Parthiban Kanavu (1960 film)

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Parthiban Kanavu
Parthiban Kanavu 1960 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by D. Yoganand
Screenplay byD. Yoganand
Based on Parthiban Kanavu
by Kalki
Produced byV. Govindarajan
Starring Vyjayanthimala
Gemini Ganesan
S. V. Ranga Rao
CinematographyK. S. Selvaraj
Edited byV. B. Natarajan
"Pazhani" R. Rajan
Music by Vedha
Jubilee Films
Release date
  • 3 June 1960 (1960-06-03)
Running time
219 minutes

Parthiban Kanavu (transl.Parthiban's Dream) is a 1960 Indian Tamil historical fiction film, directed by D. Yoganand. The film stars Vyjayanthimala, Gemini Ganesan and S. V. Ranga Rao, with Ragini, S. V. Subbaiah, Kumari Kamala, T. S. Balaiah, P. S. Veerappa and S. A. Ashokan in supporting roles. [1] It is based on the 1942 historical novel of the same name, written by Kalki Krishnamurthy. [2] The film also had actor K. Balaji in a special appearance and actress B. Saroja Devi as an extra.


Parthiban Kanavu was produced by V. Govindarajan under his Jubilee Films. Upon release, the film was well received by critics, where it won the Best Feature Film in Tamil at the 8th National Film Awards. With its huge budget, the film failed to perform well at the box office where it ended up as a box-office bomb. The film was dubbed into Telugu as Veera Samrajyam in 1961. [3] In 2011, the film was criticised for its historical inaccuracies.


In the 7th century AD. Parthiban, the Chola King, dies in battle leaving incomplete his desire to be free from the yoke of the Pallavas. His son Vikraman (Gemini Ganesan) is determined to fulfill his father's dream. He is captured by the Pallava king, Narasimhavarman (S. V. Ranga Rao) and exiled to an island where he is chosen as the king. Though he has banished him, Narasimhavarman, in fact, cares a great deal about Vikraman as the latter loves his daughter Kundhavi (Vyjayanthimala). Vikraman returns to the mainland to see his mother and is attacked by robbers. Narasimhavaraman, in the guise of a sage and who has been helping Vikraman constantly, rescues him. Vikraman weds Kundhavi and rules over the independent Chola Kingdom, thus fulfilling his father's dream.


Cast according to the film songbook [4] and the opening credits of the film


The film was many years in the making. Actress B. Saroja Devi had appeared as an extra as the heroine Vyjayanthimala's companion. These scenes began disappearing later. The production was halted for many years, meanwhile actress B. Saroja Devi had become a star and was no longer available for small roles. Later, her name appeared in the credits as a guest appearance. [5] The film was produced in three languages, Tamil, Telugu and Sinhala. [6] Maniyam, who was an associate of Kalki Krishnamurthy was chosen as the art director. [7]


The soundtrack was composed by Vedha, with the lyrics by Kannadasan, Vindhan and A. Maruthakasi. [4] [8] The song "Andhi Mayanguthadi" is set in Yaman Kalyan raga. [9]

No.SongSinger/sFeaturing ArtistDuration (m:ss)Lyricist
1"Andhi Mayanguthadi"M. L. VasanthakumariKumari Kamala03:29Vindhan
2"Idhaya Vaanin"A. M. Rajah, P. SusheelaVyjayanthimala, Gemini Ganesan03:25
3"Kannale Naan Kanda"A. M. Rajah, P. Susheela03:23A. Maruthakasi
4"Pazhagum Thamizhe" A. M. Rajah, P. Susheela 03:20 Kannadasan
5"Malligai Poo Marikolundhu"K. Jamuna Rani & group-03:28
6"Engal Kula Samudhayam"03:22
7"Munnam Avanudaya Naamam Kettaal"M. L. VasanthakumariKumari Kamala04:45 Appar Thevaram
8"Vadiveru Thirisoolam Thondrum"03:02


Kanthan of Kalki said the novel had been adapted well for the screen without losing out its taste. [10] However, according to historian Randor Guy, the revealing of the yogi's identity in the beginning of the film was criticised as it did not build up the suspense, which had been the plus point of the novel, among the audience. He noted that this was a huge factor in the commercial failure of a good film, though the lead pair Vyjayanthimala and Ganesan proved to be an attractive pair and their scenes with excellent songs sustained interest in the film. [5] At the 8th National Film Awards, Parthiban Kanavu won the award for Best Feature Film in Tamil. [11]


While analysing the 2011 science fiction film 7aum Arivu , where it was compared with other Tamil films about history and folklore, which had been historically inaccurate like Veerapandiya Kattabomman , Rajaraja Cholan and Parthiban Kanavu itself, the film historian S. Theodore Baskaran had quoted that, "The crew of Parthiban Kanavu — a film on the Pallava dynasty — did not even visit Mahabalipuram ruled by the Pallavas", while criticising the filmmakers, saying that "They do not even do basic research". [12]

See also

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