Celebrating The Strong Women Of Vaaranam Aayiram: 15 Years Of This Classic Film!

Fifteen Years Later: The Lasting Impact of Vaaranam Aayiram’s Strong Female Characters

Gautham Vasudev Menon gave us the gem, Vaaranam Aayiram in the year 2008 and it was an instant success, even winning a National Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil. From Surya’s sincere dual portrayal of father and son, or the myriad of love stories, the soulful music, or the various progressive themes touched in the film, it was ahead of its times. 15 years later, when one rewatches the film, it still brings out the same emotions and feelings in the audience. The movie had a lasting impact, the father-son relationship was one that everyone wished for in their lives. But what was appreciated and especially loved were the women in the film, from Simran’s part as a love interest first then a mother to Sameera’s character as a forward-thinking and ambitious young girl to Divya Spandana who isn’t afraid to go after the one she loves, the women in this film are the true winners.

Surya plays a dual role in the film as the father, Krishnan, and the son, Surya. The two share a unique bond, they’re not your conventional father-son. Credit goes to Krishnan for he believes in being a transparent parent, his advice is not preachy but rather practical. He is the ‘cool’ dad who talks to his son about everything under the sun and pushes him to follow his heart, whether it is to go after the girl he loves or the passion to join the forces. It was very rare to find such progressive father figures in Tamil Cinema at the time.


Played by Simran, Malini is Krishnan’s wife and Surya’s mother. We see two versions of this character, a young college girl who falls in love but respect in a relationship is most important to her. And the nurturing mother who is straightforward, understanding, and the driving force of the family. She is a strong woman who carries very broad-minded views. She is a source of support for the family but she has her own identity and opinions. The family as a unit, is very progressive, and she is one of the reasons why. She is resilient- from helping her son deal with depression and drug addiction to caring for her dying husband, she is the epitome of strength.



Sameera Reddy became a household name in Tamil Nadu after playing the role of Meghna. She plays a young woman who isn’t afraid to go after her dreams. She is confident, spirited, and fiercely independent. Her story with Surya forms the main plot of the movie. He falls in love with her at first sight, but she doesn’t. She is quick to tell him that she isn’t interested in him, she would rather just be friends. She is upfront and unapologetic. She goes to study abroad and that’s where Surya goes looking for her. She takes a chance on him, she relies on her gut feeling and spends some time with him to get to know him better. After spending a considerable amount of time with him, she falls for him and confesses her love to him boldly. It’s their chemistry that went through the roofs and they were an instant favourite.


Divya Spandana as Priya has one of the most interesting character arcs here. She has been part of Suriya’s life since childhood, she is his sister’s best friend. She is self-assured, knows what she wants, and is vocal about the way she feels. When Surya doesn’t share the same feelings as her, she decides to wait, not because he asks her to, but solely because her heart wants to. She understands his grief at losing a loved one, she gives him the time and space he needs. She visits him at the academy and asks him one last time if he has any feelings for her, she is patient but she is still in love with him. When he reciprocates with love for her, she builds a life with him, she becomes the support and the pillar of strength for him mirroring the relationships his parents had.


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