Popular Tamil actress Devika was introduced to Malayalam cinema through Kaattupookkal , released on March 9, 1965. The film was produced and directed by K Thankappan, the popular South Indian dance director for Giri Movies. Jayanthi and Sujatha were the other actresses introduced through this film. Noted novelist Ponkunnam Varkey wrote script and dialogues for a story developed by the crew of Giri Movies.
Madhu, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Kottayam Chellappan, O.Madhavan, Adoor Bhasi, Adoor Pankajam, Philomina were some of those who essayed important roles.
Doctor Johny (Madhu) qualifies for a scholarship for higher studies abroad. His mother Theyyamma (Philomina) decides to conduct his marriage with Mary (Jayanthi), the elder daughter of Lonachan (O.Madhavan). Their betrothal takes place. Before the wedding Theyyamma comes to know that Mary is not Lonachan’s own daughter, but an orphan brought up by him. His own daughter is the younger one, Annie (Devika). Johny’s marriage with Mary is cancelled. Mary commits suicide out of shame and disappointment. The mental shock makes Lonachan sick and bedridden. Annie goes to the nearby town to attend an interview for a job. Lonachan dies when Annie was out of town.
Annie stayed at a convent where she meets an inmate Venu (Master Suresh). She takes pity for this disabled boy and takes him home with her. Annie becomes amma (mother) for him. She starts an orphanage in her house and called it Kaattupookkal . Annie’s uncle Thomachan (Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair) tries to marry off Annie with Thommikunju (Manavalan Joseph). But Annie refuses. Thomachan has an illicit relationship with Annamma (Sujatha), a servant in the orphanage and she becomes pregnant. Thomachan disowns her and Annamma leaves the place.
Johny returns home. He supports Annie’s orphanage. They fall in love. Once, while travelling together their car meets with an accident. Annie loses her eyesight. Johny takes her to Madras for a surgery. The operation is successful. At the hospital Annie meets Annamma. Annamma dies after giving birth to a child. Annie and Johny return home with Annamma’s new born baby.
Thomachan spreads rumours about Johny and Annie even saying that the child is theirs. Theyyamma curses Annie for spoiling the life of her son. Unable to withstand the false charges against her Annie commits suicide. Annamma’s brother (Nellikodu Bhaskaran) unfolds Thommachan’s cruelty. The film ends with the scene that shows Venu, accompanied by Johny, paying homage to Annie at her tomb.
The songs written by ONV Kurup were set to tune by Devarajan. Some of them like Manikya veenayumaayen… (K.J. Yesudas), Athappo chithirappooo … (P.Susheela), Deepam kaattuka neelaakasamey … (Susheela, Gomathi, L.R. Anjali), Kaattupookkal njangal …(P.Leela-chorus) andPuzhavakkil pullanimettil … (G. Devarajan, Leela, Anjali and chorus) are still popular.
Will be remembered : As the debut Malayalam film of Devika, Jayanthi and Sujatha, as the first film produced and directed by K. Thankappan, and for the music, especially for the memorable songMaanikya veenayumaayen …