Marupakkam (Eng: The Other Side) is a 1991 Indian Tamil-language drama film written and directed by K. S. Sethumadhavan. It is based on the Tamil novella Uchi Veyyil by Indira Parthasarathy. The film stars Sivakumar, Radha, and Jayabharathi. Its music is composed by L. Vaidyanathan.
At the 38th National Film Awards, Marupakkam won three National Film Awards, including the Golden Lotus Award for Best Film, making it the first Tamil film to win the award. The film was featured at the International Film Festival of India in 2003 as part of a retrospective tribute to Sethumadhavan.
Ambi, who lives in Delhi with his wife Sweetie, arrives at Kumbakonam to meet his father Vembu Iyer who recently suffered a stroke and was paralysed after getting a message that Ambi separated from his wife. Ambi, feeling guilty. comes to see his father. A few weeks earlier, Ambi, who married Sweetie, came with her to meet his orthodox Brahmin parents Vembu and Janaki. Vembu insulted Sweetie and, unable to accept it, she decided to return immediately to Delhi and forced Ambi to leave with her. At Delhi, they continued quarrelling over it and finally separated. When Vembu got the news, he was upset and suffered a stroke. In the present, the doctor recognises that there is another side to Vembu’s life. His son’s separation from his wife reminded him of his separation from his beloved first wife Avayam. Slowy, Ambi understands that his father is longing to see has erstwhile wife, because though paralysed, Vembu keeps tapping his fingers as steps for a dance. Vembu now recollects his past.
Vembu and Avayam loved each other and got married against the wishes of Vembu’s mother. While Vembu sang well, Avayam sang and danced well. Both kept enjoying their singing and dancing, which was not liked by Vembu’s mother whose husband abandoned her for a dancer many years back. Avayam’s continued interest in singing and dancing angered her, and she accused Avayam of behaving like a prostitute. When Avayam protested, Vembu slapped her and threw her out of his house for opposing his mother, whom he respected dearly. Avayam walked out and filed for divorce. In court, Vembu accused her of moral turpitude to justify the divorce petition, which hurt Avayam deeply and they got separated. Though separated, Vembu felt guilty of wrongly accusing Avayam.
Ambi’s friend Murthy proposes that Arabi should bring Avayam so that his father can see her once before he dies. However, Janaki refuses. When Vembu’s situation deteriorates. the doctor and others feel that his hours are numbered and is awaiting his death. However, Vembu hangs on to life. Murthy comes to know that Avayam Is now a famous dancer named Chitralekha and goes to meet her. In the meanwhile. knowing Vembu’s grave condition, Sweetie returns home in traditional attire and seeks forgiveness from Janaki and Vembu. Janaki is hippy that her daughter-in-law is back ard Vembu s also happy, but still not satisfied. That is when Murthy brings Avayam. Looking al Avayam, Vembu is excited ard feels relieved that she has forgiven him. Avayam holds Vembu’s hand tightly, which was tapping all along awaiting her return.
Directed by K. S. Sethumadhavan
Screenplay by K. S. Sethumadhavan
Based on Uchi Veyyil by Indira Parthasarathy
Starring Sivakumar, Jayabharathi, Radha
Music by L. Vaidyanathan
Cinematography D. Vasanth Kumar
Edited by G. Venkitaraman
Production National Film Development Corporation of India
Release date 6 March 1992
Running time 85 minutes