Jaathi Malli
Jaathi Malli.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byK. Balachander
Written byK. Balachander
Produced byRajam Balachander
Pushpa Kandaswamy
CinematographyR. Raghunatha Reddy
Edited byGanesh Kumar
Music byMaragadha Mani
Release date
  • 14 January 1993 (1993-01-14)

Jaathi Malli (transl.Spanish jasmine) is a 1993 Indian Tamil-language film directed by K. Balachander starring Mukesh, Khushbu, Nassar, Vineeth and Yuvarani. The film was released on 14 January 1993, and won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film.


Sriranjini, a ghazal singer, visits a hill station to forget the murder of her mother who was very close to her. She meets Kesavan, who is a taxi driver. He shares his own pain regarding his father murdering his mother and siblings in a drunken rage. Horrified by this story, Sriranjini starts thinking less of her own loss. A situation arises that Sriranjini starts living in house as a paying guest and their relationship remains aloof in spite of mutual admiration.

They run into lovers Vineeth and Yuvarani who call themselves Moscow and Berlin. They are from different religions, Hinduism and Islam. It is not revealed as to who is Muslim and who is Hindu. They inform that they eloped as they wanted to defy their parents concept of marriage. The pesky lovers try to bring Sriranjini and Kesavan together. They also move into the house of Kesavan but are closer to Sriranjini who comes out of her depression regarding her mother's death.

Sriranjini later finds that Kesavan's story regarding his families fate is entirely fabricated and he hails from an affluent family. He confesses that he lied to make her understand that some people have bigger tragedies than what she saw in her life. He could not live with his family as they were having too many properties and inheritance fights and so, he decided to forfeit his inheritance entirely and lead a simple life as a taxi driver.

Later a rich North Indian man pays a lot of attention to Sriranjini and shows that he constantly listens to her music. Kesavan gets jealous of their constant chit chat in Hindi and regarding Ghazals and Sriranjini leaves the house after a fight. She finds that her patron almost keeps her in house arrest and expects her to be his mistress. Sriranjini wants to go back to Kesavan. The younger couple, Moscow and Berlin, try to help the older couple to get together.

When caught by the rioters, Moscow and Berlin ask the rioters to find their religion from their blood. The city is in strict curfew and they are injured in gunfire. They bring the older couple together before dying in each other's arms.



Balachander approached T. Rajendar to portray a guest role in the film which he rejected.[2] Khushbu's character was named Sriranjani, after the Carnatic raga of the same name.[3] Part of the film's title serves as a double entendre; the full title refers to the jasmine flower, while jaathi also means caste.[1]


The soundtrack was composed by Maragadha Mani. All lyrics were written by Vairamuthu.[4]

1."Azhaithal Varuvaal"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. S. Chithra03:30
2."Hey Kuppa"Maragadha Mani03:00
3."Kamban Engu"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. S. Chithra05:04
4."Manmatha Leelai"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. S. Chithra04:22
5."Marakamudiyavillai"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. S. Chithra04:16
6."Solladi Barathamatha I"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam04:05
7."Solladi Barathamatha II"Maragatha Mani, K. S. Chithra02:13
8."Samundharu"K. S. Chithra03:32

Release and reception

Jaathi Malli was released on 14 January 1993.[5] Malini Mannath of The Indian Express called it "a total let down. The script just meanders with various subplots that gets linked whenever the director happens to remember each of them".[6] Though the film was not a commercial success,[7] it won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1998) [1994]. Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (PDF). British Film Institute and Oxford University Press. pp. 507–508. ISBN 0-19-563579-5.
  2. ^ Anantharam, Chitra Deepa (27 March 2017). "I am the pioneer of kuthu: T Rajendherr". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  3. ^ Sundaram, Lakshmi (12 March 2003). "From Sindhu Bhairavi to Sahana". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 21 August 2003. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Jaadi Malli". JioSaavn. Archived from the original on 28 May 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Jaathi Malli". The Indian Express. 14 January 1993. p. 3. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  6. ^ Mannath, Malini (29 January 1993). "A letdown". The Indian Express. p. 11. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  7. ^ Sundaram, Nandhu (27 June 2018). "From 'Gentleman' to 'Amaravathi' : Revisiting popular films which released 25 years ago". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 28 December 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  8. ^ "மரபுகளை உடைத்த கதைசொல்லி .. காவியங்களை படைத்த கேபி பிறந்தநாள் இன்று..!". Puthiya Thalaimurai (in Tamil). 9 July 2020. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2021.