indian cinema heritage foundation

Annaiyin Aanai (1958)

  • Release Date04/07/1958
  • GenreFamily
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageTamil
  • Run Time152 min
  • Length4673.19 meters
  • Number of Reels18
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number22617
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Shankar (Sivaji Ganesan) is the Manager of Paropakaram’s (S.V. Ranga Rao) factory.  Paropakaram, a mean and deadly businessman sends him to jail on a false charge of murder. Gowri (Pandari Bai), Shankar’s wife is about to have their first baby. Shankar escapes from jail after being in prison for 7 months to see his newborn and exhorts her to avenge Paropakaram, through his son and dies due to bullet injury. Their son  Ganesh (Sivaji Ganesan again), grows up and goes to Madurai for a college education.  

He is not aware of the circumstances of his father’s death and his mother’s sufferings.  Paropakaram is a widower and has a daughter Prema (Savithri), with whom he is very close. Balu (M.N. Nambiar) is Paropakaram’s legal advisor and is an accomplice to all his crimes. Balu likes Prema but she does not. Balu lives as a tenant at a  landlord’s (V.R. Rajagopal) residence and moves closely with the landlord’s sister  Sundari (M.N. Rajam), a young dancer.  

At a college cultural event, Ganesh meets Karunakaran (M.R. Santhanam), his grandfather, who had driven out Shankar for marrying Gowri against his wishes.  Karunakaran is happy to know that Ganesh is his grandson and gets shocked to understand that Shankar has died. Before his death, Karunakaran leaves all his property for Ganesh. Meanwhile, Gowri also falls sick and on her deathbed reveals how Paropakaram tried to molest her and that Shankar had thrashed Paropakaram for it and Paropakaram cunningly framed Shankar for the death of his security guard, which finally ended with Shankar’s death. Before dying, Gowri secures a pledge from Ganesh to take revenge against Paropakaram by keeping him in confinement for 7 years.  

Ganesh, who comes across Prema gets attracted, but he does not show any affection to her because of his vow to his mother, not to go after any worldly pleasures, until the completion of his mission. Balu requests for Prema’s hand but  Paropakaram does not agree and he gets upset.  Ganesh plots: He buys an old house from Paropakaram and constructs a new house there and then invites him for a business meeting at his house. There he reveals his identity and then dumps him in a secret cell of that house and states that Paropakaram has to be in his custody for seven years as a punishment for the wrong deeds to his family. Prema searches for her missing father and locates a note left by Paropakaram on his table about his meeting with Ganesh. Prema goes to Ganesh’s house and he behaves innocently.  

Balu assures Prema that he will find her father provided she marries him. He threatens to expose her father to the Police for his crimes if she refuses. Prema agrees and on the wedding day, Sundari, whom Balu had promised to marry earlier, arrives with her brother and exposes him. Balu is forced to marry Sundari and Prema marries  Ganesh. In the solitary cell, Paropakaram reforms and seeks Ganesh’s forgiveness.  After marriage, Prema sees her father’s overcoat in Ganesh’s room and suspects him and distrust develops between them. 

Ganesh realizes that he is punishing Prema for no fault of hers and decides to release a reformed Paropakaram, but is shocked to see him missing. Prema complains to the Police and they come to investigate. Ganesh reveals his past to them and  Prema forgives him. However, police arrest him for abduction.  Paropakaram who escaped from the cell was taken by Balu to his house and kept in confinement there. Balu also lodges a Police complaint against Ganesh. Balu misguides the Police by stating another dead body as Paropakaram and when the  Police investigate, he manages to create a fire in the hospital leading to the dead body planted by him being destroyed.  Ganesh’s defense in the Court becomes weak as he has already confessed to having kept Paropakaram in custody.  

In the Court, Ganesh denies that he had murdered  Paropakaram but the Court reserves judgment and the judgment day arrives. In order to find out Paropakaram’s hidden wealth, Balu whips Prema in front of her father and  Paropakaram gives Balu the key to his hidden wealth.  When Balu exits, they both escape and run out to the Court.  Balu tries to run away with all of Paropakaram’s money but  Sundari stops him. In anger he shoots her, she dies and he is arrested. Paropakaram and Prema enter the Court just in time and Ganesh is declared not guilty. On request by Paropakaram, Ganesh is absolved of the charge of wrongful confinement of Paropakaram and he is set free. Paropakaram dies in the Court and Ganesh and Prema offer their prayers to their parents. 

The film had songs, ‘Neeye kathi easwari …’,  ‘Kollathey ithu polae…pollatha ulagame …’, ‘Enna  sami ethukku summa parkare …’, ‘Annaiyai pol oru  deivamillai …’, ‘Puriyadha inbam ariyatha puthumai  …’, ‘Kanavin maya logathilae naam kalanthey  ullasam kanbome …’, ‘Vaanga vaanga mappillai  idhai vaangi kollunga…’ and ‘Thanthana thanathana  …’ Out of them, the songs, ‘Neeye kathi easwari  …’, ‘Annaiyai pol oru deivamillai …’ and ‘Kanavin  maya logathilae…’ became hugely popular and  remain an attraction even today for the film.  

 [from the book Pride of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 2013, by G Dhananjayan. Blue Ocean Publishers, 2014]