Ayothi review: A sensible take on the fading sense of humanity

Director Manthira Moorthy creates a niche for himself in his maiden effort; he's a here to stay!

ByManigandan KR

Published:Mar 03, 2023

Ayothi tamil movie
Director Manthira Moorthy is here to stay!

Ayothi (Tamil)

  • Cast: Sasikumar, Yashpal Sharma, Preethi Asrani, Anju Asrani, and Master Advaith
  • Director: Manthira Moorthy
  • Producer: Trident Arts Ravindran
  • Music: NR Raghunandan
  • Runtime: 2 hours

While most films celebrate the qualities of courage, love, bravery or tenacity, only a few underline the significance of compassion and kindness. Director Manthira Moorthy’s Ayothi is a rare gem that just does that.

The film, based on a real-life incident that happened in Tamil Nadu, is easily among those projects that make Tamil cinema proud.


The story begins in Ayodhya where Balram (Yashpal Sharma), an ardent Ram bhakt, resides with his wife Janaki (Anju Asrani), college-going daughter Shivani (Preethi Asrani) and young son Sonu (Master Advaith).

Balram is religious to the point of being cruel. Needless to say, his wife and children tremble when he is around.

Ahead of Diwali celebrations, he gets train tickets for a holy trip to Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. The family is overjoyed at the prospect of a trip and eagerly prepares for it.

The appointed day arrives and the trip begins. The family reaches Madurai. Balram, who is particular that they be in Rameshwaram by sunrise, looks to hire a cab.

In the cab, he starts chewing paan and keeps goading the driver — who exercises maximum restraint — to pick up speed.

Balaram keeps annoying the driver with his antics even as his wife and daughter look helplessly on from the back.

At one point, a fight ensues between the cab driver and Balram, eventually resulting in an accident.

While the driver suffers major injuries on his legs and arms, Balram’s wife Janaki suffers a head injury and is knocked unconscious. They rush her to a nearby hospital where doctors say that she has to undergo surgery which can only be done at the government hospital in Madurai.

cast and crew of ayothi

The cast and crew of ‘Ayothi’. (SasikumarDir/Twitter)

However, most of the ambulance drivers are on a holiday (Diwali). Meanwhile, the cab driver, who is rendered immobile, calls up his friend (Sasikumar) for assistance.

When Sasikumar (I am not revealing his character’s name as it has significance and is only disclosed at the end) arrives at the hospital with another friend Pandi (Pugazh) to help out the driver, they see Shivani and Sonu weeping and are moved to pity.

Unable to communicate in the local language and stranded without a penny in their pockets, due to the accident, the children are in distress. They look helplessly at their mother even as Balram keeps blaming everybody who tries to help them rather than looking to save his wife.

At one point, Shivani seeks help from Sasikumar and Pandi. They don’t understand a word she utters but understand her pain and her request for help. What happens next is what the story is all about.

Restores faith in humanity

Ayothi is gripping right from the word go. The frantic efforts people make to help someone they do not know restores faith in humanity and unconsciously brings a smile to your face by the time the film ends.

It is not just about the efforts of one individual. The film shows how several people, in varying capacities, go out of their way to help someone in distress.

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From a friend who sells his precious belongings to help out (Balaram’s) family to an unwell dean who looks to clear documents on a festival day, and the airport authorities who look for loopholes in rules so they can come to the aid of helpless passengers, Ayothi showcases people from different walks of life doing their bit to help.

ayothi tamil movie

A poster of ‘Ayothi’ Tamil movie. (SasikumarDir/Twitter)

The film narrates how all their little contributions finally add up to make a big difference to the family in distress.

And guess what? Music director NR Raghunandan’s background score accentuates the emotions on screen. He is phenomenal.


Sasikumar comes up with a strong performance after a long time. This film is bound to revive his career as an actor and put him back under the spotlight.

Preethi Asrani, who makes her debut in Tamil cinema as Shivani, comes up with a brilliant performance and steals the limelight.

Along with her sister Anju Asrani (who plays her mother Janaki in the film), Preethi delivers a powerful performance that breathes life into the movie.

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Well-known Bollywood actor Yashpal Sharma, who makes his debut in Tamil cinema with Ayothi, comes up with a commendable performance. He plays Balram with flair and conviction.

Pugazh, as Sasikumar’s loyal friend Pandi, comes up with a sterling performance to announce his arrival in the film industry.

Final take

Ayothi marks Manthira Moorthy’s directorial debut in the Tamil film industry and he creates a niche for himself in his maiden effort. Don’t be surprised if I say that Manthira Moorthy would take Tamil cinema to greater heights!

And yes, don’t give this film a miss.

(Views expressed are personal.)