Director: K. Vijayan; Writer: Jayakanthan; Cinematographer: R. Vijayan; Cast: S.V. Subbaiah, Sivaji Ganesan, Nagesh, Sivakumar, M.N. Nambiar, Laxmi, Sowcar Janaki, T.S. Balaiah, R. Muthuraman, V.K. Ramaswamy, S.A. Ashokan, O.A.K. Thevar, V. Gopalakrishnan, Shakti Sukumaran
Summary: Based on Jayakanthan's Kai Vilangu [Handcuffs].
One of the better-known filmic translations of Jayakantan’s fiction, the noted Tamil novelist and former CPI member who later joined the Congress and who also had a brief film career as scenarist and producer. Mainly an ode to the humanity of a childless jail warden Raghavan (Subbaiah) who treats the prisoners as his children, equating him with Ayyanar, the guardian deity of Tamil villages. The main plot features the farmer Manikam (Sivakumar), a peasant who wounds his brutal rival and becomes a prisoner. There is a second plot, added especially for the film, with a toddy- tapper (Ganesan) who killed the two men who raped his daughter. He is caught and hanged. The film’s highlight was the inclusion of several of Tamil Nadu’s best-known folk forms, the therukoothu (including its famous exponent Purisai Natesathambiran performing The Destruction of Hiranyan), the karagam dance and the villupattu. The film has only two songs and emphasises village life and rural forms of worship, unusual in Tamil cinema.