indian cinema heritage foundation
  • Release Date10/06/1966
  • GenreFamily Drama
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageTamil
  • Run Time149 min
  • Length4272 meters
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number46760
  • Certificate Date31/05/1966

Raja (Gemini Ganesan) works for the Indian Army. He takes a break and returns to his village to spend time with his loving wife Seetha (Pusphalatha) and son Ramu (Master Rajkumar) during the festival. War is declared and Raja receives a telegram with an order to report for duty and he leaves with a heavy heart. Raja fights for the country and during the course of the war, Raja's superior (S.V.Ramdas) gets wounded and breathes his last in Raja's arms and before dying mentions about his only daughter living in a village. 

In the absence of Raja, Sangili (O.A.K.Thevar) a dacoit attacks Raja's village with his group and torches several houses including Raja's. Seetha dies in the fire and Ramu who witnesses her dying, loses his voice due to shock. An orphaned Ramu waits for his father's return. After the war ends, Raja returns to the village without intimating anyone hoping to surprise his wife and son. But, Raja gets a shock on learning about his wife's death and his son becoming dumb. Raja leaves the village with Ramu for treatment. 

Ramu and Raja pass through a nearby village, where Seetha Lakshmi or Lakshmi (K.R.Vijaya) daughter of Raja's superior in the Army lives alone after her father's death; she faces troubles from her maternal uncle Ganganna (V.K.Ramasamy) and his son Rangan (S.A.Ashokan). Ganganna demands Lakshmi to marry Rangan and when she does not agree, Gangamma harasses her. Ganganna even sends mediators but fails to convince Lakshmi. When Raja goes to fetch water, Ramu drops firewood inadvertently on the way. Rangan coming from Lakshmi's house gets blocked and slaps Ramu. Seeing this, Raja hits Rangan and Rangan hits back Raja, who faints because of the blow. Lakshmi takes Raja and Ramu home and nurses Raja back to recovery. 

When Ganganna prevents workers from tilling Lakshmi's lands, Raja helps her by hiring a tractor and finishing the work with limited labour force. Raja helps Lakshmi to manage her farm in every other way and slowly Lakshmi gets attracted to Raja. Lakshmi also gets close to Ramu who too reciprocates. Raja, who still lives in his late wife's memories, refuses to acknowledge the liking of Lakshmi. Raja saves Lakshmi from Rangan while he tries to molest her and later discovers that Lakshmi is none other than his superior's daughter. 

Ramu to while away time roams in a nearby forest and gets the acquaintance of a mentally disturbed old man (S.V.Subbiah), who was formerly a Tamil teacher. Ganganna and Rangan request Sangili, the dacoit to eliminate Raja. Ramu, who notices Sangili, explains to Raja that Sangili was behind Seetha's killing. Raja goes in search of Sangili and traces him in a market and beats him in anger and throws him out of the village. Sangili comes back and tries to shoot him, but the police arrives on time and takes away Sangili. 

The physician treating Ramu suggests that Ramu is taken to an ENT specialist in Chennai for treatment and Raja adheres. The specialist investigates and advices psychological treatment. The Psychologist too is unable to offer a solution. A dejected Raja loses the money to a thief and both Ramu and Raja attemptto commit suicide, but change their minds after listening to a prayer song and return to Lakshmi's village. Lakshmi insists that Raja and Ramu continue to live at her place and when Ramu too expresses his desire to be with Lakshmi, Raja agrees. 

Rangan angry with Lakshmi and Raja plans to hit two birds with one stone and harvests crops from Lakshmi's land as well as his land secretly in the night and complains to police that Raja had done it. Raja is taken away by the police and the dog which had witnessed Rangan harvesting is tied in an old house of Rangan. Ramu on hearing the dog barking gets into the old house to free the dog and he too is tied up there. The old man in the forest looking for Ramu enters the old house and gets very angry on seeing Ganganna there, as Ganganna was responsible for the old man's daughter's death. To avenge her death, the old man forces Ganganna into falling into a well. Lakshmi comes there looking for Ramu and Rangan tries to molest her once again. The dog escapes and brings Raja, who is released by the police there. Raja fights with Rangan and in the melee a fire breaks out and Lakshmi faints. As the fire engulfs Lakshmi, Ramu gets his voice back (he remembers the way his mother died in a fire and the same situation makes him get back his voice) and shouts "Amma, Amma" and Lakshmi gets up and walks out safely with him. The police arrest Rangan and the old man surrenders claiming responsibility for Ganganna's death. When Raja tries to leave with Ramu, Ramu refuses to leave Lakshmi and Raja agrees to marry Lakshmi and stays back. 

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