The year 1999: The first time that I came to know about this movie was sometime in September-October 1999 when I found Madhavan’s photo in the front cover of the Tamil magazine, ‘Ananda Vikatan’. Since he was coming in the ad for ‘Fair & Lovely’ at that time and I found him to be quite handsome, I immediately started turning the pages curious to know what was written about him and also to know his name. I found an interview with him and this is the first of the many interviews of his that I have read/watched till now. Being a person who didn’t watch many movies, it didn’t excite me much when I came to know that he was going to act in a Mani Ratnam movie! Believe it or not I wasn’t as crazy as I am now about Mani Ratnam’s movies. In fact the only movies of Mani Ratnam that I had watched at that time were Roja, Bombay and Anjali! I had watched a couple of other movies of his but didn’t remember anything about them.

This was the first picture of Alaipayuthey that I saw in ‘Vikatan’:


April 2000: I saw the trailer of Alaipayuthey for the first time in mid April at my cousin’s place. I just loved it! The song Snegidhane was shown beautifully switching between black & white and colour. Only Mani Ratnam can come out with such a wonderful picturisation!
Ours would have been one of the very few houses that didn’t have cable connection till 2000. We gave it in April and from the moment we got the connection I kept on changing the channels trying to find a trailer of Alaipayuthey and I watched them again and again and again!
The movie got released and to my surprise, I did watch the movie in theatre (a rare thing for me at that time). From the moment we watched the movie, my sister (another crazy fan of Mani Ratnam, Madhavan and A.R.Rahman like me) and I became even more crazy about the movie! The picturisation of the song Pachchai Nirame left us speechless. (It’s difficult to say one thing about the song that I like very much.)


We both were so excited after seeing the movie that we forgot most of the scenes in the movie within a couple of days!

The one thing about Mani Ratnam’s movies is that you will get to watch the whole video of the songs in TV only some months after the release of the movie. The first time Yaaro yaarodi was shown fully was in sometime in August. My sister recorded it in a video cassette and we kept on watching the song for more than 5 times everyday. For a long time, the video of Pachchai Nirame was shown only till the point just before the starting of the line ‘Alai illaadha aazhi vannam’ (the beginning of blue colour in the video). The first time the whole song was shown in Sun TV was in December 2000! Snegidhane was shown on January 1st, 2001. We recorded that too and watching all the songs everyday became a habit!

I watched the movie again on January 2001. Since me and my sister had forgotten most of the movie, it was like watching it for the first time again! We watched it twice. Alaipayuthey was telecast on Sun TV in May 2003. I recorded the movie and from then on it has almost become a habit of watching Alaipayuthey atleast once in two months. The magic of Alaipayuthey still remains the same. I now have a DVD of Alaipayuthey autographed by Mani Ratnam! 🙂

Meanwhile, I watched all other Mani Ratnam’s movies except Pallavi Anupallavi, Unaru and Idhaya Kovil and the rest as they say is history. 🙂

12 thoughts on “Alaipayuthey

  1. Vivek

    I used 2 wotch hindi channels n maddy was a constant presence on some serials…after the disappointment(commercially ie) i was hopin tat this wud b a hit n wat a hit it was!!
    still rmmr maddy jumpin in front of taj mahal(apparently the first trailer for the movie!) n one knew mani had got it spot on!!tho nowher close 2 mouna ragam,it was packaged neatly…mani+rahman+pc sriram-u cant ask for more can you?? 😉

  2. aarathy

    Good post.
    As far as visuals r concerned, 1 of the best movies of mani… But i am still glued to Mouna Raagam, Nayagan, Talapathi and AN. The subtle emotions are …..(no words)

  3. Hell's Angel

    i have watched madhavan even b4 he entered cinema..when i was in school ppl used to talk abt the serial sea-hawk and they were crazy abt him.. but he dint appeal 2 me even now…

    Alaipayuthey i remember seeing it in theatre with my brother.. it was a very good watch.. even when its shown on tv now i sit and watch except for the last 15mins which is a bit drag.. couldn’t really sit thru it..

    u haven’t watched idhaya koyil??better stay away..its just another masala type tamil movie with no logic…maybe mani had to make few compromises initially in his career..but music does magic again in tht movie..

  4. Hima Bindu

    I share the same views as that of urs..
    I remember telling to my frens that i have a big crush on mani wen asked bout my fav film personalities.. (sounds crazy rite!!). He s the ultimate guru wen it comes to film direction.
    Wen i first saw alaipayuthey, i was happy that there will be one addition to the very few sensible actors in tamil film industry. But i am really disappointed with madhavan’s performance in his other movies not directed by mani ratnam.. Does this show his capacity to act is not up to the standards???

  5. Aparna

    I dont remember that trailer 🙁

    Thanks…..So true!

    Hell’s Angel,
    I don’t think anything will stop me from watching a Mani Ratnam’s movie. Its just I keep missing Idhaya Kovil whenever it is shown on TV.

    Hima Bindu,
    crush on Mani?!!
    I haven’t watched many non-Mani movies of Madhavan. Instead of saying his acting is not upto the standards, I would say he didn’t choose the right kind of films.

  6. Reema

    Another crazy Mani Ratnam / Madhavan fan like myself??? I too fell in love with Madhavan, Mani Ratnam, A.R. Rehman and P.C. Sreeram after watching Alaipayuthey. I have seen the movie only around 20 times =p

    Like yourself, Aparna, I watched more of Mani’s movies only after watching Alaipayuthey. I loved Mouna Raagam and Nayagan. Haven’t managed to watched Bombay and his earlier movies that came before Mouna Raagam yet. Something about his films…dialogue, acting, emoting, everything’s excellent!

    I love the Madhavan-Shalini jodi…too bad they won’t be acting together again 🙁

  7. Aparna

    Thats great! Do try to watch Bombay soon. Its one of Mani’s best!

    //I love the Madhavan-Shalini jodi…too bad they won’t be acting together again 🙁 //
    Yup 🙁

  8. k_vicknes

    hie….i’m from malaysia…n me and my group of fans are die hard fans of maniratnam’s movies…I’ve watched countless times Mouna Ragam, Thalapathi, Anjali and Bombay….

    check out for this blog on the writer’s review of mani’s agni natchitiram…beautifully written…

  9. Suyog

    I saw this movie again for 15th (Maybe more who knows) time last night – and the magic of this movie remains the same. The chemistry between Karthi and Shakthi first as lovers, then as married couple is simply brilliant.


  10. Krishna Kumar.S

    I am not interested in Tamil cinema either. Infact, not even interested in Hollywood or Bollywood. But I like Kamal/Madhavan films to an extent. My cinema knowledge is so pathetic, that I can’t even recognise the present day heroines/heroes.

    Madhavan films are good. I believe he is good at romantic roles, than action. And he has got good looks. The songs of this film was too good. And ofcourse, I like this movie for one special reason. Trains! I love them and I find them often in this movie. I wish this movie had more of humour.


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