I didn’t like Aadhavan, and I gave a critical review of the movie. The critical examination started immediately after the film, and my friends were criticising me that I am expecting too much from a masala movie. Chinmaya, my friend, asked over a Chicken at KFC, “So tell me which is a perfect masala”. I immediately sprung up and said Enga Veetu Pillai. He snubbed and said “the MGR movie? That’s an old one man”. I just smiled and said “Absolutely no. Take any double-action movie in any language barring a few exceptions like Vaali; you will have the same storyline as this film. Even the re-runs of “Enga Veetu Pillai” made more money than the so called masalas of recent times.”

I don’t hate masala movies, in fact, I love them because it depicts the true Indian movie style. A perfect masala should be enjoyable and should not be boring at any point in time. Glorifying Heroes – perfectly fine as long as the hero is Rajini. So here comes the mother of all masala Tamil movie of all times – “Enga Veetu Pillai.”

Enga Veetu Pillai (1965)

Enga Veetu Pillai is a remake of Ramadu Bheemadu, a Telegu Movie starring NT Ramarao (Doh, why a remake in the list? but there is a difference). Nagi Reddi, the famous Telugu film producer and the owner of Vijaya Productions produced this movie in Telugu, and as it became a big hit, he remade this movie with minor changes to suit MG Ramachandran’s image in Tamil. It became a blockbuster in Tamil and still remembered.

Incidentally, the original is not an original too as it borrowed the storyline from Alexander Dumas’ Corsican Brothers. Enga Veetu Pillai is about twin brothers Ramu and Ilango (MGR) separated at birth due to a family problem. Ramu, grown as innocent and spineless by his uncle, Narendran (MN Nambiar), who is also Ramu’s Sister’s (Pandari Bai) husband. Narendran is waiting for Ramu’s 25th birthday to swindle the family property as written in the will of Ramu’s father. Ilango, on the other hand, is a spendthrift and happy-go-lucky guy lives with his step-mom (later revealed).

enga veetu pillai enga veetu pillai

Leela (Saroja Devi) initially chosen as the bride for Ramu dislikes him as she finds him cowardly but then meets Ilango, mistakes him to be Ramu and unknowingly helps him to swap places with Ramu in Narendran’s house. Ilango, realising the plight of people in the house, stays there and teaches a lesson to Narendran. Ramu, on the other hand, lives peacefully at Ilango’s house and falls in love with a village girl. The confusions and mix-ups unroll, and at the end, everyone finds the past, and all ends well.

Enga Veetu Pillai was directed by Tapi Chanakya with Music from MS Viswanathan – Ramamurthy and produced by Nagi Reddi under Vijaya Productions Banner. The cast includes MGR, Saroja Devi, Pandari Bai, MN Nambiar, SV Rangarao, Nagesh and Thangavelu.

Why is it so Special?

1. A perfect masala movie made in the Indian style with all the ingredients in right measures. Glorious music, hilarious comic scenes, well-made action sequences with the right dose of sentimental sequences

2. The music of the movie is still revered. Kumari Pennin Ullathile, Naan Maan Thoppil are classics, and of course, the best hero worship song ever made “Naan Aanai Ittal”. The song is perfectly choreographed for the lyrics of Vaali. The picture of MGR with the whip and hands spread is a long lasting image of Tamil Cinema and politics.

3. The comic scenes of Thangavelu, Nagesh, SV Rangarao and MGR. Nagesh, as a stammering assistant of MGR and Thangavelu as the assistant of Nambiar, were equally hilarious. The facial expression of Thangavelu when Ilango hits Narendran for the first time shows it all.

4. If the supporting cast especially Saroja Devi and Pandari Bai were impressive, Nambiar as the evil uncle was fantabulous. I always believe that the Villain has to be strong because the people will love it only when the Hero prevails over the most potent evil. I think Nambiar would have been the most hated villain of all times. In this movie, he even hits MGR with the whip during the opening scenes, and it’s unimaginable how audiences would have reacted in theatres.

5. MGR, the man. In fact, this movie also gave him space to act, as the cowardly Ramu he scores full marks and Ilango is his usual characterisation which you see in most of his films. I can only reiterate one fact – he is the best brand manager I have ever known. He was aware of the ways engineer success and follow it up with a bigger accomplishment in political life.

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Naan Anai Ittal
Naan Anai Ittal from Enga Veetu Pillai is the greatest hero-worship song ever to be picturised in Tamil cinema.

Why is it on the list?

1. One of the biggest trendsetters in Tamil Movies. I can’t count the number of movies taken with the same story line. From the trash copy called Vani Rani (which even has a similar whipping scene like the one in Enga Veetu Pillai) to one of the recent hits of Surya – Vel, all the double-action movies have been made with Enga Veetu Pillai in mind.

2. One of the biggest blockbusters in Tamil cinema and continues to be a hit even on reruns.

3. As I said, the perfect masala movie of all times which has all the ingredients rightly mixed in apt proportions


1. Ramadu Bheemadu was released in 1964, and there was a Hindi remake of the same movie called Ram Aur Shyam with Dilip Kumar (I don’t know how he would have suited such a storyline). It didn’t do well at the box office. All the movies were directed and produced by the same team of Tapi and Nagi Reddi.

2. “Naan Aanaiyittal” was originally written as “Naan Arasan Yendral, Naan Aandu Vittal” but MGR made Vaali change the lyrics to the current version as he felt it would hurt the sentiments of DMK leaders. Eventually, he left DMK to start ADMK and as they say the rest is history. Even now, ADMK uses the song for every election campaign.

3. The song became so famous that there was a movie released as Naan Aanaiyital in 1966 with MGR in the lead.

4. One of the songs in Puthiya Bhoomi starts as “Naan ungal veetu pillai”, such is the iconic status of Enga Veetu Pillai.

5. Vijaya Productions is one of the legendary producers of movies in South India. Nagi Reddi setup the Asia’s biggest studios at that time Vijaya Vahuni studios (now Vijaya Hospital, Forum Vijaya Mall and Green Park Hotel). Known for movies like Patala Bhairavi, Maya Bazaar, Enga Veetu Pillai (Ramudu Bheemadu) and Julie. He also started the Andhra Jyothi newspaper and Chandamama (now owned by Geodesic Information Systems), children’s magazine. Vijaya Productions stopped producing movies since 1982 and have come back into production with Ajith’s Veeram (2014).


  1. Many shades like a rainbow – Reminiscences of B Nagi Reddi

YouTube link of Enga Veetu Pillai

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Enga Veetu Pillai
Enga Veetu Pillai is the most perfect masala movie in Tamil cinema with MGR in the lead. This post is part of 50 best Tamil movies list


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Posted by Sylvian

Marketing Analyst by profession, a quizzer by passion, a blogger by choice, a poet by chance, a non-conformist by gene and a rebel by birth


  1. It is one of my favourite movies – I saw it as a rerun in New Elphinstone in 1967, and became a hard core MGR fan. Loved the songs which I had heard when I was a student in Delhi. After coming to Madras when I got married, I saw the movie just for its songs, but discovered so many other features in it, all of which you have covered nicely. The whipping scene came so unexpectedly, and my reaction then still surprises me. Raji Muthukrishnan


    1. Another fantastic nostalgic moment from you Aunty. I think this the best masala movie to come in Tamil. It is so perfect with all the ingredients rightly mixed in right proportions


  2. I was unable to find her name till now..If you get her name or whereabouts of her please do inform…Thats the irony of Tamil Movie world…


  3. her name is Rathna, but not sure if she ever acted again. What happened to the rest of the list?


  4. Thanks for the write on Enga Veetu Pillai, regarding the other herione Rathna she acted in other MGR movies also like Thozhilali and Ithyakani. Her final film with MGR is Ithayakani.


  5. Rathna is the daughter of G. Varalakshmi (Mayakkum maalai pozhudhae song from Gulebakavali and the mother-in-law in Kuzhandhaiyum Deivamum)..


    1. Wow. Thanks for the info 🙂


    2. You must enjoy the duet in the movie Thozhilali- Enna Koduppai…Enna Koduppai. Very cute & Chemistry between the partners. For reasons unknown Rathna was not popular in movies.


  6. I love the shot where two different reactions of Ramu and Ilango are shown in the same frame when they hear that there was a thief. (This particular scene ensues the hotel scene)


  7. Some people utter that MGR can not act nicely. That opinion is negated in each and every frame of MGR s appearance in Enga Veettu Pillai


  8. simon sinnasamy sandanam May 4 at 9:08 pm

    mgr is telling us how to live a life


  9. […] Then he wrote lyrics to many of the MGR films and he has a keen role in building the image for MGR as the saviour of the poor. When one talks about the songs of MGR it is impossible to miss the song Naan Aanayittal from Enga Veetu Pillai. The image of MGR with the whip in the hand and subtle reference of portraying him as symbol of downtrodden has reached crores of people. Vaali’s lyrics added the much needed flavour and tone to the song to make a symbol. I consider this movie to be one of the best commercial movie ever made. You can see the review of the movie in Sylvianism. […]


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