Aarilirunthu Aruvadhuvarai (Eng: From six to sixty) is a 1979 Tamil film directed by SP. Muthuraman, starring Rajinikanth. It was produced by Panju Arunachalam. The cast also included Thilak, Cho, Thengai Seenivasan, T.K.Bakavathi, Jayalakshmi, Sangeetha, Jaya and Mallika.
The music was composed by Ilayaraja. The songs were sung by S. P. Balasubramaniam, S. P. Sailaja, Jayachandran and S. Janaki. The lyrics were penned by Panchu Arunachalam.
Aarilirunthu Aruvadhuvarai is a portrayal of the life of Santhanam (Rajinikanth), the eldest son of a poor widow who struggles to make the ends meet. He spends the first half of his life toiling day and night to provide his younger siblings an education & spends second half watching them leading comfortable lives while he continues his struggle for survival.
The story begins with a family man who has wife and 4 children. He values the present moment and indulges in his children and wife. Suddenly, one day, when his eldest son is just 6 years old, he dies in a road accident. The eldest boy, Santhanam, visits his father’s boss and asks for a job. He gets a job and learns a trade running the printing press. He also does many other odd jobs. He aspires to give his siblings the comfort that his father wanted for his family.
All four children grow up and their mother dies. While Santhanam continues working in the print press, his siblings go to college. He seeks the help of his friend and his boss, asking them for money as and when he requires for his siblings’ study. Santhanam and a co-worker fall in love but she breaks off when she comes to know of his numerous debts and continuing responsibilities towards his siblings. This is Santhanam’s first misfortune. Next, his sister wants to marry a rich man and Santhanam feels he needs to give a suitable dowry. His younger brother advises him not to give a dowry as the groom did not ask for it and also because they cannot afford a dowry. Santhanam goes ahead with the dowry and finds he is short of money, despite help from his friend and boss. In desperation, he marries Lakshmi when he is promised a sum of money. But it turns out to be a false promise. He then goes to a loan shark to obtain money.
Santhanam’s younger brother graduates and gets a good job. He doesn’t help out financially and leaves home. He says that Santhanam’s money problems were brought onto himself. Santhanam’s situation gets worse with his friend losing his job and his boss falling ill. Santhanam himself loses his job and he half-heartedly attempts to get help from his well-off siblings and fails. Unable to pay rent, he, his wife and child move to a slum. Santhanam gets a job as a proof reader, his wife earns some money doing some sewing and they have another child. Santhanam develops an interest to write and completes his first novel. His friend, who has also recovered, publishes it. On the day that the book is available, Santhanam’s wife leaves her kids at home to go to the market. In her absence, a fire occurs in the slum area. She rushes back to save her children and is badly burnt in the fire. She dies and Santhanam gets a sum of money from an insurance policy that she had secretly taken up. His friend suggests that they produce their own newspaper and this goes well. Santhanam also becomes a popular novelist, winning a writer’s award. His siblings seek him out. He is now 60 years old and he doesn’t reject them, he knows though, that it was his wife who was there for him through the hard times. The movie ends with Santhanam dying.
Directed by SP. Muthuraman
Produced by Panju Arunachalam
Starring Rajinikanth, Cho, Sangeetha, Jaya, Jayalakshmi
Music by Ilayaraja
Production PA Arts
Release dates 14 September 1979
Running time 150 minutes