Parasakthi (English: The Goddess) is a 1952 Indian Tamil movie directed by R. Krishnan and S. Panju. The film stars Sivaji Ganesan in his acting debut, along with S. V. Sahasranamam, S. S. Rajendran, Sriranjani Jr., and Pandari Bai. It was jointly produced by National Pictures and AVM Productions and is based on a stage drama of the same name, written by Pavalar Balasundaram. The film narrates the misfortunes that befall the members of a Tamil family during World War II, and how the members face their individual fate and reunite at the end.
The screenplay and dialogues for Parasakthi were written by Karunanidhi, who would later become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The film’s soundtrack was composed by R. Sudarsanam. Parasakthi was released on 17 October 1952, during the festive occasion of Diwali, and faced controversies because of its portrayal of Brahmins and Hindu customs and practices in poor light. The elitarian society including the then ruling State government even demanded the film to be banned.
Despite these protests, the film was critically acclaimed, with praise directed towards its dialogues and the actors’ performances in particular. The film also become a commercial success, and had a theatrical run of over 175 days. Parasakthi also acquired cult status in Tamil cinema and became a trendsetter for dialogues and acting for later Tamil films.
Directed by R. Krishnan & S. Panju
Produced by P. A. Perumal Mudaliar & A. V. Meiyappan
Screenplay by Karunanidhi
Based on Parasakthi by Pavalar Balasundaram
Starring Sivaji Ganesan, S. V. Sahasranamam, S. S. Rajendran, Sriranjani Jr., Pandari Bai
Music by R. Sudarsanam Background score: Saraswathi Stores Orchestra
Cinematography S. Maruti Rao
Edited by S. Panju (Punjabi)
Distributed by National Pictures
Release dates 17 October 1952
Running time 170 minutes