It’s not all about the mothers in Tamil films. Dads have been getting their fair share of limelight in Kollywood movies of recent times. Here’s a round-up of twelve best father-centred Tamil flicks to have graced the big screens within the past three decades. You really should be watching one of these with your old man this Father’s Day!

1. Abhiyum Naanum (2008)

Abhiyum Naanum

Cast: Prakash Raj, Trisha Krishnan, Ganesh Venkatraman, Aishwarya and Prithiviraj

In a nutshell: A doting father (Prakash Raj) of an only daughter (Trisha Krishnan) struggles to come to terms with the freedom that accompanies each milestone of her young life, with her marriage to a man (Ganesh Venkatraman) of a different religion being the hardest of them all.

2. Deiva Thirumagal (2011) 

Deiva Thirumagal

Cast: Vikram, Anushka Shetty, Amala Paul, Santhanam and Nassar

In a nutshell: An autistic man (Vikram) with the mental maturity of a five-year-old battles for custody of his motherless young daughter with the help of a lawyer (Anushka Shetty) who sympathises with him upon hearing his pitiful story.

3. Em Magan (2006)

Emdan Magan

Cast: Bharath, Gopika, Nassar, Saranya Ponvannan and Vadivelu

In a nutshell: An authoritative and egoistic father (Nassar) serves as a constant source of fear and discomfort for his undergraduate son (Bharath) who helps out in his provision store. How he comes to eventually accept his son’s success and growth later in life forms the crux of the plot.

4. Haridas (2013) 


Cast: Kishore, Sneha, Prithiviraj Das, Soori and Pradeep Rawat

In a nutshell: A policeman (Kishore) struggles to understand the mind of his motherless autistic son (Prithiviraj Das) who appears to live in a world of his own. He enrols the boy in a mainstream school and there meets a caring teacher (Sneha) who changes both their lives for the better.

5. Nayagan (1987) 


Cast: Kamal Haasan, Saranya Ponvannan, Karthika, Janakaraj and Delhi Ganesh

In a nutshell: Having been responsible for rendering a mentally handicapped boy fatherless, an influential don (Kamal Haasan) cares for the boy for the rest of his life. A tragic twist in fate results in the later grown up boy finding out his godfather’s flaw, leading to the film’s climax.

6. Papanasam (2015) 


Cast: Kamal Haasan, Gautami Tadimalla, Niveda Thomas, Esther Anil and Asha Sarath

In a nutshell: A hardworking cable TV operator (Kamal Haasan) resorts to a series of intelligent and desperate measures in order to protect his family from the dark side of the law when his elder daughter (Niveda Thomas) kills her blackmailing college mate unintentionally.

7. Santhosh Subramaniam (2008)

Santhosh Subramaniam

Cast: Jayam Ravi, Genelia D’Souza and Prakash Raj

In a nutshell: The son (Jayam Ravi) of a wealthy and strict businessman (Prakash Raj) abides by his father’s decisions while secretly yearning for independence. His emotional meltdown which leads to his father’s realisation that he has clamped down on the family’s freedom in the name of care forms the film’s climax.

8. Sigaram Thodu (2014) 

Vikram Prabhu, Sathyaraj in Sigaram Thodu Tamil Movie Stills

Cast: Vikram Prabhu, Monal Gajjar, Sathyaraj and Gaurav Narayanan

In a nutshell: The only son (Vikram Prabhu) of a former policeman (Sathyaraj) is burdened by his father’s wish for him to follow in his footsteps and obtain a gallantry medal. He wants to be a bank manager but his plans are foiled when fate forces him to take up a job in the force and chase a pair of bank robbers.

9. Thanga Meengal (2013)

Baby Sadhana as Chellamma in Thanga Meengal Movie Stills

Cast: Ram, Sadhana and Shelly Kishore

In a nutshell: A poor man (Ram) who struggles to make ends meet while trying not to live off his father wants to keep his eight-year-old daughter (Sadhana) happy at all costs. The film is a coming-of-age tale told from the perspective of the carefree young girl.

10. Thavamai Thavamirunthu (2005)

Thavamai Thavam

Cast: Cheran, Padmapriya, Rajkiran, Saranya Ponvannan and Senthil Kumar

In a nutshell: An illiterate man (Rajkiran) who lives in a village goes out of his way to provide a good education for his two sons. The story is narrated by the younger son (Cheran) who recounts his memories of his father when he visits him in the hospital with death beckoning.

11. Varanam Aayiram (2008)

Varanam Aayiram

Cast: Surya Sivakumar, Simran, Sameera Reddy and Divya Spandana

In a nutshell: While a man (Surya Sivakumar) is on a military mission, he receives news of his father’s (also played by Surya Sivakumar) death which triggers his memories of his relationship with him. The film traces the protagonist’s father’s impact on the romantic and tragic happenings in his youth.

12. Yennai Arindhaal (2015)

Yennai Arindhaal

Cast: Ajith Kumar, Trisha Krishnan, Anushka Shetty, Arun Vijay and Nassar

In a nutshell: A policeman (Ajith Kumar) readily accepts a woman (Trisha Krishnan) with a child as his love interest and goes on to care for the girl like his own daughter after her mother dies on the day they were meaning to get married.

Written by Uma Nathan

Full-time sub-editor. Part-time writer, copywriter, and editor all rolled into one. Photography, travel, food, reading and teaching take up whatever time remains.

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