- Status Released
- Release date 11 May 2018
- Running time 177 minutes
During the year 1980, a popular yesteryear actress Savitri is found unconscious by her son. She is hospitalized, spending a year in a coma. The incident receives media attention but Savitri's initial life and whereabouts remain unknown to the public. Madhuravani, a stuttering journalist, and Vijay Anthony, a photographer, are appointed to write an article about her situation. Madhuravani recovers a letter written by Savitri, in which she wishes to take her son to someone called "Shankarayya." Though she is later relieved from writing the memoir by her editor, Madhuravani continues her research curiously. She sneaks into Savitri's house and overhears her aunt talking about her childhood.
In Vijayawada, 1942, a widowed Subadrama and her daughter Savitri are taken in by Subadrama's sister, Durgamba, and her husband, KV Chowdary, much to the latter's chagrin. Savitri grows up to become an accomplished dancer and earns a profit for Chowdary by acting in plays with her friend Susheela. The increasing popularity of cinema leads to less attendance for plays, and Chowdary incurs huge losses. He tries to have Savitri join the film industry based in Madras but her young age and inability to speak Tamil hinder her prospects. She, however, meets Ramasamy "Gemini" Ganesan, a studio employee who takes her photograph for a casting director. A year later, Savitri is cast in a film directed by L. V. Prasad but she gets the dialogue wrong and is thrown out. However, she earns a dancing role for a song in the film Pathala Bhairavi. Her performance in that film helps her in getting major roles.
Savitri is offered a role opposite Ganesan, now an actor, who teaches her Tamil language. They together rise as superstars and Savitri falls in love with the married Ganesan. They secretly marry at a temple, which leads to a clash with Savitri's family. Despite being reluctant to act after marriage, Savitri is persuaded by the filmmakers and Ganesan. She goes on to become a successful actress. Savitri later gives birth to two children– a girl and a boy. Ganesan is initially supportive of her career, however, he feels jealous of Savitri as her fame overshadows his. He starts consuming alcohol and when Savitri tries to stop him, he shares the drink with her.
A few ladies urge Savitri to both direct and star in an all-woman cast and crew film. On the day of her film's release, Savitri finds Ganesan in their guesthouse with another woman. Feeling cheated, Savitri angrily part ways with Ganesan. She becomes an alcoholic and gains weight. Meanwhile, her mother dies, and poor financial decisions lead to a raid by the Income Tax Department, resulting in the loss of her wealth. One day, Savitri fights with her daughter about her excessive alcohol consumption and faints, accidentally setting their house on fire. They learn that Savitri has diabetes.
As Chowdary visits Savitri, she asks both her daughter and uncle for forgiveness. She gets her daughter married, stops drinking, and loses weight. She shifts to a smaller house with her son and starts acting in low-budget films. She sets aside money for opening a rehabilitation center. Upon knowing that she still owes income tax, she strongly refuses to part with any more money. She goes to Bangalore with her son the next day. Feeling lost, she calls Ganesan but cuts the line before speaking. Angry with him and with herself, she consumes alcohol again, before collapsing into a coma.
Madhuravani realizes her love for Anthony via Savitri's story. She interrupts what is supposedly Anthony's engagement and speaks strongly without a stutter, only to realize that is his sister's engagement and that Anthony too loves her. Madhuravani writes Savitri's memoir and visits the comatose Savitri. She places a picture of her father retrieved from a newspaper archive in her hands. Savitri dies in December 1981.
In the end, Shankarayya is revealed to be a statue that Savitri considers her father.
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