Pasa Malar vs Raktha Sambandham

06Oct08

Pasa Malar is considered to be a cult classic in Tamil cinema by any average movie buff.  It is one of my all time fav movie. I don’t think the movie had the most flawless screenplay. It indeed dragged unnecessarily at parts. But the movie had towering performances by Savitri and Sivaji Ganesan. It’s a must watch film if you are a fan of either of the two. I recently bought a bunch of Telugu classics of Savitri and I got Raktha Sambandham as well. My expectations for the movie were pretty high before watching it. So did the film manage to meet my expectations? I would say yes and no. I heard ANR was the initial choice for the lead role. But he turned down the role as he was skeptical about whether the audience would accept him and Savitri as brother and sister. It was then offered to NTR and he promptly accepted it. I wish ANR could have at least played the husband role of Savitri. Because they both are known for their extremely good onscreen chemistry. Even though the movie capitalized on the brother – sister affection. Gemini played a significant role in the original. His character had slight shades of Grey and he played it to perfection. I would rate it as one of his career best performance. Just watch out the scene where he confronts Sivaji defending his co-workers when they get expelled from the factory or the scene where he argues with Sivaji that he cannot keep his ego at stake before the latter leaves the house. Class acting! I honestly could not digest an actor like Kanta Rao enacting the part. As the role demanded an actor of better caliber. He was a total miscast. NTR’s performance was over-the-top in the first half. But he was way better in the second half. Savitri was good. She is always a complete natural.  I liked the minor changes made in the script.  The screenplay was definitely better handled in Telugu. I liked the fact that M.N.Rajam’s character(Devika) was made to die in the middle which was a good relief. தேவையே இல்லாமால் ஜவ்வு மாதிரி இழுத்து கொண்டே போவாங்க தமிழ்ல அந்த காரக்டரை. In Tamil, she would be sent to foreign country to pursue her higher studies in medicine abruptly. She would then be seen only towards the end of climax mouthing some extremely lame and cliched dialogues “Athaan ungalukku naan paadha sevai seyalangruthukka enakku ivalavu periya dhandanaya neenga kodukkanum” LMAO! Gemini will be holding a permanent grudge against Sivaji and both would not meet until the end. But in Telugu after Devika’s demise Kanta Rao would go to offer his condolences immediately after coming to know about it. Also Sivaji after leaving the house would never try to visit Savitri. NTR will go to meet Savitri and her child and after seeing how she is getting abused by Suryakantham with his own eyes, he would write his entire property on her name. Kanta Rao and Savitri will run to NTR’s house to see him, but it would rather be too late as he would have left the city without letting them know. The music was by Ghantasala. He retained most of the tunes for the songs in Telugu which were composed by Viswanathan and Ramamoorthy for Pasa Malar. “Evaro Nanu Kavvinchi Poyedevaro“(Yaar yaar yaar aval yaro) and “Oho Vayyari Vadina“(Mayangugiral oru madhu) were the only two songs which deviated from the original, both the songs did not impress me much. I think the song “Malargalai Pol Thangai Urangukiraal” where Sivaji dreams of his sister marriage was cut in both Telugu and Hindi. I was quite glad that it got cut! It was most likely done to reduce the length of the movie. Although, I like the song it could have easily been avoided. The picturization was a letdown. I found Sivaji’s look in particular to be so cheesy. All these minor changes made the Telugu version seem more realistic. When Bhimsingh remade the film in Hindi as Rakhi which featured Ashok Kumar and Waheeda Rehman in lead roles he smartly infused all these minor changes in the Hindi screenplay. I personally did not like the Hindi version much. I thought Ashok Kumar was way too old to play the role. But he won the Best Actor Award from Filmfare for Rakhi. Dilip Kumar should have been the ideal choice for the role IMHO!

Pradeep Kumar filled the place of Gemini. I wish Bhimsingh roped someone like Sunil Dutt who has both star appeal and acting skills for the role. The casting was awful again!

I think the budget should have probably been an obstacle. The movie was made in a shoestring budget. When Amaradeepam (not necessarily my fav movie) got remade in hindi as Amardeep by Sivaji productions. It featured a host of stars with the likes of Dev Anand, Padmini, Ragini, Vyjayanthimala and Pran enacting the key roles… I bet all of them were highly paid actors of their time. இந்த படம் எடுக்கும் போது மட்டும் ஏன் அவ்வளவு கருமித்தனம்னு உண்மையாகவே விளங்கவில்லை.

Overall in terms of performances I conclude Pasa Malar is by far the best out of the three versions. Sivaji and Savitri literally lived their roles. Savitri apparently underwent a crash diet and lost weight to look convincing in the climax. She used to have only one meal a day for two months. அவ்வளவு சிரமம் எடுத்து அவங்க நடித்த படம். But if you notice the climax she would be having perfectly manicured nails. lol. Wish Bhimsingh had paid attention to such trivial things. I thought Aroor Das’s dialogues could have been a tad more pragmatic.

I think the first time I watched the movie I was so young… I was just 14 or 15 years old. I wept like no tomorrow after watching the climax. இந்த படத்தை பார்த்து அநேகமாக அழாதவர்களே இருக்க முடியாது. It may seem ludicrous, but I rather felt unfortunate for not having any siblings for first time in my life. அப்படி ஒரு தாக்கத்தை ஏற்படுத்திய திரைப்படம் பாசமலர் !

[Sivaji Ganesan and Savitri] Malarnthum Malaratha – Pasa Malar

[NTR and Savitri] Chandurini Minchu – Rakthasambandham

[Ashok Kumar and Waheeda Rehman] Ya Meri Manzil – Rakhi




5 Responses to “Pasa Malar vs Raktha Sambandham”

  1. 1 Subrahmanyasharma

    Yes I agree with your many points. I have seen all the three versions in Tamil(Original), Telugu and Hindi. It is highly melodramatic in Tamil. But the same story remade in Kannada in 1965. Dr. Rajkumar and Leelavathi were in lead roles replacing Shivaji and Savithri. Director Y.R. Swamy still made simple (only Two hours and ten minutes running time), cutting all unimportant things and made Dr. Raj to underplay effectively. It was Leelavathy who stole the show. The tunes of the songs were different. But were melodious. Dialogue by Ku. Ra. Seetharama Sastry were meaningful.
    But, One thing I should confess that the Tamil Song “ Malarndum malarada ” is even now haunting me, even after 53 years. At that time I was also of 15 years of age. I used to sing the song and made my children and of my relatives children, neighbours children to sleep quietly hearing to that great lullaby. Now, I am of 69 years old and even now I sing that song for my satisfaction (Atma Tripti). South never produced a calibre artiste to Match Savitri’s talents. The great Kavijnar Kannadasan, A. Bhimsing, The giants music duo Viswanathan-Ramamurthi, Savitri, and Shivaji all have put together their efforts to make this song all time record. Thank you very much.

  2. Oh, it was remade in Kannada as well? Would love to watch it someday. I like Leelavathy. :)

  3. 3 t r rudraiah

    I have seen all the four versions..it is ntr savitri combination excels ..n t r is more natural realistic to the situations than all the other three versions..geminganeshan excels ..excepts two songs telugu songs are equally good to tamil songs..over all telugu version excels as its screen play is better than all the other three versions

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  5. 5 Praveen

    NO ONE IN THIS WORLD REPLACES N*T*R ON THE WHOLE WORLD .HE IS THE MAN FOR after mid 19 th century….


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