Kadhal Oviyam (English: Painting of love) is a 1982 Tamil film directed by P. Bharathiraja. The film went on to receive critical acclaim, and became successful at the box office.
Sakthi (Kannan) was an orphan, born in temple and sang devotional hymns for the temple idol. He became blind after an accident. Ponni (Radha) used to hear him singing at the temple and falls in love with him. However, Ponni’s mother Vadivukarasai wanted her to get married to Radharavi, her relation who had come from Singapore. Ponni is not willing to marry Radharavi.
Ponni performs all of Sakthi’s chores without his knowledge. As Sakthi is blind, he is unable to see Ponni, but he can hear Ponni’s anklets (an ornament which bharathanatiyam dancers wore on their legs). Once when Sakthi makes a floral offering to the Ambal, they fall on Ponni. From that incident Ponni thinks that Sakthi is her spouse and breaks to him the news and Sakthi responds positively to the suggestion.
Due to illness, Ponni does not meet Sakthi for three days. When Sakthi comes to know that she is ill, he goes to her house to see her. Her mother discreetly enquires about Sakthi. Ponni says that he is an astrologer and that he is blind. Ponni’s mother informs her worker to give him food as he looked like a beggar. After she leaves, Ponni apologizes to Sakthi for her mother’s behaviour and when both talk, Nayanam (Goundamani) hears it and informs Radharavi. Immediately, Radharavi’s family goes to Ponni’s home for fixing the marriage. But in the engagement, Ponni says that she doesn’t like him.
After getting frustrated with Ponni’s decision, Radharavi’s men put Sakthi inside a haystack and set fire to it. Ponni finds him and rescues him, and later they elope together. Both are starving and Ponni wants Sakthi to sing songs for money for their living. While considering Ponni’s acclaim, she was kidnapped by some people who smoke marijuana. They tied the hands and legs of Ponni. Meanwhile, Nayanam finds her and takes her back to her home. She gets married to Janagaraj who is a Chettiyar and Dharamakatha (a person managing temple activities) for a famous temple.
Sakthi was adopted by a famous singer who arranges eye operation for him and he gets back his vision. He became a famous singer and Janagaraj arranges a temple function and invite Sakthi to sing in that function. Sakthi always thinks of Ponni and searches for her in all the functions where he sang. Sakthi went to Janagaraj’s home to stay. Ponni is so stunned after seeing him that she drops his Aarthi plate.
Sakthi was too much depressed after Ponni left him. Hearing the love story of Sakthi and Ponni, Janagaraj felt very sad for Sakthi and wants to join him with his lover, without knowing the real truth that his wife is the lover of Sakthi. Ponni too couldn’t say to Sakthi that she is Ponni and she is married. Ponni comes to know that this is the last song Sakthi sings as he won’t sing any more songs.
Sakthi sings his last song, during the end of the song Ponni wakes up from his seat and walks towards Sakthi in the function. From her salangi sound, Sakthi finds out that she is Ponni. Heavy rain breaks down and all the people run away. But Sakthi continues to sing for which Ponni dance in rain. Ponni knowingly hits pillars of the temples while dancing and dies. After seeing her die, Sakthi touches the Salangai of Ponni, praise it and die at her feet.
Directed by P. Bharathiraja
Produced by P. Jayarajaa & S.P Sigamani
Written by Manivannan (dialogues)
Screenplay by P. Bharathiraja
Story by P. Kalaimani
Starring Kannan, Radha, Archana, Goundamani, Ramanamoorthy
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography B. Kannan
Edited by R. Bhaskaran
Production Manoj Creations
Distributed by Manoj Creations
Release date 30 April 1982