Fazil disclosed after 23 years who was the voice of Nagavalli

I am not burdened with any guilt Bhagyalakshmi responds to Nagavalli dubbing controversy
news Mollywood Monday, January 11, 2016 - 11:29

“Since I did not accept any awards for this movie –Manichitrathazhu- I don’t feel burdened with any sort of guilt. All those who lent their voices to the movie have their names included in the opening credit rolls. Why then was Durga’s name not in the rolls?”

This was how dubbing artist Bhagyalakshmi reacted to The News Minute after director Fazil disclosed that it was not her, but Tamil artists Durga who had dubbed for Shobana in her role as ‘Nagavalli’ in the iconic Malayalam movie ‘Manichitrathaazhu’.

With the credit for lending voice to the character coming 23 years later, Durga told Radio Mango 91.9, she had felt left out all these years.

For years, movie fans have assumed that Bhagyalakshmi was Nagavalli’s voice, and she too has done nothing to change that perception. So was that not injustice to Durga?

“I personally am not burdened with any sort of embarrassment, insult, guilt, sadness, “protest –nothing at all. I have long got over any such feelings in this regard. I’ve dubbed for more than 4000 movies. This was not my first film,” Bhagyalakshmi says.

“I’d also rather speak about this after completing the work on my documentary on the history of ‘Who is the first Malayalam dubbing artist?’ I really don’t want anything to now interfere with my focus on the same,” she concluded.

Director Fazil in a write-up "Ormapookal" for Malayalam weekly magazine -Manorama had said, “Bhagyalakshmi dubbed for Sobhana's character Ganga in the movie Manichitrathazhu, and it was she who dubbed for the character Nagavalli initially. But later Shekhar sir and others noticed similarities in the voice and pronunciation of words by Ganga and Nagavalli and. So the part of Nagavalli was later dubbed by Tamil dubbing artist Durga. However, we forgot to inform Bhagylakshmi then and for years she believed she gave voice-over for the hit dialogue."

The movie was a milestone in Malayalam cinema and Shobana went on to win the national award for her portrayal of two characters, Ganga and Nagavalli, in the movie.

Durga Sundarrajan is married to S Sundarrajan, a Tamil actor and director.

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