Alaipayuthey poster


  • 14 Apr 2000
  • 2h 36m
  • Drama, Romance, Musical
7K+ users
Alaipayuthey is a 2000 Indian Tamil romantic drama film written, co-produced and directed by Mani Ratnam. Starring Madhavan and Shalini in central characters. The film explores the tensions of married life and the maturing of love. The score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman.





  • Status Released
  • Release date 14 Apr 2000
  • Running time 2h 36m
  • Genres Drama, Romance, Musical


Karthik Varadarajan (Madhavan) is an independent and free-spirited software engineering graduate from a wealthy family who owns a startup along with his friends. At a friend's wedding, he meets Shakthi Selvaraj (Shalini), a medical student from a middle-class family. The duo constantly bumps into each other on the local commuter trains they both use and eventually fall in love. Karthik pursues Shakthi aggressively and proposes marriage. Shakthi, however, is reluctant. Karthik manages to convince Shakthi and request his parents to formally ask Shakthi's parents for her hand in marriage. However, when the parents meet, they do not get along, and Shakthi calls off the relationship altogether and leaves for an extended medical camp in Kerala.

While apart, both Karthik and Shakthi realise that they are desperately in love and decide to get married without the knowledge or consent of their parents. They continue living separate lives after marriage, meeting outside of their homes and hoping that their parents will see eye to eye at some point in the future, and can be informed of the marriage. However, when the family of a Hyundai executive Raghuraman arrives at Shakthi's house one day to discuss a prospective wedding alliance between Raghuraman and Shakthi's elder sister Poorni (Swarnamalya), developments ensue resulting in Shakthi's parents attempting to fix her marriage to Raghuraman's younger brother Shyam. Shakthi confesses to her parents and Raghuraman's family that she is already married, leading to the alliance being called off, and her parents throw her out of the house. Karthik too divulges the same to his parents and is also asked by his father to leave his house.

Karthik and Shakthi start living together in a partially-constructed apartment and while all goes well for a while, they soon find that marriage is not as easy as they expected, and living under the same roof results in a large number of conflicts. The marriage gets increasingly tense as both have to cope with frustrations and disappointments. Shakthi soon learns that her father is diagnosed with jaundice and requests Karthik to visit him at the hospital. Karthik declines, citing her father's hatred of him as the main reason. He eventually agrees to meet him the following day, but by the time they reach her house, Shakthi's father has died. Wracked with guilt, the two return home, their relationship taking a turn for the worse. The two stop talking to each other.

Meanwhile, Karthik takes it upon himself to fix Poorni's broken alliance with Raghuraman. He arranges a blind date between the two, which initially fails. However, with more meetings, Poorni and Raghuraman become closer. This development takes place without Shakthi's knowledge. Karthik waits until Poorni and Raghuraman's marriage is confirmed before deciding to tell Shakthi. But Shakthi witnesses a girl hugging Karthik in gratitude at the railway station which eventually turns out to be Poorni, and misunderstands that he is having an affair with her sister, worsening their relationship.

Shakthi eventually learns from Poorni about her husband's efforts in getting her married and is overcome with guilt. Karthik sets off on the same evening to the railway station to pick up his wife as is their usual routine. In her rush to get home and makeup with Karthik, Shakthi meets with an accident. Karthik waits for her, and as she fails to turn up searches desperately for her throughout the city, ultimately discovering her in the ICU of a hospital. Karthik learns that Shakthi is registered under another name and is in a coma after having undergone brain surgery.

An IAS officer Ram (Arvind Swamy)admits that he caused the accident and admitted Shakthi in the hospital. As Karthik vents out his frustration on Ram, his wife intervenes and lets Karthik know that she was the person who caused the accident and injured Shakthi, and her husband was merely trying to protect her by taking the blame himself. Karthik observes Ram and notes that he has a lot to learn from the latter. He proceeds to Shakthi and admits that he could have been a better husband. Shakthi wakes up from her coma and the two reconcile.


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