Sathi Leelavathi (1995 film)

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This article is about the 1995 film. For the 1936 film directed by Ellis R. Dungan, see Sathi Leelavathi (1936 film).
Sathi Leelavathi
Directed by Balu Mahendra
Produced by Kamal Haasan
Written by Crazy Mohan (dialog)
Screenplay by Balu Mahendra
Story by Ananthu
Starring Ramesh Arvind
Kamal Haasan
Kovai Sarala
Music by Ilaiyaraja
Cinematography Balu Mahendra
Edited by Balu Mahendra
Distributed by Raaj Kamal Films International
Release dates
15 January 1995
Running time
144 mins
Country India
Language Tamil
Budget Rs 2.95 crores

Sathi Leelavathi is a 1995 Tamil comedy film co-written and directed by Balu Mahendra. It features Ramesh Aravind, Kalpana and Heera in the lead with Kamal Haasan and Kovai Sarala doing extended cameos.[1] The film was produced by Kamal Haasan, with story by Ananthu and dialogues by Crazy Mohan with Ilaiyaraja as music composer. Sathi Leelavathi was a commercial success and became remade twice, by David Dhawan into Hindi as Biwi No.1 (1999) and by Ramesh Aravind himself into Kannada as Rama Shama Bhama (2005).


Arun (Ramesh Arvind) is married to Leelavathi (Kalpana) in a resigned marriage. He is embarrassed by his wife's plain looks and her weight. When he meets Priya (Heera Rajagopal)- who works in a building construction company, he omits to tell her he is married and has an affair with her.

When he takes Priya with him on a vacation to Bangalore, he bumps into his old friend Dr. Sakthivel Gounder (Kamal Haasan)- an orthopedic surgeon from Coimbatore who is also in Bangalore with his wife Palani (Kovai Sarala) and his son Anand - travelling with him in the same flight and even staying in the same hotel. Sakthivel is called to Arun's room in the night - as Arun has slipped his disc and the hotel doctor is unavailable - and bumps into Priya thus finding out about the affair.

After returning to Chennai, Priya finds out that Arun is married but decides to continue with him when Arun says he was forced into marriage and promises to divorce his wife. When Arun's wife Leelavathi discovers Arun's affair, she has a huge showdown which leads to Arun leaving the house. After which Leelavathi plans a series of drama which makes Priya hate Arun. She does this with the help of Sakthivel,her father-in-law,children and Priya's old lover(played by Raja in a small role). Finally Priya unites with her old lover apologizing to him and Arun unites with Leelavathi.



Magie was the Art Director, while Balu Mahendra was also Editor and Cinematographer for the film.[2]

Kovai Sarala was signed to portray the role of Palani after great debate. While Kamal Haasan wanted her in the film, Balu Mahendra was hesistant. Kamal Haasan waited for Sarala for six months and brought her on board of the film. Sarala later told that Mahendra was delighted that she was part of the film and that he felt bad for initially having doubts in her ability.[3] Kamal Haasan speaks Kongu Tamil (Coimbatore Tamil) in the film, which he was said to have learned from Kovai Sarala.[4]


The music composed by Ilaiyaraaja.[5]

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 Ethana Vagai Chorus Vaali 4:30
2 Marugo Marugo Kamal Haasan, K. S. Chithra 6:10
3 Oru Thaaram Ben Surender 2:07
4 Maharajanodu P. Unni Krishnan, K. S. Chithra 5:19
5 Theme Instrumental 2:03


The film became a profitable venture for the producers.[6]

The film was later remade in 1999 in Hindi by David Dhawan as Biwi No.1 with Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor and Sushmita Sen in pivotal roles. The film was later also adapted in Kannada by Ramesh Aravind in 2005 as Rama Shama Bhama, with Aravind and Kamal Haasan reprising their roles.[7][8]


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