indian cinema heritage foundation

Vigathakumaran (The Lost Child) (1928)

  • Release Date7/11/1928 or 30/10/1930
  • GenreDrama
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageMalayalam
  • Shooting LocationThiruvananthapuram, Ceylon

(First Film made in Kerala)

The film depicts the story of a boy named Chandrakumar, born into a wealthy family, who was kidnapped and taken to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) by Bhoothanathan, a plantation manager there. His parents’ search for him is in vain and years pass by. 

Chandrakumar has an elder sister named Sarojini. He grows into an attractive young man and gets a job in the plantation when its owner is impressed by him. Parallel to this, Jayachandran reaches Colombo on his way to England for higher studies and is looted by Bhoothanathan and his henchmen. Having lost everything, he loiters around the city until he meets Chandrakumar. The latter helps Jayachandran find employment in Colombo and the two decide to go to Thiruvananthapuram. Bhoothanathan follows them and meets Chandrakumar’s sister Sarojini. He attempts to abduct her, and Chandrakumar and Jayachandran rescue her. Jayachandran and Sarojini develop an affinity towards each other. Meanwhile, Sarojini recognizes her brother by a birthmark on his hand and the family is reunited. 

Vigathakumaran (The Lost Child) is the first silent feature film in Malayalam. JC Daniel, who directed, wrote and produced the film, is known as the ‘father of Malayalam cinema’. PK Rosy, a Dalit woman who played Sarojini in the film, faced immense outrage for having played a Nair woman onscreen. Her house was attacked, and she had to flee, never to return. Screenings of the film were disrupted, and JC Daniel, his friends and the crew were manhandled by protestors. The film was later screened in some other towns including Alappuzha, Kollam, Thrissur, Thalassery and Nagercoil. JC Daniel was forced to sell off his wife’s assets in addition to his studio and equipment to repay the debts he incurred. 



Film Debut