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Throwback Thursday! Most Impactful Films written by Kalaigniar Karunanidhi

Thursday, August 9, 2018 • Tamil Comments

Kalaigniar Mu Karunanidhi apart from being one of the most impactful politicians of independant India has also equally contributed to the growth of Tamil cinema through his very potent pen.  Such was the popularity of Karunanidhi that he was billed above the hero in title credits which honor has never been bestowed on any other screenwriter in the world.  Here we take a look at some of the film gems that were born from the brain of the Kalaigniar.

'Parasakthi' (1952)

The film that introduced Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan to the big screen and made him an instant superstar.  Kalaigniar through his dialogues addressed many issues including the temple priests exploiting women and the suppression of the lower class by the people in power.  Most importantly he wrote a heroine who had brains and inspired the hero to become a better man which was rare at that time.  'Parasakthi' is perhaps the most important film ever made in Tamil cinema and one that explicity propogated Dravidian ideologies.

Manohara (1952)

This Sivaji Ganesan-S.S. Rajendran starrer contained Karunanidhi's political ideologies in the subtext but its main plot was a very interesting social drama probing the theme of what exactly a father, mother, sister, wife and friend mean to a man when the chips are down.  A timeless claasic.

'Thirumbi Paar' (1953)

Again a social drama from Kalaigniar this film had Sivaji Ganesan in a negative role as womaniser who eats the bitter pill when his own sister turns out to be one of the women he is after.  A very taboo subject well ahead of its time but with MK and Sivaji combining made it a commercial hit.

'Malaikallan' (1954)

The film that made MGR the undisputed superstar for many decades was penned by Karunanidhi in which he wrote a Robin Hood like character for the hero making him a darling of the masses.  The National Award for the Best Film in Tamil was bestowed on this one that also had screenplay by Kalaigniar.

'Poompuhar' (1964)

The epic Silapadigaram was given a Kalaigniar twist and the SSR-Vijayakumari film went on to become a much loved classic.  Karunanidhi's sharp dialogues stunned the audiences in the scene where Kannagi questions the Pandian King Nedunchezhian's injustice to her husband.  The immortal song "Vaazhkai Ennum Odam" was also penned by MK.

'Palaivana Rojakkal'

After becoming the Chief Minister in the 70s Karunanidhi cut down on his film assignments and only much later in 1985 when he lost to MGR he began penning 'Palaivana Rojakkal'.  The film directed by Manivannan and starring the then upcoming hero Sathyaraj, Lakshmi, Nalini, Janagaraj and Prabhu in a pivotal role dealt with the role of fearless journalists in taking on the political mafia.


After a long hiatus  Kalaigniar again returned to family drama penning the intense story of a brother and sister bonding.  Directed by the late VMC Hanifa and starring Sivakumar and Radhika in the lead roles the film became a super hit helped to a great extent by Kalaigniar's witty dialogues especially in the court scenes.

Kalaigniar wrote many other films in the nineties and even in the new millenium for films such as 'Kannamma' , 'Mannin Maiynthan' and 'Ponnar Shankar' among others.  His last work in the creative arts is penning the serial 'Ramanujar' for Kalaigniar TV.