|Directed by||Singeetam Srinivasa Rao|
|Edited by||V. R. Kottagiri|
|Distributed by||Haasan Brothers|
|10 April 1981|
Raja Paarvai (lit. The Royal Gaze) is a 1981 Tamil-language Indian romance film directed by Singeetham Srinivasa Rao. Loosely based on the 1972 film Butterflies Are Free, the story was written by Kamal Haasan, for whom the film was his 100th as an actor, and first as producer. The score and soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The film was simultaneously made and released as Amavasya Chandrudu (lit. Moon on a new moon day) 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.
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Raghu is a blind violinist oppressed since infancy by his stepmother. Nancy, a Christian, is keen on chronicling Raghu'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, leaves the church and elopes away with Raghu.
- Kamal Haasan as Raghu
- Madhavi as Nancy
- L. V. Prasad as Nancy's grandfather
- Chandrahasan as Raghu's father
- Dhanushkodi as Nancy's father
- K. P. A. C. Lalitha as Raghu's stepmother
- Y. G. Mahendra as Seenu
- Delhi Ganesh as George
- V. K. Ramasamy as Sulochana's Father
- Chitra as Sulochana
- Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy as the headmistress of the blind school
- Charuhasan as Pastor
Raja Paarvai was the 100th film for Kamal Haasan as an actor, and first as producer. He also worked as a screenwriter for the film. He produced the film along with his brothers Charuhasan and Chandrahasan under the banner "Haasan Brothers". It is loosely based on the 1972 film Butterflies Are Free. The film also marked the debut of art director Thota Tharani in Tamil cinema. It was simultaneously shot in Telugu as Amavasya Chandrudu, with principal photography for both versions taking place in 55 days. Among other locations, the film was also shot in Venus Studios. The final scene of the film which featured Madhavi's character leaving the church in her wedding dress and joining Haasan, was inspired by the final scene in The Graduate.
The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja, while the lyrics were written by Kannadasan, Vairamuthu and Gangai Amaran. The song "Andhi Mazhai" is set in two carnatic ragas: Vasantha and Pantuvarali, and the song "Vizhi Oraththu" is set in Shubhapantuvarali. For the instrumental "Modern Concerto", Viji Manuel was the keyboardist (playing the piano on arpeggio mode), while V. S. Narasimhan was the violinist. The songs were not originally released on a single gramophone record; "Andhi Mazhai" and "Modern Concerto" were released as one record, while "Azhage Azhagu" and "Vizhi Oraththu" were released as another.
|1.||"Andhi Mazhai Pozhikirathu"||Vairamuthu||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki||4:35|
|2.||"Modern Concerto" (Instrumental)||3:52|
|1.||"Azhagae Azhagu"||Kannadasan||K. J. Yesudas||4:28|
|2.||"Vizhi Oraththu"||Gangai Amaran||Kamal Haasan, B. S. Sasirekha||3:39|
Release and reception
Raja Paarvai was released on 10 April 1981. The film received critical acclaim, but was a box office failure, and Haasan had to work seven to eight years to recover from the loss he faced through this film. Nevertheless, his performance earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor, and over time, the film has attained cult status. Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema by Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Rajadhyaksha Willemen described Srinivasa Rao's direction and Haasan's performance as "unabashedly melodramatic, milking the hero’s disability for all its worth" and that Srinivasa Rao's zooms and cutaways underlined by "rapid and awkward editing" were "fully in evidence". 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. 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.
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She has also acted as the headmistress of a blind school in Kamal Hasan's movie, Rajapaarvai.
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