Pattinathar is a 1936 Indian Tamil mythological film written and directed by T. C. Vadivelu Nayakar and Produced by M. T. Rajan. Music by Gopal Shara assets to the film. The film starring M. M. Dandapani Desikar played titled role with V. N. Sundaram, D. R. Muthulakshmi, T. K. Rukmini, M. S. Radhabai and P. G. Venkatesan played portraying supporting role. The film was a major success, ran for 25 weeks and established Desikar as an excellent singer – actor on the ladder of success.Pattinathar is about saint who lived in Kaveripoompattinam, his closeness to Lord Shiva and the miracles he performed.
Pattinathar was subject made thrice in Tamil Cinema. The first version was made in 1935 by Lotus Pictures with C. S. Sundaramoorthy Odhuvaar as the saint, the Second was made in 1936 by Vel Pictures with M. M. Dandapani Desikar (this film) and it was made again in 1962 with T. M. Soundararajan as the saint. In those days, only actors trained in theatre were given roles in films, but occasionally, good musicians were also given opportunities when the film demanded good singing from actors M. M. Dandapani Desikar, a musician well versed in Thevaram recitals, was picked to play eponymous hero.
The film about Pattinathar, the saint who lived in the 10th Century in Kaveripoompattinam. Lord Shiva, on the report of Dharmavathi about the atrocities committed by men in the world, sends Kubera from Kailas to be born as Thiruvengadar at Kaveripoompattinam. At the age 20, Thiruvengadar, marries Sivakalai and leads a happy and pious life with her, expect that they are childless. Siva Sarama, a poor Brahmin of Tiruvadamarudur, finds a child under a Bilva tree and presents the child named Maruthavanan to Thiruvengadar, who offers gold equal to the child’s weight to the temple and brings him up as his son. When Marudhavanan is 16 years old, he goes on a pleasure trip on a boat and encounters a big fish. By his touch, Maruthavanan ends the curse of the Gandharva(cursed to be the monster fish). Maruthavanan goes on voyage with Merchandise and returns with only a box and two bags of sand.
Opening the box, his father Thiruvengadar finds only three Cow Dung Cakes, which he throws away in disgust. To his astonishment, precious stones gleam through the broken cakes and the sand bags hold gold dust. He rushes in to see his son Marudhavanan(who is Lord Shiva himself), who has disappeared mysteriously, leaving only a small bbox with his mother Sivakalai. Thiruvengadar finds eye – less needle and a scroll in the box. On reading the scroll, realisation of eternal truth and teaching of life dawn on him and he renounces all his worldly possessions. Poignant scenes take place on his exit from his house as an ascetic. Thereafter, Thiruvengadar becomes Pattinathar and leads the life of a mendicant living on alms. Meenakshi, his elder sister, feeling that the dignity of her family will suffer by his conduct, decides to kill him by giving him a poisoned cake. Discovering her plot through divine grace, he throws it on the roof of her house which catches fire immediately. But the miraculous fire extinguished by him hen she begs his pardon and Pattinathar goes on his way.
He also performs the cremation of his deaf mother by placing her on a pyre of plantain stems: by divine grace, it catches fire and she get cremated. Thereafter, Pattinathar leaves the city of his birth and wanders from place to place. One night, feeling hungry, he peeps into a hut. The villagers mistakes him for a thief and beats him. Deciding not to beg for alms in future, he goes to a lonely Ganesha Temple in the jungle and sits behind the idol for meditation. A band of robbers returning from a successful loot of King Badragiri’s palace, throw a necklace at the idol as their offering. It accidentally fall on Pattinathar’s neck as he is sitting behind the idol. He gets arrested by the King’s sentries for having the stolen necklace.
He is taken to the king, who orders his execution on the spike, but the spike catches fire. King Badragiri thereupon abdicates his crown in favour of his son. At his ardent request, Saint Pattinathar accepts the king as a disciple and orders him to report at Tiruvadamarudur. At Tiruvadamarudur, Pattinathar and his disciple station themselves at the eastern and the western gates of the temple, till years later Badragiri attains salvation. After visiting various saivite shrines, Pattinathar comes to Tiruvottiyur at the behest of Lord Shiva. At Tiruvottiyur beach, he requests some Yaadhava youths to cover him with a big mud pot. The boys accede to his wish. On opening the pot, they are stunned to find a Sivalinga(Lord Shiva’s image), instead of the sage. Meantime, Sivakalai, Pattinathar’s wife sees a vision of him at Tiruvottiyur, about to attain salvation. By divine grace she becomes a bilva tree by the side of the Sivalingam and thereby attains salvation.
Directed by T. C. Vadivelu Nayakar
Produced by M. T. Rajan
Written by T. C. Vadivelu Nayakar
Screenplay by T. C. Vadivelu Nayakar
Story by T. C. Vadivelu Nayakar
Starring M. M. Dandapani Desikar, V. N. Sundaram, D. R. Muthulakshmi, T. K. Rukmini
Music by Gopal Sharma
Cinematography K. Ramnoth
Distributed by Vel Pictures
Release dates 1936
Running time 5, 485 ft