Jayalalithaa and MGR's best song-and-dance numbers in Tamil cinema: Throwback Thursday
In a career that spanned some 140 roles, Jayalalithaa (she then spelt her name as Jayalalitha) emerged as the top star of her time in the Tamil film industry. Surprisingly, her debut on the silver screen was very low key — The Epistle in 1961. Jayalalithaa was cast opposite the 48-year-old MGR when she was only 17 in Ayirathil Oruvan (1965). The film went on to become an all-time hit and also marked the beginning of the most successful acting pair who were cast as the lead in as many as 27 films. The onscreen union was what led to her becoming a part of MGR's political party and paved the way for her becoming the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. What set the duo's films apart, however, were the song and dance sequences. Here are some of the best songs from films starring MGR and Jayalalithaa, brought to you via our #ThrowbackThursday special:
'Yennai Theriyuma' from Kudiyirunda Kovil (1968)
Kudiyirunda Kovil is a story about identical twins separated at birth because of a twist of fate. MGR stars as the twins whose lives take drastically different routes: one is a criminal, Shekar, and the other is of course a good guy, Anand. Jayalalithaa plays Anand's love interest. Will there be a happy ending for the star-crossed twins?
Here's 'Yennai Theriyuma' from the film, which literally translates into 'Do you know me?'
'Nalladu Kanne' from Raman Thediya Seethai (1972)
Ramu (MGR) is a wealthy man who falls in love with a simple sales girl Seetha (Jayalalitha) at first sight. His intention of marrying her is initially opposed by his uncle, but when he also gives in, Ramu encounters unexpected hurdles in finding Seetha. Strangely, Ramu finds many lookalikes of Seetha in different roles such as a dancer, a hippie and a mentally disturbed girl. But he discovers that none of these is the girl he is looking for. After Seetha is murdered, Ramu tries to unveil the mystery behind his wife's death.
Here's the song 'Nalladu Kanne' or 'Dear' from the film:
'Vizhiyae Vizhiyae' from Pudhiya Bhoomi (1968)
Kathiravan (MGR) is a son of an honest police officer. When Kathiravan encounters a criminal his father had tried putting behind bars; he flees to a village to save his life where he falls in love with Kannamma (Jayalalitha). The film revolves around Kathiravan trying to get rid of the criminal and how he pursues Kannamma. Here is 'Vizhiyae Vizhiyae' from the film:
'Kanni Oruthi' from Neerum Neruppum (1971)
The story follows twin princes separated at birth: Manivannan and Karikalan (MGR) . The twins can also read each other's thoughts and emotions. Karikalan, the more aggressive twin, decides to take revenge against the villains who wrecked their lives and involves his twin in the fight. Jayalalithaa plays the twins' love interest, Kantchana.
Here's 'Kanni Oruthi' from the film, which literally translates into 'Virgo Woman:'
'Sorgathai Theduvom' from Thedi Vantha Mapillai (1970)
This tale of revenge follows Shankar and his mother trying to get the rightful share to his father's property from the man who murdered him twenty years ago. Jayalalithaa plays the daughter of the man who might have been responsible for Shankar's father's death. The two unwittingly fall in love. Here's the song 'Sorgathai Theduvom' from the film: