Neelambari to Nandini: 15 Prominent Female Villains in Tamil Cinema

Harshini S V

Nandini 'Ponniyin Selvan'

In Ponniyin Selvan, vengeance has a beautiful face and name: Nandini, brought to life by Aishwarya Rai BachchanIn the first part, she exudes charm with her mystic eyes and wields her beauty as a power to deceive her foes. But the sequel unearths what lies behind the cunning plans: a hurtful past and untold sufferings.

Neelambari in Padaiyappa (1999)

Think of powerful female villains in Tamil cinema and Ramya Krishnan’s Neelambari tops the charts. Born into a rich family, Neelambari is evil, arrogant and insensitive to others' feelings, especially of her employees.

Sornaka in Dhool (2003)

A local goon in the film, Sornam who deals with one too many illicit activities crosses paths with Arumugam (Vikram). Before you get to see her ever-angry face, you are always introduced to the tattoo on her hand that reveals her name.

Geeta in Vallavan (2006)

It is all lovey-dovey for high school lovers Geeta (Reema Sen) and Vallavan (Silambarasan) until she starts suspecting the honesty in Vallavan’s love and grows possessive. On the surface level, the writing and Reema Sen’s wonderful performance take us through what a toxic relationship would look like. But dig a little deeper, and you understand the usage of the “mad ex-girlfriend trope”.

Eswari in Thimiru (2006)

Like Sornaka, Sriya Reddy’s Eswari in Thimiru is one of the most loved villains in Tamil cinema. The term “Thimiru” in the title alludes to Eswari’s arrogance as much as it signifies the journey of Ganesh (Vishal).