Oli Vilakku (Eng: Shining Lamp) is a 1968 Indian Tamil-language action film, directed by Tapi Chanakya and produced by S. S. Vasan. It is a remake of the Hindi-language film Phool Aur Patthar (1966). The film stars M. G. Ramachandran (in his 100th film), Jayalalithaa and Sowcar Janaki, with S. A. Ashokan, Manohar, Cho and V. S. Raghavan in supporting roles. It was released on 20 September 1968, and was one of the most successful Tamil films of the year, and became a turning point in Ramachandran’s career.
Muthu is a career criminal who works for Master Jambu along with his girlfriend Geetha. Who becomes friends with Kadri, another petty thief. Due to his repetitive crimes, the court orders him to stay in a small town for six months. But, two days before his release, he escapes. Master Jambu gives him another job to rob a safe full of gold from the rich. When a plague empties Maanggudi of its inhabitants; Muthu takes the opportunity to burgle a house. He finds nothing except Shanti. A widowed daughter-in-law which the cruel relatives left her to die. Pannaiyar Paramsivam, his wife, and their son, Somu. Shanti has married off when she was four years old to a boy of five years old. But the boy dies soon after. Muthu brings a local village doctor, Kannaiyah, and nurses her back to health. When her relatives return, they are not pleased to find her alive. And even less pleased to discover that someone has tried to rob them. Shanti gets the blame and a beating as they suspect her of having an affair with thief, Muthu. Somu, Pannaiyar Paramasivam’s other son, tries to rape Shanti. Muthu saves her from this and the pair flee, with help of Kadri, who treats Shanti as her sister. They set up home in Muthu’s house. Much to the displeasure of the respectable neighbours, who are all too ready to think the worst. Shanti’s relatives feel dismayed when a lawyer arrives to announce that Shanti’s uncle, has left a legacy for 500,000 rupees. They hatch a plot to get her back. By making false police report that Muthu kidnapped Shanti and stole their gold. This is overheard by the Kannaiyah who happens to pass by to visit Shanti and Muthu.
Muthu approaches Master Jambu to borrow money. Yet, Jambu sedates him. Geetha assists with hesitation, Master Jambu. Fearing that they may lose Muthu. Then, Kannaiyah steals the gold from Pannaiyar Paramasivam, which Kadhri learns of. Meanwhile, Shanti appears as a local prostitute by the local neighbours. Which enrages Muthu, culminating in an assault by him on one of the neighbours. Shanti pacifies Muthu and Muthu reforms to be a good man. One day, Somu notices Muthu with Geetha. Somu, with the help of police, chase both of them but they escape. Somu meets the commissioner and both of them then go to see Muthu and Shanti. But, Kadri, disguised as Shanti, saves them. Shanti persuades both Kadri and Muthu to reform. Master Jambu learns that Muthu reforms through Shanti. He persuades Muthu to steal a diamond necklace worth 2 million. Muthu, with hesitation, agrees that the robbery will be his last in exchange for his freedom. Master Jambu reveals that about three years ago, while he was committing a bank robbery, Muthu tried to stop them and saw the robbery. Yet, he cannot prove this to the court due to his past criminal history. Muthu came out after one year from his jail sentence. He works with the commissioner to nab the real culprits, but is foolen by Master Jambu. Master Jambu then traps Muthu into his gang, by playing drama. Geetha, through accident, kills Master Jambu gang member Rathnam to save Muthu. Yet, Rathnam is still alive and both Muthu and Geetha believe that Rathnam is dead. The rest of the story follows how Muthu escapes from Master Jambu’s gang, and Shanti and Geetha’s fate.
Directed by Tapi Chanakya
Screenplay by Sornam (dialogues)
Based on Phool Aur Patthar by O. P. Ralhan
Produced by S. S. Vasan
Starring M. G. Ramachandran, Jayalalithaa, Sowcar Janaki
Cinematography U. Rajagopal
Edited by M. Umanath
Music by M. S. Viswanathan
Production Gemini Studios
Distributed by Jothi Pictures
Release date 20 September 1968
Running time 164 minutes