After a huge gap, snake films genre has revisited Kollywood with ‘Neeya 2’, a film that hit the screens last week with Jai, Raai Laxmi, Catherine Tresa and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar playing the lead roles.
Snake movies were once a huge hit in southern cinema and the recent success of television serials like ‘Naagini’ and ‘Nandhini’ proves the genre still holds the interest of the audience. This week, Mykollywood.com takes a trip down the memory lane to revisit snake films.
It is a 1979 film, starring Kamal Haasan in the lead role and directed by Durai. It is a remake of the Hindi film ‘Nagin’, itself inspired by François Truffaut’s film ‘The Bride Wore Black’, based on Cornell Woolrich’s novel of the same name.
The male lead role was first offered to Rajinikanth, he turned down offer as he wanted to work on solo hero scripts, later Kamal Haasan took the role for his friendship with Sripriya, who was also the producer of the movie.
‘Neeya’ is about an Ichadhari snake (Sripriya), who avenges the death of her beloved (Chandramohan). Kamal Haasan plays the role of a man who does research on snakes. The movie was a huge hit at the box office.
It is a 1992 Tamil language film, directed by Sripriya and produced by Girija. The film script was written by Sripriya. Music was by Shankar–Ganesh.
The film stars Rahman and Sripriya playing lead, with Rajani, Vagai Chandrasekhar, Vadivukkarasi, Gouthami and Radhika in supporting roles. It is a sequel to ‘Neeya’. The film was remade in Kannada as ‘Nagini’.
It is a 2001 film written and directed by Rama Narayanan. The movie featured Ramya Krishnan in the title role alongside Karan and Vadivelu, while Vivek plays a supporting role.
The film, which had music composed by S. A. Rajkumar, released in January 2001. It was dubbed in Hindi as ‘Naag Lok’. Lyrics were written by Muthulingham, Kalidasan and Pa Vijay.
‘Madhumathi’ is a 2004 film which featured Soundarya in lead role. She plays Madhumathi, who is a research scholar. Her thesis subject is a study on snakes.
The film is a blend of reality with myth about snakes along with Soundarya’s excellent performance. The story goes like this: Madhumathi submits a thesis that snakes are only poisonous reptiles and have no supernatural powers. Her professor (Sarath Babu) tells her about ‘naga sastram’ (science of snake) that is written by few priests a few centuries back.
That naga sastram is kept in Nallamalla forests with a snake protecting it round the clock. Madhumathi reaches Nallamalli forests and tries to procure Naga Sastram. In this process she encounters Swetha Nagu (white snake).
It is a 1974 film written, produced and directed by N S Manian. It is a remake of the Kannada film ‘Naagarahaavu’ (1972) which was based on three different novels written by T R Subba Rao: Nagarahavu, Ondu Gandu Eradu Hennu and Sarpa Mathsara.
The film stars Sreekanth, Major Sundarrajan, Manjula and Shubha. Manian also produced the film under Jagajothi Pictures, and wrote the screenplay.
Sreekanth’s role as the male lead Krishnamurthi was a departure from the villainous roles he was generally known for. The film’s title ‘Raja Nagam’, which means a king cobra, was intended to reflect Krishnamurthi’s nature. Cinematography was handled by Chandrasekharan and editing by R Devarajan.