“Bhuvana Oru Kaelvi Kuri” – “Bhuvana A/One Question Mark!”
This movie released in 1977 and was directed by SP Muthuraman. Rajini who so far played negative roles with elan and oozing menace played the hero/saviour and Shivakumar one of the perennial good guy-type roles played the smooth talking villain. Sumithra played the eponymous Bhuvana and there were some melodious and meaningful numbers tuned by Illaiyaraja.
Shivakumar plays Nagaraj a womaniser, Rajini plays Sampath – road-side garment sellers living in Tirunelveli. The two are friends and Sampath is content in playing second foil to Nagaraj. On a trip to Madras they come across Muthu who is carrying a lot of money. Muthu dies of a cardiac arrest and Nagaraj flees with the money. Samapth remains powerless and despite some protests does nothing. Nagaraj uses the money to open a garment store. Bhuvana visits them seeking answers, Nagaraj denies knowing anything about the missing money. He also seduces her and impregnates her. As part of a business deal he marries a rich heiress and becomes a wealthy businessman.
Meanwhile Bhuvana does not abort the child and Sampath to save his friend’s honour marries Bhuvana. He brings up the child as his own. Bhuvana and Sampath lead a platonic life with Bhuvana placing Samapth on a God-like pedestal. The movie takes interesting twists and turns. Does Nagaraj get punished? Does Sampath manage to find a place of love in Bhuvana’s heart? Watch the movie for answers.
I leave you with a brilliant song from the movie –
This movie paved the way for Rajini to get roles as a hero and Shivakumar was appreciated for his villainous role. But it was Sumithra who brought out all the nervous energy, gullibility and pathos of a young woman blinded by love with great elan. Truly a great role and once again a pity that we do not see such strong women-oriented movies today!