You are on page 1of 41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

94

OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA


Discuss, Converse, Review or just Soak in the Sepia
Years.
JAN 30 2013

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt


Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed
against a Handbill.

Atleast, for Me !
[ I would like to place on record the inspiring initiative by Adv Narayan
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

1/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

[ I would like to place on record the inspiring initiative by Adv Narayan


(https://www.facebook.com/advnarayan), who has been tirelessly following up leads and collecting
factual information to set Malayalam Cinema's most debated part of history straight - that of the actual
year of release of The Lost Child / Vigathakumaran, the first film in Malayalam film history, and
also to Saju Chelangatt ( son of Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan) who shared invaluable information on
the journalist's quest. This post, tries to put it all in perspective, so that this also becomes a starting
point of further debates, discussions and possibly, as Narayan states, the gateway to laying our hands
on actual memorabilia of the film itself - even a reel of it from some corner of the planet would be a
possibility. ]

So, when was The Lost Child / Vigathakumaran screened for the first
time 1928 or 1930 ?

(http://oldmalayalamcinema.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/chelangatt-gopalakrishnan.jpg)
Pix Credit : Current Books
The intention of this rather long note is to lay it out on the table, the facts, the percieved fabrications
and how the latter have mostly drowned out the former that had been brought to light by meticulous
research in this regard, a respected veteran journalists lifes work. The objective is very clear for any
student of Malayalam cinema history who finds himsef/herself befuddled at the contradictory
information on the year of release, this would serve as a chronological guide on the way the
information has come to stay that way, based on the information that I have been able to collate from
various sources. The easiest point of reference to begin with would be,the researched writings of
Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan, the veteran journalist. The way the historical date/year of the release of
the first Malayalam movie stands now, the print, internet and visual media by now has 1928 and 1930
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

2/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

mentioned in equal measure, drowning out the ACTUAL information that had been consistently served
for over a decade in the popular print medium, all due to two purportedly bits of information that
proved 1930 as the release year. If one looks at a rough timeline of this historical fudging, it would
resemble on these lines.

1960 90s.
Redeeming and reinstating JC Daniels rightful place in Malayalam Film history.

(http://oldmalayalamcinema.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/chelangattu-gopalakrishnans-article-forthe-screen-film-magazine-oct-19-1973.jpg)
October 19, 1973 | Screen Film Magazine. { Click to Read the Complete Article.}
There can be absolutely no dispute when it comes to acknowledging the single-minded determination
of a film journalist and humanist who literally rescued the father of Malayalam cinema from obscurity
and through his sustained campaign, finally made the state machinery grudgingly admit and accept
his contribution to Malayalam film industry. True, there have been local historians and cineastes with
a historic bend of mind who had pursued ( and still do ) the origins of the first Malayalam film and its
creator on their own terms in their personal quests, but none could even hold a candle to Chelangatts
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

3/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

sustained campaign on three fronts. He was at the same time fighting three battles on behalf of the
Daniel couple with the state government to accord him the due recognition as the father of Malayalam
cinema, with the State exchequer to allocate him an incremental amount as monthly financial
assistance, and with the regimented media who kept parroting TR Sundaram
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._R._Sundaram)( producer of Balan, our first talkie ) as the Father of
Malayalam Cinema. His first article on the existence of JC Daniel and the details of
Vigathakumaran/The Lost Child came out in 1968, published in Malayali, a popular magazine
published from Thiruvananthapuram, of which he was the Chief Editor. A torrent of articles in the
same vein followed to almost all film magazines that were published in South India. Each one of them
said exactly the same thing Vigathakumaran/The Lost Child was first screened on November 7, 1928.
Though it took its own sweet time, in the face of hard evidence, and after some useless stone-walling,
the government finally caved in. But JC Daniel never lived to see that he died in abject penury, a
broken man, on May 29, 1975. It took close to two decades for the government to make it official
The JC Daniel Award (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._C._Daniel_Award) was instituted in 1992, with
legendary film maker TE Vasudevan chosen as the first honorary recipient. Through out the two
decades, right from meeting JC Daniel till his recognition, Chelangattu Gopalakrishnan consistently
repeated in all his articles and official communications on the date of the release of
Vigathakumaran/The Lost Child as being November 7, 1928. It was based on this that the State
government even fixed the year 2003 to celebrate the 75 years of Malayalam cinema as the theme for
the VIIIth edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala from 12 19 December, 2003
(http://oldmalayalamcinema.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/iffk-2003-dedicated-to-vigathakumaran.jpg).
According to Saju Chelangatt, it was during the eve of this grand celebration that a handbill/pamphlet purported to be the publicity material of Vigathakumaran/The Lost Child surfaced,
supposedly by Kunnukuzhy Mani, local film historian, which showed October 23, 1930 as the
release date !

The 2000s.
A Xerox Copy from 1930 and other references from the Past .

oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

4/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

(http://oldmalayalamcinema.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/the-movie-invite-of-vigathakumaran1928.jpg)
Pix Credit & Rights : CURRENT BOOKS
The above handbill/pamphlet that is said to have surfaced during the VIII IFFK (2003) made enough
noise to have it picked up by media houses, who gleefully ran with the story, and from then on, has
been bandied about so much in the Malayalam media in terms of historical context, on par with
Chelangatts historical fact of November 7, 1928. that, at some point of time in the past decade, it
started over-shadowing the two decades of meticulous research put in by Chelangatt Ramakrishnan.
There is also a reference of a news report that appeared in the Deepika of 23 October 1930, covering
the release of the film (http://www.hindu.com/fr/2006/02/24/stories/2006022401080200.htm) that has
been repeated often by R. Gopalakrishnan, who went on to make a documentary on JC Daniel in
2006, called The Lost Life in which he repeats the year as 1930.

oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

5/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

From the Lost Life, made by R Gopalakrishnan.


Check out 1:59.

[ Arguably the first 'integration' and thereby legitimising of this 'new date' into the visual media. He
had also mentioned this new date on record, in The Hindu, on the eve of the documentarys
completion (http://www.hindu.com/fr/2006/02/24/stories/2006022401080200.htm), on Feb 24, 2006. In
a cover feature done on him by Malayala Manorama in its Shree pullout, dated 29 January, 2006, he
repeats this 1930 argument quoting the above Handbill and also adds,





. The news periodicals ( dailies/newspapers were non-existent for
the times) available at Trivandrum were Kerala Kaumudi ( periodical), Malayali and Malayala Rajyam,
as far as I could gather. There could be more. Deepika (http://malayalam.deepikaglobal.com/) (
Nazrani Deepika then ) was published from Mannanam till it shifted to Kottayam in 1939.
(http://malayalam.deepikaglobal.com/includes/about_rd.aspx) { * If anyone reading this has access or
could find access to any of these folded up/still in print news archives, it would be fantastic if you could get
a scanned image of those articles and send it to oldmalayalamcinema@gmail.com. That would be
precious. }

Update : 27 February 2013.

Deepika republished the news article of Vigathakumaran from its Nazrani Deepika archives. Thanks 6/41
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

Deepika republished the news article of Vigathakumaran from its Nazrani Deepika archives. Thanks
Jayesh (https://www.facebook.com/jayesh.sebastian.1) for bringing it here.
{ Please click on the
image for optimal readability.}

(http://oldmalayalamcinema.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/deepikas-report-on-jc-danielsvigathakumaran.jpg)

What bugs me about this New found evidence.


The entire argument of this new date revolves around this Hand Bill/invite of the movie of which only a
copy exists ! The original archival document of which this copy has been made has NEVER been
mentioned anywhere. In the article that came in Malayala Manorama Shree, R Gopalakrishnan
mentions about archival material that he was able to collect from the possession of Janet Daniel ( Mrs
JC Daniel ) but he does not mention whether this bill too came from her. If it was, then it begs the
question How on earth could a meticulous researcher and journalist have missed this crucial aspect in
his interactions with JC Daniel in person ? Going by the same logic, every single aspect that JC Daniel
spoke to Chelangatt Ramakrishnan has to be verified again, isnt it ? And whatever remained and had
been bequeathed to Janet would have been passed on from the great man himself, and he would have
been the first person to show Chelangatt this, if ever he had it in person ! Every single record chronicled
by Chelangatt says November 7, 1928. And to top it all, a decade after it surfaced, Kunnukuzhi Mani
comes around expressing doubts on the authenticity of this Handbill
(http://oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/the-kerala-movie-studio-legacy-jc-daniels-thetravancore-national-pictures/#comment-5960)! I could confidently say, to date, this Handbills source
has NEVER been verified or authenticated by any single journalist who ran the story. How bizarre can
it be ?
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

7/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

2. The mythical news report that appeared in the Deepika of 23 October 1930, covering the release of
the film (http://www.hindu.com/fr/2006/02/24/stories/2006022401080200.htm) has never been
presented or printed anywhere as a scanned image, or been reproduced ANYWHERE in the media,
not even substantiating the argument ! I would really, really love to see that from the Deepika archives,
if it exists. But enough damage has been done already.

The Historical Damage(?)


In Print Media.
The mention about this new date in Malayala Manorama and The Hindu have already been
mentioned there, and the latter is available on the web, as a referral document, and being The Hindu,
one takes it as bonafide, vetted information. What has been more damaging is that this relentless, shall
I say, misinformation repeated ever so often even influenced the publishers of Chelangatt
Gopalakrishnans Biography of JC Daniel that they wanted the entire set of dates mentioned in his
original manuscripts be changed to this new date on the handbill because they felt this unverified
historical document was more reliable than a life time of research by Chelangatt Gopalkrishnan.
(http://oldmalayalamcinema.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/jc-daniels-biography-by-chelangattgopalakrishnan1.jpg) It was convenient for them too to present Chelangatts original research in the
way they deemed fit as Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan had passed away on June 4, 2010. The book came
out in July 2011, and carries this date this date across the book, which was NEVER written by the
author. The publishers also deemed it fit to include this Handbill amongst other historical documents
and photographs given in the book in its Addendum, giving the impression that this was also a part of
Chelangatt Gopalkrishnans precious finds. It isnt ! It has NOTHING to do with the author.
All it does is willfully misguide you, and ply you with misinformation, with a document that
Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan had NO CLUE about in the first place. It uncannily reminds you of that
certain quote by The Reichs Master of Propaganda
(http://books.google.co.in/books/about/The_Face_of_the_Third_Reich.html?
id=UiLZz5PzwyEC&redir_esc=y), That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad
which fails to achieve the desired result. It is not propagandas task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to
success. And success, it has been. So if you are planning to buy a copy of this book, I would suggest
you to wait till they bring out its next edition, with the content reverted to the original writings of
Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan and the Handbill removed from the biographys photo gallery.
A reasonable number of conversations must have happened in the web publishing front too, since
then, though the State machinery has thankfully stuck to its guns, possibly out of sheer sloth or inertia,
and the government still sticks to Chelangatts original submissions.
(http://www.prd.kerala.gov.in/1928-50.htm)
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

8/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

In Visual Media.
1. Documentaries.
There have been two documentaries, to my knowledge, that have been based on the life and times of JC
Daniel, the father of Malayalam cinema, The Lost Life (2006) directed by R Gopalakrishnan and The
Lost Child ( 2012) directed by Kiran Ravindran.
a. The Lost Life by R Gopalakrishnan (2006).

oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

9/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

A 20-odd minute long documentary that chronicles the life and times of JC Daniel, and also reiterates
the date of release of Vigathakumaran/ The Lost Child as October 23, 1930 based on the
Handbill/Invite.
b. Ithu Rosyude Katha by Kanjiramkulam Sanal ( 2011 )
Updated February 3rd, 2012, courtesy Adv Narayan. The 39 minutes long documentary directed by
Kanjiramkulam Sanal focuses on Rosy, the first heroine of Malayalam films and explores her life
post-Vigathakumaran through historical factoids.

oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

10/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

c. The Lost Child by Kiran Ravindran ( 2012 )


A 56 minute documentary on the life and contributions of Dr J C Daniel, the father of Malayalam
cinema. No details are available online and according to what Adv Narayan has shared based on his
conversations with the director, the documentary upholds Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans finding of 7
November, 1928, with some vociferous support from movie critics like Vijayakrishnan
(http://vijayakrishnan.com/) who speaks on record about the whole episode.

2. Feature productions.
a. Vigatha Kumaran/The Lost Child (Redux )
JC Daniels Vigathakumaran/The Lost Child was re-created/ remade with the modern technology
and film-making techniques available though the year of release of the re-creation seems a bit
disputed, with Malayala Sangeetham Info (http://www.malayalasangeetham.info/m.php?
5492)showing 2003 and Cinemalayalam
(http://cinemalayalam.net/movie/Vigathakumaran/3014)displaying 2002. It was produced and
directed by Kowdiar Das.
b. Celluloid by Kamal (2013).
Arguably, this biopic on JC Daniel would be the biggest and slated to be the most influential ( in
formulating public opinion and perception ) once released, especially with its A-list actors in the cast
and some of Malayalam film industrys veterans helming its production, based on Vinu
Abrahams book, Nashta Nayika, on Rosy, the heroine of Vighathakumaran
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

11/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

(http://www.thehindu.com/arts/cinema/flashback-in-tinsel-town/article3987337.ece). Director Kamal


also has stuck to the new October 23, 1930 as the date of release of Vigatha Kumaran in the
production, as is evident from the teaser of the movie. Call it irresponsible or outright bizarre, the biopic
has Srinivasan essaying the role of Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan who has never associated himself with
this date as the date of Vigathakumaran/ The Lost Childs release.
Kamal himself speaks about the pre-production efforts of the movie, stating 1928 as the year of
Vigathakumaran/The Lost Childs making in a video available on the web.

Director Kamal on JC Daniel.

He says it right there at 0:23. This video was posted on the web in December, 2012. I presume shooting
must have been on by this time for the movie, and the biopics trailer was released soon after. And
guess what the movie he directed tells us ?

The Trailer of Celluloid (2013)

oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

12/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

For those who missed that shot at 0:09 of the Movies publicity bill, I have added a screen grab below
which clearly shows the date in it.

(http://oldmalayalamcinema.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/celluloid-2013-film-trailer-with-the-wrongdate-of-release.jpg)
So much for diligent research and responsibility, if you ask me. It goes from bizarre to pure
senselessness when one looks at the fact that it is a movie that also chronicles the efforts of Chelangatt
Gopalakrishnan in rewriting Malayalam film history, with NO mention of the crucial date of the movie
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

13/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

release he diligently recorded, based on conversations with JC Daniel himself ! This movie, once
released, will go on to be a source of information in popular movie culture for anyone who would want
to learn about the father of Malayalam cinema. Forget us, think of a child 5 generations into the future,
interested in Malayalam film history, pulling out a video file of this movie, watching it and forming the
opinion of Malayalam movie history beginning from October 23, 1930, based on an unverified
document ! Wouldnt it be criminal, this dissemination of misinformation ?
I really, really hope that he goes back and edits/reshoots the parts of the movie that goes against the
recorded history of Malayalam cinema, atleast for the sake of holding true to the original research and
findings of the character that is portrayed in the biopic called Celluloid (2013 ).

A Short Video feature on Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan.

Please do write in with your thoughts.


Related : The Kerala Movie Studio Legacy | JC Daniels The Travancore National Pictures
(http://oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/the-kerala-movie-studio-legacy-jcdaniels-the-travancore-national-pictures/)

oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

14/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

About these ads (http://en.wordpress.com/aboutthese-ads/)

By cinematters Posted in Celluloid by Kamal, Film Studios of Kerala, Perspectives Tagged Celluloid
by Kamal, Celluloid Film, Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan, JC Daniel

94 comments on The debate of 1928 vs 1930 |


Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research
weighed against a Handbill.
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 26, 2013 @ 12:25 PM
Yesterday i got hold of Vinu Abrahams novel Nashta Nayika, an excellent novel, i have started
with the same inspite of heavy work load at hand, will update with my comments and analysis, as
it seems to be well-written with zeal to culture young minds.
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 8, 2013 @ 4:51 AM
Dear Narayanji
I am still awaiting the result of possible meeting between Ms.Susie with Sundharam Daniels family
in Australia
Please update on this
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 8, 2013 @ 8:48 PM
I think this is a message which Ms. Susie can answerand I too await with baited breath her
reply and search results.
In the meantime, here is another news that i saw in the newspaper-it seems that the success of
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

15/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

Celluloid now prompts another film maker to make a film about Rosie. The PK Rosie Smaraka
Samathi has decided to make such a movie and the director it seems is Devaprasad- think its a
debutant. I read this news in Manorama Newspaper of 6th March.
REPLY
cinematters
MARCH 9, 2013 @ 8:54 AM
Dear Narayan,
Susie got back with the preliminary search results that they had shifted out from the
current address available long ago with no forwarding address given. She is getting the help
of the local expat community chapters to get more details. She is active at it. Thanks.
Regarding the PK Rosie movie, all I can see is that of another case of milking the franchise
dry. Hope it doesnt turn out to be another trainwreck like Kowdiar Dass. Thanks, cm
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 9, 2013 @ 1:02 PM
oopsss.. why are there are soooooo many hurdles, many stumbling blocks whenever one
goes into the legacy of JC Daniel. Ms. Susie all the best- our prayers are with you for
your success
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 9, 2013 @ 10:53 PM
It doesnt matter, this happens whenever a treasure is sought after, God rewards those
who are genuine and thus tests the veracity of the efforts in successive stages
Ms.Susie will succeed, we will have something at the end of the tunnel
I am dead sure that the family of Sundharam Daniel is secretly preserving the Indian
asset with great care as per the late Sundharams last wishes
He is sure to keep at ;east a piece of a reel showing himself as a record for future
generations of his, he was old enough to think like that and surely he might have
fooled boyish Harris with a photo or so of Chinnappa, and then carried the same to
Ceylon and then to Australia, preserved the same as it is an Indian asset stolen,
remained silent because of ramifications of the news once given out to the world,
might have given instructions to his wife and children for continued preservation
In an earlier post, i have pointed out Harris telling the camera that he used to
exchange good parts of Vigatha Kumaran with his friends and also with his elder
brother for filmy photos of his hero, Chinnappa in early 1940s
Hence let us contiune with these leads and find out the new address of the Daniels
Let all moral support be imparted to Ms.Susie in that foreign country
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 10, 2013 @ 6:00 AM
and yeahif ever we get hold of this movie- we should ask some producer director 16/41
to
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

and yeahif ever we get hold of this movie- we should ask some producer director to
make a sequel to CELLULOID- the hunt for the lost copy of a cinema. better still I
have a good mind to call it National Treasure III.
And dont think, the factor of taking an Indian artifact abroad might have weighed
too much on Sundarams mind- it was more of preserving his film, his legaqcy. And
going through various documentaries- i am convinced- there existed poor inter-se
relationship b/w JC Daniels sons and daughters. And so even if a print is available
Sundaram might not have shared/ given to Harris or Lalitha Henry Daniel.
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 25, 2013 @ 9:03 PM
just now read the March 3rd issue of Kalakaumudi whih features an interview with Kamal. a
glaring mistake and by glaring i mean GLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARING. the picture they
have provided as that of Daniel is that of Reddiar- the owner of Capitol theatre wherein the
movie Vigathakuymaran was first shown. the photograph of the lady captioned daughter of
Daniel is Hemalataha- daughter of Reddiar.
The next issue of Malayalam Varikha is devoted to arguments for and against the article by
Thottam rajasekharan -AAranu ee Daniel. I shall sure be buying a copy of the same.
I also got hold of a book written by him CINEAM: KALAYUM JEEVITHAVUM (Thottam
publishers 2010- rs. 550/)a massive treatise about cineam running to 723 pages. i apprciate and
bow my head beofre his efforts. bud sadly, in the section on malayalam cineam not even a
whisper is made about Vigathakumaran or Marthandavarma. the section starts with Balan.
REPLY
cinematters
MARCH 27, 2013 @ 9:34 AM
Dear Narayan,
Would love to read the article, a scanned image would be welcome, in your time.As far as
glaring goes, arent we living in the middle of it ? With Malayalam Varika, is this the
same Samakalika Malayalam ? Also, Susie has got back from her quest in getting in touch
with teh First Family of Malayalam Film Industry. She says the immediate family has been
so hassled and harassed via telephone calls and via e-mails for interviews and details that
they have shut themselves off from any contact/inquiries pertaining to Vigathakumaran.
Regardless, she has left them her number and asked them to contact if ever they would want
to reach out and share. Regards, cinematters
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 27, 2013 @ 10:16 PM
wowthe first good news from Susie. wonder who contacted them via emails/
telephones. Are there other vigathakumaran seekers out there- other than those in OMC.
Will soon scan all articles pertaining to jc daniel/ celluloid and forward the same
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 30, 2013 @ 4:54 AM
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

17/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

I would like to inform you that a friend of mine who is part of a registered and active
film society in Alappuzha has passed the information that a good sitting of the film
society has appreciated Kamal, Vinu Abraham and Saju Chelangattu, they are
planning to hold a public forum soon with these three in chair
They started a campaign to conduct social criticism about the subject matter and that
there is a tendency among youth to come forward with arguments supportive of
truth and against the newly created twist of the paid wiriters to distort the same, very
soon a similar film society in Kochi will be taking up the matter
I would suggest that OMC be explorative in the sense that Ravindran Chinnalode,
retired Akashvani person who did the radio series called Malayala Cinemayude
flashback be contacted at TVM and be made part of OMC, as he is also another truth
monger, a genuine man with a mine of information, i hope R.Gopalakrishnan sir also
come out with his website soon
I am making a comapartitve study of Phalke, Daniel and Griffith for my writing
project so that the readers on a global perspective can making an evaluate of the
pains involved in being a pioneer, an innovator, i hope the recently procured articles
on the side of OMC will help the endeavour
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 30, 2013 @ 4:42 AM
Great achivement and hats off for the fighter in Susie, very much unlike an average
mallu mental frame, a real milestone in our struggle,
Sundharam Daniel family has turned out to be a typical mallu system, is not a all
bothered of truth, cannot come out of the shell, okay this typical of all those educated
mallus, who cannot be taking risks of socially responsible, they feel that these are all their
private matters which cannot be shared.
I hope and belive that today or tomorrow Susie will find out something from some
member of that family, that will help us and the society at large.It is a matter of time to
convince them that this is social cause and never a private affair, and that nobody wish to
harass them
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 30, 2013 @ 5:01 AM
This also shows the impact of the movie in distant Australia, of course some are there
inspitre of us to get at the truth of the print
OMC is not alone, if their word is to be taken as reliable
If there are opting to remain in the shell, then also we can say the movie has hit them
hard, truth is stranger than fiction, it makes us dizzy, sometimes force us to relieve it
from us
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 30, 2013 @ 4:34 AM

oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

18/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

It is a relief to find a post after a few days from Narayanji and am happy for that, i have
seen the grand work of Thottam Rajasekharan at a book stall in Kochi on 26th march, a
masterpiece, something like an encyclopedia, i went through the portion on malayalm
cinema and as usual, as typical of the other malayali researchers who wish to go by the
beaten track, has started with Balan and T.R.Sunndaram.I was promised by the shopkeeper
that a copy will be procured next week at a reduced price as it is month end now.
Thottam Rajasekhars extensive work on cinema as such is exhaustive and splendid and
when it came to his native language cinema, he preferrred to be taking lesser pains in
making a start, taking the line left by Malayattoor Ramakrishnan, his forerunner in civil
service, this is the stand taken by many a retired civil servants,Thottam retired as P.R.D of
Govt of Kerala (Public Relations Director) and is obviously for the beaurocrasy which till
1992 opted to follow the beaten track.He is a bureaucrat even after the bonds with Govt is
over, regarding the official view of Daniel and Vigatha Kumaran, though his predecessor
wrote and published YANTHRAM and SERVICE STORY after retirement with elements of
sarcasm and truth in it.
There is a tendency in man to be vociforous about the whole world and be sereve regarding
ones own family, never apply the same standards of social criticism and truth mongering,
we mallus are conservatives inspite of all the modern education we possess.It is impossible to
compare Thottam to C, as it is difficult to be C, and risk many material returns for fighting
for truth, it is wiser and opportunate to be one with the old bureaucrat which stood and is
standing for certain established truth, very rarely we find real fighters among them, once in
a while we find a C.P.Nair, a Seshan, a Khairnar, a Kiran Bedi, a Alphonse Kannanthanam
who can take risks for truth.Thottam is never a rarity, though he has applied his brain for
truth elsewhere, for the distant facts of cinema, for the global cinema.I even had an
argument with the distributor person of his work, who also said that what is written by the
ex-P.R.D may be truth, the truth that is accepted as truth so far as our cinema is concerned.
Let us make logical deductions, as in my case, i rarely came across a bureaucrat, seniors who
said that Netaji did not die in 1945, they were all for the air crash story, which the G.O.I is
still maintaining inspite of the latest commission report going against the same, an the
findings world-over is for a life after the fake crash, this is BUREACRACY
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
APRIL 2, 2013 @ 7:09 PM
read this weeks samakalaika Malayalam varikha with indepth articles by director
Vijayakrishnan, Saju Chelangattu and by Kunnukuzhi Mani. They have literally thrashed
the writings of Thottam Rajasekharan. All three are in unison regarding why Thottam is so
reluctant to accept that a movie named vigatahkumaran was made in 1928 (or 1930) and
why is he holding steadfast to his argument that Malayalam cinema started with Balan.
And another interesting information i got was that in a reference to the Nazrani Deepika
article, the person who wrote the same Gopinath- it seems had later acted in Balan in 1938.
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
APRIL 5, 2013 @ 11:21 AM
They have not thrashed, they have banged, thwrated the effort to bury Daniels legacy 19/41
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

They have not thrashed, they have banged, thwrated the effort to bury Daniels legacy
Still the hang-overs of the past allergy cum hatred is persising in mallu society
I wonder when will mallu change inspite of all the education acquired over centuries,
universal democratic education ever since 1950 safegaurded by the constitution of the
country
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 7, 2013 @ 2:32 PM
Yes Narayanji , i am in that work since Celluloid came out
Today i had correspondence with CM also
I wish to upload my work in our blog by May end of the current year
CM has agreed to it and let it be a e-book for the cultural world to read and evaluate
I expect your support as well
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 7, 2013 @ 8:16 PM
wowmy support will be there for your venture. I can also put you in touch with others who
have knowledge about vigathakumaran, old sarada vilasam etc. please do email me if requiredmy email id is with our CM. i am not writing the same over here in public forum
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 10, 2013 @ 6:57 PM
I support this argument because Harris depicted in flying colours in Celluloid is in fact not an
accountable person, as i have cross-checked between the 2006 documentary video with the MM
sunday supplement of 03/03/2013.
If at all Sundharam had a part of the movie, he would have never shared it with his siblings.In
fact it was he who used to sent some money occasionally to his parents in those days of poverty.
He was only three when the movie was shot and he knew the pains involved ever since, he never
destroyed it as a lad, in early 1940s when Harris was 6 or 7, he was in his late teens, of course he
might have taken a part of the reels.
The fire that destroyed the entire reels would have destroyed the house even, then it was not a
major fire as shown in Celluloid, Harris destroyed the reels taking days and months, exchanged
some parts with his playmates at Rajapalayam, surely Sundharam might have noticed all these
being the eldest and almost a youth
Let us hope and pray that the remains are with Olive, her daughter anf her son-in-law, if so the
next step ought to get Ganesh Kumar in line with them, with a firm comitment to take over the
same in Govt expense, a copy be preserved by Ms.Susie and OMC, the master reels or parts to
be taken over by Govt of Kerala or Govt of India to be given to Pune NAFI. This is what is
required, the story of susies efforts be communocated to media on a parallel arrangement,
giving her all credit.We must have a copy and the Govt the master reels for preservation and
archiving.
An addition to Celluloid and all, if this succeed is for them, the creative art world to decide
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

and20/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

An addition to Celluloid and all, if this succeed is for them, the creative art world to decide and
act upon, we can be supportive of such initiative, but it is not sensible to venture for such a deed
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 10, 2013 @ 8:00 PM
Hope Ms. Susie is reading these words. We look forward to hearing from her soonerrather
than later on her efforts. praying, keeping fingers crossed, touch wood..
REPLY
cinematters
MARCH 11, 2013 @ 7:29 AM
Dear Narayan,
She is certainly keeping herself updated and pulling out all stops in following the
slimmest of leads. We can only hope.Thanks, cinematters
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 5, 2013 @ 7:10 AM
I have got two observations to make,
1.Harris Daniel is shown in the documentary, in the part-3 of Lost Life telling that some parts of
those reels were in fact exchanged with his friends as lads as well as with his eldderly brother as a
game in return for small film parts of his hero, P.U.Chinnappa
Hence it can be inferred that all the reels were not burnt
2.He in the interview with MM persons (sunday supplement published last sunday, 03/03/2013)
says that Chelangattu sir approached him for making the biography of hid Father which is wrong
and distrortion
In fact he has told a truth in 2006 and a lie in 2013, he truth will be a good lead and the lie a
befitting reminder about his dubious character hiding facts, something is fishy about him.
We have to be really serious in finding out the remains
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 12, 2013 @ 8:57 PM
the debate of 1928 or 1930the research of Chelangattu reaches another level with an article by
Mannarkadu Mathew n this weeks Kalakaumudi Magazine (2013 March 17). Shri. mathew
says about the efforts he took to trace down JC Daniel way back in 1973 and that it is the photo
Malayala Manorama team took in 1973 that is still being used to show JC Daniel in old age
including the cover of Chelangattus book.
he also narrates about how the print of Marthandavarma was traced out and how a team effort
paved way for its restoration. quoting form an article shri. mathew wrote in 1973- he says that
the studio was established 47 years back from this date (1973). Mr. Matehw also points out

oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

21/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

several historical and factual inconsistencies in CELLULOID.


Hope that Mr. Mathew would be able to chronicle his efforts of tracing down Marthandavarma
in the form a book
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 12, 2013 @ 9:29 PM
and one more most important thing. Reminscing about 1973 Manarakdau mathew
comments that when he met JC Daniel and his wife- Janet had told him that Daniel had kept
safe a few reels of Vigathakumaran safe for old time sake and that all of the film print was
not destroyed. She doesnt remember what happened to it. yippee. will we see light at the
end of the tunnel??????? or are we speaking too soon.
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 13, 2013 @ 2:06 PM
It is not advisable to take the comments of Manarcadu Mathew as i do not find him
accountable for various genuine reasons,
1.Chelangattu is the genuine authentic person to be relied upon as per many learned and
genuine cine personalities including Adoor Gopalakrishnan, his bonafides are
unquestionable, he cannot be a fraud, very much commited and sincere and had
suffered a lot for standing for truth, faught an entire state machinery for truth, cannot be
part of a fraud or himself a fraud
2.C published about J.C.D first in Malayali and this was in 1968, i think, Mathew did do
something in 1973, of course C did not photograph, and if Mathew was that touched
then why he did not take up the matter with the bureacracy or at ministerial level
3.T.K.Nair is still alive and he can testify about who all consulted him and how did he
come to know of Marthanda Varmas reels.If he says the truth, then this can be verified
4.In todays consumeristic world, even old people with old ethos of life can be purchased
with a few thousand s of dollars, Mathew also is no exception
Taking all these into consideration, i count the hue and cry launched by him now in the
post Celluloid movie fame and Muraleedharans capitulation, to be an orchestrated
campaign to protect the old guard both the bureacracy and all the evils connected, also
the politicians who denied justice and still denying the same
C is attacked to protect it, them and above all a system rooted in injustice and untruth.C
is attacked to belittle Daniel legacy which is slowly taking roots in the mind of youth of
today.VESTED INTERESTS ARE AT WORK
REPLY
cinematters
MARCH 14, 2013 @ 9:35 AM
Dear Narayan,
I have learned to take most of everything with a generous helping of salt when it comes
to the history of Kerala in general. I guess, its more peaceful to be the doubting Thomas
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

22/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

till categorically proved otherwise. And then again, we hope against hope . Thanks, cm
REPLY
cinematters
MARCH 14, 2013 @ 9:32 AM
Dear Narayan,
I am yet to get hold of a copy of that magazine or yet to read the article. Any chance of
bundling it and sending it across, as and when possible ?Thanks, cm
REPLY
Jayesh Sebastian
MARCH 14, 2013 @ 3:36 PM
Dear CM
I have the hard copy of Kalakoumudi but I can scan send you on monday only. A
related article have came in manorama by manarkadu and there was a reply by Mr
Saju. I m forwarding that to your mail id. Please check
Jayesh Sebastian
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 17, 2013 @ 5:04 AM
The truth about the matter can be ascertained through a meeting with Shri.T.K.Nair
who is alive and was the curator of the Archives at Pune in 1973
The book on movie industry in kerala by C which was published in 1968 bear a full
chapter on J.C.Daniel and Cs encounters with him in the same year.This book is
available and is in public record.Kindly subject the same for a cross-checking.The
article published in Malayali which is now defunct cannot be procured as a copy that
issue in which the C published the first article on Daniel is yet to be retrieved, hence
the book published in the same 1968 is to be taken as proof.
Mr.Mathews report with photo was published in 1973 and now reproduced, which is
the earlier one, 1968 or that of 1973.
Let us make logical deductions, hence we have to give due recognition to what was
actu
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 18, 2013 @ 7:54 PM
yet another article lambasting chelangattu and his efforts.this time in Malayalam Varikha
dated 22nd March 2013.Aarunu ee Daniel.by Thottam Rajasekharan. he disputes
even the honour attributed to Daniel as father of malayalam cinema. he also comments that
an application was never ever received by Malayattor on Daniel for him to take a negative
view. good articlebut my question is why where these persons silent when 20 years back
the Kerla Govt. decided to confer the title of Father of Malayalam Cinema to JC Daniel
why did they keep mum when Chelangattus book came out couple of years back? Now
Daniel, Chelangattu, Malayattor- they are no longer with us to deny or justify or support or
oppose
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

23/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 19, 2013 @ 5:19 AM
They were silent then because in 1992, there was no social interaction on Daniel and the
truth, now when the so-called vested interests in mallu society found that the movie has
made an impact, a deep impact in society, especially among the young generation, they
are afraid of getting the status quo broken, they were always afraid of that.
Now celluloid has won the national award also, for the best malayalam feature film,
national film awards decalred yesterday.
We will come across more attacks, more attacks for sure, new men and women writers
will be at work,paid work, petty propaganda work for the VESTED INTERESTS IN
MALLU SOCIETY, in fact we have to rejoice that they are shacken in side, what was not
accomplished so far, has now been accomplished.
However, the picture of truth is bright in the conscience of the youth, i know personally
dozens of boys who really talk seriously about those days and the pains involved in the
life of real truth seekers and history makers
I am not a paid writer, neither i am for the vested interests, my work will be made in the
final shape of course in the last week of may 2013, i have almost finished collecting the
study materials, making rough notes, now let me put all these in proper writing
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 20, 2013 @ 7:23 AM
Celluloid has won the best malayalam feature film award from Govt of India, hence
awarded and recognised by both Kerala and Indian Govts.It got the recognition as
the story line was accepted by the respective jury, the story line is about the Daniel
who himself is negated by some of todays journalist stars, orchestrated stars, well let
these penmen write that the story is a fiction, and that there were never a
Chelangattu Gopalakrishnan or Daniel, it is all the brain child of Kamal, who has
now entered history make use of foul means, let them write as they have a million
pen and a billion bottles of ink, all purchased with the money of their hidden
cowardly masters, let them come on mini screen lecturing that T.R.Sundharam is the
Father of malayalam movies, let them say that Phadke is not the Father of Indian
cinema and let them negate D.W.Griffith, Charlie Chaplin and others who paved the
foundation of world cinema, let them say and also write that history is just for today,
what happened yesterday is not truth, today is final and that there is no need of
future, no need for a full stature, piece meal is everything, let them be brave enough
to proclaim that it is they and their masters who are the only palyers in human
society and the rest are just dead bodies
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 3, 2013 @ 8:22 AM

just read in todays movies in Mathrubhumi Newspaper (March 3rd) that VIGATHAKUMARAN24/41
is
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

just read in todays movies in Mathrubhumi Newspaper (March 3rd) that VIGATHAKUMARAN is
being telecast at 9:30 pm in Kairali We Channel. I think this is the remake made by Kowdiar Das
(and the one which I have not seen). Hope somebody can record the same for posterity
REPLY
cinematters
MARCH 3, 2013 @ 10:52 AM
Dear Narayan,
A request has already been placed to have it recorded. Hopefully should have it done. Thanks,
cm
REPLY
Gopalakrishnan Navjeevan
MARCH 3, 2013 @ 11:16 AM
dont worry about recording narayanjee.. as long as i am here already plenty of guyz inl my
dear friend viju of omc, have asked me to record it
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 4, 2013 @ 12:19 AM
It was a Sunday. My daughters exams got over yesterdayhad planned a late evening outdinner from some fancy restaurant with beevi and the kids.until I saw today morns
newspaper- Vigathakumaran. I was counting the hours, eagerly waiting for 9:30 pm- cancelled
all the plans and was glued right in front of the tv with family at 9:30 pm And to put it subtly,
very mildlythe the 2003 adaptation made by Kowdiar Das of this enigmatic movie is #^#@&^
boring to the core. Within 5 minutes into the movie my better half gave me seething
lookjwalicha kannu kondu oru nooku nokki- i pretended that I did not see her scornmy
daughters did not mince words.achchanu sharikkum vattu thannebut i forced myself to see
this version. I am thankful that JC Daniel had passed away when this movie was released, but
he must have rolled at least a thousand times in his grave.
The 2003 adaptation produced by Sabari films starts with a scene depicting a kalaripayatauu
and soon Bhoothanathan kidnapping Chandrakumar of Bungalavu veedu. years later we see
Chandrakumars sister, Sarojini, being in love with Jayachandran her neighbor and mura
cherukkan. Jayachandran (who supposedly was portrayed by JC Daniel in the original version)
is portrayed as a meek coward. he goes to somewhere in tamil nadu for a job and is assaulted by
Bhoothanathan over there. he gets a job in the estate. he also meets a character played by
Kumarakam Raghunath (the only actor whom i know). Anyway Jayachandran comes to know
that Kumarakam Raghunath is the missing brother of Sarojini- how he finds it out is not
revealed. they return to kerala- there is fight and chandrakumar gives a good bashing to
Bhoothanathan and his goons (while Jayachandran immediately faints) and soon the family is
reunited.all this is told with 45 minutes., I am thankful that the film is over and the
commercial break comes in. I decide to wait to see the end creditsbut wait, the director has a
surprise in store- it seems that this Vigathakumaran has another story- a sequelthe return of
Bhoothanathanin this segment, action takes place in another village. there is portrayed the
love affair between a low cat cowherd and an upper class girl, the relatives of the girl takes care
of the guybhoothnaathan attempts another kidnapping, but the intended victims friends
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

25/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

over power him and everyoone is happy. thankfully a commercial break came inand i shut
the tv- lest there be any more surprises like a third segment.so i didnt see the end credits.
I thought of writing the review immediately and as soon as I opened my mail- i got a flurry of
questions asking me what I thought of this cult classicI replied a single change in letter
would give my opinion of this classic. Do yourself a favour- just stick on with CELLULOID
and the 3 documentaries about Daniel/ Rosie etc. And if you still wanna see this movie- better
see it on an empty stomach and keep away dangerous weapons like hammer screwdriver, a
sane spouse etc away from the TV. Waiting for the repercussions of my decision to cancel the
dinner (the wife and kids are now asleep), watch this space. shall write (if they decide to spare
my life)
REPLY
cinematters
MARCH 4, 2013 @ 8:27 AM
Dear Narayan,
Though by some celestial conspiracy ( ) I got to miss the re-creation, reading through what
happened last evening with you, I think I just got lucky The feedback that I received werent
any different from those who kept aside everything else, just like you did, to watch the
movie and switched it off midway one read Santhosh Pandit would have done this 10
times better!.Regardless, the movie needs to be archived, whether we like it or not, as a
modern-recreation of Malayalam cinemas first production, and I guess we will leave it at
that .Thanks so much,. Regards, cinematters
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 5, 2013 @ 6:43 AM
first things first, I am still alive.
I have been too rash in my reviewjust wanted to vent out my frustration somehow. I
dont know how far Kowdiar Das researched for this movie or how faithful he remained
to the true history as with the date available in 2002-03. The various articles of
Chelangatu, Mannarkadu Mathew etc- were in public domain at that time also. dont
know whether he had gone through the same.
And if by chance, this was the way the original Vigathakumaran was made-it wont be
just the caste considerations which led to audience boohooing the movie. Teh movie
would have been too boring. Remember, Kerala had been introduced to Chaplin movies
and Hindi silent movies in the Twenties itself. We also had a good tradition of dramas on
stage. So when the audience see something worthless, they react..
Still, I dont think Kowdiar Dass adaptation is anywhere close to what JC Daniel had
done.But, I agree, for the effort to recreate Vigathakumaran- for the guts he had shown
for the same- yes lets appreciate him.
And apologies for going overboard in my comments of 4th March
REPLY
cinematters
MARCH 6, 2013 @ 7:54 AM
Dear Narayan,
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

26/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

Dear Narayan,
Compared to the real-time reviews that I received online as mail and as text
messages, yours is way, way too gracious I have also come to know that our Das had
also remade another silent movie, the details are awaited.Will keep you
updated.Thanks.cm
PS. Managed to get in touch with our Number One Jayan Fan yet?
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 6, 2013 @ 1:40 PM
another silent film made by Das!!!!!!!!! anyway this version of VIGATHAKUMARAN
is a talkie.
still not able to make contact with the numero-uno jayan fan. i tried contacting PT
Varghese who wrote a book about Jayan- but to no avail. I am not sure fo the name
also whether its Rajan.
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 6, 2013 @ 5:15 PM
It was not merely caste consideration that destroyed the movie, it was even more of a
negative mallu mind of those times that cannot digest the reality of a local pulaya girl
(LOCAL, PULAYA, GIRL) that brought vengeance on the screen in the form of
slippers, spit and stones
Charlie chaplin belonged to the race of the sahibs who ruled the whole world, the
fuedal elements were really slavish to subdue their caste considerations to the white
clan, the movie goers appreciated Chaplin simply because it was all white, the
sheema stuff ( appreciation for foreign and contempt for local)
Hindi version was also appreciated as those movies never had a lady in cast, it was
also considered foreign, the stories were all pauranic, based on scriptures
Hence a social drama on screen, a pulaya, a girl on screen with all that narration by
the story teller was enough and more for all those spit, stones and slippers hurled at
the screen
The drama enacted in those days as far i have learnt from books and from my late
grand parents who were in their teen in late 1920s were all based on either scriptures
or on royal elements who ruled the land
The second movie, Marthanda Varma also had a lady, Kamalkshi Amma, a Nair girl
as heroine, she was also hunted down, never again acted in movies, as she was a
GIRL, she belonged to my ancestral locality, Mavelikara where she is known to have
led a life of poverty, of course acted in dramas and ballets till 1960s but at the fag end
of her life in early 1990s had to go to a temple in Mavelikara Mitchel Junction to
recite Ramayana every day over microphone to earn her daily bread

Hence it was the GIRL factor also the LOCAL GIRL factor that instigated the
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

27/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

Hence it was the GIRL factor also the LOCAL GIRL factor that instigated the
viewers, then the PULAYA factor
Not the story as it was a new one distinct from the conventional and thrilling for the
Colombo shoot etc, i have heard from very old people in Pattom where i had my PG
and stayed near the so-called Sharada Vilasom, that the efforts were applauded by
the commoners (the movie goers were the middle class and the high castes full of old
concepts of life)
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 7, 2013 @ 7:29 AM
@ Sen Joseph Manthanam,
Your comments make interesting reading. And yesterday i had a chat with my
cousin a journalist about how prosperous JC Daniel looks in a family photo taken
while he was in the late Fifties or early Sixties (the family photo is in the book by
Chelangattu and Harris Daniel looks in his Twenties). JC Daniel is in full suit and
looking dignified. In an earlier comment i had pointed out that something might
have happened post- PU Chinnappa fiasco which had reduced Daniel to penury and
that it might have happened at a time after the photograph was taken. When I
mentioned it to my cousin- he said that it was usual for Malayalees to dress up, wear
make up, and show a semblance of prosperity or richness which they did not have in
studio photographs. Daniel was an abhimani- and might be that he didnt want
anyone (at that time) to know that they were in poverty.
Sen Josephs words and my cousins take on JC Daniel makes room for poignant
reading. and Sen sir- after reading your comemnts, researched comments i had an
intuition that you might have put to productive use your research frame of mind and
i did a google search to see i you had written any books- and I was correct- you have
written THE MYSTERY OF NETAJIS DEATH.and judging by the title, it must
have opened a whole new can of worms, probing into the conspiracy behind Netajis
disappearance. WHy not you now write about life JC Daniel post PU Chinnappa
fiasco:) :
cinematters
MARCH 7, 2013 @ 7:56 AM
Dear Narayan,
He IS in the final stages of publishing on this subject too Really looking forward to
it.Thanks, cm
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 4, 2013 @ 3:05 PM
This is the modern day re-creation which stands in contrast to the creation of Daniel, a
contrast inexplicable, any way this is what is called groping in the dark, a real post modern
experiment in total disregard of history
Such nonsense is happening because we are still unable to recover the print or even a part of
the print of original Vigatha Kumaran
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

28/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

Let us hope Ms.Susie emerge victorious, then a re-creation can be avoided, a re-creation by
half baked so-called media experts who are after money squeezed out of ratings
Let us continue in our historical pursuit of truth, no way we shall lay down our arms
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 14, 2013 @ 4:08 AM
Manarcadu Mathews contention that all of Vigatha Kumaran was not lost or destroyed by
Harris is true, and that is something contributory from the side of the man.
It is also common sense to think like that, as a major fire at any point of time can destroy the
entire house as the reels were nitrate ones and highly inflammable.
Some parts were retreived and secretly preserved which were taken away by the lost child,
Mr.Sundharam Daniel to Ceylon and then to Australia, it is being corroborated by Mathews
write-ups.This is a good lead and what we were inferring has been substantaited by an old man
who was also in touch with the Daniels.This is a matter of relief and credit goes to him for that,
at least his deduction can be derived out of his research and belated revelation

REPLY
Renjit
MARCH 1, 2013 @ 5:18 PM
[img
src="http://images.orkut.com/orkut/photos/QQAAAL6N_EG4TSviVRH2jlCw82v8QOq9gGYtpCedvysm
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 1, 2013 @ 2:45 PM
The legacy of J.C.Daniel has to be preserved online as he was the one inspite of the affluence of his
Parents, set out in pursuit of a technology innovated in social interests.He selected a pulaya girl for
his heroine role when the caste system was so rigid over here (Now also if a pulaya is brought up in
a movies known for glamour and a whole lot of illusions relating to it, then i do not think the
hypocratic Kerala society will accept it, as i found a few boys howling when in the movie the actress
featured in the song eenundodi thamara chandam)
He sent out on a revolution, a social reformer in the arena of movie making
He set out on an industrial innovation, a technology in lay mans life, as the movie was shot in the
streets of Pattom, totally outdoor, the so-called grand masters of malayalam movie world was brave
enough to come out of studios only in the late 1950s,
He was the first INDIAN movie maker to go to a foreign country to shoot , yes one half of his movie
was picturised in British Ceylon
How can we miss this man, but we missed him for long till early 1990s just because our bureaucary
was and is still to an extent caste rigid and the leaders were and is still to an extent old in their
mental make-up, something that defiant educated modern Daniel defied in late 1920s
Indeed Daniel is most modern, fit to live in the second half of 21st century, indeed more modern
than all our heroes of today
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

29/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

Let us preserve him, his works and all those golden past online, in print and in writing
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
MARCH 1, 2013 @ 10:29 PM
thanks for the commentsit makes nice readingfeel good readingbut let me put something
straight. I am NOT going to Australia and neither is this A LONE CRUSADE. and NO I have
not spent even a single pie of my hard earned money for this object. .Cinematters, Ms. Susie
(who herself is in Australia, and will soon meet in person the family of Sundaram Daniel) and
myself are trying to recover (touch wood) the vestiges of Vigathakumaranif any. The pursuits
made by Chelangattu, the documentaries aforementioned including that by Gopalakrishnan Sir
has motivated us in the importance of relentless pursuit. Cinematters has already written a snail
mail to the widow of Sundaram Daniel and we are praying that a positive reply comes across
the seas. If a positive reply comes- I shall personally go and meet Minister Ganesh Kumar and
convince him to see that the print is restored and preserved as a cultural legacy of ours.
I have sent by separate mail to CM the news item that had appeared in 1930 Deepika..guess
the research still ought to be continued on which is the true and correct year of release of
Vigathakumaranor whether here was a second release in 1930.
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 2, 2013 @ 12:48 PM
Okay good to know that, i pray for the positive result of Ms.Susies meeting with Olive
Sundharan Daniel and her daughter in Australia.
Indeed there are still people like that who find time for such cultural work, it is the success of
that renaissance movement that rocked us nay our predecessors in the distant past, in the
1930s or so that youth of today, some of them, a few of them are into this historic mission
God will be rendering success for the good and pure, if truth is sought for
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
MARCH 1, 2013 @ 2:31 PM
It is nice to learn that Narayan Radhakrrishnan in the true spirit of alone crusader is after the
hopeful collection of Vigatha Kumarans print, it is highly applaudable that he is making efforts to
go to Melbourne and Kandy in Australia for the same.
I hope it will be fruitful and the trip itself is historical.I am really bowing down in front of that
intellectual honesty and the pains taken
Please support the efforts as it involves money, hard earned money
Hats off to Mr.Narayan, we all shall be praying for your success
Try to represent the whole of this generation and the past ones while making the search
History is always right, if properly preseved
It is truth that matters, and God will bless those who are after that
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

30/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

Meanwhile Celluloid is becoming a big big hit


REPLY
Jayesh Sebastian
FEBRUARY 28, 2013 @ 4:02 PM
Dear CM,
I watched the movie Celluloid a few days back, and came out with a heavy heart for the fate of
Father of Malayalam Cinema. After then I was searching web for knowing more about JC Daniel,
Vigathakumaran and his family. Got lot many facts from various sites and watched the
documentary on both JC Daniel and PK Rosie, also ordered the books JC Danielinte Jeevitha
Kadha by Chelangatt and Nashtanayoika by Vinu Abraham, online from DC books. Then while
continuing the search on web luckily I found this page.
Hats off to you for this great venture. And especially for the works done and continuing for getting
the line straight for facts behind the unsung hero of Malatalam film industry.
And also appreciate the great work done by Adv Narayan Radhakrishnan in this regard. Really
amazing that you are going to Australia in search of more facts and remains of Vigathakumaran.
Praying and hoping that may you find the reels and snaps of Vigathakumaran and of course of JC
and Family. Also try to get a copy a of the book written by JC Daniel.
All the very best.
Jayesh Sebastian
REPLY
REGI
FEBRUARY 28, 2013 @ 1:02 PM
Now the first malayalam movie Vigathakumaran there is no print available.The second malayalam
movie Marathanda varma some part of the prints are recovered in 1973 and it is now kept in pune
film studio.What about balan? vellinakshatram,Sasidharan,amma ,Jenova ? I dont think so for
these films also the prints are available.Ok these are very old movies prior 1950 .What about the
films released in sixtees and seventees ? A lot of films was either lost or spoiled and cannot be used
again. This is also a crime. How much sweat and pain is there behind the making of a movie and
after the release there is no solutions for it logistics.
REPLY
Sen Joseph Manthanam
FEBRUARY 27, 2013 @ 5:19 PM
Yes, i support the argument that it is a success for Vigatha Kumaran as well as Celluloid, a tribute
to both J.C.Daniel and Chelangattu
I bow my head in fond memory of the two men, pay my respects to all the surviving members of
their family, a heart-felt love for that great lady, Jannet Daniel and regards to Kamal, of course
comtempt for all the so-called educated hypocrats who still bear the poison of casteism deep in
them, that which Daniel rejected back in 1928 through his revolution, bebut motion picture, debut
studio ans what not
REPLY
Rajesh M
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

31/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

FEBRUARY 8, 2013 @ 10:35 AM


Kamals interview in Manorama (CM, if found o be against the context, pls remove)
http://www.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/malayalamContentView.do?
contentId=13391355&tabId=3&BV_ID=@@@
REPLY
cinematters
FEBRUARY 11, 2013 @ 12:23 PM
Dear Rajesh,
How can that be against the context? The Link would die off in another week, hence have
preserved the page as a .pdf.Will have that uploaded once the page goes
redundant.Thanks.cinematters
REPLY
Rajesh M
FEBRUARY 22, 2013 @ 6:36 PM
http://www.manoramaonline.com/cgibin/mmonline.dll/portal/ep/malayalamContentView.do?
contentId=13496595&tabId=3&BV_ID=@@@

http://www.manoramaonline.com/cgibin/mmonline.dll/portal/ep/malayalamContentView.do?
contentId=13496415&programId=1073753760&tabId=11&contentType=EDITORIAL&BV_ID=@@@
REPLY
cinematters
FEBRUARY 22, 2013 @ 7:18 PM
Thanks Rajesh,
Have archived it cinematters
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
FEBRUARY 11, 2013 @ 8:57 PM
Celluloid is discussed in this weeks MALAYALAM VARIKHA also. it seems that the screenplay
will soon be published as a book by DC. the article featured is Kamals foreword to the said
book. he says that before rolling the camerahe, Vinu Abraham and Shri. R. Gopalakrishnan
visited the final resting place of JC Daniel.
REPLY
R Gopalakrishnan
FEBRUARY 6, 2013 @ 4:34 PM
Dear Mr. Narayan,
As you know im on the finishing stage of my wbe site on malayalam cinema cinipedia. most
probably by May 2013, it will be officially launched. On the inaugural day the main backdrop of
the function will the DEEPIKA PAPER of 1930. Thats what I am planning now. so wait for some
more days. after the fuction we can share the photos and matter to OMC.
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

32/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

for the last 8 years im working (day & night) for the above project. in between Ill find out time to
share my experiences to OMC, only becos of you, yuor passion to malayalam cimena. best wishes
Narayan
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
FEBRUARY 6, 2013 @ 6:37 PM
wow..this is one great information. Ever since I met you (around years back), you had only one
thing in mind- the definitive encyclopedia of Malayalam cinema.. When i met you at first you
were on work on a 12 volume encyclopedia (at least material for 12 volumes) a couple of years
later it had developed into 15 volumes and when we met a couple of months back- you said that
the material you have is too much to be encompassed in a book series. I was astonished and
flabbergasted by the depth of your collection- old magazines, photos, film agreements,
manuscripts of vayalar and devarajan and what not. I am sure that cinepeda will be THE
DEFINITIVE SOURCE OF INFORMATION on Malayalam cinema. I understand the
importance of keeping the information of Deepika under wraps till then. And Sir, we would be
honored if you would be with us for an interview for OMC regarding your experience in
collecting and chronchling Malayalam cinema.
REPLY
cinematters
FEBRUARY 7, 2013 @ 8:22 PM
Dear Sir,
Thank you so much for coming around and sharing your thoughts on Malayalam cinemas
historical aspects under debate. Really, really look forward to cinepedias launch, and as
Narayan surmised, hope it would become the the DEFINITIVE source of information on
Malayalam cinema. Will wait for this. Thanks again.
REPLY
venkity
JANUARY 31, 2013 @ 8:43 AM
great work!
i think we need a lot of such archival/archiving work to get a better picture of early malayalam
cinema to rescue it from its aithiyhamalas..
this is something we havent done anything about at all..
congratulations!
REPLY
cinematters
JANUARY 31, 2013 @ 10:41 PM
Thanks Venkity, coming from you, it sure is inspiring.regards, cinematters
REPLY
Anu Warrier
JANUARY 31, 2013 @ 7:03 AM
CM, kudos to you and to Narayan Radhakrishnan for attempting to set the record straight. I
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

hope33/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

CM, kudos to you and to Narayan Radhakrishnan for attempting to set the record straight. I hope
you are able to settle this matter satisfactorily. The fact is that we are bad at keeping written
records, much less conserving our artistic heritage. I should hope that future generations will have
the efforts of bloggers like you and supporters like Mr Radhakrishnan as archivists and
conservationists of the lifework of journalists like Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan.
REPLY
cinematters
JANUARY 31, 2013 @ 10:39 PM
Dear Anu,
Sharing what they have done and archiving their work with due credit for tomorrows digital
generation is a necessity. We do what we can Thanks, cinematters
REPLY
Jayashree
JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 10:50 PM
CM,I hope your efforts will ultimately bear fruit and you will be able to prove beyond doubt the
exact date which should go down in history.
Have you thought of visiting some old Vayanashalas or Kerala Sahithya academy where they
would archived old news papers and publications? Surely Mathrubhumi and Manorama offices
would be having their own archives departments.
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 11:47 PM
the archives of Mathribhumi is in Kozhikkode and that of Manoram in Kottayam (this info is
subject to correction). Sometime back I went to the Kerala Kaumudi office at pettah, TVM. the
old newspapers are just thrown away in bundles in a godown. have to check out Deepika.
REPLY
Jayashree
JANUARY 31, 2013 @ 1:02 PM
Biju and Naryan,Let me try in whatever capacity I have to get some information from
Mathrubhumi archives or some other archives.I have sent a request to a couple of my friends
REPLY
cinematters
JANUARY 31, 2013 @ 10:40 PM
Thanks Chechi.
REPLY

Viju
JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 10:27 AM
Thanks Adv. Narayan for all the support you have been giving CM!!! Amazing !!!!
REPLY
Rajesh M
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

34/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 10:20 AM


One of the most significant posts in OMC so far. Appreciate and thanks for the effort, OMC and
Adv Narayan.
REPLY
cinematters
JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 5:58 PM
Dear Rajesh,
Scrounging on the web can at times get lucky On a more serious note, I hope this starts
conversations, more exploartions and unearth gems that had been relegated to some forgotten
archives. Thanks again, cinematters
REPLY

Viju
JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 10:19 AM
Wow!!! CM!!!! That was indeed a mammoth effort by you!! Really appreciate the sincerity with
which you update History!!! Keep going buddy!!!
REPLY
cinematters
JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 5:57 PM
Dear Viju,
At the risk of repeating, most of it are already there in the web. I just got a little lucky compiling
it together, with a whole lot of help from Adv Narayan. Thanks, cinematters
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 6:55 PM
Actually I was least concerned about the date of release of the movie- be it 1930 or 1928
why should it bother me? That was when I read the book JC DANILEINTE JEEVITHA
KATHA and saw the documentary THE LOST CHILD by Kiran Ravindran- whom I know
personally. Earlier I had seen the documentary THE LOST LIFE by R. Gopalakrishna Sirwhom I know personally and respect for his meticulous task in collecting and preserving
cinema history.. The version of Kiran highlights that the movie was made in 1928 while
Gopalkrishnan Sirs documentary highlights it as 1930. (both are damn good
documentaries, with good research based on the available resources). In Kirans
documentary Director Vijayakrishnan makes a remark that Chelangattus research put the
year as 1928 and that the book JC DANIELINTE JEEVITHAKATHA was published after his
death and that the date was changed.
The hullaballoo surrounding CELLULOID also prompted the curious inquisitor in me to
research further- and I contacted the son of Chelangattu (the details of which I have narrated
in another post/topic about JC Daniel here at OMC itself).
Regarding the handbill- I think Kunnukuzhy Mani mentioned that (I dont know whether
he mentions the same in Kirans documentary or when I saw him at the NSS hall,
Sasthamangalam where the documentary was shown) I think he mentioned that he
obtained this pamphlet from JC Daniels daughter).
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

35/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

CM, Susie at Australia and myself are now on attempt to see if any vestiges of
Vigatahkumaran remains. Harris Daniel had as a young kid (around 7 or 8 years old)
destroyed the prints of the movie available at his house.he set fire to the film reels to see
the green-blue colour of burning flame. Harris was born after the release of
Vigathakumaran. Sundaram Daniel who acted in Vigathakumaran at age 6 or 7 might have
been 14 or 15 when Harris did this mischief? Would he have salvaged some part of the reel/
printsaved it from the clutches of his mischievous younger brother? Would he have taken
a part of the same to Australia wherein he settled (and died in 2002). Would his wife or kids
or grandkids have with them anything with them? I am keeping my fingers crossed. Our
CM has already written a snail mail to the widow of Sundram Daniel.
But all said and done- can I conclusively say that the movie was released in 1928 and 1930
NO. I havent seen the Deepika news item nor the original of the pamphlet. If we see it- then
our research would take a whole new direction. I dont believe in the handbill; neither do I
disbelieve it.i only say that more evidence is necessary before we come to a final
conclusion regarding actual date of release of the movie. Let the researcher in each OMC
Member do their bit in putting history in the right track.
And hope a note can be given at the beginning of CELLULOID confessing the confusion
regarding 1928 and 1930.
REPLY
cinematters
JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 7:05 PM
Dear Narayan,
Let this begin a conversation or conversations. I believe the answers all around us. All we
need is to look hard. Thanks, cinematters
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
FEBRUARY 3, 2013 @ 8:11 PM
there is another documentary about Vigathakumaran- thsi time focusing on Rosie. I had
seen it around 2 years back..it slipped my mind (an unpardonable mistake). Here is the
you tube link to the same. the documentary was by Kanjiramkulam sanla and

oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

36/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

Shivaraman amaravila.

REPLY
cinematters
FEBRUARY 3, 2013 @ 10:34 PM
Thank you Narayan. This is excellent. Have updated it in the Timeline of the article
too. Thanks again, cinematters
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

37/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

R Gopalakrishnan
FEBRUARY 6, 2013 @ 7:17 AM
Dear Mr, Narayan,
Happy to see this article.
but pls dont mix my work with Kiran Raveendran..bcos he copied almost all shots from
my documentary and made a new one. That is not creation In his documentary he,
kunnukuzhi mani and vijayakrishnan are saying that the film was released in 1928. they
are using the visual of the front page of the invitation, and not using the inner page
which you displayed here. in the second page there is the dateso in future if u mention
kirans name anywhere pls try to avoid my name.
if anybody can bring out any original news paper of 1928 ill believe.
otherwise,for me ill stick on to 1930, since i am having the DEEPIKA and
MATHRUBHOOMI news papers with me.
REPLY
Narayan Radhakrishnan
FEBRUARY 6, 2013 @ 8:48 AM
Sir
great that you have joined this discussion- I only pointed out that there are 3
documentaries about Vigathakumaran.-one by you, one by Kiran and another by
Kanjiramkulam Sanal- all 3 of which i have seen.
Sir could you upload, the mathrubhumi and deepika news item over here- and also
all the pages of the invitation so that the confusion of 1928 and 1930 is laid to a rest.
As you said, if anybody can bring out the original newspaper of 1928, Ill believe
and as I said earlier (in the post dated 30th january)..But all said and done- can I
conclusively say that the movie was released in 1928 and 1930NO. I havent seen
the Deepika news item nor the original of the pamphlet. If we see it- then our research
would take a whole new direction. I dont believe in the handbill; neither do I
disbelieve it.i only say that more evidence is necessary before we come to a final
conclusion regarding actual date of release of the movie. Let the researcher in each
OMC Member do their bit in putting history in the right track. Hope you would
appreciate the intention behind this article (the article per se is by Cinematters), and
help us put history in the right perspective.
Narayan Radhakrishnan
FEBRUARY 6, 2013 @ 9:03 AM
And Gopalakrishnan Sir..I am very, very happy that you are watching reading the
posts over here and participating in the discussion. In fact your work, and the
biography about JC Daniel by Chelangattu has inspired me, cinematters and a lot of
others to try and search for a print of Vigathakumaran (if any available) at Australia.
I guess, I would be speaking for all members over here in OMC regarding our sincere
appreciation for the work you are doing to preserve and promote Malayalam cinema.
In another post i have commented about your book on BALAN and your efforts to
make Sarada Vilas the office of Chalachitra Academy and what happened to it. Your
presence in OMC is an honour for us and for Malayalam cinema.
And Sir, this debate of 1928 and 1930 is not meant to hurt anyone.. especially you. its
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

38/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

just that the comment made by Shri. Kunnukuzhi Mani now doubting the veracity
of the date has opened a new can of worms..
Please also read related articles about JC Daniel over here in OMC.
Narayan Radhakrishnan
FEBRUARY 23, 2013 @ 7:19 AM
1928 or 1930no matter what the life of JC Daniel has now been given the due
recognotion it receives. CELLULOID is a successboth commercially and artistically.
Prithviraj gets the best actor award. Kudos to all those who worked for Celluloid and its
success
REPLY
cinematters
FEBRUARY 23, 2013 @ 11:20 AM
Dear Narayan,
Truly, an entire generation has been now made familiar and the name a byword with
the movie Celluloid. Maybe, in a way, the awards are more profound than what they
seem to be. But historical accuracies should also be diligently pursued, if not on
screen, out in the real world atleast .Sadly, the movie seems to have been taken off
from my citys theatres even though all the shows were sold out. Guess will have to
watch the DVD version, going by the look of it.Thanks, cinematters
Jayesh Sebastian
MARCH 1, 2013 @ 10:47 AM
Dear CM
I have sent the mail.Please check.
cinematters
MARCH 2, 2013 @ 8:43 AM
Dear Jayesh,
Have updated it.Thanks so much.cm
Narayan Radhakrishnan
FEBRUARY 27, 2013 @ 8:54 PM
finally saw CELLULOID. i really, really liked the movie. its a fictional account of JC
Daniels life and so some literary licence is allowed. There may be some historical
inaccuracies- like the portrayal of Chelangattus role in retrieving the print of
MARTHANDAVARMA, or even the confusion with regard to 1928 and 1930- (of which
more data research is needed before reaching a final conclusion); advancing the year of
the documentary of Shri. R. Gopalakrishnan from 2006 to 2000 etc. but all saidirrespective of all the hullabaloo and so called controversies- CELLULOID is a fine
picture. JC Daniel, and journalists like Chelangattu gets the due recognition they truly
deserve.
I also bought the screenplay of the movie today (published by DC). Before seeing the
movie itself I knew that Prithviraj was portraying both JC Daniel and his son Harris
Daniel. After reading Chelangattus book i had a poor opinion about JC Daniels
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

39/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

children. They had abandoned him in old age and JC Daniel died in poverty. But after
seeing Celluloid, I began to see the other side. Daniel was never a good father. After
getting his fingers burn with VIGATHAKUMARAN it took many years for the Daniel
family to rebuild their life. but one fine day believing the words of Tamil actor P.U.
Chinnappa Daniel went to madras with all his life savings and nothing was heard form
him for the next 2-3 years. he did not inquire about his family or children. He came back
to Agastheeswaram as a complete stranger, aloof, and depressed. this is the JC Daniel
which Harris and his brothers saw. i dont think there was warmth b/w Daniel and his
children. Would this have hampered their relation- ultimately leading to the children
abandoning Daniel in his old age??? This is one subtle reason showcased in
CELLULOID.
(Again, I am not completely agreeing to this line of though put forward by Kamal. In the
photos accompanying the book by Chelangattu- there is shown a family photo of the
Daniels with Harris Daniel in his early Twenties. Daniel- might have been in his fifties
and is shown in a full suit. he looks prosperoussomething must have happened after
this which put his life into poverty- a mystery which still remains unanswered).
Todays Manorama carries a letter from Manarkadu Mathew. Mathew says about his
role in tracking down Daniel and also his role in retrieving the print of Marthandavarma.
Mathew also mentions that the photo of the aged Daniel which is the cover page of
Chelngattus book was in fact taken by Manarkadu Mathew and his team (including
litterateur Kulathoro Bhasakaran Nair) for Malayala manorama way back in the early
Seventies.and that it is after this that Chelnagttu began his research.
A whole can of worms has now been opened. Its in a way good- and i hope somewhere,
someone will get the insipiration to track down and come up with a print or at least more
photos of VIGATHAKUMARAN. Adn dear Cinematter- hope Project Australia comes
with success, touch wood
REPLY
Jayashree
FEBRUARY 27, 2013 @ 10:54 PM
Todays Deepika daily has come out with its 1930 news item about the release of
Vigathakumaran
cinematters
FEBRUARY 28, 2013 @ 10:54 PM
Thanks Chechi, trying to get a copy of it.
Narayan Radhakrishnan
FEBRUARY 28, 2013 @ 3:35 PM
Ms. Jaysree
could you please scan the said news item that appeared in Deepika over here
cinematters
FEBRUARY 28, 2013 @ 10:49 PM

Dear Narayan,
oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

40/41

4/8/13

The debate of 1928 vs 1930 | Chelangatt Gopalakrishnans meticulous research weighed against a Handbill. | OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

Dear Narayan,
I guess you are one of those lucky ones who got to watch it in the cinema. My city
had just four days of Celluloid, all sold out and for some inexplicable, higher reason
removed to accommodate a Hindi release. Will have to wait for the DVD release
now.Glad to know that you really, really liked the movie All the more reason to
wait for the disc release.The aspect of actor PU Chinnappas part in
Vigathakumarans life is also deeply circumspect, according to B Vijayakumar who
have elaborated on it here. With Manarcaud Mathews report in Manorama ( on
why he kept quiet for the past 4 decades is strange, and even more strange is the fact
that the Screen article by Chelangatt was published a good one month earlier than
the Manorama article in 1973 ! )Its truly getting bizarre by the day We will still keep
looking, exploring and collating. Actively pursuing the Australia angle. Hope
something comes through. Thanks , cm
Jayesh Sebastian
MARCH 1, 2013 @ 9:38 AM
Dear Narayan
I have the copy of Deepika on 27 Feb, but how to attach it here.?
cinematters
MARCH 1, 2013 @ 10:14 AM
Dear Jayesh,
Would it be possible to send it across at oldmalayalamcinema@gmail.com?
Thanks.
Vijayavardhan
JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 9:36 AM
Excellent post
Period!
REPLY
cinematters
JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 9:38 AM
Dear Vijay,
Welcome back ! Where had you disappeared ? Will call you today. Thanks.
REPLY

Blog at WordPress.com. | Theme: iTheme2 by Themify.

oldmalayalamcinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-debate-of-1928-vs-1930-chelangatt-gopalakrishnans-meticulous-research-weighed-against-a-handbill/

41/41