Poompavai (1944): writing about a non-extant film text

This paper talks about a film text that is not extant. Poompavai, released in 1944 is one among the early films of the 1930s and 1940s that have been lost in course of time. While it is quite improper to write about a film without watching it, this paper attempts to give a rough account of the film by considering what remains in terms of secondary materials. These materials would include the songs of the film recorded in gramophone plates, the songbook published during the time of the release of the film and journalistic write-ups on the film. Incidentally, in this case, we have certain secondary materials on the two lyricists, Kambadasan and Madurai Mariyappa Samikal, who wrote songs for the film, in the form of biographies. However, the major portion of the paper would deal with the original version of the story found in the twelfth-century puranic epic Periya Puranam and the ways in which the plot of the film deviates from it.


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