A Tamil film that had aliens, spaceships, anti-gravity boots half a century ago

The scratchy black and white frame opens to a distant shot of a bullock cart rolling past fields of paddy. The hero manning the reins of the cart is Tamil cinema’s cultural icon, MGR, who merrily breaks into song. ‘Neelavaana pandhalin keezhe, nilamadandhai madiyin mele Kaladevan arasangam nadakudhada,’ (‘Under the blue skies and amidst the seas of the earth, the people are under the reign of the Lord of time) he sings. It’s an oddly on-point song, for a film more than half a century old that is ahead of its time in being one of the first examples of Tamil science fiction.

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