Iru Malargal- A Black and White poem on celluloid, one would say. Even after 40 years, it attracts you, absorbs you and makes it a compulsive view. It talks about a man caught in between his lady love and his devoted wife and the upheavals in his life due to that forms the basis of this film.
A Beautiful love saga in which NT (Sivaji Ganesan) and Padmini are studying together but they always fight. But NT is very much in love with Padmini and when they perform in a Dance - Drama competition at Madurai and later move on to Kodaikanal, he expresses the same. Padmini asks him to climb up a peak so that she will consider his love. NT suffers from Agoraphobia (fear of heights) and he feels giddy while climbing up and almost swoons down when Padmini realises the problem and she accepts his love. But love without problems is no love at all.
An incident is set to change their lives forever. Padmini's brother, an Army Major gets killed in a road accident along with his wife. Now there is no one except her who can take care of his three children. She decides to renounce her love and take care of the children. So she tells a lie so that NT doesn't come after her.
NT unaware of all these things is very upst and dejected. KRV takes care of him all the time which leads to the unpleasent incident of the bridegroom who comes to see her, accusing her of having a relationship with NT. That makes Nagaiah go wild and when NT realises how much his father and his cousin had suffered because of him decides to marry KRV. Many years pass and coincidently or as fate has planned, NTR and Padmini meet. Will NTR leave his wife and child for his lost love? What NT replies, paves the ending of the story. Of course no prizes for guessing. It is within the conventional cultural parameters but your heart feels for the lead characters.
As far as Sundar's character of Iru Malargal is concerned, NT gave out a solid but subdued performance. He portrays two different faces of the character. In the first half he is all agile and brings out a person madly in love with the girl of his liking. Second half shows him as a matured family man and a successful entrepreneur and later when he is torn between the two women, the turmoil he undergoes and how he expresses them.
The slim looking youngster starting off with the majestic Madhavi Pon Mayilal steals your heart. The gait, the pose he indulges in during the song all make you start liking the person. The way he climbs up the hill and his confession of the fear (again he proves he is beyond any hero as for as the image factor is concerned. Remember this was in 1967 when image mattered a lot). NT is at his best. Padmini carries out her role well but KRV as the all loving cousin initially and dedicated wife later surprises you with her performance without resorting to her customary melodramatic presentation which later came to be associated with her. Nagesh and Manorama provide the comic relief with Asokan making a brief appearance doing well.
Without going into the nuances of the music, one can easily tell that all the songs are ever-green hits. Again the art of Ventriquilosim had been used in 1967 itself in the song Maharaja oru Maharani song before it was used on a larger scale in Avargal 10 years later.
Overall, it is a pleasure watching Iru Malargal.