30 Years: Swathi Muthyam...Priceless Pearl

Sunday, March 13, 2016 - 11:00

The film was released on March 13, 1986. Some snippets about his classic movie directed by K Vishwanath starring Kamal Haasan and Radhika in the lead.

It's been thirty years since this pearl came onscreen. 'Swathi Muthyam' like its title, went on to become a rare pearl in this history of Indian Cinema. Written and directed by K Vishwanath, 'Swathi Muthyam' was released on March 13, 1986.The film starred Kamal Haasan and Radhika in the lead and it dwelled on the subject of widow remarriage which was not socially accepted in fullest level then.

It was the first and only (till now) Telugu film was sent as India's official Oscar entry for the consideration of Best Foreign Language film. It wasn't nominated but many say the Tom Hanks starrer Forrest Gump (1994) was probably inspired by 'Swathi Muthyam'.

A mentally challenged guy Sivayya (Kamal Haasan) living with his grandmother. A widow Latha (Radhika) with her son living with her brother. She has no where to go, added to her misery her sister-in-law does not make her life peaceful. The mentally challenged man is aware of her distress and marries her much to the surprise of the villagers. Later they move to the city where this man is dutifully taught by his wife the responsibilities of life, a husband and a father.

A simple story unfolded very powerfully on the screen. The songs scored by Ilayaraja added sheen to the already emotional story. Kamal and Radhika performed with elan. Some of Kamal's mannerism were astounding and looked so very real. Radhika gave a serene performance as a widow.This cult film lapped up many awards. Kamal Haasan won National Award in Best Actor category. He also won the Nandi Award. The movie also won National Film Award for Best Regional Film in Telugu. The movie ranks among the best in Radhika’s long career. She has given super performance.

Produced on Purnodaya Creations banner by Edida Nageshwara Rao, 'Swathi Muthyam' was dubbed into Tamil as 'Sippikul Muthu'. Years later the film was remade in Bollywood with Anil Kapoor and Vijayashanti in the lead as 'Eshwar' by K Vishwanath. Couple of years ago the film was made in Sandalwood with Sudeep in the lead.