Last updated

Thunaivan poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by M. A. Thirumugam
Produced by Sandow M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar
Written byV. Balamurugan
Music by K. V. Mahadevan
CinematographyN. S. Varma
Edited by
  • M. G. Balu Rao
  • M. A. Thirumugam
Dhandayuthapani Films
Release date
  • 4 July 1969 (1969-07-04)
Running time
156 minutes

Thunaivan (transl.Companion) is a 1969 Indian Tamil-language Hindu devotional film directed by M. A. Thirumugam and produced by Sandow M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar. It was written by V. Balamurugan, while the music was composed by K. V. Mahadevan. [1] The film stars Sridevi, A. V. M. Rajan and Sowkar Janaki while Major Sundararajan, Nagesh, Sachu, Vennira Aadai Nirmala and K. B. Sundarambal are featured in supporting roles. The film marked Sridevi's first leading film role of her career at the age of five, playing Lord Muruga. It was partially filmed in Black & White and Eastmancolor, and was a commercial success, running in theatres for over 100 days. [1] The film was remade in Hindi as Maalik .



Velayudham (A. V. M. Rajan), an orphan and a devotee of Lord Murugan lives in the Murugan Temple of Pooncholai town with the support of the priest Ponnambalam (Senthamarai). The temple trustee (Major Sundararajan) cones for a special Pooja and notices the ruby stone missing in the deity's spear. He blames Velayudham and beats him and threatens to send him out of the town if it not returned by him the next day. An upset Velayudham pleads with Lord Murugan for justice and since the stone could not be traced, Ponnambalam gives his relative contact in Coimbatore and tells him to leave the town to avoid getting any punishment from the trustee. The next day, Ponnambalam finds the ruby inside the temple and rushes to stop him but it is too late as Velayudham has already left by train. On reaching Coimbatore, he loses his bag containing the address of Ponnambalam's relative. Lost in a new place, he finds solace in a discourse happening there by Kirupananda Variar and believes that Lord Murugan will certainly help him.

While buying Lord Murugan's portrait from Paramasivam (Nagesh) shop, Velayudham gets the address chit which he had lost and realises that the person he was supposed to meet is none other than Paramasivam. Velayudham gets a job from Bhama (Sachu), a fruit shop vendor close to paramasivam, and sells fruits on the roadside. He does very good business and saves up all the money. One day he gets help from Maragatham (Sowcar Janaki) in getting the money due from her friends, who try to cheat him.

One day, Velayudham helps an old man (V. S. Raghavan) with epilepsy struggling at the Murugan temple. Velayudham's help and sincerity in taking care of the old man's briefcase full of money impresses him and he offers Rs.10, 000/- as a token of his appreciation. Using that money, Velayudham starts a fruit stall, which becomes successful. He later starts jewellery shop and many other businesses. He soon becomes a rich businessman in the city and helps many people with his wealth.

Velayudham helps to retrieve Maragatham's stolen chain from his shop by a thief and she is very grateful. He chances upon the temple trustee on the road and invites him for lunch and the trustee comes with his daughter who to Velayudham's surprise is Maragatham. They both likes each other and the trustee notices this and proposes marriage between them. The marriage takes place and they commence a happy life.

One day, Velayudham asks Maragatham to accompany him to the Murugan temple at his hometown for the annual Pooja but she refuses. She tells him that she is an atheist and Velayudham is God to her and her home is her temple. She does not believe in God and temples. Velayudham is shocked and carries on with his plan. One day Kirupananda Variar comes home and Maragatham refuses to take his blessings as she does not believe in Sadhus also. Variar leaves a letter advising him to let her be for now.

Days pass by and Maragatham becomes pregnant. She delivers a very sick baby boy with birth defeats. Velayudham is shattered and keeps praying to God and blames her disbelief. Velayudham requests her to come with him to the temples with the child but she refuses. A year passes by and all doctors give up on the baby and finally her that only God can save the child without going to the temple and agrees to join him.

They both start visiting Lord Murugan temples across many towns with the child. One day, while maragatham is bathing, a snake comes near the child and in desperation she calls out Lord Murugan's name and a peacock appears and takes away the snake. She realises the presence of God there and starts believing and joins Velayudham in praying for the recovery of her child. They both meet Kirupananda Variar and seek his blessings in one of the temples. Finally, they visit Tiruchendur Temple along with another Devotee (K. B. Sundarambal) and pray to Lord Murugan there.

They both pleads to Lord Murugan by ringing the temple bell continuously for many hours and faint. Their prayers work and Lord Murugan (Sridevi) appears as a child and rings the bell. The bell falls down, breaking the floor and water seeps out on the baby. The child recovers and becomes normal making everyone happy. Velayudham, Maragatham and others pray to Lord Murugan for his blessings.



Actress Sridevi made her acting debut at the age of four with this film in the role of Muruga. [2] Although the makers wanted her to shave her head for the role, she ultimately did not do so. [3] This film was half taken in Black & White and Eastman colour. [1]


Soundtrack album to Thunaivanby
Genre Film soundtrack
Language Tamil
Label Saregama
Producer K. V. Mahadevan

The soundtrack was composed by K. V. Mahadevan and assisted by Pugazhendhi. Lyrics were written by Kannadasan and A. Maruthakasi. [1] The album was released under the label Saregama. [4]

Track listing
1."Naan Yaar Enbathai" T. M. Soundararajan, P. Susheela 03:35
2."Gokulathil Oru Iravu" L. R. Eswari 03:54
3."Marudhamalai Meethile"T. M. Soundararajan, P. Susheela08:39
4."Pazhanimalai Meethile" K. B. Sundarambal 02:10
5."Gnanamum Kalviyum"K. B. Sundarambal03:36
6."Andru Nee"K. B. Sundarambal01:17
7."Koopitta Kuralukku"K. B. Sundarambal00:51
8."Kondadum Thiruchendur"K. B. Sundarambal01:22
Total length:24:04

Release and reception

Thunaivan was released on 4 July 1969. [5] The Indian Express wrote, "If you can ignore the cinema medium, ignore the shortcomings in acting, story, direction and the craft of film-making but are bent upon seeing only the Murugasthalas, you will not be disappointed." [6]


1969 National Film Awards
1969 Tamil Nadu State Film Award [7]

Related Research Articles

<i>Thiruvilaiyadal</i> 1965 film A. P. Nagarajan

Thiruvilaiyadal is a 1965 Indian Tamil-language Hindu devotional film written, directed and co-produced by A. P. Nagarajan. The film features Sivaji Ganesan, Savitri, and K. B. Sundarambal in the lead roles, with T. S. Balaiah, R. Muthuraman, Nagesh, T. R. Mahalingam, K. Sarangapani, Devika, Manorama, and Nagarajan in supporting roles. K. V. Mahadevan composed the film's soundtrack and score, and Kannadasan and Sankaradas Swamigal wrote the song lyrics.

Valli Hindu goddess

Vaḷḷi is a Hindu goddess and the consort of the god Kartikeya. Valli is a tribal head girl, who lead a life as a huntress. Murugan the war god belongs to the mountain regions also known as Kurunji the same place where valli belongs.

<i>Avvaiyar</i> (film) 1953 film by Kothamangalam Subbu

Avvaiyar is a 1953 Indian Tamil-language historical drama film directed by Kothamangalam Subbu, and produced by S. S. Vasan. The film stars K. B. Sundarambal as the title character. It was released on 15 August 1953.

<i>Kaathala Kaathala</i> 1998 film by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao

Kaathala Kaathala is a 1998 Indian Tamil-language comedy film directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao and produced by P. L. Thenappan. The film stars Kamal Haasan, Prabhu Deva, Soundarya and Rambha. The film released on 10 April 1998, to positive reviews and became a commercial success. The film was later loosely remade in Hindi as Housefull.

<i>Maanavan</i> 1970 film by M. A. Thirumugam

Maanavan is a 1970 Tamil-language film directed by M. A. Thirumugam and produced by Sandow M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar under his production Dhandayudhapani Films. The script were written by Balamurugan. Music by Shankar - Ganesh assets to the film. The film starring Jaishankar and Muthuraman lead with Sowcar Janaki, Lakshmi, Nagesh and Sachu played pivotal roles. Kamal Haasan appears only for a dance sequence along with Kutty Padmini. This was Kamal Haasan's first adult role after a 7-year hiatus. The film also marks the debut of many character actors and comedians like Pandu, Kathadi Ramamurthy among others.

<i>Chokka Thangam</i>

Chokka Thangam is a 2003 Indian Tamil-language drama film written and directed by K. Bhagyaraj. The film was produced by G. Venkateswaran under GV Films. The film stars Vijayakanth, Soundarya, and Uma in lead roles with Goundamani, Senthil, Prakash Raj, and Swathi playing supporting roles. The film's score and music was composed by Deva. The film was released on 15 January 2003 and was a super hit at the box office. It was also dubbed in Telugu as Maa Bava Bangaram.

<i>Kandhan Karunai</i>

Kanthan Karunai is a 1967 Indian Tamil-language mythological film, written and directed by A. P. Nagarajan. It features an ensemble cast including Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, Sivakumar, Savithri, K. R. Vijaya, Jayalalithaa, S. A. Ashokan, K. B. Sundarambal, Manorama and Nagesh.

<i>Annai Velankanni</i>

Annai Velankanni is 1971 Indian drama film in Tamil. The film stars Gemini Ganesan, Jayalalithaa, Padmini and K. R. Vijaya. Kamal Haasan briefly appears in an uncredited role as Jesus Christ. The film was directed by noted choreographer K. Thangappan. It comprises three stories pertaining to Catholic beliefs. Velankanni, where the film is set, is a real village in India, and has a large church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Jesus.


Seedan is a 2011 Indian Tamil-language drama film directed by Subramaniam Siva. The film stars Ananya of Naadodigal fame and newcomer Unni Mukundan in the lead and features Dhanush in a guest appearance, while Suhasini Mani Ratnam, Sheela, Vivek, Ponvannan, and Ilavarasu appear in supporting roles.

P. S. Veerappa

P. S. Veerappa was an Indian actor and a producer of Tamil cinema.


Dheivam is a 1972 Tamil-language anthology film, with Gemini Ganesan, R. Muthuraman, A. V. M. Rajan, Srikanth, K. R. Vijaya, Sowkar Janaki, Nagesh and Thengai Srinivasan in lead roles.

<i>Babu</i> (1971 film) 1971 film directed by A. C. Tirulokchandar

Babu is a 1971 Indian Tamil language film directed by A. C. Tirulokchandar. The film stars Sivaji Ganesan, Sowcar Janaki and Vennira Aadai Nirmala. The film had musical score by M. S. Viswanathan. It is a remake of the Malayalam film Odayil Ninnu, which itself was based on Kesavadev's novel of the same name. Ganesan played a rickshaw puller who adopts landlord's daughter.

<i>Arunagirinathar</i> (film) 1964 film by T. R. Ramanna

Arunagirinathar is a 1964 Tamil-language biographical film, directed by T. R. Ramanna and written by Sakthi T. K. Krishnasamy. Based on the poet of the same name, the film stars T. M. Soundararajan in the title role, with M. R. Radha, B. S. Saroja, Sharatha, C. Lakshmi Rajyam and Master Raghunath in supporting roles. It was released on 7 August 1964.


Sabatham is 1971 black-and-white Tamil Drama – Romantic film, directed by P. Madhavan. The film script was written by Bala Murugan. Music was by G. K. Venkatesh. The film stars K. R. Vijaya, Ravichandran, Nagesh and T. K. Bhagavathi playing lead, with V. K. Ramasami and Anjali Devi in supporting roles. The film had a Mahabharatha drama sequence played by Sridevi and L. Vijayalakshmi.

<i>Uttharavindri Ulle Vaa</i>

Uttharavindri Ulle Vaa is a 1971 Tamil-language Indian romantic comedy film, directed by N. S. Chakravarthi and produced by C. V. Sridhar under his production company Chitralaya Pictures. The film was written by Chitralaya Gopu, with music by M. S. Viswanathan. The film stars Ravichandran, Kanchana, Nagesh, Rama Prabha, Venniradai Moorthy and Gemini Mali in the lead roles, with Sachu, Thengai Srinivasan, Sundari Bai and Veera Raghavan in supporting roles. The film was remade in Telugu as Vintha Illu Santha Gola.

<i>Mooga Nomu</i>

Mooga Nomu is a 1969 Telugu-language drama film, produced M. Murugan, M. Saravanan and M. Kumaran by AVM Productions banner and directed by D. Yoganand. It stars Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Jamuna and music composed by R. Govardhanam. The film is a remake of the Tamil language movie Kalathur Kannamma (1960).

<i>Pillaiyo Pillai</i>

Pillaiyo Pillai is 1972 Indian Tamil-language romance drama film, directed by Krishnan-Panju and produced by Murasoli Maran. The script was written by M. Karunanidhi. The film features music by M. S. Viswanathan. It stars M. K. Muthu, in his debut film appearance as the central character, along with R. S. Manohar, C. R. Vijayakumari, Laskhmi and M. R. R. Vasu in other prominent roles.

Murugan Adimai is a 1977 devotional Tamil film with R. Muthuraman, A. V. M. Rajan, K. R. Vijaya, Nagesh, Major Sundarrajan and Thengai Srinivasan in lead roles.

Thiruvarul is a 1975 devotional Tamil film with A. V. M. Rajan, Jaya, Nagesh, Major Sundarrajan and Thengai Srinivasan in lead roles.

Iru Nadhigal is a 2009 Indian Tamil comedy-drama film directed by Chanakyan. The film features Vinod Veera and Sujibala in the lead roles, with Vijithran, Ponnambalam, Dhandapani, R. V. Udayakumar, Vadivukkarasi, Nalini, Vaiyapuri, Chaplin Balu, Kadhal Sukumar, Halwa Vasu and Benjamin playing supporting roles. The film, produced by Ragava Balaji, had musical score by J. K. Selva and was released on 27 February 2009.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Dhananjayan, G (2014). Pride of Tamil Cinema 1931–2013. Blue Ocean Publishers. pp. 210–211. ISBN   978-93-84301-05-7.
  2. "Sridevi returns to Tamil cinema with 'Puli'". The Hindu . PTI. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  3. Panicker, Anahita (4 July 2017). "'English Vinglish was my accidental return'". The Hindu . Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  4. "Thunaivan". Saregama . Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  5. "Thunaivan". The Indian Express . 4 July 1969. p. 10.
  6. "Film about faith". The Indian Express . 5 July 1969. p. 5.
  7. Anandan, Film News (2004). Sadhanaigal Paditha Thamizh Thiraipada Varalaru (Tamil Film History and Its Achievements). Sivagami Publications. p. 738.