Balan - Movie Synopsis
Balan (Malayalam)is a 1938 Malayalam film directed by S. Nottani. It was the first talkie in Malayalam. Based on the short storyVidhiyum Mrs. Nayarum by A. Sundaram, its screenplay and dialogues are written by Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai. The film is a melodrama and was the first movie in this genre in Malayalam. It is produced by T. R. Sundaram of Modern Theatres, Salem. The film, which stars K. K. Aroor, Master Madanagopal, M. V. Shanku, K. Gopinath, Alleppey Vincent, C. O. N. Nambiar, M. K. Kamalam, K. N. Lakshmi, Baby Malathi, A. B. Pious and Subhadra, is about the struggle of two orphaned children. German cinematographer Bado Gushwalker handles the camera while Varghese does the editing. Its music is composed by K. K. Aroor and Ibrahim. There are overall 23 songs in the film.
The film was a mile stone in Malayalam film history, not only for being the first talkie, but also for being one of the first commercially successful films. Through the film, Alleppey Vincent became the first "speaking person" of Malayalam cinema, K. K. Aroor the first "speaking hero" and M. K. Kamalam the first "speaking heroine". "Hello Mister" was the first recorded sound, which was in the voice of Alleppey Vincent.
Not even a single frame from the footage of this film is available now. What is left of this film are a few stills from the film and the songs book.
Balan (Master Madanagopal) and Sarasa (Baby Malathi), are children of Dr. Govindan Nair (M. V. Shanku) by his first wife. Meenakshi (K. N. Lakshmi), the second wife, tortures Balan and Sarasa. She even hatches a plot to kill them and take over the entire wealth of Nair. Meenakshi is severely punished by Nair when he comes to know of her motives. Nair dies of heart attack. Meenakshi marries a wicked city wastrel Kittu Panicker (K. Gopinath). Balan and Sarasa flee from home as a result.
Barrister Prabhakara Menon (C. O. N. Nambiar) gives refuge to Balan and Sarasa and brings them up as his own children. In the will executed by Nair before his death, all his wealth is assigned to Meenakshi on condition that she take care of his children.
When Meenakshi and Kittu Panicker come to know about the stipulations in the will, they trace out the children. Kittu Panicker kidnaps the children from Prabhakara Menon’s home. Shanku (Alleppey Vincent) comes to know about the plans of Meenakshi and Kittu Panciker and rescues the children. He uses them in street shows. Balan and Sarasa escape from Shanku. Sarasa is taken away by a labour contractor while Balan is asleep. She is forced to work in an estate. Sarasa (M. K. Kamalam) grows up here. Balan (K. K. Aroor) also reaches the same estate as a labourer. This estate is owned by Barrister Prabhakara Menon.