Melodrama supposedly critiquing Tamil
Brahminism and a major censorship case when
the Madras Tamil Brahmins’ Association’s call
to have it banned was apparently supported by
the then-President of India, R. Venkatraman.
Balu Thevar (Satyaraj), a non-Brahmin atheist
and the village chief, has a feud with the
Brahmin Neelkanth Sastry (Charuhasan) who
teaches the Vedas, including their erotic
descriptions in Shankara, to Thevar’s son
Sankara Pandi (Raja), the latter also being in
love with Sastry’s daughter Vaidehi (Amala).
Pandi gets killed, as does Sastry.
Vaidehi pretends to be dead, and escapes, allowing
another character to emerge: a widowed forest
ranger (Ravi) who confronts the girl’s Brahmin
suitor (Janakaraj) as well as the film’s villain.
Bharathirajaa’s practice of setting a love story in
the context of village ritual yields an unusually
violent story in a film purporting to merge
humanist values into religious ritual.
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