This study aims to contribute to existing literature on Indian cinema by exploring the works of K. Balachander. An academic enquiry into K. Balachander's films is justified given his presence in the Tamil film industry for some 40 years and the numerous awards he had obtained over this period for his filmic contributions, including the prestigious Padmashree Award which he won in 1987. In the bigger study of which this is a small part, I also study female representation in his films, as well as how various groups of audience interpret the portrayal of women in three specific films directed by him. Keeping in mind the varied audience groups of Tamil cinema, three different groups have been selected for this purpose, namely the rural and urban audiences in India and the diaspora audience in Singapore. Emphasis on the audience allows this study to build on earlier research on the reception of films at the point of consumption. I hope in this to provide a new perspective on audience reception of female portrayals in Tamil films.