Thiruneelakandar (1939)

aka Thiruneelakantar
Article 5326 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-21-2016
Directed by Raja Sandow
Featuring M.K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, Tirunelveli Paapa, “Yaanai” Vaidyanatha Iyer
Country: India
What it is: Mystical drama

A devout potter and his wife face trials in their lives.

Almost immediately after I consigned this to my “ones that got away” list and assumed this was one of the many early Indian movies that had been lost, I was pointed in the direction of a YouTube video of the movie. Unfortunately, it was in Tamil without English subtitles, and it appears to be one of those movies that is nearly impenetrable to me in that form; there’s very little action to speak of, and it’s mostly a series of long dialogue sequences between characters and the occasional musical number. Reportedly, this was very popular in India, and I imagine even if it were in English, I’m not sure I’d be able to penetrate Hindu spirituality enough to really appreciate this one. I do know part of the plot involves romantic entanglements (there are several scenes of women falling to the floors and crying), and there’s an overt comic character who looks a little bit like Jim Carrey. There is also definite fantastic content, though it seems to be quite a ways into the movie before it noticeably manifests itself to me. Of course, being from India, it’s long – it runs nearly two and a half hours, so I deserve some sort of endurance award for this one. Still, my inability to follow the story guarantees that I can’t really can’t pass any judgment on this one.


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