‘Aruvi’ to ‘Kaatrin Mozhi’: Feminist Tamil Films You Should Watch

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Cinema has the power to create a revolution in society and can easily voice out any social issues that society feels afraid to discuss openly. A handful of these shakes the collective consciousness of the audience. However, men usually have the privilege in Tamil Cinema to revolt and are the saviour.

Things, though, are very slowly shifting where women are also taking the centre stage in the fight for themselves, their rights and their freedom to make choice. Off lately, there have been many protagonists of Tamil films whose purpose is not solely to be an instrument for the male leads. From Magalir Mattum to Iraivi and recent films like Super Deluxe are some of the feminist films that we have enjoyed watching. We have compiled a list of five Tamil feminist films you should watch if you have not yet.

Five Tamil Feminist Films


Aditi Balan’s Aruvi is born into a middle-class family who later kicks her out and she has to survive on her own. During the course of the political drama, it is revealed that she is a rape survivor and also has AIDs and sets out to avenge herself with her. And the events that transpire in the film. Written and Directed by Arun Prabu Purushothaman, the film also focuses on the treatment of patients with HIV-AIDS. The film also stars Anjali Vardhan, and Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, while Pradeep Antony and Mohammad Ali Baig play supporting roles

Tamil Feminist Films

Aditi Balan in Aruvi


Directed by Priyadarshan of Bhool Bhulaiyya fame, the film features Jyothika, Tabu and Sharbani Mukherjee in pivotal roles. The movie is set in the background of two college students (Jyothika and Sharbani) who are deliberately set up for a murder and are falsely accused by a police officer Gayatri (Tabu) who is an alumna of their college. The two flee from police custody to get hold of the real killer. Gayatri towards the end confesses that the deceased had raped his sister and she wanted to avenge her.  The movie when it was released in 2000 opened to positive reviews.

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The Gopi Nainar directorial stars Nayanthara in a lead role in the 2017 movie which revolves around a distinct collector who goes against the local politicians and other persons in positions of authority to save a child that has fallen into a borewell. Borewells are dug in multiple places in rural areas which leads to a lot of children falling into the well and losing their lives. The film ended on a positive note with Nayanthara managing to save the child and her resigning as collector later to go help people as a layman.

Kaatrin Mozhi

Starring Jyothika, the film Kaatrin Mozhi is the Tamil remake of the Hindi film Tumhari Sulu. The film revolves around the story of an ambitious housewife who becomes a radio jockey for a late-night relationship advice show. Her life has drastically changed since then and she also struggles to manage both professional and personal life. The film opened to a positive response and was lauded for keeping the core of the original film alive. The film was written and directed by filmmaker Radha Mohan.

Tamil Feminist Films

Jyothika in Kaatrin Mozhi

36 Vayathinile

36 Vayathinile (aka) 36 Vayadhinile is another Jyothika starter. Tamil drama directed by Rosshan Andrews is a remake of his Malayalam film How Old Are You. The film revolves around Vasanthi (Jyothika) and her husband Tamizhselvan (Rahman) who aspires to move to Ireland but Jyothika does not receive work there because she is older. Things go awry for her until her friend pushes her to explore herself all over again. The film is as heartwarming as the original Malayalam flick.

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