|Produced by||A. V. Meiyappan|
|Written by||K. S. Gopalakrishnan (dialogues)|
|Based on||Maya Mruga by Nihar Ranjan Gupta|
|Music by||R. Sudarsanam|
|Cinematography||S. Maruthi Rao|
Annai (English: Mother) is a 1962 Indian Tamil drama film directed by Krishnan-Panju. The film features P. Bhanumathi, Sowcar Janaki in the lead roles, with S. V. Ranga Rao, J. P. Chandra Babu and P. Raja playing supporting roles. The plot revolves around the theme that the love of a foster mother can be even stronger than biological mother.
The film is a remake of the Bengali film Maya Mrigo (1960). The soundtrack album and background score were composed by R. Sudarshanam while the lyrics were written by Kannadasan and Kothamangalam Subbu.
Annai was released on 15 December 1962 to positive reviews from critics, with praise directed at the plot, the music and the performances from the lead actors. The film was also a commercial success, and had a theatrical run of 100 days. The film was dubbed in Telugu as Penchina Prema.
- P. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna as Savithri
- Sowcar Janaki as Seetha
- T. S. Muthiah as Gurusamy
- S. V. Ranga Rao
- P. Raja as Selvam
- Kumari Saraswathi as Sarasu
- J. P. Chandra Babu as Dayanidhi
- Nagesh in a cameo appearance
Nihar Ranjan Gupta's Bengali play Maya Mrigo was adapted into a film of the same name by Chitta Bose in 1960. The film's rights was acquired by A. V. Meiyappan to be made in Tamil. The film was titled Annai, named after the Tamil novel of same name which was translated from Russian novel The Mother by Maxim Gorky. Krishnan Panju was selected as the film's directors with KS Gopalakrishnan writing the film's dialogues.
Bhanumathi was not keen on acting in the role but later relented after being persuaded by three months. S. V. Ranga Rao never went for outdoor shooting as a policy. For a scene required for it, Rangarao refuse to come but later participated after being convinced by makers. The film was entirely shot at AVM Studios with miniature sets created for all scenes by the art director. During the making of the film, Panju's mother was terminally ill, she died even before he arrived. The song "Azhagiya Mithilai" was shot at Marina Beach Road, Chennai.
The soundtrack album and background score were composed by R. Sudarshanam while the lyrics were written by Kannadasan and Kothamangalam Subbu. Bhanumathi recorded the song "Poovagi Kaayagi" thrice as she "wanted the song to be best". The songs particularly "Azhagiya Mithilai" and "Buddhiyulla Manithan" were well received and became famous. Randor Guy wrote "Music [..] contributed to the impact of the film and some of the songs such as 'Azhagiya midhilai' became popular. [..] Another hit song, 'Butthiulla manidharellam vetrikanbadhillai' by Chandrababu was a great success and is still popular". G. Dhananjayan wrote that the film is widely popular for its songs.
- Buddhiyulla — Chandrababu
- Azhagiya Mithilai — PB Srinivas, Susheela
- Poovagi — Bhanumathi
- O Pakk Pakkum
- Oru Oorile
- Annai Enbaval
- Certificate of Merit for Second Best Feature film at the 10th National Film Awards.
- Rashtrapati Award - S. V. Ranga Rao
- Rashtrapati Award- P. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna
The film was released on 15 December 1962 with a final reel length of 4,343 metres (14,249 ft) and were given a "U" (Universal) certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification with a runtime of 150 minutes. The film was a commercial success and ran for 100 days. G. Dhananjayan in his book Pride of Tamil cinema wrote that it was "a poignant tale on mother's love. The sentiment that the biological mother's love is greater was broken in the film and illustrated how even an adopted mother can shower love more than biological mother". Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan dated 6 January 1963 appreciated the film and mentioned the film stating that "one does not get the feeling of watching a film instead a real life and emphatise with characters". Randor Guy of The Hindu wrote that the film was remembered for "its emotion-drenched story, brilliant performances by Bhanumathi, Sowcar Janaki and Ranga Rao, pleasing music and deft direction".
AVM remade the film in Hindi as Laadla (1966) with Nirupa Roy playing Bhanumathi's character. Nirupa Roy watched the Tamil film multiple times and wrote a letter to Bhanumathi praising her performance. Hindi version failed at the box office.
- Dhananjayan 2014, p. 165.
- Dhananjayan 2014, p. 166.
- Randor Guy (16 January 2009). "Annai 1962". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
- Dhananjayan 2014, p. 167.
- "10th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- Sanmana Satkaralu, Viswa Nata Chakravarti, M. Sanjay Kishore, Sangam Akademy, Hyderabad, 2005, pp: 65.
- Dhananjayan 2014, p. 166,167.