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Raja Paarvai

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Raja Paarvai
Theatrical release poster in Tamil
Directed bySingeetam Srinivasa Rao
Written byAnanthu
Kamal Haasan
Santhana Bharathi
Produced byChandrahasan
Kamal Haasan
CinematographyBarun Mukherji[1]
Edited byV. R. Kottagiri
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Release dates
  • 10 April 1981 (1981-04-10) (Tamil)
  • 29 August 1981 (1981-08-29) (Telugu)
Running time
144 minutes[1]
  • Tamil
  • Telugu

Raja Paarvai (transl. Royal Gaze) is a 1981 Indian Tamil-language romance film directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao. The story was written by Kamal Haasan, for whom the film was his 100th as an actor[a] and first as a producer. The score and soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. Loosely based on the 1972 film Butterflies Are Free, it was simultaneously made and released as Amavasya Chandrudu (transl. Moon on Amavasya) in Telugu. Despite being a box office failure, the film received critical acclaim, and Haasan's performance won him the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor. Thota Tharani made his debut as an art director with the film.


Raghu / Chandram is a blind violinist oppressed since infancy. Nancy, a Christian, is keen on chronicling Raghu / Chandram's inspiring life as a visually impaired but independently living person. Their relationship blossoms into a romance that is supported by Nancy's grandfather. Nancy is eventually due to be married to another man selected by her father, but aided by her grandfather, escapes from the church and elopes with Raghu / Chandram.


Character Actors in language
Tamil Telugu
Raghu (Tamil)[2] / Chandram (Telugu)[3] Kamal Haasan
Nancy[1] Madhavi
Nancy's grandfather[4] L. V. Prasad
Raghu's father[5] Chandrahasan
Pastor Charuhasan
Seenu (Tamil)[2] / Chanti (Telugu)[3] Y. G. Mahendran
Sulochana Chitra
Raghu / Chandram's Nanny Radhabhai
Nancy's grandmother Nirmalamma
The headmistress of the blind school[6] Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy
Nancy's father[2] Dhanushkodi Kantha Rao
Raghu's stepmother[2] K. P. A. C. Lalitha Radha Kumari
Sulochana's father V. K. Ramasamy Raavi Kondala Rao
Nancy's brother Delhi Ganesh
Chandram's House owner Sakshi Ranga Rao
Man who beats Raghu / Chandram in lift Santhana Bharathi
Himself Gangai Amaran
Himself S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
Young Raghu (Tamil) / Young Chandram (Telugu) Gautam Kanthadai


Raja Paarvai was the 100th film for Kamal Haasan as an actor, and first as producer. He also worked as a screenwriter.[7][8] He produced the film along with his brothers Charuhasan and Chandrahasan under the banner Haasan Brothers.[5][9] The film also marked the debut of art director Thota Tharani in Tamil cinema.[10][11] It was simultaneously shot in Telugu as Amavasya Chandrudu,[12] with principal photography for both versions taking place in 55 days.[13] Among other locations, the film was also shot in Venus Studios.[14] While the film is loosely based on the 1972 film Butterflies Are Free,[15] the final scene which features Madhavi's character escaping from church in her wedding dress and joining Haasan, was inspired by The Graduate (1967).[16] Haasan learnt to play the violin required for the role.[17]


The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja,[18] while the lyrics were written by Kannadasan, Vairamuthu and Gangai Amaran.[1][19] The song "Andhi Mazhai" is set in the Carnatic raga known as Vasantha,[20] and "Vizhi Oraththu" is set in Shubhapantuvarali.[21] For the instrumental "Modern Concerto", Viji Manuel was the keyboardist (playing the piano on arpeggio mode), while V. S. Narasimhan was the violinist.[22] In an interview Vairamuthu said that initially the lyrics for the song "Andhi Mazhai" were "Dhiratchai madhu vazhigirathu" before being changed to the present one.[23]

1."Andhi Mazhai Pozhikirathu"VairamuthuS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki, T. V. Gopalakrishnan4:35
2."Modern Concerto" (Instrumental) — —3:52
3."Azhagae Azhagu"KannadasanK. J. Yesudas4:28
4."Vizhi Oraththu"Gangai AmaranKamal Haasan, B. S. Sasirekha3:39
Total length:16:34
1."Sundaramo Sumaduramo"VeturiS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki, T. V. Gopalakrishnan 
2."Modern Concerto" (Instrumental) — — 
3."Kalake Kala Nee Andamu"VeturiS. P. Balasubrahmanyam 


Raja Paarvai was released on 10 April 1981,[24] and Amavasya Chandrudu on 29 August 1981.[3] Despite receiving critical acclaim,[25] the film was a box office failure, and Haasan had to work seven to eight years to recover from the loss he incurred.[26] The 100 days celebration of the film was held at Chettiar Bungalow in AVM studio.[27]


Kalki, in its review of the Tamil version, called the story ordinary, but said the dialogues and Rao's direction polished the film and lauded Haasan's performance, adding that Prasad outshined everyone else.[28] S. Shiva Kumar wrote in Mid-Day, "Some breath taking photography, slick editing and lilting music contribute in making Raja Parvai a clean and enjoyable movie".[29] Reviewing the Telugu version, Gudipoodi Srihari of the magazine Sitara wrote that barring a few sequences, the film was fairly enjoyable yet inspirational.[3] Haasan won the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor.[30]


Raja Paarvai attained cult status in Tamil cinema.[31] In Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema, Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen described Srinivasa Rao's direction and Haasan's performance as "unabashedly melodramatic, milking the hero's disability for all its worth" and that Rao's zooms and cutaways underlined by "rapid and awkward editing" were "fully in evidence".[1] In 2010, Sify included Raja Paarvai in its list, "Kamal's most memorable romantic films", where it praised Haasan and Madhavi's onscreen rapport, the visuals and the climax.[32] In 2017, Haasan named Amavasya Chandrudu (the Telugu version of the film) as one of his 70 most favourite films and considered it superior to Raja Paarvai.[33]


  1. ^ Without counting uncredited roles and guest appearances.


  1. ^ a b c d e Rajadhyaksha & Willemen 1998, p. 451.
  2. ^ a b c d "Raja Paarvai (1981)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Srihari, Gudipoodi (13 September 1981). "సినిమా రివ్యూ: అమావాస్య చంద్రుడు" [Film review: Amavasya Chandrudu]. Sitara (in Telugu). Archived from the original on 11 March 2023. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  4. ^ "அழியாத கோலங்கள்" [Enduring Patterns]. Kungumam (in Tamil). 18 May 2015. Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b Srinivas Chari, T. K. (July 2012). "The actor in the shadows". Madras Musings. Archived from the original on 8 October 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  6. ^ Devnath & Parthasarathy 2005, p. 87.
  7. ^ Kesavan, N. (14 May 2016). "100th film jinx grips the mighty sans 'Captain'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 December 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  8. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (26 October 2007). "Now it's the turn of Kamal Haasan ... the writer". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  9. ^ RS, Anand Kumar (15 May 2022). "Revisiting Kamal Haasan's 1986 Vikram: A film that was ahead of its time". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 21 May 2022. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  10. ^ Narasimham, M.L. (20 May 2005). "Spinning magic". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 April 2006. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  11. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (8 May 2009). "Talent finds meeting point". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  12. ^ Dundoo, Sangeetha Devi (3 November 2015). "My focus is to give quality films at great speed". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  13. ^ Ramanujam, Srinivasa (7 October 2015). "Glitch music used in Kamal Haasan's 'Thoonga Vanam'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  14. ^ Rangan 2012, p. 15.
  15. ^ கண்ணன், சுரேஷ் (8 June 2020). "'ராஜபார்வை' கமலின் முதல் ரிஸ்க் தெரியும்; ஆனால் இந்தக் குறியீடுகள் தெரியுமா?". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 9 July 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  16. ^ Pal 2013, p. 128.
  17. ^ "வயலின் வாசிக்கும் கமல்". Kalki (in Tamil). 18 November 1979. p. 33. Archived from the original on 20 October 2023. Retrieved 21 March 2024 – via Internet Archive.
  18. ^ "Raaja Paarvai (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – EP". Apple Music. 10 April 1981. Archived from the original on 11 March 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Rajapaarvai Tamil Film EP Vinyl Record by Ilayaraja". Mossymart. Archived from the original on 29 December 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  20. ^ Mani, Charulatha (6 January 2012). "A Raga's Journey — Hopeful, festive, vibrant Vasantha". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  21. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 168.
  22. ^ Balasubramanian, V. (4 September 2014). "Back with a bang". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  23. ^ "எனக்கு தாய், காதலி எல்லாமே என் மனைவி தான்.."- Vairamuthu Opens Up About His Family SPB (in Tamil). Galatta Tamil கலாட்டா தமிழ். 19 April 2022. Archived from the original on 3 June 2024. Retrieved 3 June 2024 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (2 June 2020). "சிவகுமார், கமல், ரஜினி, விஜயகாந்த், சத்யராஜ், பிரபு... 100வது படங்களுக்கு இளையராஜாதான் இசை!". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 29 July 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  25. ^ Kumar, S. Shiva (27 August 2009). "'I'm a limelight moth'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  26. ^ Subramanian, Karthik (30 January 2013). "Will have to seek a secular State for my stay". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 July 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  27. ^ "A cinema geek? AVM's Chettiar Bungalow is open for your special day". The Hindu. 4 June 2018. Archived from the original on 5 April 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  28. ^ சாஸ்திரி, நளினி (3 May 1981). "ராஜபார்வை". Kalki (in Tamil). pp. 32–33. Archived from the original on 14 April 2023. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  29. ^ Shiva Kumar, S. (31 May 1981). "Studio snippets". Mid-Day. Archived from the original on 19 May 2022. Retrieved 27 May 2022 – via Twitter.
  30. ^ The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. 1984. p. 234.
  31. ^ Srinivasan, Pavithra (7 September 2010). "Singeetham Srinivasa Rao's gems before Christ". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  32. ^ "Kamal's most memorable romantic films". Sify. 23 December 2010. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  33. ^ Haasan, Kamal (13 August 2017). "Bollywood blockbuster to Kollywood classic: Kamal Haasan picks his 70 favourite movies". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 13 August 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2018.


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