Pudhea Paadhai
Pudhea Paadhai.jpg
Directed byR. Parthiban
Written byR. Parthiban
Produced byA. Sundaram
StarringR. Parthiban
CinematographyA. Rajpreet
Edited byM. N. Raja
Music byChandrabose
Release date
  • 14 April 1989 (1989-04-14)
Running time
116 minutes[1]
Budget3.8 million[2]

Pudhea Paadhai (transl. New Path) is a 1989 Indian Tamil-language drama film written and directed by R. Parthiban in his directorial debut. The film stars himself as an inhumane ruffian who gets reformed by his rape victim (Seetha), while V. K. Ramasamy, Manorama, Nassar, Sridhar, Kuyili and Sathyapriya appear in supporting roles.

Pudhea Paadhai was released on 14 April 1989 and emerged a box-office success, while also winning several accolades including two National Film Awards, and two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards. It was remade in Kannada in 1990 as Hosa Jeevana, in Hindi in 1991 as Benaam Badsha, in 1991 in Telugu as Rowdy Gaari Pellam and in 1996 in Malayalam as Swarnakireedam.


An unnamed orphan who was abandoned in the garbage soon after his birth, grows up to be a ruffian who does anything for money. On one occasion, he rapes Seetha, a bride-to-be, on the eve of her wedding at the instruction of Annapoorani, who Seetha had earlier exposed for her malpractices in running an orphanage and got her arrested. Though the sympathetic bridegroom offers to marry Seetha, she declines his offer. Instead, she takes residence in the house of Aaya, who lives in the same slum as the ruffian. She attempts to develop the ruffian's acquaintance, much to everyone's disbelief. Their constant confrontations bring about a chemistry in their relationship. She narrates to the people in the area that he molested her and the sequences which forced her to leave her father and live in the slum. They sympathise with her and everyone feels that the ruffian has to accept her as he is responsible for her present pitiable condition. Consequently, Seetha moves into his house. Her tender love and affection eventually leads to their marriage. Seetha advises him to shed the path of violence and reform himself. He is named Seetharaman.

Seetharaman slowly changes and tries to work hard in a righteous way to run his family. Seetha later gives birth to his son. However, Seetharaman's past sins do not spare him. Thoguthi, for whom Seetharaman previously worked, kills Annapoorani when she demands her share from his illegal gains. Seetharaman is arrested as he was working for Thoguthi earlier. To get exonerated, he is forced to become an approver and report Thoguthi's activities. Thoguthi decides to kill Seetharaman to halt his appearance in court. He plants a bomb in a lunchbox (identical to the one sent by Seetha to Seetharaman) and replaces it with the original. The bomb is planted in such a way that it would explode immediately when the lunchbox is opened. Seetharaman, busy working for extra money to buy a gift for Seetha and their wedding anniversary, does not have lunch. He returns with the lunchbox and leaves to visit the temple with Seetha. When Seetha returns home to take her child's feeding bottle which she had forgotten, she opens the lunchbox out of curiosity, expecting a gift from her husband, and dies in the ensuing explosion. Enraged, Seetharaman attacks and almost kills Thoguthi, but his child's cries remind him of his responsibilities, so he spares Thoguthi's life. Thoguthi chases Seetharaman, but is struck to death by a vehicle. Seetharaman leaves with his child and brings him up.



Parthiban, an erstwhile assistant of K. Bhagyaraj made his directorial debut with this film.[3] The film was initially titled as Kelvikkuri with Babji of Hemnag films producing it. However, after shooting for three days, it was stopped.[2] Babji advised Parthiban to tell the story to A. Sundaram, a popular distributor. Sundaram liked the script and decided to produce the film. They went to Rajinikanth, who suggested Parthiban to play the hero.[4] Though Parthiban was keen on choosing another actor (Arjun or Sathyaraj) for the leading role, Sundaram wanted him to play the role considering what Rajinikanth said and the budget.[2] Sundaram wanted a different title, he then selected Pudhea Paadhai from the 50 titles shortlisted.[2] The film was made with a budget of 3.8 million (equivalent to 34 million or US$430,000 in 2020).[2] Parthiban initially approached Khushbu to portray the lead actress, but the producer did not accept as she was not fluent in Tamil at the time; the role went to Seetha.[5] Cinematography was handled by A. Rajpreet, and editing by M. N. Raja.[6]


The soundtrack was composed by Chandrabose, and all songs were penned by Vairamuthu.[7]

1."Yarappathiyum"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam3:36
2."Appan Yaru"K. J. Yesudas4:36
3."Thalaiva"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Vani Jairam5:06
4."Pachaippulla"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Vani Jairam4.26
5."Kannadicha"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. P. Sailaja4:34
Total length:22:18

Release and reception

Pudhea Paadhai was released on 14 April 1989, Puthandu. Despite facing competition from other Puthandu releases such as Apoorva Sagodharargal, En Rathathin Rathame and Pillaikkaga, the film became a commercial success.[8] P. S. S. of Kalki positively reviewed the film, particularly for Parthiban and Chandrabose.[9]


Event Category Recipient Ref.
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Best Film A. Sundaram [10]
Best Story Writer R. Parthiban
National Film Awards Best Film – Tamil A. Sundaram [6]
Best Supporting Actress Manorama


Year Film Language Ref.
1990 Hosa Jeevana Kannada [11]
1991 Benaam Badsha Hindi [12]
1991 Rowdy Gaari Pellam Telugu [13]
1996 Swarnakireedam Malayalam [11]


  1. ^ Dhananjayan 2014, p. 302.
  2. ^ a b c d e Dhananjayan 2014, p. 303.
  3. ^ Reddy, T. Krithika (30 July 1999). "Stark portrayal of reality". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  4. ^ Touring Talkies (22 June 2019). முதல் படத்திலேயே சீதாவோடு காதல் இருந்ததா? | Parthiepan Exclusive Interview | Chai With Chithra (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 27 September 2019 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "பல சிக்கல்களைத் தாண்டித்தான் பாதை அமைஞ்சது!". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 7 May 2020. Archived from the original on 7 June 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b "37th National Film Festival" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. 1990. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Pudhiya Padhai (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – EP". Apple Music. 31 August 2014. Archived from the original on 7 June 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  8. ^ ""ஒரு துப்பாக்கி கையில் எடுக்காதே, எந்தத் தோட்டாவும் என்ன துளைக்காதே!" - கமல் சொல்லி அடித்த 'அபூர்வ சகோதரர்கள்'". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 14 April 2020. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  9. ^ பி. எஸ். எஸ். (23 April 1989). "புதிய பாதை". Kalki (in Tamil). p. 6. Archived from the original on 20 October 2021. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  10. ^ "State film awards". The Indian Express. Express News Service. 21 November 1990. p. 5. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  11. ^ a b Arunachalam 2019, p. 17.
  12. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (12 March 2017). ""Badrinath Ki Dulhania"... A troubling rom-com where the popcorn parts work, the 'progressive' parts don't". Baradwaj Rangan. Archived from the original on 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Happy Birthday Shobana: 6 films of the veteran actress one must watch". The Times of India. 21 March 2020. Archived from the original on 28 March 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2021.