indian cinema heritage foundation

Pudhiya Paadhai (1989)

  • Release Date14/04/1989
  • GenreSocial
  • FormatColour
  • LanguageTamil
  • Run Time116 min
  • Length4165 meters
  • Censor RatingU/A
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Seetharaman (R. Parthiban), an orphan who was abandoned in the garbage soon after his birth, grows up to become a ruffian who does anything for money. On one occasion, he rapes a bride-to-be Seetha (Seetha), a beautiful and rich girl, on the eve of her wedding at the instruction of Annapoorani (Sathyapriya) for money. Seetha had earlier exposed Annapoorani for her malpractices in running an orphanage and got her arrested. After her release, Annapoorani took revenge on Seetha by stopping her marriage by getting her raped. Though the bridegroom offers to marry Seetha in spite of the untoward incident, saying it was just an accident, Seetha declines his kind offer and shifts to Aaya's (Manorama) house in the same slum where Seetharaman lives. She attempts to develop his acquaintance, much to everyone's disbelief Their constant confrontations bring about chemistry in their relationship. She narrates to the people in the area that he molested her and the sequences which forced her to leave her parents and live in the slum. They sympathize with her and everyone feels that Seetharaman has to accept her, as he is responsible for her present pitiable condition. Consequently, Seetha moves into his house. Her tender love and affection eventually lead to their marriage. Seetha advises him to shed the path of violence and reform himself 

Seetharaman slowly changes and tries to work hard in a righteous way to run his family. They are blessed with a boy and their happiness grows further. However, his past sins do not spare him. Thoguthi (Nasser), for whom Seetharaman was working earlier, kills Annapoorani when she demands her share from his illegal gains. Seetharaman gets arrested as he was working for Thoguthi earlier. To get released, he is forced to become an approver and confess about Thoguthi's activities. Thoguthi decides to kill Seetharaman to halt his appearance in court. He plants a bomb in a lunch box (identical to the one sent by Seetha to Seetharaman) and replaces it with the original. The bomb is planted in such a way that it would explode immediately when the lunch box is opened. Seetharaman, busy working for extra money to buy a gift for Seetha for their wedding anniversary, does not have lunch. He returns with the lunch box and leaves to visit the temple with Seetha. When Seetha gets into the home to take her child's feeding bottle (which she had forgotten) she opens the lunch box out of curiosity, expecting a gift from her husband and dies in the explosion. An angry Seetharaman attacks Thoguthi and is about to kill him, but his child's cries remind him of his responsibilities, so he spares Thoguthi's life. Thoguthi chases him, but a rushing lorry knocks him down and he dies. Seetharaman leaves with his child and brings him up. His timely decision ensures that one more orphan is not created in society. 

[from the book Pride of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 2013, by G Dhananjayan, Blue Ocean Publishers, 2014]

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