Kizhakke Pogum Rail

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Kizhakke Pogum Rail
Kizhakke Pogum Rail.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBharathiraja
Screenplay byBharathiraja
Story byR. Selvaraj
Produced byS. A. Rajkannu
CinematographyP. S. Nivas
Edited byT. Thirunavukkarasu
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Sri Amman Creations
Distributed bySri Amman Creations
Release date
  • 10 August 1978 (1978-08-10)
Running time
124 minutes[1]

Kizhakke Pogum Rail (transl. Eastbound Train) is a 1978 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film co-written and directed by Bharathiraja, starring newcomers Sudhakar and M. R. Raadhika. It was released on 10 August 1978 and ran for over 365 days in theatres. The film was remade in Telugu as Toorpu Velle Railu (1979) and in Hindi by Bharathiraja as Saveray Wali Gaadi (1986).


A young woman Panchali gets off a train named 'Kizhakke Pogum Rail' (Eastbound Train) and lands in the village Thamaraikulam which follows strict rules. There, Panchali is accommodated by her sister Karuthamma and her brother-in-law Ramaiah, Panchali informs her that their mother died a couple of days ago. Ramaiah starts to have an eye on Panchali.

Paranjothi is an unemployed graduate and a big fan of the poet Subramania Bharati who lives his father Maruthu and his sister Kanniyamma. His father Maruthu is a barber and considers Paranjothi as a good-for-nothing like all the villagers. After getting married, Kanniyamma leaves her birth home to live with her husband's family.

Panchali and Paranjothi slowly fall in love with each other. One day, the villagers spot Paranjothi running behind Panchali. At the gram panchayat, the panchayat members blame Paranjothi for trying to misbehave with Panchali. Only the retired military man Pattalathaar and the farmer Ponnandi support him, but the panchayat members overlook them, and they punish him. Maruthu shaves off the hair of his son and Paranjothi parades on a donkey in the streets of the village whereas Ramaiah forces Karuthamma to burn Panchali's arm with a piece of wood.

After the humiliation, Maruthu commits suicide in the village's lake. Paranjothi decides to leave the town, and he promises Panchali that he will come back to marry her. He also informs her that he will write a message on the last compartment of the 'Kizhakke Pogum Rail'. In the city, after several interviews, he finally finds a decent job.

Meanwhile, at the village court, Ramaiah complains that Karuthamma is a barren woman and he expresses his wish to marry Panchali. A few days later, the village is battered by heavy rains. To stop the rain, the villagers contrive the way to stop it, executing an ancient belief: one virgin woman has to walk naked around the village at sunrise. Unexpectedly, Panchali is chosen to be that woman.

The day of the ritual, Paranjothi gladly returns at his village, and he sees Panchali completely naked. He gives Panchali clothing and they both run away from the angry villagers. Pattalathaar helps the couple by stalling the villagers, and he is killed in the process. The lovers manage to catch the running 'Kizhakke Pogum Rail' under the eyes of the villagers.



Kizhakke Pogum Rail was the second film directed by Bharathiraja, and the debut film of Sudhakar and Raadhika (credited as M. R. Raadhika) as actors.[2] The male lead role was originally offered to Sivachandran, who declined,[5] while Sridevi was originally cast as the lead actress but later opted out.[6] Raadhika contemplated leaving the film throughout the shoot, but was "offered chocolates" to complete the film.[7] It was also the Tamil debut for Vijayan,[8] and the feature film debut of Usha.[9] The producer originally offered K. Bhagyaraj to direct, but he declined as he wanted to "complete at least a couple of more films as an assistant". Bhagyaraj remained as an assistant director.[10] One part of the song "Poovarasampoo" was filmed at a temple off East Coast Road, while the rest of the song was filmed at Mettupalayam.[11]


The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja, with lyrics written by Kannadasan, Muthulingam, Gangai Amaran and Sirpi Balasubramaniam.[12] The song "Kovil Mani Osai" is set to the Carnatic raga known as Shuddha Saveri,[13][14] "Malargale" is set to Hamsadhvani,[15][16] "Poovarasam Poo Poothachu" and "Mancholai Kilithano" are set to Suddha Dhanyasi.[17][18]

Song Singer(s) Lyrics Length
"Kovil Mani Osai" Malaysia Vasudevan, S. Janaki Kannadasan 4:39
"Mancholai Kili Thaano" Jayachandran Muthulingam 4:40
"Poovarasampoo Poothachu" S. Janaki Gangai Amaran 4:42
"Malargalae… Naadhaswarangal" Malaysia Vasudevan, S. Janaki Sirpi Balasubramaniam 4:04

Release and reception[edit]

Kizhakke Pogum Rail was released on 10 August 1978,[19] and distributed by Sri Amman Creations.[20] Ananda Vikatan rated the film 55 out of 100, appreciating its latter half and the climax for its realism.[4] The film became a major commercial success, completing a 365-day run in theatres,[21] and Raadhika became popularly known by the sobriquet "Rayil Radhika".[22] Malaysia Vasudevan won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for singing in the film.[23]


Kizhakke Pogum Rail was remade in Telugu as Toorpu Velle Railu (1979) by Bapu,[24] and in Hindi as Saveray Wali Gaadi (1986) by Bharathiraja himself.[25]


  1. ^ a b Dhananjayan 2011, p. 10.
  2. ^ a b c d Shekar, Anjana (14 August 2020). "Watch With TNM: Raadika's 'Kizhakke Pogum Rail' takes you on an eventful journey". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 24 January 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d ராம்ஜி, வி. (10 August 2020). "பாரதிராஜா விட்ட 'கிழக்கே போகும் ரயில்'; 'பூவரசம்பூ பூத்தாச்சு'க்கு 42 வயது!". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 29 January 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  4. ^ a b "சினிமா விமர்சனம்: கிழக்கே போகும் ரயில்". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 29 January 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  5. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (3 May 2020). " 'கிழக்கே போகும் ரயில்' படத்துல நடிக்க பாரதிராஜா என்னைத்தான் கூப்பிட்டார்; நான் முடியாதுன்னு சொல்லிட்டேன்! - நடிகர் சிவசந்திரன் பிரத்யேகப் பேட்டி". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 28 May 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  6. ^ Guy, Randor (September 2007). "From Silents to Sivaji! A look into the past – Part II". Galatta Cinema. p. 66.
  7. ^ "Radhikaa was offered chocolates to complete film". The Times of India. 8 May 2014. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  8. ^ Ajith Kumar, P. K. (23 September 2007). "Shunned by Malayalam, but saved by Tamil in reel life". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  9. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (13 October 2020). "பாக்யராஜுக்கு கங்கை அமரன் தான் குரல் கொடுத்தான்; சிம்புவின் அம்மா உஷா மிகச்சிறந்த நடிகை! - இயக்குநர் பாரதிராஜாவின் 'புதிய வார்ப்புகள்' நினைவுகள்". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  10. ^ Ramakrishnan, M. (28 January 2017). "Young guns". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  11. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (28 May 2020). "Landmark films, golden memories". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2 June 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  12. ^ "Kizhakae Pogum Rayil (1978)". Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  13. ^ Mani, Charulatha (3 August 2012). "Joyful Suddha Saveri". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  14. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 139.
  15. ^ Mani, Charulatha (1 March 2013). "A bright start". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 3 March 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  16. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 141.
  17. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 154.
  18. ^ Mani, Charulatha (9 December 2011). "A Raga's Journey — Soulful Suddhadhanyasi". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  19. ^ Karthick (13 August 2020). "'கிழக்கே போகும் ரயில்' 42 ஆம் ஆண்டு கொண்டாட்டம்: பாரதிராஜா, ராதிகா நெகிழ்ச்சி". Puthiya Thalaimurai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 24 January 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  20. ^ "கிழக்கே போகும் ரயில்!". Anna (in Tamil). 9 August 1978. p. 4. Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  21. ^ Selvaraj, N. (20 March 2017). "வெள்ளி விழா கண்ட தமிழ் திரைப்படங்கள்". Thinnai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  22. ^ Varma, M. Dinesh; Kolappan, B. (2 January 2014). "Kollywood's romance with trains unstoppable". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  23. ^ Dhananjayan 2011, p. 11.
  24. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (28 December 2007). "Back to acting, again!". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  25. ^ Rajadhyaksha & Willemen 1998, p. 60.


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