Sathi Leelavathi (1995 film)

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Sathi Leelavathi
Sathi Leelavathi (1995).jpg
Directed byBalu Mahendra
Written byCrazy Mohan (dialogue)
Screenplay by
Story byAnanthu
Produced byKamal Haasan
CinematographyBalu Mahendra
Edited byBalu Mahendra
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Distributed byRaaj Kamal Films International
Release date
  • 15 January 1995 (1995-01-15)
Running time
144 mins
Budget2.95 crore (equivalent to 15 crore or US$2.0 million in 2020)
Box office8 crore (equivalent to 40 crore or US$5.4 million in 2020)

Sathi Leelavathi (transl. Leelavathi, the chaste wife) is a 1995 Tamil language 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 in supporting roles.[1] The film was produced by Kamal Haasan, with story by Ananthu and dialogues by Crazy Mohan, with Ilaiyaraaja as music composer. Sathi Leelavathi was a commercial success and was remade by David Dhawan in Hindi as Biwi No.1 (1999) and by Ramesh Aravind himself in Kannada as Rama Shama Bhama (2005).


Arun (Ramesh Arvind) is married to Leelavathi (Kalpana) in a forced 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 hides from her the fact that 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. Then, Leelavathi plans a series of dramas 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]

Jayaram was initially offered the lead role but his unavailability meant that the team finalised Ramesh Aravind.[3] Kovai Sarala was signed to portray the role of Palani after great debate. While Kamal Haasan wanted her in the film, Balu Mahendra was hesitant. Kamal Haasan waited for Sarala for six months and brought her on board the film. Sarala later said that Mahendra was delighted that she was part of the film and that he felt bad for initially having doubts in her ability.[4] Kamal Haasan speaks Kongu Tamil (Coimbatore Tamil) in the film, which he was said to have learned from Kovai Sarala.[5] Kovai Sarala won Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian award.


Sathi Leelavathi
Soundtrack album by
GenreFeature film soundtrack
External audio
audio icon Audio Jukebox (Tamil) on YouTube

The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja.[6]

1."Ethana Vagai"VaaliChorus4:30
2."Marugo Marugo"VaaliKamal Haasan, K. S. Chithra6:10
3."Oru Thaaram"VaaliBen Surender2:07
4."Maharajanodu"VaaliP. Unnikrishnan, K. S. Chithra5:19
5."Theme Music"  2:03
Total length:21:09


The film became a profitable venture for the producers.[7]

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.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Sathi Leelavathi". Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Archive News". The Hindu.
  3. ^ "'I love watching Kamal Haasan'". Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  4. ^ Rao, Subha J (25 April 2015). "Bring on the laughs". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Movies: Kamal, as we know him".
  6. ^ "Sathi Leelavathi Songs". Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  7. ^ "'Someone has taken a political ride on my vehicle'".
  8. ^ "Kannada Cinema News - Kannada Movie Reviews - Kannada Movie Trailers".
  9. ^ "Kamal Haasan in a Kannada film! -". 26 May 2005. Retrieved 29 November 2021.

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