Nilayam (Peaceful House) is a 1969 Indian Tamil-language film produced and directed by G. S. Mani. Starring Gemini Ganesan and Kanchana in the lead roles, it has Nagesh, Vijaya Lalitha, Pandari Bai, K. Balaji and V. S. Raghavan in supporting roles. The film won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography for Marcus Bartley.[2]

Gemini Ganesan and Kanchana play the lead roles in Shanthi Nilayam. Gemini as the father of many kids and Kanchana as the governess are excellent. The children are played by Ramaprabha, Manjula, and Prabhakar. Pandari Bai plays the rich aunt and Nagesh as her son provides the laughs. K. Balajee plays the villain who blackmails the hero’s father (V.S. Raghavan), for having murdered his servant (K.V. Srinivasan), and later, the hero.

Plot[edit]

Malathi after losing her parents lives with her aunt who tortures and treats her like a servant. One day she is dumped in a waste materials godown and she falls sick. Doctor Vijayan(K. V. Srinivasan) who comes to treat her sympathises and admits her in a private school-cum-hostel for orphans. Malathi grows up into a young lady(Kanchana) and becomes a teacher in the same school.

Baskar(Gemini Ganesan), a rich estate owner, lives in Shanthi Nilayam with his older brother Sekar's children(four daughters and a son) and is finding it difficult to bring them up as they are highly naughty and the hired governess runs away every time. His cousin Ramu(Nagesh) and his mother(Pandari Bai) live in the estate too. Baskar conveys his need to Dr. Vijayan who convinces Malathi to accept the governess job. Initially, the children don not accept Malathi but her understanding and matured nature soon wins them over. Baskar appreciates her work.

Strange things happen in the house: Pappamma, the servant maid laughs and walks in the midnight with a candle, Balu(K. Balaji) visits Baskar regularly for money. Malathi suspects something wrong in the house. She comes to know that one of the children Geetha(Rama Prabha), an innocent loves Ramu. One night Baskar's coat catches fire and Malathi douses it. She demands to know why Baskar looks like he has lost something but he does not reply. Balu comes again and Baskar gives him money and tells him that he will not give him anymore.

Baskar's family friend, Parvatham(M. S. Sundari Bai) arrives with her husband and daughter Sheela(Vijayalalitha). Parvatham suggests the marriage of Baskar and Sheela and Malathi is upset hearing this. Malathi's aunt with her daughters Saradha and Sumathi arrives there after having fallen in their life. Ramu's mother accepts them and they stay with Malathi. Sheela and her mother treat Malathi and her relatives badly. They spread rumours about Malathi, and Baskar shouts at Malathi to behave properly like an educated person. Malathi feels that even Baskar is treating her like a servant and decides to leave the house. However, Ramu stops her and states the Children's needs and she stays back. Baskar understands Malathi's commitment to the family and expresses his love for her. Sheela overhears this and shouts at Malathi for snatching away Baskar. Baskar asks Sheela and her family to leave. The children are happy about Malathi and Baskar uniting. Baskar fixing their marriage the next Friday. One day, Malathi sees Balu with bloodstains and demands an explanation from Baskar who promises to reveal everything soon.

During the marriage proceeding Balu arrives and states that Baskar has already married his sister. Baskar accepts and reveals that he indeed married Janaki, a mad woman and explains the circumstances of the marriage. Baskar's father(V. S. Raghavan) in an altercation hit Singaram(Senthamarai), Balu's father leading to his death. Balu blackmails Baskar's father to marry his sister to Bhaskar annd give a part of the wealth to her. Baskar's father refuses but Baskar, to save the family's prestige agrees and marries Janaki but finds her totally mad. He gives her the best medical treatment but there is no improvement in Janaki. Pappamma takes care of her. Baskar's brother Sekar was killed in a fire lit by Janaki. Ramu's mother confirms thae facts and Malathi is shocked and leaves home. The children cry for her to stay and KAvitha, one of them, follows her. Kavitha falls down unconscious and Malathi stops and returns home along with Dr. Vijayan, who arrives there.

Meanwhile, Balu demands Baskar to transfer the wealth belonging to Janaki to him and threatens to kill him otherwise. Baskar takes on him beats him. At the same time, Janaki comes out of her room and puts the house on fire. Balu. Janaki and Pappamma die in the fire. Malathi, Ramu and Dr. Vijayan arrive and save everybody. Baskar and Malathi marry.[3]

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Shanthi Nilayam was a remake of the Kannada film Bedi Bandavalu (1968) starring Kalyan Kumar and Chandrakala which was adapted from The Sound of Music (1965).[3] S. S. Vasan saw the Kannada film and bought the remake rights for it. He assigned Chitralaya Gopu to write the screenplay and dialogues for the Tamil version. Although Vasan liked the screenplay, he felt that the film would not cater to the rural audience. Gopu, in turn, felt that Vasan's doubts would be overcome if Nagesh's comic potential. Vasan's words however proved to be true as the film ran well only in cities and not so much in smaller towns.[3]

Gopu recommendation of Kanchana for the lead heroine role was agreed by the film's director Mani.[3] The film was entirely shot at Ooty and art director Mohana Kumari was in charge of erecting the special sets required to shoot the film's scenes.[3] The flying hellium balloon in the song "Bhoomiyil Iruppadhu" was one of the highlights. Camera techniques were used in the song to show that the balloon was flying while in reality it was not.[3]

Influences[edit]

According to film critic Randor Guy, Shanti Nilayam, though widely believed to have been adapted from The Sound of Music, was actually based on Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre.[4]

Songs[edit]

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam made his debut in Tamil cinema with this film by singing the song "Iyarkai Ennum",[5] even though Adimai Penn (which he signed after Shanti Nilayam) was released first.[6]

Track list[7]
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "Iyarkai Ennum" Kannadasan S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, P. Susheela 3.29
2. "Kadavul Orunaal" Kannadasan P. Susheela 4.33
3. "Boomiyil Irupathum Vanathil" Kannadasan T. M. Soundararajan 3.02
4. "Selvangale" Kannadasan P. Susheela 3.08
5. "Pennai Parthum" Kannadasan   3.24
6. "Iraivan Varuvaan" Kannadasan P. Susheela 3.52
Total length: 16.96

Reception[edit]

Randor Guy wrote in his review that the film would be "Remembered for: the interesting storyline, excellent performances, brilliant cinematography and pleasing music."[4]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]