|Produced by||V. A. Durai|
|Based on||Nandavanathil Oru Andhi|
|Edited by||V. T. Vijayan|
|Distributed by||Evergreen Movies International|
|Release date(s)||24 October 2003|
|Running time||157 minutes|
Pithamagan (English: Son of Ancestors) is a 2003 Indian Tamil drama film written and directed by Bala. The film stars Vikram, Suriya, Laila and Sangeetha in the lead. Produced by V. A. Durai, the film is cinematographed by Balasubramanim, lyrics are by Vaali, Pazhani Barathi and Na. Muthukumar, dance has been choreographed by Brinda, editing by Suresh Ars, fights by Stunt Siva and art direction by A. C. Pillai. The film's score and soundtrack are composed by Ilayaraaja. The film plot is based on Jayakanthan's Nandhavanathil Oru Andi, the story of an undertaker. Upon release, the film met with critical acclaim and Vikram won the National Film Award for Best Actor for his role as Chithan.
Owing to the success, the film was dubbed into Telugu and released as Sivaputrudu (The son of Siva) on 2 April 2004. The film was also remade in Kannada as Anatharu (2007) with Upendra and Darshan playing the roles of Vikram and Suriya respectively.
Pithamagan whirls around four characters. Chithan (Vikram) who is orphaned at a young age, devoid of all human contacts he lives on his animal instincts and ekes out a living as a graveyard caretaker. He seems to exhibit behaviour consistent with autism spectrum disorders. Gomathy (Sangeetha), a petty ganja seller, who pities Chithan’s condition, gets him a job at the ganja fields of the main villain. Sakthi (Suriya Sivakumar), the conman cons Manju (Laila), a polytechnic student but does not get away with it. Sakthi meets Chithan in jail and takes pity on him and befriends him. It is Sakthi’s affection that melts Chithan’s stony heart.
Sakthi takes Chithan along with him when they are both released from the jail. Sakthi and Manju later fall in love. Chithan works for a narcotics dealer, who is the antagonist. The dealer takes advantage of Chithan's innocence and orders Chithan to burn the corpse of a spy. Sakthi is angered when he discovers that Chithan had burned the corpse, as this could land Chithan in trouble. Sakthi requests Chithan not to work for the narcotics dealer anymore and takes Chithan along with him to work. This angers the villain and he eventually kills Sakthi when he return home with Manju after watching a movie. The next morning Sakthi's corpse is thrown in the middle of the village. Initially it seems as though Chithan is unaffected due to Sakthi's demise while the rest are mourning. Gomathy chases Chithan out of her house as she feels that it's because of Chithan that Sakthi was killed and it has not even impacted him. Chithan leaves the house and sets the ganja fields on fire and then goes to the villain's house and beats him black and blue. He then drags him to the village and kills him in front of Gomathy, Manju and the other villagers. He looks at Manju after killing the villain which moves Gomathy and she feels guilty as she mistook Chithan's silence when Sakthi was killed. She tries to persuade Chithan to stay with them but Chithan goes back to the graveyard where Sakthi was buried.
- Vikram as Chithan
- Suriya as Sakthi
- Laila as Manju
- Sangeetha as Gomathy
- Karunas as Karuvaayan
- Manobala as Sakthi's Uncle
- 'Ganja' Karuppu as Ganja Kuduki
- Simran in a special appearance
After Nandha, Bala announced his next project "Pithamagan" with Surya and Vikram, heroes of his previous films who received popularity after struggle. For the role of drug seller, Bala considered Vijayashanti, Malavika and Gayatri Jayaraman but at last Rasika was selected for the role and also changed her name back to Sangeetha.
|Soundtrack album to Pithamagan by Ilaiyaraaja|
|1.||"Adadaa Aghangaara Arakka Kaigalil"||Mu. Mehta||K.J. Yesudas||04:38|
|2.||"Aruna Runaam"||Savitha Reddy For Simran & Old Songs Medley||06:39|
|3.||"Elangaathu Veesudhey"||Pazhani Bharathi||Sriram Parthasarathy, Shreya Ghoshal||06:10|
|4.||"Elangaathu Veesudhey - Solo"||Pazhani Bharathi||Sriram Parthasarathy||06:10|
|5.||"Kodi Yethi Vaippom"||Na. Muthukumar||Bhavatharini, Shanmugasundari, Periya Karuppa Thevar, Ragavendar||04:08|
|6.||"Piraiye Piraiye"||Vaali||Madhu Balakrishnan||04:41|
All lyrics written by Vanamali.
|1.||"Adigo Avineethi"||Vijay Yesudas, Chorus||04:38|
|2.||"Priyatama Ninne - Old Songs Medley"||Murali, Lalitha Sagari, Chorus||06:39|
|3.||"Chirugali Veechane"||R. P. Patnaik, Sunitha||06:10|
|4.||"Chirugali Veechane - Solo"||R. P. Patnaik||06:10|
|5.||"Evaridi Evaridi"||Vijay Yesudas||01:58|
|6.||"Okate Jananam"||Vijay Yesudas||04:41|
The film received unanimous critical acclaim particularly for Vikram and Surya's performances. Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu praised Vikram as "Without any dialogue to support him he carves a niche for himself in the viewer's mind with his expressions and excellent body language" and Suriya as "Who would have thought that this young man, pitted against the serious Chithan, would prove so perfect a foil?" going on to declare the movie as "..a symphony on celluloid". Balaji Balasubramaniam of Thiraipadam.com reviewed as "With unique characterization, tremendous performances and a smooth screenplay, the movie offers a satisfying experience to the discerning viewer..." and noted "Vikram pretty much lives the role of the undertaker. With dry and streaked hair, dirty teeth and torn clothes, he looks the part and though he doesn't utter a word, he conveys everything through his expressions and body language". A reviewer at Sify.com noted, "..it is the expert performance of the lead actors that elevate the film above the commonplace".
Film critic Baradwaj Rangan remarked, "Bala’s ingeniousness is evident everywhere .... And he gets tremendous support from his leads...It all adds up to a first-rate film that excoriates as much as it entertains". Ilaiyaraja also received praise for his musical score, "Ilaiyaraja adds unmeasurable strength to many of the scenes with his background music". "The captivating numbers vouch for the fact that the Raja reigns supreme".
The film has won the following awards since its release:
- Won - Filmfare Best Film Award (Tamil)
- Won - Filmfare Best Director Award - Bala
- Won - Filmfare Best Actor - Vikram
- Won - Filmfare Best Actress - Laila
- Won - Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award - Suriya
- Won - Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award - Sangeetha
The film was remade in Kannada as Anatharu with Upendra and Darshan in the lead and released on 14 September 2007. Repeating the success of the original, the film received favorable reviews and applause for Upendra's performance.
The film is also to be remade in Hindi. Director Satish Kaushik have bought the remake rights of the film. Incidentally, Satish had earlier directed Salman Khan in Tere Naam, the Hindi remake of the Bala-Vikram film Sethu. Once again, Satish has approached Salman Khan to reprise Vikram's role.
- S. R. Ashok Kumar (24 October 2003). "Variety fare for Deepavali". The Hindu.
- "If I didn’t come to movies, I would have died – Director Bala". 11 October 2012.
- "Siva Putrudu". idlebrain.com.
- "Sangita on a high". 24 December 2003.
- "Sangeetha becomes Rasika".
- "The Hindu : Pithamagan". The Hindu. 31 October 2003.
- "Pithamagan - Tamil Movie Review". thiraipadam.com.
- "Pithamagan - Sify Review".
- Baradwaj Rangan (8 November 2003). "Review: Pithamagan".
- "Pithamagan is B-town bound". The Times of India. 11 Oct 2011.
- "Satish wants Salman for 'Pithamagan' Hindi remake". ibnlive.com. 30 May 2013.
- "‘Pithamagan’ Hindi remake - Salman Khan plays Vikram role". 18 May 2012.