Nenjathai Killathe

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Nenjathai Killathe
Nenjathai Killathe (1980).jpg
Directed by J. Mahendran
Produced byK. Rajagopal Chetty
Written byJ. Mahendran
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography Ashok Kumar
Edited byA. Paul Duraisingh
Devi Films
Release date
  • 12 December 1980 (1980-12-12)

Nenjathai Killathe (lit.Don't Pinch the Heart) is a 1980 Indian Tamil language romantic drama film written and directed by J. Mahendran. The film stars Suhasini, in her debut film appearance, as the central character along with Sarath Babu, Mohan and Pratap K. Pothen in other prominent roles. The film's score and soundtrack were composed by Ilaiyaraaja while the cinematography was handled by Ashok Kumar. The film won three awards each at the 28th National Film Awards and Tamil Nadu State Film Awards in 1981. The performances of Suhasini and Sarath Babu received critical acclaim. [1] The film was dubbed into Telugu as Mouna Geetham.

Tamil language language

Tamil is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka, and by the Tamil diaspora, Sri Lankan Moors, Douglas, and Chindians. Tamil is an official language of two countries: Sri Lanka and Singapore and official language of the Indian state Tamil Nadu. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. It is used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia, along with English, Malay and Mandarin. Tamil is spoken by significant minorities in the four other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India.

Sathyam Babu Dixit, known by his stage name Sarath Babu, is an Indian film actor, known for his works in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi. He has acted in more than 200 films, most of them in a supporting role. He has acted in 80 films each in Telugu and Tamil, 20 in Kannada and a few in Malayalam and Hindi. He entered the film industry in 1973 through a Telugu film and later became popular through the Tamil film Nizhal Nijamagiradhu directed by K. Balachander. He has received eight state Nandi Awards.

Mohan (actor) Indian actor

Mohan Rao, known mononymously as Mohan or Mike Mohan is an Indian film actor, known for his works predominantly in Tamil cinema, and a few Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam films. He is also known as "Kokila Mohan" after his debut film Kokila, and "Mike" from numerous roles playing singers using microphones. In 1982, he received the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor for his work in Payanangal Mudivathillai.



Chandrasekhar and Mala are a married couple; their marital life is miserable due to Mala's demonic behaviour. Chandrasekhar's sister Viji, who is brought up by him, is enthusiastic, naughty and fun-loving. She lives life on her own terms. One day she bumps into Ram, a mechanic. Despite initial conflicts, they slowly become friends. Though good natured, Ram suffers from an inferiority complex and suspects everyone. Mala suspects that Chandrasekhar's classmate Ramya is his concubine since he visits her often. Chandrasekhar learns of Ramya's love for him only after his marriage to Mala. Ramya remains single and they share a platonic relationship, which antagonises Mala. Pratap, a photographer and distant relative of Chandrasekhar, comes to Chennai from Calcutta and works for an agency. Though Pratap likes Viji, he does not propose to her.

An inferiority complex consists of lack of self-esteem, a doubt and uncertainty about oneself, and feelings of not measuring up to standards. It is often subconscious, and is thought to drive afflicted individuals to overcompensate, resulting either in spectacular achievement or extremely asocial behavior. In modern literature, the preferred terminology is "lack of covert self-esteem".

Ram proposes to Viji, who is unsure whether to accept his suit. However, they become closer. Viji's harmless mischief at home with Mala intensifies when Viji mixes chilli powder in Mala's bath water as punishment for the nuisance Mala creates at home. Enraged, Mala swears revenge on Viji someday. Viji accepts Ram's proposal and informs Chandrasekhar, who advises her to reconsider her decision as he feels they are not compatible. However, seeing her persistence, he approves. Ram's parents visit Viji's house to meet Chandrasekhar and take the proposal forward; in his absence, they meet Mala. Mala, pretending it to be a slip of tongue, lies to them about an abortion Viji had, as a result of a stray relationship. Shocked, they inform Ram that they have heard this from a doctor (to keep the informer's identity a secret). A shocked Ram confronts Viji and asks her to clarify, saying he would decide the future course of action based on her reply. Angered with Ram's lack of trust in her, she ends her relationship with him. Seeing a depressed Viji, Chandrasekhar advises her to marry Pratap, as he is mature enough for her. Initially reluctant, she eventually agrees and marries Pratap. When Viji is leaving for her new life with Pratap, she is further upset when Mala proudly declares that it was she who derailed her wedding with Ram by misleading his parents.

Post marriage, Viji is unable to accept Pratap as her husband and stays aloof since the memory of Ram's lack of trust lingers in her mind. Pratap too is not demanding and patiently waits for her to become normal. Viji is unable to forget her past, and her indifference affects Pratap's creativity and work. One day, Ram also moves in with his wife to the same apartment complex and becomes Viji's neighbour; Viji gets all the more disturbed. Pratap loses his job and plans to relocate to Calcutta. He reserves tickets for Viji as well, but lets her decide if she wants to accompany him. When she is undecided, Ram, who is aware of the happenings, invites her to his home. He introduces her to his physically handicapped wife (whom he had married to atone for his sin in doubting Viji's character) with whom he tries to be happy now. Ram mentions that despite his wife's handicap, he tries to live happily with her. He asks Viji why she cannot live happily with Pratap, who is more qualified and better than him in all respects, instead of thinking about their past and the grouse of losing the life she dreamt of. Realising her mistake of spoiling her present by living in the past, Viji rushes to meet Pratap who has already left for the airport. At the airport, she requests him to disembark and joins him.


Suhasini Maniratnam Indian film actor, director

Suhasini Maniratnam known commonly as Suhasini, is an Indian actress known for her works in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada films. She made her film debut in 1980 with the Tamil film Nenjathai Killathe, for which she won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress. Suhasini won the National Film Award for Best Actress for Sindhu Bhairavi in 1986. Suhasini is considered as one of the greatest actresses in South Indian Cinema.

Shanthi Williams is an Indian actress who has played supporting roles in Tamil and Malayalam movies and serials.

Vanitha is an Indian film actress. She was a prominent lead and comedy artiste during the 1980s in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu films. She has done nearly 150 films in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu.


While staying in a Mumbai hotel, director J. Mahendran looked out of his window and saw a woman jogging. According to him, "Her concern was just fitness. Would it be the same once she gets married? I wondered." This led to him developing the screenplay of the film that would become Nenjathai Killathe. [2] For the lead characters, Mahendran wanted to cast new actors. [3] Mohan who had earlier acted in Balu Mahendra's Kokila (1977) was hand-picked by Mahendran to play the male lead, [3] while Suhasini, then a camera-assistant to Ashok Kumar, was spotted by Mahendran during the filming of his previous venture Uthiripookkal . [4] During the making of Uthiripookal, Suhasini used to visit her father Charuhasan, who was a part of the film's cast. [3] Impressed by her speech and behaviour, Mahendran decided to cast her as the female lead in Nenjathai Killathe. [3] Initially, Suhasini was reluctant to take up acting as she always wanted to become a cinematographer. [5] However, she agreed to do the film after being convinced by her father. [3] [6] Pratap K. Pothen was cast as a photographer. [7] The film saw Mohan playing a major role for the first time in Tamil cinema. [8] The film was shot in Bangalore, mostly around Cubbon Park. [9] [10] The costume designing was done by Jeyaraj, a reputed artist. [11]

Balu Mahendra Sri Lankan film director

Balanathan Benjamin Mahendran, commonly known as Balu Mahendra, was an Sri Lankan cinematographer, director, screenwriter and film editor who worked predominantly in Tamil cinema. Born in a Sri Lankan Tamil family, he developed a passion for photography and literature at a young age. After witnessing the shoot of David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) during a school trip in Sri Lanka, he was drawn towards filmmaking. He graduated from the London University and started his career as a draughtsman with the Sri Lankan Government. In 1966, he moved to India and gained admission to the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) to pursue a course in motion picture photography. Upon completion of his diploma, he entered Malayalam cinema as a cinematographer in the early 1970s.

<i>Kokila</i> (1977 film) 1977 film by Balu Mahendra

Kokila is a 1977 Kannada-language romance film starring Kamal Haasan, Shoba playing the title character along with Roja Ramani and Mohan in other prominent roles. The film marked the directorial debut of Balu Mahendra, who was a cinematographer working predominantly in South Indian films then. The film was successful upon release in Karnataka and its neighbouring states, becoming the first Kannada film to be screened for 100 days in Madras. Kokila was remade into Malayalam as Oomakkuyil and in Hindi as Aur Ek Prem Kahani both by Mahendra himself in 1983 and 1996. Mahendra won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography and Karnataka State Film Award for Best Screenplay.

Ashok Kumar (cinematographer) Indian cinematographer

Ashok Kumar Aggarwal,ISC was an Indian cinematographer who worked mainly in the South Indian film industry. In a career that spanned nearly four decades, he worked in over 125 feature films in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi languages.


The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. [12] For the song "Paruvamae" which depicts Mohan and Suhasini's characters jogging, Ilaiyaraaja suggested a unique way to reproduce the sound of the actors jogging. One of the musicians tapped his thighs to reproduce the jogging sound. [13]

Ilaiyaraaja Indian film singer and composer

Ilaiyaraaja is an Indian film composer, singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, orchestrator, conductor-arranger and lyricist who works in the Indian Film Industry, predominantly in Tamil. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Indian music composers, he is credited for introducing western musical sensibilities in the Indian musical mainstream. Reputed to be the world's most prolific composer, he has composed over 7000 songs, provided film scores for more than 1000 movies and performed in more than 20,000 concerts. Being the first Asian to compose a full symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, Ilaiyaraaja is known to have written the entire symphony in just 13 days which has never been done before in the world. He is also a gold medalist in classical guitar from Trinity College of Music, London, Distance Learning Channel. According to Achille Forler, board member of the Indian Performing Right Society, the kind of stellar body of work that Ilaiyaraaja has created in the last 40 years should have placed him among the world's Top 10 richest composers, somewhere between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Mick Jagger.

1"Hey Thendralae" P. Susheela Gangai Amaran 4:33
2"Mummy Peru" S. Janaki 4:32
3"Paruvamae" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. JanakiPanju Arunachalam4:16
4"Uravenum"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. JanakiGangai Amaran5:31

Release and reception

Nenjathai Killathe was released on 12 December 1980, [14] and completed a theatrical run of roughly one year in Madras (now Chennai). [15] Although Suhasini was hesitant, her performance in the film received rave reviews. V. Shantaram, the chairman of the 28th National Film Awards, appreciated the opening scene and climax of the film shown in "intercut", which shows Suhasini jogging and rushing to the airport to catch her husband respectively. [3] It was also screened at the Indian Panorama of the International Film Festival of India. [16]

Chennai Megacity in Tamil Nadu, India

Chennai is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural, economic and educational centre of south India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth most populous city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city together with the adjoining regions constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked the 43rd most visited city in the world for the year 2015. The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India. Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists. As such, it is termed "India's health capital". As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Chennai confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems.

V. Shantaram Film director, actor

Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre, referred to as V. Shantaram or Shantaram Bapu, was a Marathi Indian filmmaker, film producer and actor. He is most known for films such as Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946), Amar Bhoopali (1951), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957), Navrang (1959), Duniya Na Mane (1937), Pinjra (1972), Chani, Iye Marathiche Nagari and Zunj.

28th National Film Awards

The 28th National Film Awards, presented by Directorate of Film Festivals, the organisation set up by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India to felicitate the best of Indian Cinema released in the year 1980. Ceremony took place in April 1981.

Ananda Vikatan felt the film was another attempt to change the taste of the audience, which should be welcomed and the audience was unable to cope with the speed of change but slowly the gap was reducing. [17]


National Film Awards [18]
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards [19]

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