Alaigal Oivathillai

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Alaigal Oivathillai
Alaigal Oivathillai poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byP. Bharathiraja
Produced byR. D. Bhaskar
Screenplay byP. Bharathiraja
Story byManivannan
Music byIlaiyaraaja
CinematographyB. Kannan
Edited byR. Bhaskaran
Pavalar Creations
Distributed byPavalar Creations
Release date
18 July 1981
Running time
139 minutes

Alaigal Oyivathillai (lit. Waves don't cease) is a 1981 Indian Tamil-language romance film directed by P. Bharathiraja. The film stars debutant actors Karthik and Radha in the lead roles. The movie was a blockbuster and Ilaiyaraja's music and songs were highly praised. The story and dialogues written by veteran writer and director Manivannan. The film became a cult classic. The film received eight Tamil Nadu State Film Awards.


Vichu (Karthik) belongs to a poor Hindu family in coastal Tamil Nadu. Vichu's mother (Kamala Kamesh) teaches music to make a living. Then comes Mary (Radha), the sister of a rich, influential man David (Thiagarajan), who returns home a year after pursuing her education in the city . Mary starts learning music from Vichu's mother, and after a series of interesting events, Vichu and Mary fall in love with each other. David's wife Elissy (Silk Smitha) hears about this and strictly forbids Mary from having any dealings with Vichu. However things start getting worse when Vichu and his friends officially ask David for Mary's hand in marriage. Enraged, David thrashes Mary and arranges her wedding with another man. He also violently injures Vichu and tries to kill him. Despite all the odds against them, Vichu assures Mary that just as the waves do not cease, their love for each other will also never cease, thus the name of the movie "Alaigal Oivathillai". How the lovers unite braving all the obstacles is what makes the rest of the movie.

The movie also conveys subtle hints of power-play in villages and class/caste/religious barriers that divide and even oppress those deemed lower in status. David is shown as a rapist, who cleanly gets away with raping his maid with Elissy's tacit support, when she stood "guard" and tried to divert the maid's husband from realizing what was going on. The rape victim and her husband, knowing David's power and influence in the village, realize that it was futile to confront him and except for a sarcastic comment, otherwise quietly left without making a scene. Except for Elissy's soft attempts to make him regret while expressing her personal remorse, nothing more was said about the rape, but in a show of hypocrisy, David the rapist himself later proclaims morality and Christian values, in an attempt to prevent his sister Mary from marrying Vichu.



Karthik, son of actor Muthuraman and newcomer Radha made their acting debuts with this film.[1][2] When Muthuraman asked Karthik if he would accept the film, Karthik readily agreed without giving it a second thought.[3] Suresh was initially approached for the lead role but he opted to do Paneerpushpangal.[4][5] Bharathiraja had also contemplated casting Murali in the lead role, but did not do so.[6] Thiagarajan, who worked as regional manager of Polydor made his acting debut with the film.[7]

The script for the film was written by Manivannan, one of the assistants in the film. Manobala who was one of the assistants in the film recalled that director Bharathiraja asked assistants to make a set with swaying lotuses for the song ‘Ayiram Thamarai'. He and Manivannan ran from pillar to post to get it ready. They peeled off a plantain sheath and stuck lotus stems to it then both of them raised and swayed the lotus flowers from underwater. As no instruction was given, they remained in the water and finally when they came out, the crew had already left.[8]


The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja while he wrote the lyrics alongside Vairamuthu and Gangai Amaran. The songs from the film remains famous till date. The song "Putham Pudhu Kaalai" was later reworked for Megha (2014).[9][10] The song was also reused as "Halke Se Bole" in Hindi film Paa (2009).[11] Also, that tune was directly lifted for making the song 'Vellichillum Vithari', in a Malayalam film named Ina (1982). The song "Kadhal Oviyam" was reused as "Meri Zindagi" in Hindi film Aur Ek Prem Kahani (1996).[12] The song "Aayiram Thamarai" was reused in Vaigai (2009).[13][14] Unfortunately, the starting of this song "Aaiyram Thamarai" in the Tamil version has a sound mixing/recording flaw that can ben observed easily listening through headphone compared to the telgu version. The song "Vaadi En" was remixed by Dhina in Sandai (2008).[15]

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 "Ayiram Thamarai" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki Vairamuthu 04:30
2 "Darisanam Kidaikatha (Female)" S. Janaki Ilaiyaraaja 01:12
3 "Darisanam Kidaikatha (Male)" Ilaiyaraaja 01:50
4 "Kadhal Oviyam" Ilaiyaraaja, Jency Vairamuthu 04:38
5 "Kadhal Oviyam 2" Ilaiyaraaja, Jency 01:51
6 "Lambodhara" S. Janaki Ilaiyaraaja 00:53
7 "Putham Pudu Kalai" S. Janaki Gangai Amaran 04:34
8 "Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa" Guruvayoor Ponnammal, S. Janaki Ilaiyaraaja 02:03
9 "Thothiram Padiye" Ilaiyaraaja, Sasi Rekha 00:47
10 "Vadi En Kappa Kelange" Ilaiyaraaja, Gangai Amaran, Bhaskaran, Jency Gangai Amaran 04:45
11 "Vazhvellam Anandame" Ilaiyaraaja, S. Janaki Ilaiyaraaja 01:27
12 "Vizhiyil Vizhundu" Ilaiyaraaja, Sasi Rekha Vairamuthu 04:03


Tamil Nadu State Film Awards

Popular culture[edit]

The film was included by Behindwoods in the list "Top 20 Best Love Stories in Tamil".[16] In a comedy scene from Chinna Pasanga Naanga (1992), Goundamani sings "Vaadi En" in gibberish lyrics trying to pass off as his own tune but Senthil identifies the song.[17] In Saroja (2008), when Premji Amaren dreams about any girl he meets, the song "Aayiram Thamarai" will be running in background.[18]


The film was remade in Telugu as Seethakoka Chiluka by Bharathiraaja himself with Karthik and Aruna Mucherla in the lead. It was also remade in Hindi as Lovers with Kumar Gaurav and Padmini Kolhapure. For the Hindi remake, music was provided by RD Burman.


  1. ^ "Baby steps to fame?".
  2. ^ "Navarasa Nayagan Karthik turns 53 today".
  3. ^ Ramanujam, Srinivasa (5 July 2018). "Wouldn't advise Gautam to do adult comedies like 'Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu', says dad Karthik". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Suresh is Ajith's villain - Tamil Movie News - IndiaGlitz Tamil".
  5. ^ "Actor Suresh - Tamil Movie Actors Interview - Panneer Pushpangal Asal Kozhi Koovudhu Kizhkku Kadarkarai Salai Mandhira Punnagai Pookkalai Parikkadheergal -".
  6. ^
  7. ^ thmrn. "The Hindu : It's all about choices".
  8. ^ "Always in reckoning".
  9. ^ "Audio Beat: Megha — Musical cloudburst".
  10. ^ "Ilayaraja reuses his classic song !, Ilayaraja, Bharathiraja".
  11. ^ Kini, Nandan. "A Novel Score". Planet Radio City. Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  12. ^ Kon Volkano (22 February 2013). "Meri Zindagi - Aur Ek Prem Kahani (1996) Full Song HD" – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Vaigai - An appealing love tale based on true incidents". 21 June 2009.
  14. ^ "Sabesh and Murali's musical journey - Times of India".
  15. ^ theedsanan (1 February 2010). "Sanda - Vaadi En Kappa" – via YouTube.
  16. ^ "TOP 20 BEST LOVE STORIES IN TAMIL - - Tamil Movie Slide Shows - Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa - Sethu - Paruthiveeran - Madrassapattinam - Kadhal - Punnagai Mannan - Guna - Mouna Raagam - Idhayam - Kadhal Kottai".
  17. ^ DjKeeshan (28 December 2014). "Goundamani Senthil Comedy Chinna Pasanga Naanga Movie" – via YouTube.
  18. ^ Saroja (DVD)

External links[edit]