Bama Vijayam (English: Bama’s Visit) is a 1967 Tamil film directed by K. Balachander. It is a family story narrated as a full-length comedy. The film features an ensemble cast including Sowcar Janaki, Rajasree, Kanchana, Jayanthi, Sachu, R. Muthuraman, Nagesh, Major Sundarrajan, Srikanth along with T. S. Balaiah. Music is by M. S. Viswanathan.
A middle-class joint family is living happily run by the responsible father Ethiraj, a retired headmaster. He has three sons – Maheshwaran, Raman, and Krishnan. Maheswaran is a Hindi professor, married to Parvathi and they have 5 children. Raman, a clerk in high-court is married to Sita and they have two children. Krishnan, a medical representative is married to Rukmani. Apart from them, Sumathi, the younger sister of Sita also stays in the same house, as she is pursuing higher studies in the same city. Though it’s a joint family, the father has set up his three sons in three different portions in the same house, and takes turns to eat in each of his son’s house, to avoid any possibility of problems between them. The sons give their salaries to their father, and all the financial matters are dealt by him efficiently. He is respected and feared by everyone in the family. Wrong-doers in the household are made to stand on a bench by him as punishment.
Meanwhile, a popular film actress Bama moves into the bungalow next to their house. The three daughters-in-law & the sons meet her while they’re all in the terrace, and try to make friends with her. Bama is very polite, and accepts their invitation to come to their house on 16th of that month. Now, the three ladies in the house start making fuss about the condition of their house, saying that they do not have enough facilities in their house to show to Bama that there are well-off. The husbands try to convince them but they force their husbands to agree to whatever they ask. Eventually the men give in and start buying things for their own houses. They paint the house, get stuff like radio, fan, sofa, for their own portions.
The father tries in vain to make everyone understand that they should live for themselves within their standards. They get all the things for the house – a few for rent, a few for installment, and also borrow money with a high interest rate. They even go to the extent of hiring a male servant to stay in the house. The ladies start arguing whose portion should Bama visit first when she comes to their house. Finally, Parvathi makes the other two ladies agree by showing a diamond necklace that she borrowed from her friend. They decide to pass the necklace through the windows so that Bama would think that everyone has diamond necklaces.
On the day of Bama’s visit, Parvathi decides to lock three of her five children inside a room, so that Bama wouldn’t know that she is old enough to have 5 kids. Sita sees this, and she decides to hide her spectacles, so that Bama wouldn’t guess her age too. When Bama arrives, she goes to Sita’s portion first. Sita has to go and get the diamond necklace from Parvathi. Meanwhile, Raman tells Bama about his and his brothers’ jobs. When Sita comes, she lies to Bama that Raman is an advocate in high court, to which both Bama and Raman look surprised. Bama asks Sita what the time is, but Sita can’t see the time in her wrist watch without the spectacles. Parvathi sees this and laughs.
Later when Bama goes to Parvathi’s portion, Parvathi lies that her husband is college principal. When she tells that she has only two children, Sita lets the other three kids out of the locked room. Bama thinks that the kids are orphans, and Parvathi, who doesn’t know English, agrees that the kids are orphans. Sita makes fun of this. Finally, when Bama arrives at Krishnan’s part of the house, she gets a spectacular welcome with red carpet, flowers and her favourite drinks. They even take a few snaps with her.
The ladies are amazed by Bama’s simplicity like glass bangles, her politeness. Even then they don’t take a cue, but they show-off too much in front of her. They keep meeting her for picnics in her shooting spots. Krishnan gets an installment car for the ladies to roam, Raman gets telephone connection through’ his office citing his father’s “illness”, which the ladies use to talk to Bama every day. The three men gradually get close to Bama, and this angers their wives.
After a series of humorous incidents, the false news of Maheshwaran having illegal contact with Bama is published in a newspaper, thus leading to more trouble. However, after some time, the publisher apologizes for it and decides to make it a denied rumour and it all ends well for everyone.
Directed by K. Balachander
Produced by M. S. Kasi
Written by K. Balachander
Starring Sowcar Janaki, Rajasree, Kanchana, Jayanthi, Sachu, R. Muthuraman, Nagesh, Major Sundarrajan, Srikanth, T. S. Balaiah
Music by M. S. Viswanathan
Cinematography P. N. Sundaram
Edited by N. R. Kittu
Production Manohar Pictures
Distributed by Manohar Pictures
Release dates 24 February 1967
Running time 152 minutes