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Directed by Mani Ratnam
Produced by Mani Ratnam
G. Srinivasan
Written by Mani Ratnam
R. Selvaraj
Starring R. Madhavan
Arvind Swamy
Lalitha K.P.A.C.
V. Natarajan
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography P. C. Sriram
Editing by A. Sreekar Prasad
Distributed by Madras Talkies
Ayngaran International
Release date(s) 2000-04-14
Running time 156 mins
Country India
Language Tamil
Budget $2 million
Gross revenue $6 million

Alaipayuthey (Tamil: அலைபாயுதே) (Jumping Waves / compared to tempting or fickle mind in Tamil) is an 2000 Indian, Tamil language film directed by Mani Ratnam. Starring R. Madhavan and Shalini, the film explores the tensions of married life and the maturing of love. The film's score and soundtrack are composed by film composer A. R. Rahman. Alaipayuthey's story is mostly recollected in flashbacks by the character Karthik. Karthik and Shakthi fall in love against the backdrop of Madras and its suburban trains, against the wishes of their parents. The movie was well received by critics and did well at the Tamil and Telugu box-offices primarily for its music and realistic portrayal of romance and married life.

The film made its European premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2001. It was shown at various film festivals nationally and internationally. It also carried a very popular soundtrack, composed by A. R. Rahman. Alaipayuthey was remade in Hindi as Saathiya, directed by Shaad Ali in 2002, starring Rani Mukherjee and Vivek Oberoi.



Karthik (Madhavan) is an engineering graduate who happens to lay eyes on Shakti (Shalini), a medical student, at a wedding. The two meet regularly after their initial sighting, on suburban trains, to and from work and university. Karthik and Shakti eventually fall in love. Karthik's father Varadarajan, a lawyer, comes to learn of the two's relationship and approaches Shakti's dad Selvaraj. He asks Selvaraj, a railways employee, for his consent to a marriage proposal between the two young lovers. However, upon meeting, the two parents clash, and the wedding is called off. Shakti decides she will not get married without her parents' consent, and the relationship between herself and Karthik is called off altogether.

Unable to stay separated for very long, coupled with chance meetings, Karthik and Shakti find themselves resuming their relationship, albeit secretly, without the knowledge of their respective families. They decide to get married, without telling anyone, but carry on living with their parents, hoping that a time will come when both families will see eye to eye and can be told of the development. With the help of their friends, and Shakti's elder sister Poorni(Swarnamalya), their marriage is completed legally, and all the while, they continue to meet each other without their parents' knowledge.

Shakti's elder sister Poorni is approached with an engagement proposal soon after. Poorni is willing to accept the offer to marry the suitor - Raghu. The prospective groom's father offers his second son's hand in marriage to Shakti. Shakti's mother Saroja urges her to accept the marriage proposal, unaware of the fact that Karthik and Shakti are already together. Shakti eventually tells the truth, and Poorni's engagement is called off. Karthik and Shakthi are kicked out of their homes.

With the help of friends, Shakti and Karthik move into an apartment, in development. They cope for a while, however it's not too long before the couple start arguing over various issues that the two seemed so much more tolerant of before they got married. Marriage tension escalates. Shakti comes to learn that her father is seriously ill back home. She and Karthik decide it would be best to visit him. Upon arrival they learn that her 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 sort out Poorni's adjourned marriage proposal to Raghu. He arranges a blind date between the two, which initially fails, backfiring on Karthik, however, with more meetings, Poorni and Raghu become closer. This development takes place without Shakti knowing. She and her husband have not spoken to each other for a long time. Karthik wishes to wait until Poorni and Raghu's marriage is confirmed before telling Shakti. Poorni is desperate to tell her sister the news herself. Whilst hugging Karthik, thanking him for his efforts, Shakti witnesses their close contact and mistakes it for something else, leading to an even bigger argument, and a trade of insults.

Shakti eventually learns of her husband's efforts in getting her sister married, and wants to thank him. Karthik sets off to the railway station to collect his wife, she has left the hospital where she works, but isn't on the train she usually takes. Karthik sits down on a nearby bench and waits for his wife.

Meanwhile, in a bid to rush home, Shakti meets with a car accident, which leaves her fighting for her life. She is hit by a car driven by a lady (Kushboo in a special appearance). The woman's husband (special appearance by Arvind Swamy) ensures that Karthik is informed about the accident. Finally Karthik meets his wife in the hospital,where she is fighting for life. In these turn of events Karthik understands the true meaning of love. Movie ends with Shakti opening her eyes coming out from coma.


  • Madhavan as Karthik: Madhavan plays Karthik, an engineering graduate falling in love with Shakti. Madhavan made his debut in Tamil cinema with this film.
  • Shalini as Shakti: Shalini plays Shakti, a medical student who falls in love with Karthik. The two get married. Shalini has worked in South Indian film industries since she was a child.
  • Arvind Swamy as an IAS officer: Arvind Swamy plays an IAS office who is Kushboo's husband. This is the fourth time Arvind Swamy has worked with Mani Ratnam, after starring in the films Thalapathi, Roja and Bombay.
  • Kushboo as the Arvind Swamy's Wife: Kushboo plays the role of the Wife of an IAS Officer - Kushboo who runs down Shalini while she is driving.
  • Lalitha K.P.A.C. as Karthik's mother: Lalitha plays Karthik's mother in the film.
  • Vivek as Shakti's cousin.
  • Swarnamalya as Shakti's Elder sister.


  • While the original album did not carry the title song "Endendrum Punnagai", it was added later on due to the immense popularity of the hit song.
  • This was Madavan's first Tamil movie with Mani Ratnam and appeared in of Mani Ratnam's movies in all. Sharing with Aravind Swamy (Thalapathi, Roja, Bombay, Alaipayuthey).
  • During one of his interviews, Madhavan indicated that as he was told about the script, he realized that the character he was going to play in the movie was actually himself, in real life. He had the same to say about Shalini, who was also in a relationship with actor Ajith Kumar, during the period Alaipayuthey was being shot, and got married to him after the movie.[1]
  • During Poorni's engagement proposal, the one who courts Shakti claims that he's getting his M.D. at Princeton while in reality Princeton doesn't have a Med School
  • Originally, famous actress and singer Vasundhara Das was considered for the role of Shakti. However, Shalini ended up bagging the role.


The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack by A. R. Rahman
Released March 27, 2000
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre Soundtrack
Length 42:52
Label Sa Re Ga Ma
Producer A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology

Alaipayuthey: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The music score that accompanies the film was composed by A. R. Rahman. The soundtrack features 9 songs composed by Rahman, with lyrics by Vairamuthu, except for the title song 'Alai Payuthey' (which was created by the 18th century Carnatic music composer Oothukkadu Venkatasubramanya Iyer, who also set it to the raagam Kaanada). The song "Yaro Yarodi" later appeared in the 2008 Hollywood film, The Accidental Husband.

Song Artist(s) Duration
Endendrum Punnagai Clinton Cerejo, Srinivas, Shankar Mahadevan, A.R.Rahman 4:00
Pachchai Nirame Hariharan,Clinton Cerejo, Dominique Cerejo 5:58
Kadhal Sadugudu S.P.Charan 4:35
Evano Oruvan Swarnalatha 5:56
Alaipayuthey Harini, Kalyani Menon, Neyveli Ramalaxmi 3:34
Snehithane Snehithane Sadhana Sargam, Srinivas 6:05
Maangalyam Clinton Cerejo, Srinivas, A.R.Rahman 1:41
Yaro Yarodi Mahalaxmi Iyer, Vaishali, Richa Sharma 5:46
September Madham Asha Bhonsle, Shankar Mahadevan 5:08


  1. ^ Priya Ganapati (2000). "People remember scenes, not episodes". Retrieved 2000-03-08. 

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