|Produced by||Janani Art Creations|
|Edited by||P. Mohan Raj|
Janani Art Creations
|Distributed by||Janani Art Creations|
|27 December 1987|
Vedham Puthithu (English: New vedha) (1987), starring Sathyaraj and Amala is a Tamil movie, written by K.Kannan - who after this movie came to be known as Vedham Puthithu Kannan - and directed by Bharathiraja. Charuhasan, Saritha, Raja and 'Nizhalgal' Ravi played supporting roles in the movie.
This film is a strong critique of the caste system and its hypocrisies  The film's narrative was seamless and starred Sathyaraj as Balu Thevar. It contains some of Bharathiraja's trademark directorial touches as well as a lot of path breaking scenes, along with Kannan's powerful dialogues.
This was considered the last film MGR watched, before his death.
Balu Thevar (Sathyaraj) and Saritha live in a village and belong to a land-owning warrior caste (Thevar), held supposedly lower in the Vedic caste system hierarchy than Brahmins. Balu Thevar though, is an atheist and speaks openly against the caste system, but is nevertheless tolerated by the villagers because he is generous in helping others in need. Their son, Raja, has just returned from the city having completed his education. He meets Vaidehi (Amala Akkineni), who is the daughter of a Brahmin Sastri (Priest), and they fall in love. Both of their parents discover their love and Vaidehi's father tries to marry her off to another man in a neighboring village. On the way, Vaidehi fakes her suicide to escape the marriage, and hides in a house (Nizhalgal Ravi's) that she happens to pass by. In the meantime, thinking that Vaidehi is really dead, Vaidehi's father confronts Raja and accuses him of causing her death. During the discussion, they slip and fall into the waterfall and both men die.
At this point, Vaidehi's younger brother (named Sankara - a play on Adi Sankaracarya, the founder of the Monistic system of Hindu Vedic Philosophy called Advaita Vedanta), who is devoutly studying the Vedas and passing through the student phase of his Brahmin life, is left an orphan. Being considered inauspicious, since his mother, father, and sister are all dead, no one from the Brahmin community wants to take care of him. He thus wanders the streets begging for food. Balu Thevar is bothered by this, and having lost his own son, he takes him home to raise him as his own son. They give up eating meat, so as not to offend the boy. However, since the boy has been eating in a lower caste home, he is rejected by his community from learning the Vedas. Sarita (the wife) is enraged, and promises to educate the boy instead in an English medium school. Balu Thevar makes fun of the boy telling him that it is not important to learn Vedas and worry about caste. At this point, the boy points out Balu Thevar's hypocrisy, at his preference for using his caste name (Thevar), while at the same time professing against the caste system. Sathyaraj sees the merit in this argument, and immediately after this abandons all his weapons (symbols of his warrior Thevar caste) by immersing them in a river, and stops referring to himself by his caste name, going only by "Balu".
Vaidehi, not knowing of Raja and her own father's death, tells Nizhalgal Ravi about her love, after which he promises to reunite them. There's a beautiful and sad song here where she imagines her happy future. Nizhalgal Ravi comes to the village and finds out what has happened and informs Vaidehi. Vaidehi, then sadly returns to her village, and informs Saritha (the wife) to take care of her younger brother for the rest of his life and prepares to leave.
Meanwhile, Janakaraj, a Brahmin who had wanted to marry Vaidehi, but was rebuked publicly by her, sees Amala return. He riles up the villagers with news of Vaidehi's return and states that it's extremely inauspicious for the village, since her last death rites have already been performed. He also states that it is not proper for Brahmins to live in a non-Brahmin house. He then sets some hay on fire and tells the villages it's the god's disapproval of these two crimes. He assembles a parade of villagers towards Balu (Sathyaraj)'s house with weapons, and they demand that Balu kick out Vaidehi from his home. Balu refuses, a fight breaks out, and in the ensuing scuffle, he is stabbed and dies. His final request is for the villagers to live in unity, and not let caste divide them. In the poignant and controversial closing scene, Sankara the young boy, who has now lost two fathers, is seen alone in the twilight hour of the holy Sandhya ritual, removing his Brahminical sacred thread and immersing it in a nearby stream, disgusted with, and in open defiance of the so-called hypocrisies of Brahminical casteist beliefs, while performing the last funeral rites of Balu Thevar as though he were Thevar's own son.
- Sathyaraj as Balu Thevar
- Master Dasarathi as Sankaran
- Saritha as Balu Thevar's Wife Petchi
- Amala as Vaidehi
- Raja as Sankarapandi
- Janagaraj as Krishna Iyer
- Charuhasan as Neelakantasastrigal
- Nizhalgal Ravi (Voice Over by P. Bharathiraja)
- Theni Kunjarammal
The film has music composed by Devendran while the lyrics were written by Vairamuthu. The songs, including Kannukkul Nooru Nilava, were a hit. It is a common misconception that the music was composed by composer Ilayaraja. Devendran revealed that he had composed a fusion tune which he had slightly modified as Kannukkul Nooru. The song is set in Shanmukhapriya raga.
|1.||"Kannukkul Nooru"||Vairamuthu||S.P.Balasubrahmanyam, K. S. Chithra||5.14|
|2.||"Mandhiram Sonnen"||Vairamuthu||Mano, S. Janaki||4.53|
|3.||"Putham Puthu Olai"||Vairamuthu||K. S. Chithra||4.55|
|4.||"Mattu Vandi Salai"||Vairamuthu||Malaysia Vasudevan||4.06|
|5.||"Sandhikka Thudittaen"||Vairamuthu||S.P.Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki||4.58|
The movie was a super hit at the box office and went on complete 150 days on the screens making it second consecutive Victory for Sathyaraj-Bharathiraja duo.
- Best Film on Other Social Issues for Janani Art Creations and P. Bharathiraja
- Best Editing for P. Mohan Raj
- Best Tamil Film for Bharathiraja
- Best Tamil Actor for Sathyaraj
- Best Tamil Director for Bharathiraja
- "Vedham Pudhithu Vinyl LP Records". musicalaya. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Mani, Charulatha (2 September 2011). "A Raga's Journey - Sacred Shanmukhapriya". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- Saravanan, T. (20 September 2013). "Ragas hit a high". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- "Vedham Pudhithu songs". raaga.com. Retrieved 15 February 2012.