Thavamai Thavamiruntu (2005)


Thavamai Thavamiruntu (2005)

Muthiah (Raj Kiran) and Sarada (Saranya), a honest and hard working village couple, who bring up their two sons Ramanathan (Senthil) and Ramalingam (Cheran) the hard way. Muthiah being an illiterate wants his sons to be well educated. Naturally, he goes out of the way to provide them quality education. But problem arises with the arrival of a daughter-in-law. Ramanathan gets married to Latha (Meena),and the new comer to the family is hardly empathetic to the emotions and beliefs of her in-laws. Meanwhile, Ramalingam too elopes with a college mate (Padmapriya). The aged parents are left clutching at the straws of life. Eventually, Ramalingam understands the folly of his ways and he comes back and tries to piece back the shattered shreds of their family lives.
IMDb   7.7 /10
TheMovieDb    6.5 /10
Director Cheran
Writer Cheran
Release Date2005-11-01
Runtime3h 0mins
Content Rating
Awards5 wins.
CompanyShanmugha Priya Films
Sarada (as Saranya)

Thavamai Thavamirundhu

Thavamai Thavamirundhu (transl. Before and after the Penance) is a 2005 Indian Tamil-language drama film written and directed by Cheran. The film stars himself and Padmapriya with Rajkiran, Saranya, Senthil Kumar, and Meenal portraying supporting roles. The music was composed by the duo Sabesh-Murali with cinematography by M. S. Prabhu and editing by B. Lenin. The film released on 2 December 2005.

The film won the National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare. At 275 minutes, it is the second longest Indian film by runtime.


The movie begins with Muthaiah (Rajkiran) being admitted into the hospital due to a serious head injury. The incident that led to the injury is kept in suspense for the audience.

The story is narrated by Muthaiah's second son Ramalingam (Cheran), when he comes to visit his father in the hospital. Overcome by emotions, he recollects, along his trip, bits and pieces of memories from his younger days with his father.

The first part of the story is about how Muthaiah, a father in a lower-middle-class family, struggles to raise his children. Muthaiah runs a printing press and works really hard to make ends meet, but he still has to borrow money from the exploitive local moneylenders to give his sons a good education. There is a scene where the children are eagerly expecting their father to return home with gifts during festive season, and the father encounters a setback in the cash flow in his business, and yet seizes an opportunity to make some money by working throughout the night. This scene encapsulates the sacrifices the father makes for the happiness of his sons.

The story then moves to the teenage years of the children, where they find it hard to resist the temptations of the adolescent stage of life. Ramalingam is a good student and gets admitted to an engineering college, where he gradually falls in love with his classmate Vasanthi (Padmapriya). Ramalingam finds freedom when he moves from his home to his college residence. When Ramalingam is madly in love with the girl, there is an opportunity for them to have moments of privacy, and they succumb to temptation. This leads to an accidental pregnancy and raises questions about their future. Meanwhile, Ramalingam's brother Ramanathan (Senthil Kumar) was married and just had a child. Ramanathan has a misunderstanding with his father and walks out of his parent's home. The main cause of friction within the family is the lack of privacy for Ramanathan and his wife (Meenal) and a lack of freedom for the young couple to run the day-to-day affairs of their family.

Alas, the father expects his sons to help him repay the loans he had to borrow for their education, and they reconcile with each other. During this chaos, Ramalingam is not able find an opportunity to confess his mistake to his parents. As time runs out, Ramalingam and Vasanthi elope to Chennai, unable to reveal the truth about the pregnancy to their respective parents and face a very uncertain future. They decide to get married and search for jobs. Ramalingam is unable to find a well-paying job and takes up a job in a printing press as a stop-gap arrangement. He has to console Vasanthi in a few situations when he himself is facing a lot of trials and tubulations. Ramalingam and Vasanthi are a loving couple in spite of being in a poor financial situation.

Vasanthi eventually gives birth to a daughter, but Ramalingam struggles to pay for medical expenses. He calls his former classmate and borrows money from his friend. The friend informs Ramalingam's father about Ramalingam's situation. Muthaiah comes to meet Ramalingam and gives him some cash for the sake of the new born child. He also recalls how he himself faced a cash crunch when Ramalingam was born. Ramalingam and Vasanthi are touched by Muthaiah's gesture and decide to move back to Ramalingam's village to get the support from his family in raising the child. They find acceptance from their parents and are relieved. Slowly, Ramalingam finds a good job and moves up in his career. The family becomes more comfortable, and they move to Madurai. They become very close-knit. Ramalingam is responsible and cares for his parents.

Ramalingam facilitates a family reunion with his brother's family, and they reconcile with each other. Meanwhile, Ramalingam's mother Saradha (Saranya) passes away after many years of happy and satisfying family life with Ramalingam's family. After Saradha's final rites, Muthaiah decides to stay in the village to relive the days that he spent with his deceased wife. Meanwhile, Ramanathan comes to his father to ask for some financial help by selling their family home in the village, and Muthaiah gets upset. While upset, Muthaiah slips and falls into a well. He is treated in the hospital but unfortunately succumbs to his injuries and passes away.


  • Cheran as Ramalingam
  • Padmapriya as Vasanthi Ramalingam
  • Rajkiran as Muthaiah
  • Saranya as Saradha
  • Senthil Kumar as Ramanathan
  • Meenal as Ramanathan's wife
  • Ilavarasu as Muthaiah's co-worker
  • Karthick V as child Ramalingam


The soundtrack album is composed by the musical duo Sabesh-Murali.

Track list
1."Ore Oru Oorukkulle"SnehanSabesh, Jayakumar5.55
2."Unnai Saranadaindhen"ThenmozhiPrasanna, Kalyani3.52
3."Oru Muraidhan"Pa. VijayUnni Menon6.07
4."Yenna Paarkkirai"CheranYugendran, Suchitra3.58
5."Aakkatti"SA. PerumalJayamurthi4.31
6."Theme" Sarath, Madhu Balakrishnan, Sudha Ragunadhan4.28
7."Aavaaram Poove"ThenmozhiMadhu Balakrishnan2.24
Total length:29.55


Critical reception

Sify wrote "Cheran has kept the flag of uncompromised cinema flying and is one of the handful of directors, whose calling card remain his artistry over the medium. Once again its time to rejoice as his latest Thavamai Thavamirundhu is brilliant and appeals as much to the mind as the heart." Behindwoods wrote "This is a family story that will be liked by all especially the elders. The dialogues are also sentimental and how parents should be treated for whatever they do is highlighted by Cheran".

Box office

  • The film grossed $120 million at the box office.
  • Initially, the run time was four hours and thirty-five minutes. Exhibitors forced the director to trim the film to accommodate more shows per day.

Awards and nominations

  • Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Tamil – Saranya Ponvannan - Won
  • Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Tamil – Rajkiran - Won
  • Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Tamil - Senthil Kumar - Nominated
  • Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South – Padmapriya - Won
  • National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare – Thavamai Thavamirundhu - Won
  • Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film- Third Prize, 2005 - Won