Vazhvey Maayam (Eng: Life is an illusion) is a 1982 Tamil drama film starring Kamal Haasan in the lead role of the protagonist. It is a remake of Telugu film Premabhishekam. With a critically acclaimed music by Gangai Amaren and lyrics by Vaali, the film was a blockbuster and completed 200-day run at the box office.
Raja is happy-go-lucky and spoilt brat from rich family background. He always take advantage of the affection showered by his mother on him and this irritates his father. He is a member of flight club and does many aerial stunts in his plane. He looks at a group of air-hostesses and gets attracted to one of them named Devi who is also an arrogant. When Raja tried to chat with her she insults him. Raja decides to impress her in one way or other. He finds that Devi is familiar to his friend Prathap. Raja hears from Prathap that he knows Devi from her childhood and her elder brother is a good friend of him. Prathap actually wants to marry Devi and he is yet to propose her. Raja is very happy that since Prathap is a friend of Devi Raja himself is her friend as Prathap is his friend. Prathap does not like this and unwillingly accepts this. Raja makes many attempts to impress Devi and follows her to wherever she goes. Raja visits the home of Devi and tries to attract all of her family members except Devi and her elder brother. Raja befriends Devi’s friend,a senior air-hostess Baby who is a spinster. Baby likes Raja and his mischief and she helps him to win the love of Devi. She proposes a plan of annoying Devi by moving closely with another woman. She seeks the help of old air-hostess turned prostitute friend whose life turned disaster when she was deceived and raped by a man. Raja pretends to move closely with that woman but the plan did not turned fruitful and earned more aversion of Devi. Raja then pretends to have injured and broken his legs for sake of Devi. Devi at first believes him and moves close with him. But when she finds the truth she leaves him.
Raja’s parents finds a bride for him much against Raja’s protest. Raja’s mother persuade him to come and have a formal meet for his father’s sake and she would take care of the rejection of the proposal. Raja meets the girl but he sees her as Devi and accepts for marriage. The next day when the girl comes to meet him he wonders that he did not accept her to marry but Devi. This hurts the girl and she decides to end up her life. Raja stops her and say if it is going to be her decision then he would marry her and apologizes for his actions. Raja promises that until she gets married he would not think of his marriage. Soon after the girl comes up with her wedding invitation to Raja. The girl is also friend of Devi and she invites her for the marriage. On the day of wedding Devi gets angry on Raja and shouts at him for his acts and Raja is hurted on it. Raja’s friends sue Devi for being so arrogant and Raja is continuously flying and this scares them. They call her to stop him. Devi who is already feeling for her behaviour rushes to Raja and accepts his love.
Prathap without knowing the Raja-Devi’s relationship tries to expose his feelings for him but she does not reciprocate. Devi’s brother wants his sister to marry Prathap but all other family members including Devi favour Raja. Hence he accepts their love and the couple get engaged. Raja and Devi start to distribute their wedding invitations. Devi visits her friend’s house and gets shocked on seeing her friend as widow. Devi is told that her friend’s husband was already dying before the marriage and groom’s family concealed the truth. This angers Devi and she curses whole male society for being so selfish. Raja was once got admitted in a hospital and some of the sample tests shows that he is a cancer patient and he is counting his days. Devi’s brother who is the doctor in that hospital postpones the wedding date citing some horoscope problem. Raja is irritated and angered by this and feels that Devi’s brother intentionally does it for some reason. He tells Devi to come to a temple and both can marry. On the day of wedding Raja ejects blood from his mouth and Baby takes him to hospital. After the treatment Baby is informed about Raja’s cancer and she is shocked. When she consoles Raja that nothing to worry Raja shocks her by saying there is no treatment for cancer.
Devi waits at the temple for Raja to arrive and she leaves the place when he does not show up. Raja watches her leaving the temple after waiting for a long time. After Devi left the friend of Devi comes to temple in her widowed costume. Raja reminds how Devi got angry when her friend was cheated by her husband’s family. Prathap attempts suicide on seeing the wedding invitation of Raja and Devi. Raja overhears Prathap speaking to Devi’s brother about his love for Devi. Hence Raja decides to end up the relationship with Devi so that she can start a new life with Prathap. Raja now becomes a full fledged drunkard and starts to live with the prostitute woman who helped him earlier. Devi is shocked by Raja’s act and tries to bring him back to her. She visits the home of the prostitute and demands to send Raja with her. But Raja intervenes that all the engagement and wedding was a fake to take revenge on Devi for insulting him in her friend’s wedding.He also pretends to be arrogant that no man in this world other than him will accept Devi as his wife. Devi gets angered on this and she urges her brother to fix marriage with anyone in order to nose cut arrogant Raja. Her brother arranges for wedding with Prathap. The woman with whom Raja is staying with requests Raja to marry as she though a prostitute she would like to be mentioned as someone’s wife after her life. Raja marries her and begins his last journey. Devi marries Prathap and she wants to go to Raja to show him. Baby tells about Raja and he behaved for welfare of Devi’s life. Devi is shocked and rushes to meet Raja. Raja’s parents also come to know about his fate and come to see him. When everybody assemble at his place Raja looks at Devi as a married woman and breathes his last happily.
Directed by R. Krishnamoorthy
Produced by Suresh Balaje
Written by A. L. Narayanan (dialogues)
Story by Dasari Narayana Rao
Starring Kamal Haasan, Sripriya, Sridevi, Jaishankar
Music by Gangai Amaran
Cinematography N. Balakrishnan
Edited by V. Chakrapani
Production Suresh Arts
Distributed by Suresh Arts
Release dates 26 January 1982