Iru Kodugal

Iru Kodugal

Directed by K. Balachander
Produced by N. Selvaraj
B. Duraisamy
N. Krishnan
V. Govindarajan
Written by K. Balachander
Story by Joseph Anandan[1]
Starring Gemini Ganesan
Sowcar Janaki
Music by V. Kumar
Cinematography N. Balakrishnan
Edited by N. R. Kittu
Kalakendra Movies
Distributed by Kalakendra Movies
Release dates
  • 2 October 1969 (1969-10-02)


Running time
176 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil

Iru Kodugal (English: Two lines) is a 1969 Tamil drama film directed by the veteran director K. Balachander. The film stars Gemini Ganesan, Sowcar Janaki, Jayanthi, Nagesh, V. S. Raghavan, S. N. Lakshmi and others. The story revolves around one man who got married to two women.[2] Iru Kodugal won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil, the first film by Balachander to win the award.[3] The film which was based on a stage play of same name became a superhit.[4] It was remade later by Balachander in Kannada as Eradu Rekhegalu and by other directors in Telugu (Collector Janaki) and Hindi (Sanjog).


Gopinath (Gemini Ganesan) falls in love with Janaki (Sowcar Janaki) and they get married in Kasi. The marriage is not accepted by Gopinath's mother and the couple gets separated. Janaki is pregnant and her father (V. S. Raghavan), realizing that no man will marry Janaki a second time, decides to make her a collector. Gopinath meanwhile had moved to South India, where he later married Jaya (Jayanthi) by hiding his previous marriage. They live a happy life with their three children and Jaya's father. Gopinath works as a clerk in the collector's office. A new collector arrives at the office, and it turns out to be Janaki. They tend to work together, until one of the employees in Janaki's office, Babu (Nagesh), spreads a rumour stating that there is an affair between Janaki and Gopinath. This rumour reaches Jaya and she is completely disturbed. Jaya discovers the secret of Gopinath's affair with Janaki. Meanwhile the sons of both Janaki and Jaya, Ramu and Prabhakar drowned in water and have been admitted to Hospital. Somehow Jaya manages the disturbance of the secret and accepts Janaki as her sister. But Ramu dies in hospital while Prabhakar survives. Jaya gives Janaki her son as a gift. Janaki and Prabhakar leave for abroad as Janaki got her duty abroad.



The film was based on stage play of same name written by Joseph Anandan. Balachander did not see the play but developed the screenplay after hearing the concept. He was paid only Rs. 25000 for the film.[5] According to producer and writer G. Dhananjayan in his book Pride of Tamil Cinema, the basic concept of two lines was said to be inspired from a comedy scene performed by Thangavelu from the film Chakravarthy Thirumagal (1967).[5] In a scene in the film Sowcar Janaki's character meets the Chief Minister. Balachander wanted to bring in former Chief Minister C. N. Annadurai (he died 1969) for the scene but did not want to use a body double in his place. The Chief Minister is not seen in the scene, only a voice sounding like Annadurai's is heard and a pair of glasses on the table and a pen in the foreground are seen, implying that the Chief Minister was Annadurai.[6]


The music was scored by V. Kumar who composed four songs for the film. Vaali wrote the lyrics. The song"Punnagai mannan poovizhi mannan rukmanikaga", the famous number from the film, is still popular.[7][5]

No. Song Singers Length (m:ss)
1 Moondru Thamizh Thoondri A. L. Raghavan, K. Suvarna 04:58
2 Naan Oru Gumastha T. M. Soundararajan 02:47
3 Punnagai Mannan Jamuna Rani, P. Susheela 04:53



The film was released on 2 October 1969 with the length of 4682 metres with runtime of 176 minutes and was certified "U" by Central Board of Film Certification.[1] The film was a commercial success. It was remade later by Balachander in Kannada as Eradu Rekhegalu and by other directors in Telugu (Collector Janaki) and Hindi (Sanjog).[5]


Dhananjayan appreciated the film that the film stands out "for its excellent screenplay, dialogues and direction which were engaging and emotionally connecting with audience".[10] Malathi Rangarajan appreciated Janaki's performance "stomped the screen and stole our hearts [..] came up with a stellar performance".[11]


Clips from Iru Kodugal were screened along with clips from other films such as Server Sundaram (1964), Arangetram (1973), Aval Oru Thodar Kathai (1974), Avargal (1977) and Azhagan (1991) at a function held in Balachander's honour at Tiruchirappalli in January 2015,[12] a month after his death.[13]


  1. 1 2 3 Dhananjayan 2014, p. 214.
  2. "TROIS". 2011-04-23. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  3. Malathi Rangarajan (2011-05-02). "The granddaddy of Tamil films". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  4. Veena Bharathi (2013-10-13). "Celebrating a big screen beauty". Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Dhananjayan 2014, p. 215.
  6. Meera Srinivasan (2009-09-15). "Significant contribution to Tamil theatre, cinema". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  7. "Iru Kodugal Songs". raaga. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  8. "Tamil Nadu News : Still ready to act: Sowcar Janaki". The Hindu. 2006-12-25. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  9. India Who's who. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  10. Dhananjayan 2014, p. 216.
  11. Malathi Rangarajan. "Women of Steel". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  12. G. Srinivasan (22 January 2015). "Rich tributes paid to Balachander". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2 May 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  13. "K Balachander: The man who gave us Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan dies". The Economic Times. Press Trust of India. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2015.

External links


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