Thookku Thookki

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Thookku Thookki
Thookku Thookki.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byR. M. Krishnaswami
Produced byM. Radhakrishnan
Screenplay byA. T. Krishnasamy
V. N. Sambandham
Based onThookku Thookki (1935)
Starring Sivaji Ganesan
Music by G. Ramanathan
CinematographyR. M. Krishnaswami
Edited byR. M. Venugopal
Aruna Films
Release date
  • 26 August 1954 (1954-08-26)
Running time
147 minutes [1]

Thookku Thookki (transl.Baggage carrier) is a 1954 Indian Tamil-language historical drama film directed by R. M. Krishnaswami. Based on the play of the same name, it stars Sivaji Ganesan, Lalitha and Padmini. The film revolves around a prince who, after hearing about the five maxims of life, goes through numerous adventures to verify their veracity. It was released on 26 August 1954 and became a success.



The king of Sundarapuri advises his three sons to get into business and earn money to save the crippling economy. Sundarangadan is the brightest son while the other two are dimwitted. Hence, the king looks up to him for support to save the country. All the three brothers venture out of their country to do business.

Sundarangadan visits a research centre and listens to the words of pandits. One of them reads out the five maxims of life which Sundarangadan does not accept, and argues with the pandits before deciding to evaluate their validity. Instead of pursuing his business goal, Sundarangadan returns to Sundarapuri to verify the merits of the maxims, but his father again sends him away and prohibits him from returning without riches, convincing Sundarangadan that the first maxim (a father cares only for the riches earned by his son) is true.

Sundarangadan visits his mother who warmly welcomes him and is upset to know the reaction of his father. She offers him protection, advises him to stay back in the palace and promises that she will pacify the king. Sundarangadan refuses, but realises the second maxim (only a mother stands by the son through thick and thin, whether he brings riches or not) is true.

Sundarangadan goes to his sister's country. His sister and her husband welcome him warmly. However, on realising that he did not bring any gifts or riches for her, she feels humiliated and disrespects him. Sundarangadan is forced to leave, but realises the third maxim (a sister values her brother only for the gift he brings her, not because he is her brother) is true.

Sundarangadan meets his wife Prema, who stayed back in her father's kingdom Sorgapuri as Sundarangadan was regularly travelling outside his kingdom. Sundarangadan is not aware that Prema is having an extramarital affair with Seth Namakharam, and is staying back in the place for this reason. Madhivanan, son of the minister and a friend of Sundarangadan, learns of the affair and visits Prema's palace twice to verify the same. However, she lies to Sundarangadan that Madhivanan is misbehaving by coming to her place regularly, misusing his friendship.

Sundarangadan reprimands Madhivanan, who reveals the affair and tells him to check for himself. Sundarangadan infiltrates Namakharam's services as a menial worker and gains his confidence. When Prema invites Namakharam to her palace, Sundarangadan accompanies him. Namakharam presents her a betel leaf, prepared by the worker. She notices that the folding is in Sundarangadan's style. Suspicious, she asks Namakharam who says the worker joined the day before. Prema sends her assistant to kill the worker, convincing Sundarangadan that the fourth maxim (a virtuous wife may even kill her husband) is true. He reveals his true identity to Prema and Namakharam.

Prema lies to her father that Sundarangadan attempted to kill her. Sundarangadan, accused of attempted murder, flees to another kingdom where he feigns insanity. However, he attracts the attention of princess Madhavi, who likes his behaviour and arranges for his treatment. When he is "cured", she makes him her and her sister Mallika's baggage carrier. Kattazhagan, their teacher's son, falls in love with Madhavi and demands that she should marry him. Sundarangadan comes to her rescue. The king learns that Sundarangadan is not insane, and that he is the prince of Sundarapuri who is banned there. He arrests Sundarangadan, but after Madhavi pleads, agrees to release him if his innocence is proven.

Sundarangadan is taken to Sorgapuri. When his father-in-law demands to know why he ran away, he is forced to reveal the details of Prema's affair. The king asks for proof. By then, Madhivanan brings Namakharam who confesses all. Prema's assistant also confirms it. Prema realises her mistake and accepts her crime, says that Sundarangadan should marry Madhavi and commits suicide. The king apologises to Sundarangadan and appoints him king. Sundarangadan's father reaches with his wife and sons and apologises for ill-treating Sundarangadan. Madhavi's father offers Madhavi to Sundarangadan. Sundarangadan explains his pursuit to find the validity of the maxims and getting them confirmed. At his request, Mallika marries Madhivanan while Sundarangadan marries Madhavi.



Thookku Thookki was an adaptation of the play of the same name which was made into a film in 1935. [3] [4] Cinematography was handled by R. M. Krishnaswamy, and editing by R. M. Venugopal. [5]


The music was composed by G. Ramanathan, with lyrics by Udumalai Narayana Kavi, Thanjai N. Ramaiah Dass and A. Maruthakasi. [2] In less than 12 hours, Narayana Kavi wrote five of the eight songs, which were composed immediately by Ramanathan and rehearsed by the playback singers. [3] T. M. Soundararajan was hired to sing the songs picturised on Ganesan at Maruthakasi's recommendation, [6] with his salary being 2,000 (equivalent to 160,000orUS$2,300 in 2019). Ganesan objected to Soundararajan and wanted his usual singer C. S. Jayaraman instead, but Soundararajan persuaded Ganesan to let him render the songs, and he would leave if Ganesan was not satisfied. After hearing Soundararajan's rendering, Ganesan was impressed and Soundararajan went on to sing many songs for Ganesan. [7] The song "Sundari Soundari" is set in the Carnatic raga known as Kurinji, [8] [9] and "Pengalai Nambaadhe Kangale" is set in Maand. [10]

1"Eraadha Malaidhanile" T. M. Soundararajan Thanjai N. Ramaiah Dass03:12
2"Inba Nilai Kaana Innum En" M. S. Rajeswari A. Maruthakasi03:55
3"Sundhari Soundhari Nirandhariye" P. Leela, A. P. Komala & T. M. Soundararajan A. Maruthakasi04:55
4"Pengalai Nambaadhe Kangale" T. M. Soundararajan Udumalai Narayana Kavi 02:06
5"Pyari Nimbal Mele Namke Majaa"V. N. Sundharam & M. S. Rajeswari Udumalai Narayana Kavi 03:06
6"Abaaya Arivippu Aiyaa Abaaya Arivippu" T. M. Soundararajan Thanjai N. Ramaiah Dass02:12
7"Kuranginilirundhu Pirandhavan Manidhan" P. Leela, A. P. Komala,
T. M. Soundararajan & V. N. Sundharam
Udumalai Narayana Kavi 05:14
8"Sattaam Pillaiyai.... Poongkavin Neengaadha" T. M. Soundararajan Thanjai N. Ramaiah Dass01:21
9"Kanvazhi Pugundhu Karutthinil Kalandha" T. M. Soundararajan & M. S. Rajeswari A. Maruthakasi03:07
10"Aanum Pennai Azhagu Seivadu Aadai" T. M. Soundararajan Udumalai Narayana Kavi 03:44
11"Vaaranam Aayiram Soozha Valam Seidhu" M. L. Vasanthakumari & P. Leela Nachiyar Thirumozhi 03:42

Release and reception

Thookku Thookki was released on 26 August 1954. Despite facing competition from another Ganesan film released on the same day ( Koondukkili ), [11] it became a commercial success. [3] The film won two Chennai Film Fans' Association awards: Best Film, and Best Actor (Ganesan). [11] [12]

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