Payanangal Mudivathillai

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Payanangal Mudivathillai
Theatrical release poster
Directed byR. Sundarrajan
Screenplay byR. Sundarrajan
Story byKovaithambi[a]
Produced by
  • R. Elanchelian
  • Pollachi M. V. Rathinam
  • P. Muthusamy
Edited byR. Bhaskaran
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Motherland Pictures
Release date
  • 26 February 1982 (1982-02-26)
Running time
133 minutes[1]
Budget₹13 lakh[2]

Payanangal Mudivathillai (pronounced [pajaɳaŋɡaɭ muɖiʋatiɭɭaɪ] transl. Journeys never end) is a 1982 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film written and directed by R. Sundarrajan. The film stars Mohan and Poornima Jayaram, with Rajini, S. Ve. Shekher, Poornam Viswanathan, Rajesh and Goundamani in supporting roles. Its plot revolves around a woman who falls in love with a singer whom she helped to rise to fame but struggles to declare her love for him.

Payanangal Mudivathillai is Sundarrajan's directorial debut and the inaugural venture of Kovaithambi's Motherland Pictures. The film was produced by R. Elanchelian, Pollachi M. V. Rathinam and P. Muthusamy. Ilaiyaraaja composed the music and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and S. Janaki performed the songs. Cinematography was handled by Kasthuri and the editing by R. Bhaskaran.

Payanangal Mudivathillai was released on 26 February 1982 and it was shown in theatres for over a year, becoming a silver jubilee film. Both of the lead actors won Filmfare Awards in their respective categories. The film was remade in Hindi as Kalaakaar (1983).


Radha, a wealthy young woman, visits Suseela, her friend in Madras who is participating in a contest, and writes a song for her. The paper on which Radha has written the song blows away and lands near the neighbouring house, where an aspiring singer Ravi Kumar and his friend Selvam live. Ravi finds the paper, writes music to accompany Radha's song and sings it which Radha overhears. Impressed, she anonymously helps Ravi get a chance to sing at the inauguration of a temple and to win a chance to perform in a television programme.

When Ravi meets Radha for the first time at the television studio, he composes and sings a song praising her in the programme, which is publicly appreciated. Radha uses her contacts to get Ravi work singing for a film; he achieves instant success and fame, and moves to a spacious house. Radha continues to support Ravi in every activity and his career grows. When Radha's father wants to arrange her marriage with his sister's son Mohan, she says she wants to marry Ravi but waits for the right time to tell Ravi. Though Ravi admires Radha, he has not yet expressed his love to her.

Radha becomes restless when Ravi goes on tour; he returns earlier than scheduled but does not contact Radha and avoids her. At a function held to honour him, Ravi claims sole responsibility for his success, much to Radha's disappointment. Radha is anxious; she meets Ravi to share her father's plan for her marriage, hoping she will be able to express her love for him. Ravi does not react; he cheerfully tells her he would sing at her wedding for free as a token of gratitude, shattering Radha. Unable to see his daughter's depression, Radha's father arranges for her to marry Mohan.

When Mohan lands in Madras, Ravi, his acquaintance, gives him a lift to a function. Mohan, a doctor, tells Radha and her father, who are waiting for him, Ravi is his patient and has been diagnosed with terminal blood cancer. Radha is shocked and tries to contact Ravi, who does not respond to her calls because he wants her to think he is ungrateful and to marry someone else. She calls Ravi again; Mohan picks up the telephone and learns she and Ravi were in love. When Radha calls again, Mohan allows Ravi to speak to Radha, who says she has consumed poison because she does not want to live without him. Mohan and Ravi rush to Radha's house, only to see her die. Traumatised, Ravi also dies.




According to Kovaithambi, in 1981 when he was a rising politician, R. Sundarrajan and his friend Sirumugai Ravi approached him, narrated a story and suggested he produce it as a film. Though he liked the story, Kovaithambi was hesitant to enter the film industry but agreed after being encouraged by fellow politician C. Aranganayagam. Shortly thereafter, Kovaithambi established Motherland Pictures and Sundarrajan's story became the company's inaugural venture Payanangal Mudivathillai, making Sundarrajan's directorial debut.[2] Despite establishing the company, Kovaithambi was not credited as producer; credit was instead given to R. Elanchelian, Pollachi M. V. Rathinam and P. Muthusamy, while Kovaithambi was credited for the story. Kasthuri was signed as cinematographer and R. Bhaskaran was engaged for editing.[1] Because music is integral to the storyline, Kovaithambi felt the established composer Ilaiyaraaja could be hired; Ilaiyaraaja accepted the offer after listening to the complete story for two hours, despite Sundarrajan saying he would only narrate the core premise for half an hour.[2]

The filmmakers wanted to feature mostly newcomers in the film but none came forward because Kovaithambi was a politician and Sundarrajan was a first-time director. Kovaithambi considered casting Mohan in the lead role after being impressed with his performance in Nenjathai Killathe (1980); Mohan agreed after listening to the story.[2] The makers initially wanted S. P. Balasubrahmanyam to dub Mohan's voice but he refused so they chose S. N. Surendar.[7][8] Suresh was initially supposed to be the male lead but could not continue after having an accident.[9] Poornima Bhagyaraj (then known as Poornima Jayaram) was cast as the female lead after the filmmakers saw her in Manjil Virinja Pookkal (1980).[2] She was initially reluctant to accept the film because it was directed by a newcomer but accepted after learning the music composer was Ilaiyaraaja.[10] Payanangal Mudivathillai was made on a budget of 13 lakh (equivalent to 2.7 crore or US$330,000 in 2023) and was completed within four months.[2]


The soundtrack for Payanangal Mudivathillai was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and the lyricists were Vairamuthu, Gangai Amaran and Muthulingam. The soundtrack was released on the label Echo Records.[11][12]


According to K. P. Sunil of The Illustrated Weekly of India, Payanangal Mudivathillai was the first Indian film to have "larger-than-life cut-outs" of its composer.[13] While the theatrical posters initially credited Sundarrajan for the story, his name was later replaced with that of Kovaithambi.[14]

Release and reception[edit]

Payanangal Mudivathillai was released on 26 February 1982.[2] A private screening was earlier held for M. G. Ramachandran, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, in the second week of the month. Ramachandran appreciated the film and told Kovaithambi he would touch the peak of success in a week.[15] In a review dated 21 March, the Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan said the beauty of the screenplay is stunning, and the songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja and the singing of Balasubrahmanyam are the two pillars of the film, giving it a rating of 48 out of 100.[16] On the same day, Thiraignani of Kalki too printed a positive review, primarily for Mohan and Poornima's performances, the cinematography and the direction.[17] The film ran for over a year in theatres, thereby becoming a silver jubilee film.[18][19] Its success led to Motherland producing more films starring Mohan as a singer.[20][21] At the 30th Filmfare Awards South, Mohan won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil,[22] and Poornima won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil.[23][24] The film was remade in Hindi as Kalaakaar (1983).[25]


  1. ^ Though the story is credited to Kovaithambi,[1] he has stated that the story was actually Sundarrajan's.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Dhananjayan 2011, p. 74.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "டைரக்டராக ஆர்.சுந்தர்ராஜன் அறிமுகம்" [R. Sundarrajan's directorial debut]. Maalai Malar (in Tamil). 1 July 2016. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g ராம்ஜி, வி. (26 February 2019). "'பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை' – அப்பவே அப்படி கதை; 'பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை'க்கு 37 வயது!" [Payanangal Mudivathillai – Then itself such a story; Payanangal Mudivathillai turns 37!]. Kamadenu (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  4. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (29 August 2013). "Lights, camera, more action". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 7 February 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b கண்ணன், சுரேஷ் (21 December 2022). "பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை: இளைய நிலா பொழிந்த அமரக்காவியம்; மைக் மோகன் உருவாகக் காரணமாக இருந்த சினிமா!". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 22 March 2023. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  6. ^ "நடிகர் தவக்களை மாரடைப்பால் காலமானார்" [Actor Thavakalai dies of a heart attack]. Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). 26 February 2017. Archived from the original on 4 March 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  7. ^ "பின்னணிக் குரலால் முன்னணிக்கு வந்த சுரேந்தர்" [Surendar made it big as a dubbing artist]. Thinakaran (in Tamil). 5 October 2019. Archived from the original on 19 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  8. ^ ஆனந்த், பாரதி (30 November 2018). "மோகனுக்காக பேசியிருக்கேன்... ஆனா மோகன் எங்கிட்ட பேசினதே இல்ல! – எஸ்.என்.சுரேந்தர்" [I speak for Mohan... But Mohan has never spoken with me! – S. N. Surendar]. Kamadenu (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  9. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (5 July 2019). "'பன்னீர் புஷ்பங்கள்' படத்தில் கமல்; 'பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை' படத்தில் சுரேஷ்: இயக்குநர் பி.வாசு பேட்டி" [Kamal in the film Panneer Pushpangal; Suresh in the film Payanangal Mudivathillai: An interview with director P. Vasu]. Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 9 June 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  10. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (16 February 2019). "'இளையராஜா சார் மியூஸிக்னுதான் ஒத்துக்கிட்டேன்' – 'பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை' பூர்ணிமா ஓப்பன் டாக்" [Because Ilaiyaraaja was the music composer I accepted – Payanangal Mudivathillai Poornima Open Talk]. Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 7 February 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Payanangal Mudivathillai Tamil Film LP Vinyl Record by Ilayaraja". Mossymart. Archived from the original on 28 November 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Payanangal Mudivathillai (1982)". Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  13. ^ Sunil, K. P. (16 August 1987). "Sheer Genius". The Illustrated Weekly of India. Vol. 108, no. 26–49. pp. 56–57. Archived from the original on 17 March 2023. Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  14. ^ Shiva Kumar, S. (1982). "Kovai Thambi cheated". Mid-Day. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை படத்தைப் பார்த்த எம்.ஜி.ஆர்" [MGR saw the film Payanangal Mudivathillai]. Maalai Malar (in Tamil). 2 June 2016. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  16. ^ "சினிமா விமர்சனம் : பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை" [Movie Review: Payanangal Mudivathillai]. Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 21 March 1982. Archived from the original on 7 February 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  17. ^ திரைஞானி (21 March 1982). "பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை". Kalki (in Tamil). p. 53. Archived from the original on 5 September 2023. Retrieved 5 September 2023 – via Internet Archive.
  18. ^ Selvaraj, N. (20 March 2017). "வெள்ளி விழா கண்ட தமிழ் திரைப்படங்கள்" [Films that became silver jubilee hits]. Thinnai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  19. ^ Jeshi, K. (14 February 2011). "Screen presence". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  20. ^ "மறக்க முடியுமா? - பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை" [Forgettable? - Payanangal Mudivathillai]. Dinamalar (in Tamil). 18 June 2020. Archived from the original on 21 June 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  21. ^ கணேஷ், எஸ். (2 April 2017). "ஓல்டு இஸ் கோல்டு: 526 நாட்கள் ஓடி சாதனை படைத்த படம்!" [Old is Gold: A film that ran for 526 days and achieved a milestone!]. Dinamalar (in Tamil). Nellai. Archived from the original on 19 August 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  22. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (28 December 2007). "Back to acting, again!". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  23. ^ ஆனந்தராஜ், கு. (19 February 2019). "80'ஸ் எவர்கிரீன் நாயகிகள் – 4 – ஏழு வருஷங்களுக்குப் பிறகுதான் ஹனிமூன்! – பூர்ணிமா பாக்யராஜ்" [80's evergreen heroines – 4 – Only after seven years the honeymoon! Poornima Bhagyaraj]. Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  24. ^ The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. 1984. p. 234. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  25. ^ Mahajan, Rohit (29 September 2020). "How Balasubrahmanyam broke the language barrier". The Tribune. Archived from the original on 2 October 2020. Retrieved 12 October 2020.


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