47 Natkal (Eng: 47 days) is a 1981 Indian Tamil language drama film directed by K. Balachander starring Chiranjeevi, Jayaprada, Sarath Babu and Ramaprabha. It was simultaneously made in Telugu as 47 Rojulu. Actress Saritha plays herself in a guest role. The film is based on the namesake novel by Sivasankari. It marked the Tamil debut for Chiranjeevi.
Actress Saritha comes to a small town to talk to Vaishali (Jayapradha), because she is about to play her in a film based on her life. Vaishali suffers from hysteria and angrily shuts out Saritha. The story is now told in flashback form, when Vaishali’s brother tells Saritha about her marriage to Kumar (Chiranjeevi), lasting for only 47 days. Kumar takes Vaishali to a country manor in a town 30 km away from Paris, France (Férolles). She does not know French or English. Kumar already has a French first wife Lucie (Anne Patricia) living there on the top floor. He deceives both his wives: He tells Vaishali that Lucy is a friend, while he tells Lucy that Vaishali is his sister. Eventually, Vaishali figures out his bigamy and wishes not to stay with him as his second wife/ mistress. She does not know of anyone who knows her language and who can help her escape.
Kumar tortures and threatens her to make her act as his mentally deranged sister. He treats her in a very sadistic manner unacceptable to any human in the world at all. He uses his cigarette to burn her fingers, burns her palm on the stove and takes her to watch a porn film since she did not want to sleep in the same bed as him. A pickpocket (Ramaprabha) sees Kumar abusing Vaishali and tells her about an Indian doctor named Shankar (Sarath Babu) who maybe able to help her. In the meantime, Vaishali becomes pregnant, and Kumar is afraid that Lucy will discover his deception. He tries to force Vaishali to have an unsafe and uncivil abortion. Dr. Shanker rescues her and tells Lucy everything about Kumar’s bigamy. Lucy ends their marriage by throwing her ring into the river. Dr. Shanker brings Vaishali back to India; she moves back in with her brother and mother. No mention is made as to what happened to her pregnancy and no baby is seen or heard. It is presumed that she may have later had an abortion, since she did not want to be connected to her ex-husband Kumar in any way whatsoever. When Saritha asks why she didn’t remarry (perhaps to her rescuer Dr. Shanker), Vaishali, clearly pissed off by the question, angrily replies that a woman does not always have to be married. However, she placates Saritha by saying that she wouldn’t mind if her character is shown as remarried in the film.
Directed by K. Balachander
Produced by R. Venkataraman
Written by K. Balachander
Story by Sivashankari
Starring Chiranjeevi, Jayaprada, Sarath Babu, Ramaprabha
Music by M. S. Viswanathan
Cinematography B. S. Loknath
Edited by N. R. Kittu
Production Premalaya Pictures
Distributed by Premalaya Pictures
Release date 17 July 1981