SubaThinam – Hard Hitting Film on a Taboo-ish Subject..

What are man’s primary needs? Food, Shelter, Clothing? Everything else is secondary. That is what, is taught to us in school, right? But isn’t the objective of nature for every individual, man, plant or animal to pro-create and take their species forward? And for that to happen, nature has designed individuals of opposite sexes to be naturally attracted to each other, indulge in sexual pleasure to satisfy their urges, and at the same time, sow the seeds for the next generation?
In a cultured society, a man or a woman can steal if they are hungry. Remember the classic verse ‘Thani Oru Manithanukku Unavu Illai enil, Jagathinai Alithidu’.. There have been several movies based on the social inequalities of people who lack food, clothing or shelter ( Veedu) .. But what about sex?
During my 9th standard, I remember my Biology teacher defining marriage – ‘Marriage is a license given by society to a couple to indulge in consensual sexual activities, bear and raise their children responsibly, so that their species continues to survive.’ ( Or something in similar terms..) But is sex not an activity that people would prefer doing within 4 walls? Is it not a basically private activity?
The previliged ones, have the privacy of 4 walls that cover their bedroom. But what about the underpreviiged? There are very few movies that tackle this issue. Recently, a movie that starred ‘Prabhu Ganesan and Abirami in the lead roles reflected on this issue ( Middle Class Madhavan). The movie was heavily dramatised. There is another instance in the form of a dialogue, in the movie ‘Aarulirundhu Arupathu Varai’, when Rajini and FataFat JayaLakshmi have lost all their wealth, including their house. Rajini has been betrayed by his siblings, and he along with his wife and his young baby are now living off a one bedroom hut, possibly in a slum area. One fine day, the child is sleeping on the Thottil, and Rajini is rocking it slowly, when his wife Fatafat asks him, how would they find privacy, when the child grows up? In his imitable style, Rajini answers saying, that he would ask the neighbour ( pakkathu veetukkaran) how he manages this problem, and we can follow the same. The tone is funny, but it reflects some bitter truths.
Subathinam too takes on this heavy topic. The movie, does avoid most of the gross over dramatization and heavy monologues of the 60s and is subtly made. Each character is well etched. It was made by a new Director Shrikanth. When i asked Film News Anandan, who this director was, he told me that it was a Telugu Director, an assistant of the legendary L.V.Prasad.

Movie Summary:
The movie is a close to reality based on the difficulties faced by the urban poor who struggled to find accomadation in the larger cities, where they came looking for a better life, and either ended up in cramped one bed room houses, poorly lit chawls or lived their life off the footpaths of the city. It also tries to expose some of the practical realities and the struggles faced by some of these people who are forced to be deprived of what we consider normal human necessities. The movie also tackled a problem of a ‘taboo-ish’ nature, the lack of privacy for a married couple, to have normal conjugal relations in accomadations that could not offer them the normal privacy of 4 closed walls.
Raja Badar (Nagesh) is a happy go lucky Rickshaw hand-puller ( He pulls the rickshaw himself, instead of horse driven tongas.) One day, he meets Iyer Saami ( Nambiar) and his wife Gayathri with their brood of half a dozen children. They have decided to move to a new accomadation and have packed up their house hold items, only to be shocked to see that for some reasons, the new house, which they were supposed to move, is not available to them. With not much left, Raja Badar takes them to a place, where millions of people like him, live. He takes them to a small locality, and asks its current owner ( a bachelor) to vacate it, for the sake this large family. Although initially hesitant, Iyer Saami and his wife settle in their new home. Soon, they become a part of the community that lives there including Raja Badar, his lover, Vadivu and his Thatha.
One day, RajaBadar meets a village girl, who has come looking for her husband. Her husband had promised to pick up, but hasn’t turned up for over 5 years. RajaBadar searches for her husband, but without any luck, brings the girl home to Iyer Saami and his wife, who promise to look after her, until her husband is found. Raja Badar’s best friend is NeelaKandan. Neelakandan (MuthuRaman) and His lover Saroja, who works as a nurse decide to get married. He marries Saroja, but on the eve of their wedding night, Neelakandan’s old Mama ( V.K.Ramaswamy) and his wife Swarnam turn up, uninvited at their house. They have no children and had brought Neelakandan up. Without any common sense, they accomadate themselves, in the single bedroom, where NeelaKandan and his newly wed wife, Saroja were supposed to be spending their wedding night. With little option left, Neelakandan curses his stupid Mama and Athai and leaves to Iyer Saami’s house.
On the very same day, RajaBadar gets married to his lover Vadivu. On seeing the earning ( yekkam) face of the poor girl, whom he brought home to Iyer Saami, RajaBadar feels bad. He walks out of the small wedding night celebrations made by his wife. He promises to be celibate, until he finds the girl, her husband.
As months roll by, NeelaKandan and his wife Saroja find no privacy at all. The Mama and Athai continue to stay in their one bed room house. A desperate husband and wife try to go find places of privacy like a Train and a Hotel Room, but their bad luck continues and for some reason or the other, their marriage remains unconsumated.
NeelaKandan has introduced RajaBadar to his friend, Vijay in the past, a man with a notorious reputation of being a womanizer. Co-incidentally, he turns out to be the husband who abandoned the poor girl. He initially refuses to accept the girl, but eventually, comes through. As a starkling irony, NeelaKantan’s Athai, a much older women gets pregnant, a fact that a much older couple had no common sense to respect the privacy of the youngsters.
Nagesh, as a firebrand characters holds the movie on his shoulders. He is ably supported by the wise Iyer Saami, played by M.N.Nambiar. While, I have seen characters depicted as Horse Tonga Drivers ( SuruliRajan in Oli Pirandhadhu) and Cycle Rickshaw Pullers ( Delhi Ganesh in Pasi), this is the first instance, that i see of a hand Rickshaw puller. I have never seen such a thing in my life, although I have heard that such people earn their living in and around Calcutta. It is possible that such a profession existed in Madras in pre 1960s. Although, MuthuRaman is technically, the hero of the film, Thankfully, the movie director has tried to avoid to provide hero worship and has touched upon a topic hardly spoken in Tamil Cinema.

Snapshots:
RajaBhadar brings home the orphan girl who has come to the city looking for her husband.
RajaBhadar brings home the orphan girl who has come to the city looking for her husband.
NeelaKandan's senseless Mama and his Athai (Swarnam) splurge themselves on the Wedding Night Milk Meant for NeelaMegham and his wife. Saro.
NeelaKandan’s senseless Mama and his Athai (Swarnam) splurge themselves on the Wedding Night Milk Meant for NeelaMegham and his wife. Saro.
NeelaMegham and his Wife Saro are shocked to see their Mama and Athai senselessly making themselves comfortable, on the eve of their wedding night.
NeelaMegham and his Wife Saro are shocked to see their Mama and Athai senselessly making themselves comfortable, on the eve of their wedding night.
Vijayan is confronted by RajaBadhar and Iyer Saami.
Vijayan is confronted by RajaBadhar and Iyer Saami.
Nagesh impresses as the 'FireBrand' character RajaBhadar.
Nagesh impresses as the ‘FireBrand’ character RajaBhadar.
Vijay and his wife are united towards the end.
Vijay and his wife are united towards the end.

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“இருக்கு .. ஆனால் இல்லை” – Where in this world is the Tamil movie – ‘Mr.Sampath’ now?

Mr.Sampath is a 1972 movie, directed by Cho.Ramaswamy starring Muthuraman. It is said to be a remake of the movie ‘Miss.Malini’, which is almost defacto accepted as being adapted from the book : Mr.Sampath – The Printer of Malgudi by R.K.Narayanan. { I am however skeptical about this inference, but in order to get a better understanding, i have refrained from writing a post on Miss.Malini, yet.}

Missmalini_gemini

Miss.Malini starring Gemini Ganesan and his future wife – Pushpavalli. No known copy of this movie in any form, exists today. 

The movie Miss.Malini was made and produced by Gemini Studios S.S.Vasan in the year 1947, with his chief lieutenant Kothamangalam Subbu, and the same team remade the movie as Mr.Sampath in Hindi and released the movie in 1951. While Miss.Malini, the Tamil film, incidentally, which introduced the Prince of Romance – Gemini Ganesan to Cinema, and in which his one of his wives Pushpavalli ( Mother of Hindi Actress Rekha) played the lead is believed to be a lost film, a Digital copy of the Hindi version, starring Tamil actress Padmini in the original role played by Pushpavalli exists today. It can be seen in YouTube.

Miss.Malini was remade in 1951 as Mr.Sampath, by the same Gemini Studios creative team, headed by Kothamangalam Subbu and Producer SS.Vasan. Vasan himself directed the Hindi Version. The Story credits are attributed to legendary writer R.K.Narayanan.  

Twenty one years, after Mr.Sampath was made, Cho Ramaswamy re-made the movie in Tamil, titled as Mr.Sampath, starring R.Muthuraman. I wanted to see a copy of the movie, and find for myself, if the movie was remade based on Kothamangalam Subbu/S.S.Vasan’s Miss.Malini screenplay (or) the original Mr.Sampath story written by R.K.Narayanan. To me, it made more sense for Cho Ramaswamy to adapt the latter, since the book version features a book publisher who later ends up entering films ( Although he isn’t Mr.Sampath) and Cho Ramaswamy too incidentally is a journalist ( Thuqlaq magazine), a dramatist and a film actor. So, which of the following did Mr.Ramaswamy use in his film? For that, I had to see the movie Mr.Sampath. But where has the movie gone?

Unlike Miss.Malini, which is almost lost for sure, Mr.Sampath was made in the 1970s, past the era of Nitrate Films, which had a better chance of survival. I looked up the Internet, and i have found traces to be happy that at some point, the movie has indeed entered the digital domain and is lurking somewhere, but is not accessible now. So, what might those traces be?


INDIAGLITZ MOVIES

A simple Google Search for the movie Mr.Sampath – Online throws up the website link, movies.indiaglitz.com : A movie based subsidary website of the Electronic Journalism movie website Indiaglitz. Most of the movies under Indiaglitz are not accesible in India, which probably means that they have got Rights to Stream Video content abroad. Fair enough, so, I presumed that Mr.Sampath too should be online.. Lets see what happened?

1-IndiaGlitz

The movie is not viewable in India. 

2-IndiaGlitz

The Movie is not viewable in Germany. 

Penang

The Movie is not viewable in Penang, Malaysia. 

3-IndiaGlitz

This is an unknown IP address reached using the TOR Browser.  ( It could be any foreign country). In this unknown country, the movie remains inaccessible. 

SPACE FOR AMERICAN IP ADDRESS. UPDATE WHEN SNAPSHOT IS RECEIVED.

So, basically, I am neither sure of the countries where IndiaGlitz has a license to ‘stream’ this movie. On second thoughts, I guess, that IndiaGlitz may not have renewed its license for this movie, could also be a strong possibility.

The positive thing about the link in IndiaGlitz however, is that it gives us atleast a limited MetaData to try and trace the movie.


PRE-INDEXED & CACHED CONTENT

There are millions of smaller websites across the world, that typically use larger storage centres like YouTube, and subsequently use YouTube’s embedding functions to embed content across the website. This function could be seen at the height of interim Strength-in-depth websites that operated prior to 2011-12, before YouTube offered an official Channel Policy for Content Providers and Copyright Holders.

There were many websites that solely worked on linking legitimate YouTube content, and one of them seems to have had a link to this movie Mr.Sampath, which has been hosted in YouTube, at some point in time.

mr-sampath-video_60ba197f1.html

The Site clearly mentions that it indexes only Legitimate Content. 

Clicking on the Link, takes me to a disappointing link.

PrivateVideo

The Original link of the movie hosted in YouTube has been turned Private, which probably means the file exists in YouTube, but can be viewed only via Invites, but not before close to 2000 People had seen the movie via the Indexer Website  – Bharat Channels. 


Production Details : 

The Producer of this movie, Sundaram of Vivek Chitra Films seems to have been quite active in the industry. One of his discoveries was Parthiban whom he introduced through his movie ‘Pudhiya Paathai’, which incidentally was a National Award Winning Film. A bit of Searching through the Net also reveals that ‘Vivek Chitra Films’ has also distributed successful films like ‘Keladi Kanmani’. However, I don’t find any information of their recent ventures. The Original Producer Mr.Sundaram has recently passed away. It is highly likely that his heirs are not into the Film Production business now, as I tried to trace the address of this production house, but could not get any links either via the Internet (or) via the Vergheese Directory.


CHO @ TUGHLAQ 

This space is reserved, if I get a chance to ask Mr.Cho Ramaswamy himself about the status of his film. News reports claim that Mr.Ramaswamy isn’t keeping good health, and it will be quite some time, before I get to Chennai.


WHO OWNS THE COPYRIGHT? 

One of the most difficult tasks is to locate the Copyright Holder of a film, as it can change hands, and like Land, there is no reference database to know the current copyright holder of a film, which in today’s world is extremely absurd. None the less, that is the way, it is.

But having spoken several times about YouTube’s automated Content ID system, I tried to find out if anybody has staked a copyright claim over the movie. A private individual seems to have uploaded 2 songs of the movie, so i just needed to download the songs and re-upload it through my account, hoping that i would get some warning or metadata about its copyright holders.

Mr.Sampath-Upload

Re-uploading the Same File into my YouTube DashBoard. 

Mr.Sampath-NoCopyrightClaimsYet

The Song is successfully uploaded, and no one has claimed a copyright over the content. 

This makes it even more absurd to me, as to why the original uploader changed the settings of the movie to Private, if no issues were raised. It is still baffling, but I do hope that some where, at some point in time, I will get an opportunity to see this movie.

For the moment, though, You can listen to this song from the movie Mr.Sampath, uploaded in the Website’s Official YouTube Account.