|Directed by||J. Mahendran|
|Produced by||Radha Balakrishnan|
|Screenplay by||J. Mahendran|
|Edited by||B. Lenin|
|19 October 1979|
Uthiri Pookkal (lit. Scattered Flowers) is a 1979 Indian Tamil-language drama film, written and directed by J. Mahendran. The script was based on a short story titled Chitrannai by Pudhumaipithan. It starred then newcomers Vijayan, Ashwini, Madhumalini, Charuhasan, Master Haja Sheriff and Baby Anju in prominent roles while Sarath Babu plays a cameo. The soundtrack and background score were composed by Ilaiyaraaja. Ashok Kumar handled the cinematography, while B. Lenin made his debut as an independent editor with the film.
The film has been critically acclaimed and is considered a landmark film in Tamil cinema. Mahendran won the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Director and S. Janaki won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Female Playback. In 2013, IBN Live included the film in its list of 100 greatest Indian films of all time. Although no print of Uthiripookkal is known to survive, the film is still available on home video.
Sundaravadivelu (Vijayan) is a wealthy school manager and a landlord who is a hedonist and a sadist. He finds pleasure in torturing people emotionally, including his own family members. He also siphons the school's money for his own needs. His wife Lakshmi (Ashwini) is a goodhearted homely wife, and he has two children. Sundaravadivelu never respects his wife's feelings. He is an irresponsible husband and father. Lakshmi's father (Charuhasan) is indebted to Sundaravadivelu as he had borrowed money from him. Using this as a trump card, Sundaravadivelu proposes Lakshmi's sister Shenbagam (Madhu Malini). But Shenbagam and her father do not approve of this. Sundaravadivelu is infuriated and forces Lakshmi from his house, falsely accusing her of having an affair with the health inspector of the village (Sarath Babu). Lakshmi, who is seriously ill, passes away soon. Sundaravadivelu marries again, and his second wife shows no love or care towards him as well as his kids. Meanwhile, Shenbagam develops a liking towards a school teacher working at Sundaravadivelu's school. The school's management gets to know about Sundavadivelu's mismanagement and they decide to take action against him. The marriage of Shenbagam with her lover is set, and on the previous day, Shenbagam goes to Sundaravadivelu's house, requesting him to send his kids with her, so that she can take care of them. But Sundaravadivelu molests her, which is seen by his second wife. His wife ditches him and goes way. The villagers are provoked and maddened now. They corner Sundaravadivelu and ask him to choose his way of death, and finish his life. Sundaravadivelu commits suicide, and in his last moments, he realises that he was always a sadist. Moments before his death, he shares a tender moment with his kids.
- Vijayan as Sundaravadivelu
- Ashwini as Lakshmi
- Madhu Malini as Shenbagam
- Sarath Babu as the health inspector (Guest appearance)
- C . T. Rajakantham as Mother
- Sundar as Prakash
- Premi as Premi
- Master Haja Sheriff
- Baby Anju as Bhavani
- "Antha Poongathu" - Ilaiyaraaja - Gangai Amaran
- "Naan Paada" - S. Janaki - M. G. Vallabhan
- "Azhagiya Kanne" - S. Janaki - Kannadasan
- "Kalyaanam Paaru" - S. P. Sailaja - Muthulingham
- "Poodaa Poodaa Pokkai" - S. Janaki - Ilaiyaraaja
The film is considered as a breakthrough in commercial Tamil cinema and has been lauded by many film makers. In a 2002 interview with The Hindu, Mani Ratnam remarked "If I get anywhere near what Mahendran did in Udhiri Pookkal, I’ll be a happy man." The Times of India wrote "1979 was the year of Uthiripookkal". IBN Live included the film in its list of 100 greatest Indian films of all time in 2013.
- Filmfare Award for Best Director – Tamil - J. Mahendran
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Female Playback - S. Janaki
- [dead link]
- kavitha muralidharan (11 August 2013). "Second coming?". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- "Master of creative final touches". Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- "Filmmakers' favourites". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- "The magic of Mahendran". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 6 September 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- "A tale rooted in the soil". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 28 November 2003. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- Mar 20, N. Venkateswaran; 2011; Ist, 2:48. "The chronicler of Kollywood - Chennai News - Times of India". The Times of India. Text " TNN " ignored (help); Text " Updated:" ignored (help)
- "உதிரிப்பூக்கள், 16 வயதினிலே, மூன்றாம் பிறை… அன்றும் இன்றும்.. திறமைக்கு மரியாதை #VikatanReviews #VikatanAwards". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 3 January 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- "Cannes is not my goal". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 12 April 2002. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- "Ninaithale Inikkum". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- "100 Years of Indian Cinema: The 100 greatest Indian films of all time". IBN Live. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "Awards and Achievements". Retrieved 27 November 2012.