Poottaatha Poottukkal

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Poottaatha Poottukkal
Title card
Directed byMahendran
Screenplay byMahendran
Based onUravugal
by Ponneelan
Produced byK. N. Lakshmanan
CinematographyAshok Kumar
Edited byB. Lenin
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Release date
  • 9 May 1980 (1980-05-09)
Running time
122 minutes

Poottaatha Poottukkal (transl. Unlocked locks) is a 1980 Indian Tamil-language drama film written and directed by Mahendran. It is an adaptation of the novel Uravugal by Ponneelan. The film stars Jayan and Charulata. It was released on 9 May 1980, and failed at the box-office.


Fissures occur in a married couple's relationship when they are unable to conceive a child. The wife is later enamoured by a young man who gives her attention. What happens next forms the rest of the story.



Poottaatha Poottukkal is based on the novel Uravugal by writer Ponneelan.[1] Panchu Arunachalam approached Mahendran to make a film based on this novel, despite initial reservations to direct due to its concept; he agreed after reading the end of the novel.[2] Mahendran felt Bollywood actors Naseeruddin Shah and Smita Patil would be the perfect choice for this story, but Arunachalam felt Patil would create confusions in call sheets and insisted Mahendran to use local actors.[3] Rajinikanth was featured in initial publicity material but did not appear in the finished film; he had reportedly been offered to act but declined.[4] Charulatha who earlier acted in Mahendran's previous film Uthiripookkal portraying Vijayan's second wife was chosen as the lead actress while Arunachalam wanted Malayalam actor Jayan for husband's character; he was eventually chosen.[5] The filming was primarily held at Nagercoil.[6]


According to Ram Chander of Film Companion, the film is a "subtle meditation on the invisible forces of societal expectations that weigh on married couples".[7]


The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja, with lyrics by Panchu Arunachalam.[8][9]

Song Singers Length
"Vanna Vanna Poove" S. Janaki 4:27
"Aanandam Aanandam" 4:16
"Andipatti" 4:31
"Nenjukkulle" 4:25
"Soorai Kaatril" Ilaiyaraaja ___

Release and reception[edit]

Poottaatha Poottukkal was released on 9 May 1980.[10] According to Mahendran, Bharathiraja and Ilaiyaraaja bought the distribution rights and released the film in Madurai and Ramanathapuram. However the film ran only for three weeks and failed at the box-office.[11] Mahendran felt the film's failure made him learn a lesson that he should not make films on such stories.[6] Ponneelan said, "When an artist's work is translated into a film or drama, it is important that the spirit be maintained. Though a lamp is beautiful, it is the flame which is its spirit. If you can't bring it out, better not venture into that arena".[12]


  1. ^ பொன்னீலன் (28 October 2017). "பொன்னீலனின் உலகம்: என் படைப்புகளும் எனக்குப் பிடித்த படைப்புகளும்." [The World of Ponneelan: My Works and My Favorite Works]. Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 6 November 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  2. ^ Mahendran 2013, p. 158.
  3. ^ Mahendran 2013, pp. 159–161.
  4. ^ "ரஜினி நடிக்கத் தயங்கிய மகேந்திரனின் பூட்டாத பூட்டுக்கள்". News18 (in Tamil). 21 June 2022. Archived from the original on 5 March 2023. Retrieved 11 April 2024.
  5. ^ Mahendran 2013, pp. 161–162.
  6. ^ a b Mahendran 2013, p. 162.
  7. ^ Chander, Ram (19 June 2017). "5 Filmmaking Tropes of Mahendran". Film Companion. Archived from the original on 22 March 2023. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Poottaatha Poottukkal Tamil Film EP Vinyl Record by Ilayaraja". Mossymart. Archived from the original on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Poottatha Poottukkal (1980)". Raaga.com. Archived from the original on 22 January 2024. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  10. ^ Mahendran 2013, p. 344.
  11. ^ Mahendran 2013, p. 163.
  12. ^ Sivasankari (1998). Knit India Through Literature: The South. Eastwest Books. p. 373. ISBN 9788186852118.


  • Mahendran (2013) [2004]. சினிமாவும் நானும் [Cinema and I] (in Tamil). Karpagam Publications. OCLC 54777094.

External links[edit]