Is it possible for the internationally acclaimed, Walt Disney produced, John Favreau-directed Jungle Book to lose out to a Tamil movie originally released 52 years ago? The answer is ‘yes’ if you consider the wall space for the posters in Chennai.
In the picture above, taken during a Photowalk in Purasawakkam, the poster of Tamil movie Karnan dominates the wall dwarfing Jungle Book.
Karnan, based on the eponymous character in Mahabharata, was directed and produced by B.R.Panthulu and released in 1964. As first-year engineering students, we used to utilise our library / seminar hours to see Sivaji Ganesan, N.T.Rama Rao , Asokan, Devika and Savitri in action in the theatres. The songs penned by Kannadasan and set to music by Viswanathan – Ramamurthy are still favorites after 52 years.
(Image courtesy The Cinema Resource Centre.)
The film was digitized and re-released in 2012. The digitized version also proved to be a hit. Karnan still continues his run as can be seen here – edging out Mowgli, Bagheera and Shere Khan from the walls.
[My thanks are due to The Cinema Resource Centre (TCRC) a not-for-profit public archive of Indian cinema designed to enable research on the audio-visual cultural artifacts produced by Indian films].