One of the future director Balachander’s plays with an urban middle-class setting is used in this rags-to-riches story set in the film industry. Sundaram (Nagesh, introducing the tragic ‘common-man’ hero to Tamil film with this fictional autobiography) is an inept waiter in a coffee-shop who falls for rich girl Radha (Vijaya). Through his friend Raghavan (Muthuraman) he gets a break in movies and becomes a star, only to see his beloved become his friend’s fiancee. Nagesh, at the peak of his career as the ‘server’, evokes Chaplin and accentuates the sentimentality in the Tamil cinema’s standard mother-son scenes. Balachander provides witty, fast-paced dialogues and the comedy sequences are integrated into the main narrative, giving the film a modern feeling, confirmed by the scenes showing film production and song recording. The original play, staged by Ragini Recreations and featuring Nagesh was very popular, and the film established this now- veteran actor in his first star role. Also released in a (probably dubbed) Telugu version. The directors remade the film in Hindi as Main Sundar Hoon (1971) with Mehmood.
Did you know?
The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil under the Certificate of Merit category, and the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil. Read More