Azhagi (2002 film)

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Azhagi 2002 poster.jpg
Directed byThangar Bachan
Written byThangar Bachan
Based on"Kalvettugal"
by Thangar Bachan
Produced byUdhaya Geetha
Nandita Das
CinematographyThangar Bachan
Edited byB. Lenin
V. T. Vijayan
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Uthaya Geetha Productions
Release date
  • 14 January 2002 (2002-01-14)
Running time
147 minutes[1]

Azhagi (pronunciation ) (transl.Beautiful lady) is a 2002 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film directed by Thangar Bachan based on his short story "Kalvettugal".[2] The film stars Parthiban, Nandita Das and Devayani. It was released on 14 January 2002 and won the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil. The film was remade in Telugu as Letha Manasulu in 2004.[3]


Shanmugam, a veterinary doctor, lives in the city with his wife Valarmati and their two children. In school, Shanmugam was in love with his classmate Dhanalakshmi, but fate had forced them to go their separate ways, with Dhanam being forced to wed her brother-in-law (Sayaji Shinde). One day, Shanmugam spots Dhanam, who, having lost her husband, now lives a life of poverty on the platforms with her son Balu. After an unsuccessful attempt to find her a job in a friend's house, he hires her as their servant-maid. However, memories of the past start to create a tension between Shanmugam and Dhanam, despite their attempts to maintain a distance.

One day, Valarmati finds out from Shanmugam's old classmates how they both were in love when they were young, and she starts fearing that Shanmugam will leave her and her children for Dhanam. Valarmati becomes so distraught that she even humiliates Dhanam at a party organised by one of their friends. When they return home, Valarmati confronts Shanmugam, and an argument ensues. Dhanam overhears their argument and silently goes to bed. The next morning, Dhanam and Balu are nowhere to be found. When Shanmugam searches the house, he finds a letter written by Dhanam saying that she wants Valarmati and Shanmugam to be happy and that she doesn't want to come between them. Soon, Valarmati realises the truth and wants to bring Dhanam back home and ask her for her forgiveness.

Shanmugam searches high and low for them and at last finds Balu in an orphanage. The matron informs them that his mother had left instructions that her son should remain at the orphanage till her return. However, when the matron questions Balu, he replies that he wants to go with Shanmugam and stay in their house and to tell his mother that he is there when she returns. The matron agrees and lets him go. At the beginning of the movie, it is mentioned that Balu has been adopted by Shanmugam but still continues to call him "Sir" and never "Father or "Dad". As Shanmugam leaves for home from the orphanage, he mentions that he is still searching for Dhanam's whereabouts to that day.



The soundtrack features songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja, with lyrics by Ilaiyaraaja, Palani Bharathi and Karunanithi.[4]

Song Lyrics Singer(s)
"Paattu Solli Paada Solli" Ilaiyaraaja Sadhana Sargam
"Damakku Damakku Dum" Palani Bharathi Bhavatharini, Chorus
"Un Kuthama En Kuthama" Ilaiyaraaja Ilaiyaraaja
"Oru Sundari Vandhalam" Karunanithi P. Unnikrishnan, Sadhana Sargam, Malgudi Subha
"Oliyile Therivadhu Devadhaya" Ilaiyaraaja Karthik, Bhavatharini
"Kuruvi Kodanja" Palani Bharathi Pushpavanam Kuppusamy, Swarnalatha

Release and reception[edit]

Azhagi was released on 14 January 2002, Pongal day.[5] Sify wrote "Azhagi is a much talked about film, as it promises to usher in good cinema. The debutant director of the film is Thankar Bachchan,who has made a name for himself as one of the best cinematographers in Tamil.[6] Visual Dasan of Kalki appreciated the film's plot and direction for realism while also praising the music, cinematography and performances of lead artistes.[7]


The film won the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil.[8] At the 49th National Film Awards, Sadhana Sargam won the award for Best Female Playback Singer for the song "Pattu Solli".[9]


G. Dhananjayan in his book Pride of Tamil Cinema says, " A trendsetting film shows how childhood love remains in the hearts of people even after they have grown up and settled in their adult lives. It made a deep impact among the audience and aspiring film makers.[10]


  1. ^ "Udhaiyya Gheetha's Azhagi". British Board of Film Classification. 8 March 2003. Archived from the original on 1 March 2022. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  2. ^ Dhananjayan 2014, p. 411.
  3. ^ Mohan Rao Ogirala (21 July 2004). "And quiet flows the don's sidekick..." The Times of India. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Azhagi (2001)". Archived from the original on 14 October 2008.
  5. ^ Warrier, Shobha (14 January 2002). "Pongal releases". Archived from the original on 1 March 2022. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Azhagi". Sify. Archived from the original on 28 December 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  7. ^ தாசன், விசுவல் (20 January 2002). "அழகி". Kalki (in Tamil). p. 4. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  8. ^ "Manikchand Filmfare Awards: Sizzling at 50". Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. 21 July 2011. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  9. ^ "49th National Film Awards". Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  10. ^ Dhananjayan 2014, p. 410.


External links[edit]