Apoorva Sagodharargal (1989 film)

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This article is about the 1989 film. For the 1949 film, see Apoorva Sagodharargal (1949 film).
Apoorva Sahodharargal
Apoorva Sagotharangal.jpg
Original poster
Directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
Produced by Kamal Hassan
Written by Crazy Mohan (dialogues)
Manohar Shyam Joshi (dialogues - Hindi version)
Screenplay by Kamal Haasan
Story by Panchu Arunachalam
Starring Kamal Haasan
Delhi Ganesh
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography P. C. Sriram
Edited by B. Lenin
V. T. Vijayan
Distributed by Raaj Kamal Films International
Release dates
  • 14 April 1989 (1989-04-14) (Tamil)
  • 3 June 1990 (1990-06-03) (Hindi)
Running time 150 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil
Box office INR 12 Crores

Apoorva Sagodharargal (translation: Rare Brothers) is a 1989 Tamil dramedy film directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao. It starred Kamal Hassan in three roles, as a mechanic, a circus clown who is a dwarf and a police officer, along with Gouthami, Srividya, Manorama, Nagesh, Jaishankar, Nassar and Delhi Ganesh in main roles. Premiered at the International Film Festival of India, the film was a blockbuster and completed 600-day run at the box office. About 20 million tickets were reportedly sold. This was significant as Tamil Nadu population was 55 million then. It was the first Tamil film to beat the record of Thirisoolam set a decade earlier. This new record remained unbeaten for six years until the release of Baashha. It was dubbed into Telugu as Vichithra Sodarulu and into Hindi as Appu Raja in 1990.


Sethupathy (Kamal Hassan) is an honest and upright police officer. When he arrests four bigwigs Dharmaraj (Nagesh), Francis Anbarasu (Delhi Ganesh), Nallasivam (Nasser) and Satyamoorthy (Jaishankar), they escape justice easily and return to take revenge. They kill him and poison his wife (Srividya). She escapes and gives birth to twins with the help of another woman Muniyamma (Manorama) but the babies are separated and each woman believes that the other is dead because of the events happening next to birth. One of the twins, Raja (Kamal Hassan) grows up as a mechanic with Muniyamma, while the other twin, Appu (Kamal Hassan), a dwarf, grows up in the circus with his mother.

Appu falls in love with the daughter (Rupini) of the circus owner mistakenly thinking that she was asking him to elope with her. But she actually had asked him to be witness to her marriage with her fiancé, which was not approved by her father. Heartbroken over this and insecurity over his height, he tries to commit suicide but is prevented by his mother, who then reveals the reason that his dwarfism might have been because of the poison force-fed to her when she was pregnant with the twins. This leads Appu to learn about his father’s murder and he decides to avenge by killing the four murderers.

Meanwhile, Raja falls in love with Janaki (Gouthami) who happens to be Satyamoorthy's daughter. As Raja resembles Sethupathy, Sathyamoorthy and his 3 friends gain interest in Raja.

Francis is fishing in a lake. Appu uses one of his well trained circus Pomeranian puppy to lure Francis Anbarasu to an abandoned building and reveals his identity to him. Francis Anbarasu smirks when he sees that Appu is a dwarf and cannot hurt him due to his bigger size. But Appu uses a Rube Goldbergian contraption to kill him and the dead body falls in a lorry covered with hay. Raja and Janaki have car trouble and hitchhike a ride in the same lorry but are oblivious to the dead body. The lorry driver (Kavithalaya Krishnan) discovers the body when he reaches his destination and calls the police. The inspector (Janakaraj) in charge of the case, suspects Raja by tracing the car number given by the lorry driver.

Appu kills Nallasivam in a golf course using a tiger from his circus but Nallasivam's caddy sees Appu’s face and the tigers tail from afar. This leads the inspector to Raja again who, coincidentally is wearing a tiger costume while performing a song at a festival in his street. Janaki becomes enraged when she learns that Raja has killed his father’s friends and breaks up with him.

Raja is released from custody as the postmortem examination has revealed real tiger wounds that could not be inflicted by Raja’s costume. He goes over to Janaki’s house to smooth things over with the inspector following him covertly. When he is talking to her, Appu tricks Sathyamoorthy into killing himself with a circus hand gun that shoots backwards. Appu escapes but Raja and Janaki enter Sathyamoorthy's room hearing the gunshot a few moments before the inspector arrives. Janaki faints when she sees her dad dead and the inspector now believes that Raja had shot Sathyamoorthy. Raja too escapes and is on the run while the police had released a sketch of his face to the public. An exhausted Raja is spotted by some people in a market and they try to catch him. Raja, in an attempt to evade capture threatens to kill the nearest woman he gets hold of. When the crowd back down, he releases the woman and escapes. The woman, who incidentally happens to be Srividya, realizes that Raja is the other twin and seeks out Muniyamma. They both realize that the murders are committed by Appu and Raja is mistaken as Appu, who overhears this. Dharmaraj believes that it is Raja avenging his father’s death and that he is the next target, and decides to seek out Raja’s mother and is shocked to see Srividhya, whom he believed to be dead, also present there. Nonetheless, he kidnaps both women and threatens to kill them unless Raja surrenders to him. Appu escapes and helps Raja evade the police and tells him everything. They both collaborate and go to the circus where their mothers are held captive. With the help of well trained circus animals, Appu and Raja overpower the goons. Ignoring his mothers call to stop, Appu shoots Dharmaraj, he falls down and eaten by circus lions. Appu surrenders to the police and Raja is set free.




Kamal Haasan was featured in three distinct characters; a police character, a dwarf and a mechanic. Actress Gandhimadhi was originally cast in Manorama's role. Due to changes in the script, she was replaced.[2] Singeetham said that The dwarf look was done in different angles and innovative ideas had been adopted for each angle. A pair of special shoes was prepared to be attached to the folded knees of the actor for the straight angle shots. The legs had been taken care of and the mannerism adopted by Mr. Kamal Hassan by holding his arms in a particular way jelled with his “dwarf” legs. For the side angle shots, a trench was dug up just to cover up the actor’s legs from the feet to knees, with special shoes attached at the knee level.[3] Kamal approached Crazy Mohan to write dialogues for the film.[4] Nagesh was casted in a negative role alongside Delhi Ganesh, Jaishankar and Nassar.[5] Ravikanth who debuted in Manathil Uruthi Vendum (1987) did a small role as Kamal's friend but his portion was deleted from the final product.[6] S. T. Venky made his debut as visual effects designer for this film.[7]


Animals used in the films were trained by Ravindra Sherpad Deval.[8] The circus portions in the film were filmed at Gemini Circus.[9] The first song "amma aaatha kaalai thottu kumbidanum" recorded for the film was dumped as the script was doctored by Kamal Hassan based on Ashokamitran's novel. After 50 days of successful run, the song was included as an added attraction.[10]

Track listing[edit]

The music was composed by Ilayaraja and lyrics written by Vaali. The songs are very catchy and remain popular even today. The sad theme music in the movie was highly acclaimed and remains popular to this day. Regarding the song "Pudhu Mappillaiku", Kamal said that he wanted a tune similar to the way which is sang in Oscar Awards function.[11] The song "Unna Nenachen" is one of the classic songs from the film. The song was rewritten by Valli for over 5 times and Ulaganayagan Kamal Haasan was still unhappy with it. Only at his sixth attempt, he became successful in delivering what Kamal wanted.[12] Elements of "Annatha Aadurar" has been used in the song "Saroja Saman Nikalo" from Chennai 600028.[13]

Apoorva Sahodharargal /Appu Raja
Studio album by Ilaiyaraaja
Released 4 May 1989 (Tamil)
5 June 1990 (Hindi)
Recorded Raajkamal Film International
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Raajkamal Film International
Tracklist - Tamil
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Raja Kaiya Vachchaa"   Kamal Hassan 04:55
2. "Puthu Maappillaikku"   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. P. Sailaja 04:34
3. "Onna Nenachche Paattu"   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 04:38
4. "Vaalibaththin Kaathalukku Jey"   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki 04:40
5. "Annaaththe Aaduraar"   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 04:39
Tracklist - Hindi
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Raja Naam Mera"   Kamal Hassan  
2. "Woh To Bana Apna"   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Asha Bhosle  
3. "Tune Saathi Paya Apna Jag Mein"   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam  
4. "Matwale Yaar Teri Jai"   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Asha Bhosle  
5. "Aaya Hai Raja"   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam  


The Hindu included "Unna Nenachen" among lyricist Vaali's best songs in their collection, "Best of Vaali: From 1964 - 2013".[14] Indiaglitz included Apoorva Sagotharargal alongside another Kamal starrer Michael Madhana Kamarajan (1990) in their list "Top Twin roles of Kollywood".[15] The film was also included by Rediff in their list titled "10 Best films of Kamal Haasan".[16] Behindwoods included "Raja Kaiya Vacha" in their list "Unforgettable songs of Kamal".[17]

In popular culture[edit]

The songs from the film has inspired film titles - Raja Kaiya Vacha (1990) and Unna Nenachen Pattu Padichen (1992). The sad theme music from the film has been used for comedy scenes in films - Chennai 600028 (2007) and Thillu Mullu (2013). In Periya Marudhu (1995), Goundamani imagines himself as dwarf similar to Kamal's look and dances to the song "Pudhu Mappillaiku".[18] Scenes from the film has been parodied in Thamizh Padam (2010), Delhi Ganesh reprises his character in the film. Shiva tries to use Rupe goldberg machine similar to the one Kamal used in the film but fails.[19] Dhanush sported a dwarf look in Padikkathavan (2009).[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096827/
  2. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/regional/tamil/did-you-know-/Manorama-wasnt-Kamals-first-choice/articleshow/15326835.cms
  3. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/singeetam-reveals-secret-behind-kamals-dwarf-role/article1311684.ece
  4. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/crazy-mohan/article6575791.ece
  5. ^ http://www.indiaglitz.com/nagesh-a-legacy-like-no-other-tamil-news-44687
  6. ^ http://www.newindianexpress.com/entertainment/tamil/article259342.ece?service=print
  7. ^ http://m.rediff.com/movies/nov/04ven.htm
  8. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-downtown/a-school-within-a-ring/article5591389.ece
  9. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/where-the-performers-will-send-you-into-tailspin/article1401577.ece
  10. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/films-in-spotlight/article1125707.ece
  11. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/and-more-on-the-ilaiyaraaja-connection/article6379569.ece
  12. ^ http://www.indiaglitz.com/eternal-tunes-kavingar-vaali-tamil-news-100694
  13. ^ http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/tamil/musicreview/8805.html
  14. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/article4931802.ece?ref=relatedNews
  15. ^ http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/tamil/article/35422.html
  16. ^ http://www.rediff.com/movies/slide-show/slide-show-1-the-10-best-films-of-kamal-haasan-south/20131107.htm#6
  17. ^ http://behindwoods.com/tamil-movie-articles/movies-08/kamal-09-11-11.html
  18. ^ Periya Marudhu (DVD)
  19. ^ http://www.indiaglitz.com/thamizh-padam-review-tamil-movie-review-11518
  20. ^ http://www.behindwoods.com/tamil-movie-news-1/jan-09-02/padikkathavan-08-01-09.html

External links[edit]