Movies

6 Supporting Characters That Deserve Their Spin-Offs!

Would Like To See How Their Stories Pan Out!

While a majority of  Tamil films relegate the female lead to a supporting role, once in a while you encounter a few characters who are so intricately written that they stay with you, long after you complete the movie. Here are 6 supporting female characters who left a lasting impact on the audience:

 

Shyama from Kannathil Muthamittal

How far will one go for your country? How much will one fight for it?  How much will you sacrifice?  While people greatly appreciate Mani Ratnam’s lead women (like they should), well-written characters like Shyama are not celebrated enough.  Nandita Das was so effective and  beautiful as Shyama, she embodies the dilemma, the misery, and the yearning of a heartbroken mother. Though Shyama didn’t get to see Amutha grow up, she becomes the guardian for a handful number of strong-willed women in a war-ridden Srilanka and teaches them not only to defend themselves but also to defend others.

Poorni from Alaipayuthey

Poorni and Sakthi have to be one of our favourite sister duos from Tamil Cinema with a strong female representation. Poorni is Sakthi’s support system, her confidante, she plays cupid for the lovebirds and plays a significant role in their life. She also gracefully carries the responsibilities of a big sister, covering up for her, helping her financially, standing up for Sakthi against her family, and guiding Sakthi whenever she hits a rough patch. If you are an elder sibling or if you have an elder sibling you can either see yourself in Poorni or see shades of your sibling in her. 

Emily from Aruvi

In a time where there was hardly any representation of the transgender community, Emily’s character was a (much-needed) breath of fresh air in the Tamil film industry. Breaking the stereotypical and negative traits that were imposed on the community, Emily shines throughout the movie. One can’t help but fall in love with her playful antics and frolics. Emily is the only one who stays with Aaruvi’ throughout her journey. Watching her crack up in the most nerve-warming situation makes one realize how ridiculously simple, life really is and how we, humans make a Gordian knot out of everything. 

Mehrunissa from Anbe Sivam 

Though Mehrunissa’s screen time was very short, the impact she had was quite significant. Her witty comebacks, bold remarks, and strong faith in her ideologies make her something above side character. But like the old saying goes “ Love is a despot which spares on one” Mehrunissa becomes the tormented subject of unrequited love. But still takes the bullet like a soldier and moves on with her life when Nala turns her down.

 

Bhavani Aunty from  Ok Kanmani

As he slowly laid her head down in the bed, an Alzheimer-stricken Bhavani goes “Oru naal ungalayu maranthuduven ah Ganapathi “ (Will I forget you someday too, Ganapathy?) if that wasn’t enough to make one bawl their eyes out, we don’t know what can. Fondly remembered by the fans as Bhavani Aunty, one cannot imagine someone else in the place of Leela Samson for this role, with her classical root helping her set the demeanour of a Carnatic singer or should we say “Famous Carnatic Singer”. Bhavani Aunty and Ganapathi’s uncle got to be one of those heart-warming couples who managed to be on par if not suppress the main characters. 

Kannamma from Samsaram Adhu Minsaram

Once in a while, you stumble across films like Samsaram Adhu Minsaram and you understand that the movie was being way ahead of its time and opening up discussion about topics like interreligious marriage, female sexuality and a lot more. Even after 38 years since its release, movies like Samsaram Athu Minsaram are still elusive. In 2024 the equivalent of a female comic-like Kannamma sounds like a dream and  Manoramma managed to pull it off when the industry was a complete male-dominated bastion. A laughter riot is guaranteed whenever she is on screen. Her iconic dialogue “Gammunu kada” is still relevant and celebrated by the Tamil audience.

 

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