Sandhya Raagam

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Sandhya Raagam
Sandhya Raagam.jpg
Title card
Directed byBalu Mahendra
Screenplay byBalu Mahendra
Story byAkila Mahendra
Produced byBalu Mahendra
CinematographyBalu Mahendra
Edited byBalu Mahendra
Music byL. Vaidyanathan
Distributed byDoordarshan
Running time
84 minutes

Sandhya Raagam (transl. Tune of the Twilight) is a 1989 Indian Tamil-language drama film produced, written and directed by Balu Mahendra.[1] It stars Chokkalinga Bagavathar, Oviyar Veera Santhanam and Archana in prominent roles. Shot in black-and-white, the film was photographed and edited by Mahendra himself. At the 37th National Film Awards, it won the Award for Best Film on Family Welfare (1990).


Chokkalingam, an octagenarian, leaves his village upon the death of his wife. He migrates to Madras, where his nephew Vasu, a lower-middle-class man lives along with his family. Chokkalingam becomes an additional burden for Vasu, who is not able to meet the demands of his own family.



The film's central theme revolves around old age.[2]


The film was made on a shoestring budget. Like his previous films, Mahendra wrote the screenplay, edited and photographed the film apart from handling the direction. Ramasamy was hired as the art director while V. S. Murthy and A. S. Laxmi Narayanan looked after the audiography.[3] The film did not have any songs; L. Vaidyanathan composed the background score.[4]


Sandhya Raagam is yet to have a theatrical release, but was regularly aired on Doordarshan.[5] N. Krishnaswamy of The Indian Express said, "Balu Mahendra narrates the plight of his lead character with a tremendously observant eye. The celluloid breathes silence and beauty, and the humour and piquancy of the situations are striking".[6]

The film won the National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare in 1990.[3] A year later, it was screened at the International Film Festival of India along with Anjali (1990) as the only two Tamil films as part of Indian Panorama.[7][8] In a 2007 interview to The Hindu, Mahendra said that Sandhya Raagam and Veedu were his two films "with the fewest compromises and mistakes."[9]

In 2011, Mahendra said that there was no existing negative of the film.[10][11]


  1. ^ "A life in cinema". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 27 August 2010. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013.
  2. ^ Baskaran 2013, p. 131.
  3. ^ a b "37th National Film Festival" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. p. 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  4. ^ S., Balu (21 January 1990). "அவார்டுக்கு அனுப்பப்பட்ட படங்கள்" [Films sent for awards]. Kalki. p. 40. Archived from the original on 31 July 2022. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  5. ^ Prasanna, R. S. (13 February 2009). "The calling cards for box office success". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  6. ^ Krishnaswamy, N. (21 September 1990). "Sandhya Ragam". The Indian Express. p. 7. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  7. ^ "14th International Film Festival of India" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. p. 124. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Anjali, Sandhya Raagam selected for Panorama". Indian Express. 2 November 1990. p. 7.
  9. ^ "Tamil books reviewed at Landmark". The Hindu. 10 January 2007. Archived from the original on 21 January 2007.
  10. ^ N, Venkateswaran (14 February 2014). "Balu Mahendra, who made his visuals speak, dies at 74". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  11. ^ "The digital picture: from reel to HD". The Hindu. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2014.


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