Padayappa

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Padayappa
Padayappa.jpg
Directed by K. S. Ravikumar
Produced by Krishna Rao
Sathya Narayanan
Vittal Prasad
Written by K. S. Ravikumar
Starring Sivaji Ganesan
Rajinikanth
Ramya Krishnan
Soundarya
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography S. Murthy
Prasad
Edited by Thanigachalam
Production
  company
Arunachala Cine Creations
Release date(s)
  • 9 April 1999 (1999-04-09)
Running time 183 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil
Box office INR30 crore (US$5.0 million)

Padayappa (Tamilபடையப்பா, Paṭaiyappā ?) is a 1999 Tamil drama film written and directed by K. S. Ravikumar. It was dubbed in Telugu as Narasimha. The film features Rajinikanth, Soundarya and Ramya Krishnan playing lead roles, whilst Sivaji Ganesan, Abbas, Lakshmi and Nassar play pivotal supporting roles. With soundtrack composed by A. R. Rahman, it was highly successful at box office.[1]

Plot[edit]

Padayappa (Rajinikanth) is an mechanical engineer who visits his hometown to attend his sister's wedding. His sister is engaged to the son of his maternal uncle (Radha Ravi). During this happy occasion, Padayappa's father's foster brother (Manivannan) demands a share in the family property. However, standing true to his words that the family property should not be divided, Padayappa's father (Sivaji Ganesan) gives the entire property to him.

Padayappa's family is then forced to leave their home. Unable to bear this shock, his father suddenly dies. His sister's wedding is then cancelled because the groom chose to marry someone offering him a greater dowry and married his uncle's daughter. But, Nilambiri (Ramya Krishnan), the spoiled daughter of his maternal uncle, is madly in love with Padayappa.

Meanwhile, Padayappa finds out that the hill in the land he owns is a granite mountain, starts a granite business and becomes rich and famous in town since he uses the money in service of the poor. His family, once again, is able to settle down. His sister gets married to an engineer Padayappa hired, and Padayappa maintains his father's position in village as a leader, and in the process, helps his father's foster brother to compensate for the heavy losses that his father's foster brother had incurred in the meantime. As a result of this, Padayappa's father's foster brother seeks Padayappa's pardon for his misdeeds and becomes indebted to him. Padayappa forgives his father's foster brother.

Padayappa is in love with Vasundhara (Soundarya), Nilambari's servant. When Nilambari finds this out, she goes crazy. Her parents beg Padayappa's widowed mother to allow Nilambari to marry Padayappa. Padayappa obeys his mother's orders to get married. However, Padayappa's mother becomes wise and embarrasses her brother in front of the entire village, giving a proposal of marriage to Vasundhara's mother (her brother's servant), reminding her brother the humiliation he put her through when Padayappa's father died. Nilambari's dad commits suicide in humiliation. Nilambari tries to kill Vasundhara, but is not successful.

After the wedding, Nilambari locks herself in a room in her brother's house, only having Padayappa in her mind for 18 years. However, when her brother finally wakes her up, she plans her revenge on Padayappa, now a father of two adult daughters. Nilambari's brother also has a son, Chandraprakash aka Chandru (Abbas) who studies in the same college as Padayappa's elder daughter (Preetha Vijayakumar). He is told by Nilambari that he should make Padayappa's daughter fall in love with him. At the same time Padayappa plans to get his eldest daughter married to his sister's son.

As a tradition in their village the groom and bride are asked if they both are not being forced to marry each other. Nilambari's plan is to make Padayappa's daughter say that she doesn't wish to get married to the groom that her parents want her to marry and that she is in love with someone else and in that process get Padayappa humiliated.

Her plan works, but Padayappa retaliates and makes his daughter's lover confess that he really fell in love with her, even though he was told only to act. Padayappa decides to take him to his house for the marriage, with Nilambari and her brother chasing behind. The chase sees Nilambari's brother killed in a car accident.

After a dramatic fight scene, the marriage takes place. Nilambari reaches the temple where the marriage is conducted and in anger tries to kill Padayappa. But Padayappa succeeds in saving her life by preventing a bull from attacking her while dodging the bullets fired from the gun. Rather than live with the humiliation of knowing that she was unsuccessful in avenging her father's death and having her life saved by her enemy, Nilambari commits suicide by shooting herself. Padayappa gives her Mukti.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In December 1997, Rajinikanth announced that his next film would be directed by K. S. Ravikumar, who had made the successful 1995 film Muthu with the actor. Filming was initially slated to begin in April 1998 but the FEFSI strike delayed proceedings and Ravikumar was only able to complete his previous film Natpukkaga by June 1998. The film was further delayed when Ravikumar accepted to quickly remake Natpukkaga in Telugu as Sneham Kosam with Chiranjeevi in the lead. Padayappa was subsequently launched at Ragavendra Kalyana Mandapam on 1 October 1998.[2] The film began its shoot in December 1998 and continued at the AVM Studios throughout the month. Reports suggested that the film's title may be changed to Giri during production to avoid any religious connotations, but the makers of the film later opted to go through with the original title. Abhishek Sundar was the stunt master for cars in Padayappa[3]

Ramya Krishnan replaced Simran in the film and thus made a comeback in Tamil films.[4] Actress Shalini who had appeared in a series of successful Tamil and Malayalam films in the late 1990s was first approached to play the role of Padayappa's sister in the film, which she refused eventually handing the role to Sithara.[5]

The film's climax was shot in the first schedule itself.[6]

Release[edit]

The film opened on 9 April 1999, five days prior to the Tamil New Year, and took the biggest opening ever with 200 prints being released and 7 lakh audio cassettes sold.[7][8][9][10] The film's rights were sold to distributors in Japan for $50,000, the highest any Indian film has fetched for commercial release in 1999.[11]

The New Indian Express labelled it a "heady cocktail of comedy, action, songs, sentiment and the usual mannerisms", while also praising the performances from the duo. The Deccan Herald also gave the film a positive verdict claiming that the "positive energy generated by this film is simply astounding", labelling Rajinikanth's role as "terrific".[12] However the Times of India was critical of the film's allusions to the actor's political career and labelled that there's "more style than substance".[13]

Ramya Krishnan won the Filmfare Best Tamil Actress Award for portraying the character of Nilambari and critics lapped up her performance.[14] The success of the film led to a film being named after a song, "Minsara Kanna" starring Vijay with actress Kushboo appearing in a strong negative role much alike Ramya Krishnan's in Padayappa.[15]

Soundtrack[edit]

Padayappa
Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 1999
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre Feature film soundtrack
A. R. Rahman chronology
En Swasa Kaatre
(1999)
Padayappa
(1999)
Kadhalar Dhinam
(1999)

Scored by A. R. Rahman and lyrics penned by Vairamuthu, the movie features a successful and critically acclaimed soundtrack. It was reported that the audio shops ran out of cassettes and had to put up boards notifying that it was out of stock.[16]

Track listing
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "En Peru Padayappa"   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 5:23
2. "Minsara Kanna"   Srinivas, Nithyasree Mahadevan
Backing vocals by Hariharan & Palakkad Sreeram
6:17
3. "Suthi Suthi"   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Harini 6:26
4. "Vetri Kodi"   Palakkad Sreeram & Chorus 4:39
5. "Kikku Yerudhey"   Mano, Febi 5:27
6. "Theme"   Instrumental 2:29

Dropped sequel[edit]

The initial final cut of Padayappa lasted for 22 reels, which was too lengthy for a Tamil film. Even after numerous viewing, neither Rajinikanth nor Ravikumar were able to trim the film, as they felt the flow was "very smooth and gentle". Rajinikanth even suggested to Ravikumar to continue with 22 reel length and instead allott two intervals for the film. Ravikumar was however wary of the idea of allotting two intervals and hence went to Kamal Haasan for suggestion, Haasan's Nayagan also was initially 22 reels. With the earlier experience it was Haasan who suggested the cuts and brought Padayappa down to 16 reels. Kumudam reporter Kannan who came to know about the extra reels asked Rajinikanth to release the remaining film as Padayappa's second part. Rajinikanth who was fascinated by the idea immediately enquired Ravikumar on the possibility, but Ravikumar revealed that those reels were destroyed.[17]

References[edit]

External links[edit]