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Pudhumai Penn (1984 film)

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Pudhumai Penn
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBharathiraja
Screenplay byBharathiraja
Story byR. Selvaraj
Produced byM. Saravanan
M. Balasubramaniam
CinematographyB. Kannan
Edited byV. Rajagopal
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Release date
  • 14 July 1984 (1984-07-14)

Pudhumai Penn (transl. Modern Woman), officially released as AVMin Pudhumai Penn (transl. AVM's Modern Woman), is a 1984 Indian Tamil-language drama film directed by Bharathiraja and produced by AVM Productions. The film stars Pandiyan and Revathi. It was released on 14 July 1984.


Seetha lives a simple life with her father, a Tamil teacher in a village. Seetha has an elder sister who committed suicide because she was unable to bear the dowry harassment from her husband’s family. Seetha’s father struggles to find a suitable groom for her owing to his poor financial condition. One day, her father meets Ramachandran who goes by the alias "Ram" a bank employee and likes him for his good nature. After a few days, Ram meets Seetha and love blossoms between them and they decide to get married. However, Ram’s mother doesn’t like Seetha as she didn’t bring any dowry and she keeps insulting her frequently, but Seetha decides to tolerate the hardships she faces due to the love she has for Ram. Seetha’s father commits suicide unable to see her daughter’s sufferings.

Rajasekar, a womaniser is the newly appointed bank manager where Ram works. Ram invites his boss Rajasekar to his home for lunch. Rajasekar gets attracted to Seetha, however, Seetha understands Rajasekar’s cruel mindset and keeps distance with him. Ram’s sister becomes pregnant because of his friend and the families decide to get them married soon. Unable to meet the wedding expenses, Ram takes some money from the bank but gets caught by Rajasekar and threatens to inform the police. Rajasekar gives an option to Ram, if he allows him to have a physical relationship with Seetha, he would forgive Ram and not inform the police about the theft. However, this angers Ram and he beats up Rajasekar and leaves home.

The next day, Rajasekar is found dead and Ram gets arrested by the police on the accusation of his murder. Seetha decides to seek help from David, a criminal lawyer who has once come to meet Seetha’s father and is kind hearted. To her shock, David’s whereabouts are unknown. She learns that David has moved out of his home sometime back. Seetha finds another lawyer to appear for Ram, but struggles to pay the legal expenses. Now, a painting artist spots Seetha and requests her to pose as a model for his paintings for which she agrees. This helps Seetha to earn some money and she manages to meet the legal expenses. She also helps managing the family expenses which include Ram’s mother and sister. However, Ram’s mother speaks ill about Seetha and how she always she goes to a brothel to earn money.

One day, the painting artist requests Seetha to pose nude for a painting which angers her. Seetha shouts at the artist and leaves the place. Now, Seetha starts doing all sorts of odd jobs at various places such as cooking, household maid chores etc to earn money. While travelling in a bus, Seetha spots David and follows him to his home. She requests David to appear in court on behalf of Ram. Seetha narrates the whole story where Ram got arrested for Rajasekar’s death. David tells her it was him who killed Rajasekar and apologises for Ram getting caught in the case. David tells her a flashback where Rajasekar was his friend once and he raped his visually challenged sister which led to her death. To avenge the death of his sister, he killed Rajasekar.

David appears in the court and informs the truth to the judge which led to Ram’s release from prison. Meanwhile, Seetha learns that she is pregnant and happily waits to meet Ram and inform him about her pregnancy. However, Ram’s mother speaks ill about Seetha to Ram which led him to behave strangely to her upon returning home. When Seetha informs him about her pregnancy, Ram questions the father of the baby, which angers Seetha, and so, she decides to end her life. However, Bharathiyar’s quotes come to her mind and instead, she walked away from their home and lead an independent life. .



AVM Productions wanted to make a film with Bharathiraja after the success of his Puthiya Vaarpugal which never happened. A few years later they both collaborated on the project which eventually became Pudhumai Penn.[3] The film's story was written by R. Selvaraj who revealed this story was initially supposed to be made as Bharathiraja's debut titled Sontha Veedu with R. Muthuraman and J. Jayalalithaa which got shelved.[4] Pudhumai Penn marked the acting debut of Dr. Rajasekhar.[5] It was also Pandiyan's only collaboration with AVM.[6] Revathi was 17 years old when doing this film.[7] The studio's name was prefixed to the film's title (AVMin Pudhumai Penn, meaning AVM's Modern Woman).[8]


The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja, while the lyrics were written by Vairamuthu.[9] The song "Kasthuri Maane" is set in Mohanam raga and "Kadhal Mayakkam" is set in Shuddha Saveri.[10]

Song Singers Length
"Oru Thendral" Malaysia Vasudevan, Chorus 4:40
"Kasthuri Mane" K. J. Yesudas, Uma Ramanan 5:09
"Alamara Pondhu" Ilaiyaraaja 4:18
"Kathal Mayakam" P. Jayachandran, Sunanda 6:12

Release and reception[edit]

Pudhumai Penn was released on 14 July 1984,[11] and ran for 208 days in the Mini Priya theatre, Madurai. The film failed at the box-office during its first run. M. G. Ramachandran, then the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, decided to re-release the film with tax exemption by reducing ticket prices to three rupees which led to bigger success.[3][12] Jayamanmadhan of Kalki praised the performances of cast and direction but was critical of logical mistakes and found the climax of Revathi leaving home disappointing and added that the film can be enjoyed in bits and pieces here and there.[13] In 2014, Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu praised Revathi's performance, but noted that the melodrama quotient was "a little too high".[14]


  1. ^ Shekar, Anjana (8 January 2018). "From demure to daring, actor Revathy's multi-faceted film career". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  2. ^ Shivpprasadh, S. (14 June 2012). "Father figure". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b சரவணன், ஏவி.எம். (10 July 2005). "வரி விளக்கிய வள்ளல்!" (PDF). Kalki (in Tamil). pp. 44–47. Retrieved 18 April 2024 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ "16 வயதினிலே: 'அவருக்குப் படமெடுக்கத் தெரியுமானு தெரில'- விலகிய ஜெயலலிதா; வென்றுகாட்டிய பாரதிராஜா!". Cinema Vikatan (in Tamil). 15 September 2022. Archived from the original on 31 March 2023. Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  5. ^ "'Chennai 28' director Venkat Prabhu to helm project starring Dr Rajasekhar next". The News Minute. 24 May 2017. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  6. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 425.
  7. ^ Subhakeerthana, S (2 August 2019). "Suriya is my 'Jackpot': Jyotika". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 22 October 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  8. ^ Saravanan 2013, pp. 282–283.
  9. ^ "Pudhumai Penn- Nallavanukku Nallavan Tamil Film LP Vinyl Record by Ilayaraaja". Mossymart. Archived from the original on 3 October 2021. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  10. ^ "இளையராஜா 75". Dinamani (in Tamil). 17 June 2018. Archived from the original on 3 February 2023. Retrieved 23 April 2024.
  11. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 278.
  12. ^ Saravanan 2013, pp. 279–281.
  13. ^ ஜெயமன்மதன் (29 July 1984). "ஏ.வி.எம்மின் புதுமைப்பெண்". Kalki (in Tamil). p. 62. Archived from the original on 15 September 2022. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  14. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (7 March 2014). "Women of Steel". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 April 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2018.


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