Classic MGR movie about an outlaw, Kumaraveeran, who robs the rich to feed the poor while maintaining a double identity as the Muslim merchant Abdul Rahim. He falls in love with Poonkothai (Bhanumathi) who is later used by the police to entrap the hero. Eventually, the police officer turns out to be the bandit’s brother. According to M.S.S. Pandian (1992), in this film MGR established his political persona as a ‘superman’ imposing his own version of justice. The Karunanidhi script, replete with the customary DMK propaganda, inaugurated the crucial device of hinging its political message in a song: Pandian translates its lines as follows: ‘How long will they fool us/ in this land of ours?/We’ll open schools in every street/and see that none is unlettered/ We’ll teach many vocations/and banish starvation/Because they don’t even get a glimpse/of the hoarded money/Why do they keep yelling/There is no god?/Because He has not shown Himself/for far too long’. Written by Bharatidasan and sung by T.M. Soundararajan, the song was very popular. Malaikallan was remade in Hindi by the same studio as Azad (1955) starring Dilip Kumar.
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This is the first Tamil film to win an international award, the President's Silver Medal. Read More