Remembering Padmarajan: The best female roles created by the legend

Writer, director, singer, editor and the list goes on as we talk about the legend Padmarajan. His stories dealt with various themes - from murder to mystery, from passion to romance, from anarchism to individualism, in short - the peripheral elements of life and society.

Female characters have had important roles to play in his films. In fact, he portrayed some of the most powerful women characters of Malayalam cinema.

His sudden and untimely death occurred at Hotel Paramount Towers in Calicut while he was visiting a Cinema playing his last film Njan Gandharvan. 

The news of his death on 24th January, 1991 was a shock to Keralites and the feeling of loss among the people of Kerala lingers to this day.

On his 30th death anniversary, we list five of his best female characters fromhis movies.


Clara, from the movie Thoovaanathumpikal is one of his most remembered and loved female character in Malayalam cinema. Clara is very ambitious but very practical too. She knows what path she has chosen but that does not deter her from dreaming of having a happy life.

Clara does not appear throughout the movie but it is she who drives the whole story along with a rain and a background score given by music director Johnson.

Sumalatha played the role of Clara and won hearts with this role.


Sophia and Solomon are one of the most loved onscreen couple. We are talking about the lead characters of the movie Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal. 

But theirs' is not a conventional love story. Rather trying to impress herself, Sophia doesn’t hesitate to tell Solomon that her mother bore her out of wedlock. She got no worries thinking what a prospective lover might think of her and her family. There she establishes trust and a bond.

There is a transperancy in Sophia's conversations; whether it's with her lover, her step father or her mother. 

Shari portrayed the role of an innocent and matured Sophia.

Nimmy and Sally

One cannot miss the strong undercurrent in Padmarajan movie Deshatanakkili Karayarilla. The movie is considered as the first Indian film which explored the theme of womance. 

Despite being way ahead of its time, Nimmy and Sally, the lead protagonists of the movie gave new dimensions to the making of characters.

Both Nimmy and Sally gives us a clearer picture of the nuances of adolescent psyche.

Karthika does a wonderful balancing act of playing a teenager who gets infactuated by a male presence. And Shari plays effortlessly the more impulsive and bold girl persuading one to dig deeper into the narrative.


Koodevide movie is about the story taking place between three characters but primarily revolving around Alice played by an amazing Suhasini.

While we talk about toxic masculinity these days, the character of Alice is probably the first that comes to mind.

When it comes to marriage, Alice is matured enough to take her own decisons in life. She asks for sace and time to understand her partner better.

Padmarajan also gives Alice more of a motherly character as she is seen taking care of her student. 


Maya played by Shobhana is the real star of Padmarajan's movie Innale. The movie starts with a woman, who apparently is left with no choices. She loses her memory and identity. But in the course of time, she is given a choice. 

In spite of what people talk about her or whoever approaches her, Maya is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. She finds confidence in herself, she enjoys the work she do, and manages to create a new identity of her own. And then, she makes a choice of her own - building a life instead of chasing her past.

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