Sakalakala Vallavan

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Sakalakala Vallavan
Sakalakala Vallavan poster.jpg
Directed byS. P. Muthuraman
Produced byM. Kumaran
M. Saravanan
M. Balasubramaniam
Written byPanchu Arunachalam
StarringKamal Haasan
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Edited byR. Vittal
Release date
  • 14 August 1982 (1982-08-14)
Running time
137 minutes[1]

Sakalakala Vallavan (transl. Master of all arts) is a 1982 Indian Tamil-language masala film directed by S. P. Muthuraman and written by Panchu Arunachalam. The film stars Kamal Haasan, Ambika, Raveendran and Tulasi. Produced by AVM Productions, it revolves around a villager whose sister is raped by the village head's son when the former refuses to abide by his dictatorship. The villager vows to seek revenge and get his sister married to her rapist.

Sakalakala Vallavan was released on 14 August 1982. The film was a major commercial success and ran for over 175 days in theatres and was the highest-grossing film in Tamil cinema until 1989 when the record was broken by Apoorva Sagodharargal. It also made Haasan, then popular only with the elite, popular among the masses. The film was remade in Hindi as Abhimanyu (1989).[2]


Velu is a villager who manages the farm of his family. Ramaiah Pillai and his wife Parvathi are the landowners of the village. Parvathi cheats poor farmers and grabs their land and properties by lending money at a high rate of interest by mortgaging their properties. Their son Pazhani and daughter Geetha study in the city. Velu gets into issues with Parvathi's henchman when they try to cheat poor people. Due to this, Parvathi gets angry with Velu's family. Pazhani and Geetha complete their studies and return to the village. Geetha and Velu quarrel whenever they meet.

Velu's father Chinnaiah Pillai returns the money due to Parvathi through Pazhani. But when Velu goes to collect the promissory note from Pazhani, he lies that he has not received the money. Enraged, Velu beats him. Ramaiah comes to Velu's house, returns the promissory note and advises Velu to be calm. As revenge on Velu, Pazhani kidnaps and rapes Velu's sister Valli. Velu prevents her from committing suicide, and she decides the only way to undo this disgrace is by marrying Pazhani. Velu pleads with Pazhani to marry Valli but he refuses, saying this is his revenge for the insult meted out to him.

Some time later, Ramaiah and Parvathi attend a New Year's Eve party and meet the former's old friend Sundaram, a US-returned businessman with his children Sam and Bobby (actually Velu and Valli in disguise). Parvathi takes her family to Sundaram's house and is impressed by his wealth and children. She proposes that they get married with her son and daughter. Both the marriages take place and later that night, Sam and Bobby reveal their true identities to their new spouses.

Parvathi and her family try to end the marriage, but Ramaiah warns them of dire consequences and tells them to live together amicably. Though Geetha initially behaves indifferently, she gradually gets attracted to Velu and starts living with him normally. However, Pazhani does not accept Valli and ill-treats her. He also develops a relationship with Lalitha, a club dancer. Learning of this, Velu goes disguised as a Dubai-based Sheikh and offers a large amount of money to Lalitha's brother to live with Lalitha.

Both Lalitha and her brother are happy and she spends more time with Velu. When Pazhani comes to know this, he berates both Lalitha and her brother. Lalitha's brother decides to eliminate both Valli and Pazhani as they are impediments to his plans. He convinces Pazhani to bring Valli to an isolated bungalow and once they both enter, he sets the house on fire. By then, Lalitha, who is upset about her brother's plan, informs Velu about it, and he rushes to the place, defeats all the thugs (including Lalitha's brother) and saves both Pazhani and Valli. Pazhani realises his mistake and apologises to Valli and Velu; the family unites.



AVM Productions made the film to prove that Kamal Haasan was a "Master of all arts", keeping with the title Sakalakala Vallavan, which translates to the same.[5][6] It was writer Panchu Arunachalam who came up with the title.[7] The film was produced by M. Saravanan, M. Balasubramanian and M. S. Guhan. Cinematography was handled by Babu, and editing by R. Vittal.[1][4] The song "Illamai Idho Idho" was shot in a large king's court set created for a Kannada film, after suitable modifications to show it as a five star hotel.[5] Shooting locations included Pollachi in Coimbatore,[8] Kodambakkam in Madras (now Chennai),[9] and the AVM Garden Villa in Madras.[10]


Sakalakala Vallavan follows the "taming of the shrew" paradigm that was popular in Tamil cinema as early as the 1960s: "the city-bred girl making fun of the rustic and the latter turning the tables on her".[11] Film producer and writer G. Dhananjayan compared the film to the William Shakespeare play The Taming of the Shrew for following the same concept.[12]


Sakalakala Vallavan
Soundtrack album by
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelAVM Audio

The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja, with lyrics by Vaali.[13] The song "Nila Kayuthu" is set in the Carnatic raga known as Madhyamavati.[14] The disco song "Illamai Idho Idho" remains one of the most popular New Year-themed songs in Tamil cinema, and is played on radio and television channels every New Year.[15][16] The soundtrack cover shows Kamal Haasan, as he appears in that song.

In June 2013, A. Muthusamy of Honey Bee Music enhanced the songs from their original version on the film's soundtrack album to 5.1 surround sound.[17]

Side A
1."Ilamai Edho Edho"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Chorus 
2."Nila Kayuthu"Malaysia Vasudevan, S. Janaki 
3."Kattavandi" (female)S. P. Sailaja 
4."Amman Koyil"Ilaiyaraaja 
Side B
1."Nethu Rathiri"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki 
2."Kattavandi" (male)Malaysia Vasudevan 
3."Nila Kayuthu"Malaysia Vasudevan, S. Janaki 
4."Disco Music" – 

Release and reception[edit]

Sakalakala Vallavan was released on 14 August 1982.[18] The magazine Ananda Vikatan, in a review dated 5 September 1982, rated the film 42 out of 100, saying it would most probably collect the highest money and run for many days for the commercial masala offered to the audience and grand making.[19] Despite facing competition from another Muthuraman-directed film Enkeyo Ketta Kural, released on the same day,[20] Sakalakala Vallavan emerged the bigger success,[21] and ran for over 175 days in theatres.[22] G. Dhananjayan considered the film to have grossed over 1 crore (equivalent to 15 crore or US$2.1 million in 2019).[23] The film was the highest-grossing film in Tamil cinema until 1989 when the record was broken by Apoorva Sagodharargal.[24] It was dubbed into Telugu-language as Palleṭuri Simham and released on 10 December 1982.[25]


Sakalakala Vallavan widened Kamal Haasan's audience base from the "classes" to a hero of the "masses".[26] G. Dhananjayan noted that while Haasan was then considered an "A-centre star", the film took him "to the B and C centres".[27][a] Despite the film's success, Haasan thought little of the film, feeling it showed him as a "paid performer and not an actor". He added, "It cleared certain notions in my head about the mistakes I shouldn't make."[29] Sakalakala Vallavan inspired the title of a 2015 film which was not related to this film. Sudhir Srinivasan of The Hindu noted that both films were "about a gold-hearted villager and his taming of an urban woman".[30] "Illamai Idho Idho" was used as the title for one of the segments of the 2020 anthology film Putham Pudhu Kaalai directed by Sudha Kongara.[31]


  1. ^ In Tamil cinema terminology, audiences are categorised into three centres: A centre (audiences in urban places like Chennai or Coimbatore), B centre (audiences in semi-urban places) and C centre (rural audiences).[28]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Dhananjayan 2011, p. 76.
  2. ^ "Abhimanyu". MySwar. Archived from the original on 24 November 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  3. ^ Rajendran, Sowmya (11 April 2017). "From 'Sakalakala Vallavan' to 'Kaatru Veliyidai': Tracing Kollywood's portrayal of abusive love". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b ராம்ஜி, வி. (14 August 2020). "'இளமை இதோ இதோ', 'நிலா காயுது' , 'நேத்து ராத்திரி யம்மா'; 38 வருடங்களாக மனதில் நிற்கிறான் 'சகலகலா வல்லவன்'!". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 25 May 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  5. ^ a b முத்துராமன், எஸ்பி. (15 June 2016). "சினிமா எடுத்துப் பார் 62: கதைக்காக நடிகர்!" [Try making a film 62: Actor for the story!]. Hindu Tamil Thisai. Archived from the original on 15 August 2020. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  6. ^ Swaminathan 2003, p. 28.
  7. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 257.
  8. ^ Venkateswaran, N. (6 November 2011). "Big Shots, Hot Spots". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Scenes from a city: When Madras was in the movies". The Times of India. 22 August 2009. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  10. ^ Prabhakar, Bhavani (7 June 2018). "AVM Garden Villa opens its doors for public events". The News Today. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  11. ^ Raghavendra, M. K., ed. (2017). Beyond Bollywood: The Cinemas of South India. HarperCollins. p. 40. ISBN 9789352645695.
  12. ^ Dhananjayan, G. (14 July 2017). "Similar storylines need to show new tricks to hook fans". DT Next. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  13. ^ Ilaiyaraaja (1982). Sakalakala Vallavan (liner notes) (in Tamil). AVM Audio. Archived from the original on 2 February 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  14. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 148.
  15. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 261.
  16. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (1 January 2018). "Southern Lights: Best New Year Songs". Film Companion. Archived from the original on 2 February 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  17. ^ "Music to his ears". The Hindu. 14 June 2013. Archived from the original on 15 November 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  18. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 256.
  19. ^ Dhananjayan 2011, p. 77.
  20. ^ Anand, N (21 August 2017). "An August Season". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  21. ^ Suganth, M. (20 July 2019). "Movie Milestone: 30 Years Of Raja Chinna Roja". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 24 July 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  22. ^ Selvaraj, N. (20 March 2017). "வெள்ளி விழா கண்ட தமிழ் திரைப்படங்கள்" [Tamil films that completed silver jubilees]. Thinnai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  23. ^ Suganth, M. (10 August 2016). "Man who introduced Raaja and reinvented commercial cinema". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  24. ^ "ஒரு துப்பாக்கி கையில் எடுக்காதே, எந்தத் தோட்டாவும் என்ன துளைக்காதே!" - கமல் சொல்லி அடித்த 'அபூர்வ சகோதரர்கள்'". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 14 April 2020. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  25. ^ "Palleturi Simham (1982)". Archived from the original on 13 February 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  26. ^ Swaminathan 2003, p. 27.
  27. ^ Suganth, M. (26 July 2015). "Panchu Arunachalam is the man who invented Rajinikanth as an actor". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 30 August 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  28. ^ Pillai, Sreedhar (3 September 2016). "Return of the native". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 February 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  29. ^ "I make very angry social statements in my films – Kamal Haasan". The Free Press Journal. 7 November 2015. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  30. ^ Srinivasan, Sudhir (1 August 2015). "Sakalakala Vallavan: Old, crass and hostile". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 16 December 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  31. ^ "'Putham Pudhu Kaalai': Amazon Prime Video announces anthology of five Tamil short films". The New Indian Express. 30 September 2020. Archived from the original on 3 November 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2020.


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