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Must-watch Tamil movies that celebrate friendship

These films are an ode to that everlasting bond, from tales of sacrifice to a throwback to carefree days.

  • S Subhakeerthana

Last Updated: 08.22 PM, Jul 30, 2022

Must-watch Tamil movies that celebrate friendship
A collage of memorable Tamil films that celebrate friendship

It is a day to honour and cherish the everlasting and beautiful bond you share with your closest friends. Friendship has been one of the engrossing themes in various Tamil films that have captured the audience's attention. Friendship goals have been inspired by films, with cinematic bonds demonstrating how true friendship outlasts everything and overcomes all obstacles.

On the occasion of Friendship Day, let's take a look at some of the memorable Tamil films that celebrate friendship.

Sakuntalai (1940): This is one of the first films in Tamil cinema to focus on female friendships. It is based on the mythical queen Shakuntala, whose story is told in the Mahabharata. Directed by American filmmaker Ellis R Dungan, the film was a box office success that featured MS Subbulakshmi and GN Balasubramaniam in lead roles.

Karnan (1964): Story of the central hero of Mahabharata who rises from nothing to becoming the world's greatest warrior ever born in history and emerges as the hero of the Kurukshetra war. The film partly focuses on the iconic friendship between Karna and Duryodhana.

Server Sundaram (1964): A poor waiter falls for a rich woman. With the help of his best friend, he becomes a successful film actor. But he is unaware that his friend and his ladylove love each other.

Uyarndha Manithan (1968): Directed by Krishnan–Panju, the film was bankrolled by AVM Productions. It stars Sivaji Ganesan, Sowcar Janaki, Ashokan, Major Sundarrajan, Vanisri and Sivakumar. The soundtrack and background score were composed by MS Viswanathan, while the lyrics for the songs were written by Vaali. Uyarndha Manithan, the remake of Uttar Purush, was Sivaji Ganesan's 125th as an actor.

Aval Oru Thodarkathai (1974): The friendship between Kavitha (Sujatha) and Chandra (Fatafat Jayalakshmi) in the K Balachander drama will stay with you forever. Sujatha delivered a memorable performance as the eldest daughter who bears the burden of supporting a large family. For Tamil audiences, who sang odes to KB's creative strokes, her matter-of-fact approach to life was refreshing.

Mayangukiral Oru Maadhu (1975): This is yet another Tamil film about female friendship and love. SP Muthuraman directed it, which was produced by S Baskar. The film's lead actors are R Muthuraman, Sujatha, Thengai Srinivasan, and Vijayakumar.

Moondru Mudichu (1976): The movie revolves around three people, a college-going girl (Sridevi) and two men who fall in love with her (Kamal Hassan and Rajinikanth). A remake of the Telugu film O Seeta Katha, it's co-written and directed by K Balachander.

Ilamai Oonjal Aadukirathu (1978): Best friends fall in love with the same woman. The film directed by CV Sridhar is headlined by Kamal Haasan, Sri Priya, Rajinikanth and Jayachitra. It ran for 175 days in theatres and won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award.

Vattathukkul Chadhuram (1978): This is yet another excellent Tamil film to watch. The plot revolves around Anu, who falls in love with Karthik, the brother of her best friend Malathy. The film, directed by SP Muthuraman, depicts how two friends love and sacrifice things in their lives for each other.

Nizhalgal (1980): The travails of three unemployed young men trying to make ends meet and chasing their aspirations. The film is co-written and directed by Bharathiraja.

Sattam (1983): Directed by K Vijayan, the film highlights the bond between inspector Raja (Kamal Haasan) and lawyer Ravi (Sarath Babu). The film, also featuring Madhavi, Manorama, Silk Smitha, and YG Mahendra, is a remake of Dostana (1980).

Thalapathi (1991): The plot is based on the friendship of Karna and Duryodhana from the Mahabharata. Mani Ratnam was able to bring a similar bond to the big screen with this film, which starred Rajinikanth and Mammootty. Surya (Rajinikanth), an orphan raised in a slum, befriends and works for a good crime boss named Devaraj (Mammootty). When a new honest district collector arrives, their existence is threatened, and they must stand up for each other as friends.

Annamalai (1992): A class-divided friendship between Rajinikanth and Sarath Babu goes through highs and lows over several decades.

Thiruda Thiruda (1993): An Inspector is assigned to track down a large sum of stolen money. His investigations lead him to a couple of small-time crooks, a village belle, a murderer, an absconding suspect, and an international drug dealer.

Sathi Leelavathi (1995): Arun (Ramesh Arvind), bored of his wife's (Leelavathi) looks and weighty appearance, meets Priya and develops an affair with her. But his wife has other plans. The friendship between Kamal Haasan and Ramesh Arvind is the primary highlight of this Balu Mahendra directorial.

Kalloori Vaasal (1996): Sathya and Vasanth are two best pals since their childhood. An employee of Sathya's mother wants his daughter to get married to Sathya. He has selfish motives behind this desire.

Kadhal Desam (1996): Two boys from rival colleges, one rich and the other poor, become good friends after an incident. A new girl in college makes both their hearts melt but neither realises that they love the same girl.

Maanbumigu Maanavan (1996): Shiva, a happy-go-lucky guy, helps two of his best friends get married, much to the dismay of their parents. When the girl gets raped by Madan, Shiva and his friends seek to bring him to justice.

Kalki (1996): Chellama (Geetha) is a wounded woman, a singer who was hurt by her ex-husband and longs for a child. Her sort of companion is cook Kokila (Fathima Babu), who smiles and spouts philosophy although her husband is in prison. The two share a quiet companionship of equals in Kalki, directed by K Balachander, and their economic disparity never gets in the way of their shared bond.

Iruvar (1997): A struggling actor and a writer-politician become friends as young men and rise to great heights in cinema and politics respectively. But when both become contenders for the top political post in the state, a rift develops between them.

Natpukkaga (1998): Sarath Kumar portrayed both the father (Chinnaiya) and the son (Muthaiya). The plot revolves around the friendship of faithful servant Sarathkumar (Chinaiya) and wealthy man Vijayakumar. Chinnaiya went to jail to save Vijayakumar's daughter's life, but Vijayakumar's daughter mistook Chinnaiya for her mother's murder and despises both Chinnaiya and Muthaiya.

Snegithiye (2000): This is yet another film about female friendship. The plot revolves around Vasu and Radhika, who try to avoid Radhika's arranged marriage by pretending to love Ramesh, a fictional man. Priyadarshan directed the film.

Friends (2001): Three friends, who value friendship over everything else, begin to fall apart when one of them learns about a shocking incident that happened in their past.

Pandavar Bhoomi (2001): Dhanasekar hires an engineer to rebuild his ancestral house. When he falls in love with Dhanasekar's niece, Dhanasekar narrates his family's past, which changes his mind to sacrifice his love. The film is known for its songs, in particular... Thozha Thozha, was a hit.

Poovellam Un Vaasam (2001): Two families who have known each other for over 40 years stay in identical bungalows next to each other. Their children, Chinna and Chella (Ajith and Jyotika), who were childhood friends, end up falling in love with each other. Soon after, a misunderstanding causes a rift between them and their families.

Five Star (2002): Prabhu (Prasanna), Ilango (Krishna), Sundar (Karthik), Priya, and Indra are college best friends who swear they will never lose touch later in life. They both get jobs in the same company, but Ilango is kidnapped to his village by his dictatorial father (Vijayan) and forced to marry Eeswari (Kanika). He then flees, leaving his friends to believe he is in Bombay with his new wife. After a few years, the remaining four are still friends, work in the same company, and even live in the same house. Prabhu meets Eeswari on the train and falls in love with her even though she is Ilango's wife. When the truth is revealed, she becomes close to the gang. What happens eventually forms the climax!

April Maadhathil (2002): A story about the friendship between eight girls and boys. Kathir is a bright young man who grew up in a poor family and aspires to be a good student. He meets a girl named Shwetha in college and they become friends over time. For their vacation, a group of friends decides to visit each other's homes. Kathir and Shwetha love each other but are unable to express their feelings for one another. How did they end up together?

Panchatanthiram (2002): Ram (Kamal Hassan), a pilot by profession, falls in love with and marries Mythili (Simran). Ram's friends wanted to surprise him for his birthday. They take him to a hotel, where Ram meets Maggy (Ramya Krishna), a high-class call girl. However, it is discovered that Maggy is no longer alive. The terrified five friends throw her body into the river. The rest of the story is about Mythili returning to Ram after discovering the truth.

Mounam Pesiyadhe (2002): A Misogynist's attitude towards women and love starts to change after he develops feelings for a woman.

Boys (2003): Munna is in love with Harini, and they marry against their parent's wishes. So, they kick them out of their home. Friends support this young couple. They all work together to make ends meet. They discover their hidden talents and strengths, eventually. They form the band 'Boys', sign a contract with Sony Music and win MTV awards.

Priyamaana Thozhi (2003): The film is about the strong friendship between Madhavan and Sridevi and how society perceives it. Nobody around them sees their relationship as platonic. Their friendship beautifully depicts their unconditional and self-sacrificing love for one another. This film is without a doubt the greatest stereotype buster of all time.

Pithamagan (2003): Chithan (Vikram), a young orphan, grows up in a cemetery and has no human feelings; however, when he leaves the place and meets people, he experiences emotions for the first time. Sakthi (Suriya) encounters Chithan in jail, takes pity on him, and befriends him. Sakthi's affection softens Chithan's hard heart. Sakthi later gets into trouble with an influential narcotics dealer, and the story gradually builds to a gory and fitting conclusion.

Enaku 20 Unaku 18 (2003): This is Shriya Saran's first Tamil film, in which she plays a football coach and Tarun's friend. The bond they share demonstrates that a man and a woman can be friends. She is the one who brings out the best in him and sometimes acts as emotional support.

Anbe Sivam (2003): Two men, one young and arrogant, the other damaged; physically but not spiritually, by life, are thrown together by circumstances, and find that they are in some ways bound together by fate.

Autograph (2004): The film, starring Cheran and Sneha, is about a male-female friendship. Cheran meets his trusted friend Sneha on his journey, who instils confidence in him and explains the life lesson that one must learn to progress, as well as assists him in improving his work profile. The ups and downs of friends sharing their lives and problems are also depicted well.

Azhagiya Theeye (2004): Circumstances force a struggling filmmaker and a rich girl to marry and live in a flat.

Vasoolraja MBBS (2004): Rajaraman, a goon, has lied to his parents that he is a doctor. Once, on their visit, the truth comes out and they are heartbroken. That's when he decides to become a real doctor by hook or by crook.

Ullam Ketkume (2005): This flashback is set many years after campus life and weaves in the emotions of one-sided love, friendship, and heartbreak. The realistic storytelling depicts a happy college life and a happier afterlife.

Vallavan (2006): Simbu and Sandhya are classmates, and she is his critic and cheerleader. The film depicts typical male-female friends who frequently assist one another in winning the heart of their love interest. Sandhya is a wonderful friend who is always there for Simbu through his ups and downs.

Kalloori (2007): A group of nine childhood friends join an arts college together in a small town. Soon, Shobana becomes a part of their group, joining in the fun and games. Muthu eventually falls in love with her.

Rameswaram (2007): Vasanthi, part of a well-off family, meets Jeevan, a Sri Lankan refugee yearning to return home. Their friendship soon transforms into love.

Chennai 28 (2007): Friendship, love, and rivalry spice up the game of street cricket in the suburb of Chennai whose zip code gives this movie its name.

Anjathe (2008): If Anjathe only reminds you of the thrilling plot, we say you've missed out on a lot of what the film was actually about. It was about human emotions and relationships that go through various upheavals, especially between two friends whose fates separate them. You have to give it to Mysskin to imagine two friends pitted against each other in a ruthless narration of crime, cheating, and violence. If not for celebration, the friendship depicted in the film could teach us a lot about why it's important to maintain close relationships with our friends.

Kuselan (2008): Story related to old friends after one is a popular actor and the other is a barber and managing family. It is directed by P Vasu and is produced by K Balachander's Kavithalaya Films and Seven Arts together. Music for this Rajinikanth film has been scored by GV Prakash.

Saroja (2008): Four friends, Jaga, Ganesh, Ajay and Vishwas are motoring to a cricket game. An accident leads them to divert to a side road, where they encounter a criminal gang that has kidnapped a young girl and shot a policeman in front of them.

Subramaniapuram (2008): Azhagar and his friend Paraman kill the person who humiliated Kanugu's brother and surrender themselves to the police. However, they soon learn that Kanugu has betrayed them.

Pattalam (2009): It is a solid school-based drama that explores the complexities of student life, friendship, love, and jealousy. Also, the film depicts the notoriousness of teenagers and their immaturity. The film, set during the time of Boys and Chennai28, delivers exactly what you expect.

Ninaithale Inikkum (2009): The word means "sweet memories" in Tamil. It is about a college reunion and narrates the characters' college lives through a series of flashbacks. On the surface, it is an exploration of friendship and love during college days, and the song Nanbanai Partha takes you on a nostalgic trip.

Naadodigal (2009): Three friends decide to do whatever it takes to unite one of their old friends with the girl he is in love with, which gradually takes a turn for the worst, but strengthens their bond with each other nonetheless.

Goa (2010): Samikannu (Premgi Amaran), Vinayakam (Jai), and Ramarajan (Vaibhav) escape their overly strict families and travel to Goa with the sole purpose of falling in love with a white woman. However, before fleeing, they take the deity's ornaments from their village temple in the hope that they will be useful in the event of a crisis. It is a romantic comedy and has got a lot of emotional touches.

Boss Engira Bhaskaran (2010): Bhaskaran, a college dropout, starts a coaching class for students with his friend Nallathambi to win the love of a young professor, Chandrika.

Inidhu Inidhu (2010): A group of freshers quickly become friends and fall in love. How the four couples grow closer over years, punctuated by jealousy, separation, and reconciliation before parting ways upon graduation, forms the storyline. It's a celebration of youth and promises to take us back to our college days.

Goripalayam (2010): Set in the suburbs of Madurai, the film revolves around four youngsters — unkempt, unfocused and wayward. Alienated from their families (the director makes a futile attempt to evoke sympathy with a flashback of their deprived childhood), the drifters find themselves drawn into a vicious circle of violence and bloodshed.

Maathiyosi (2010): Four best friends, Pandi, Mangaa, Kona and Maari, live for each other and are vagabonds. They decide to go to Chennai after they are forced to leave their village for killing their headman's son.

Oh My Friend Sridhar (2011): There have been many films that celebrate friendship, and Sridhar is one of them that does so in a very endearing way. The film depicts the beautiful relationship that exists between childhood friends Siddharth and Shruti Haasan, and how it is difficult for them to stay on the same level, as well as their pangs of having to choose one over the other.

Neethaane En Ponvasantham (2012): The film, directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon, tells the story of Varun and Nithya, who are in love but are separated due to their different career choices. Nithya and Jenny, best friends, have a strong bond in the film.

Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom (2012): Prem Kumar (Vijay Sethupathi) loses his memory after collapsing while playing cricket with his friends. The problem is that Prem forgets his last year of memories and thus forgets his wedding, which is in two days. The rest of the story is about how his friends get him married without anyone knowing about his temporary memory loss.

Sundarapandian (2012): Sundarapandian (Sasikumar), who has finished college and hangs out in his village with friend Murugesan (Soori), decides to help Arivazhagan (Inigo Prabhakaran) woo Archana (Lakshmi Menon). However, she rejects Arivazhagan as well as another suitor, Bhuvaneshwaran (Appukutty). When she says she has been in love with Sundarapandian for a long time, complications arise.

Nanban (2012): 10 years after leaving college, two best friends and their rival go on a search for their third friend, while finding out some truths along the way. This one is a remake of the Hindi film, 3 Idiots.

Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya (2013): Three close friends attempt to win the heart of a beautiful girl, a neighbour. The story is whether one of the three wins her or someone else does.

Arrambam (2013): A mysterious man along with a young computer hacker tries to unveil a major government conspiracy which resulted in several bloody deaths.

Endrendrum Punnagai (2013): Three best friends, Gautham, Baby and Sri, decide to stay single all their lives. But Baby and Sri get married and Gautham is left alone until Priya comes into his life.

Anjaan (2014): Krishna comes to Mumbai in search of his brother Raju Bhai, an underworld don. Through Raju Bhai's gangster friends, his past life is revealed. What happened to Raju Bhai? Will Krishna find him?

Madras (2014): A depiction of the lives of the people who live in North Madras. A wall causes discord between two factions of a political party. Kaali (Karthi) and his political rival Anbu (Kaliyarasan) become embroiled in this brutal political rivalry.

Urumeen (2015): Several unexpected events link two men to each other, with one of them finding out about their two births' old relationship through a magical book. Urumeen is a fascinating watch; thanks to an intriguing screenplay, a refreshing narrative style, and some excellent performances. There are some flaws, but they aren't serious enough to detract from the film's entertainment value.

Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga (2015): Vasu (Santhanam) and Saravanan(Arya) are close buddies who run a mobile shop. But when two girls Seema (Banu) and Aishwarya (Tamannaah) enter their life, life changes. How do Vasu and Saravanan struggle to keep their friendship going?

Thakka Thakka (2015): The film is an emotional action thriller which is based on a friendship between two boys who work in a wine shop. Directed by Sanjeev, this one stars Vikranth, Abhinaya, Aravinnd Singh, Rahul Venkat and others in key roles. It was dubbed into Hindi as Phir Se Mafiaraaj.

Bangalore Naatkal (2016): Arya, Bobby Simha, and Sri Divya have had a special bond since childhood and have a dream of enjoying life in Bangalore, which they eventually achieve. The trio goes through a difficult time in their personal lives, but they manage to be each other's support system.

Pazhaya Vannarapettai (2016): A political crime thriller which deals with political murders and duplicate liquors and has a strong friendship base throughout the movie.

Uriyadi (2016): Four friends studying in an engineering college unintentionally end up becoming a part of caste politics led by corrupt politicians.

Thozha (2016): Impressed by his carefree attitude, quadriplegic multi-billionaire Vikram hires a convict out on parole as his caretaker. What follows is a string of life lessons they learn from each other.

Brindavanam (2017): A hearing and speech impaired barber in Ooty meets his idol, actor Vivekh. A poignant friendship develops between the two.

Magalir Mattum (2017): Prabhavati (Jyothika), an independent documentary filmmaker moves in with her future mother-in-law Goms (Urvashi). Prabha discovers that Goms misses her former classmates Subbulakshmi (Saranya) and Rani (Bhanupriya), with whom she has lost touch over the years. Prabha brings them together and takes them on a road trip to rekindle old memories and provide a liberating experience using Facebook.

Rangoon (2017): A story about three friends dealing with illegal gold trafficking in India when they think everything is going smoothly their life takes a u-turn when a business deal goes wrong in Rangoon.

Pariyerum Perumal (2018): A law student from a lower caste begins a friendship with his classmate, a girl who belongs to a higher caste, and the men in her family start giving him trouble over this.

Bakrid (2019): A man develops a friendship with a camel, and has to embark on a journey with the animal. The film, directed by Sigai-fame Jagadeesan Subu, stars Vikranth and Vasundhara of Peranmai fame in lead roles.

Natpe Thunai (2019): An international hockey player who has chosen to leave the sport picks it up again to save the ground of a local team.

Oh, My Kadavule (2020): Arjun (Ashok Selvan), Mani (Sha Ra) and Anu Paulraj (Ritika Singh) are childhood friends. Arjun marries Anu despite having no romantic feelings for her, only to end up in a divorce proceeding. What if he was given another chance to work things out?

Kalathil Santhipom (2021): The story of two friends, Anand and Ashok, the story revolving around their love, sports, and family bondings. The film, directed by Rajasekar, stars Jiiva, Arulnithi, and Manjima Mohan.

Friendship (2021): Set in college, Friendship is an emotional saga where two friends go out of their way to help a girl get justice, who is sexually abused and killed by goons. Will they succeed? After all, justice delayed is justice denied.

Anbulla Ghilli (2022): The film traces the life of Ramu and Ghilli, the dog, who are close friends. Ramu finds himself caught in a love triangle. Ghilli helps Ramu find true love. Their life is stirred up by Sundar, a ruthless poacher disguised as a forest ranger.

Mudhal Nee Mudivum Nee (2022): In the 1990s, a group of high school students in a strict Catholic school navigate their way through everyday teen pressures.

My Dear Bootham (2022): The film shows Prabhudheva as a genie. Directed by N Ragavan, the story of My Dear Bootham delves into the relationship between a genie and a kid. An out-and-out fantasy entertainer, the film has Ramya Nambeesan in a prominent role, with Aswanth, Param Guhanesh, Saathvik, Sakthi and Kaesitha playing substantial roles.