|Directed by||Venkat Prabhu|
|Produced by||T. Siva|
|Written by||Venkat Prabhu|
|Music by||Yuvan Shankar Raja|
|Edited by||K. L. Praveen
N. B. Srikanth
|Distributed by||Pyramid Saimira|
|Release dates||5 September 2008|
|Running time||148 minutes|
Saroja (styled as Sa-Ro-Ja) is a 2008 Tamil comedy thriller written and directed by Venkat Prabhu and produced by T. Siva. It stars Shiva, Vaibhav Reddy, Premji Amaren, S. P. B. Charan and Vega Tamotia in the leads and Prakash Raj, Jayaram, Kajal Aggarwal, Sampath Raj, Nikita Thukral and Nagendran in other vital roles. Several other popular Tamil television artists and crew members make special appearances throughout the film. The score and soundtrack were composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja.
The film, which takes inspiration from the 1993 Hollywood film Judgment Night, follows the journey of four young men who travel from Chennai to Hyderabad to watch a cricket match. Due to a road accident, they are forced to take a diversion off the main road to arrive on time. This leads them to a gang who have kidnapped a schoolgirl, Saroja, the only daughter of a rich millionaire.
The film was released on 5 September 2008 to very positive reviews and critically acclaim, while also emerging a high commercial success. Upon release, it was dubbed into Telugu.
Matilda D’ Silva, who sang the song "Cheeky Cheeky" in the film with Yuvan Shankar Raja and Nirdhiya, was a contestant on the reality show Singapore Idol. Saroja also featured a promotional song, an English track written and composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja and sung by Tanvi Shah.
Ajay Raj (Shiva), Ganesh (Premji Amaren), Jagapathi Babu (SPB Charan), and Ram Babu (Vaibhav) are close friends who spend a lot of time together in Chennai. Ajay is a TV serial artist, Ganesh is a fun-loving engineering student who falls in love with every woman he sees, Jagapathi Babu is an engineer who is married and has a six-year-old daughter, and Ram Babu is Jagapathi's younger brother.
Ram is in love with Pooja (Kajal Aggarwal) but, before he has a chance to tell her, Pooja tells Ram that she is in love with Ajay. Pooja and Ajay eventually get engaged, and Ram is heartbroken. He soon forgets his grief and has a good time with his friends Ajay, Ganesh, and Jagapathi.
One day, the four friends decide to go in Ajay's old ramshackle Volkswagen Samba to Hyderabad to watch a cricket match.
Vishwanath (Prakash Raj) is a business tycoon in Hyderabad who has no time for his wife and teenage daughter Saroja (Vega Tamotia). One day, Saroja is kidnapped, and the police enter the scene, with Vishwanath's friend ACP Ravichandran (Jayaram) handling the case.
Meanwhile, a huge tanker lorry carrying highly inflammable and dangerous chemicals overturns on the National Highway between Chennai and Hyderabad and the four friends are stuck in a massive traffic jam. They attempt to take a shortcut to Hyderabad, but they end up in a dark, desolate area where their real troubles begin.
After arguing about which direction to take at a crossroad, Ajay convinces the others to drive into a forest, receiving instructions from Venkat Prabhu in a cameo appearance. As they proceed further, an injured man (played by Bose Venkat) suddenly falls on their car from above. Wanting to save the dying man, Jagapathi Babu asks Ganesh and Ram Babu to ask for help in a nearby building. Ajay, horrified by the injured man's bullet wounds, is even more shocked when the dying man urges Jagapathi and Ajay to escape. Jagapathi, however, attempts to save the man, who repeatedly urges them to leave quickly.
A few men arrive in a jeep and shoot at them from a distance. Ajay rushes to the driver's seat and attempts to flee from the area. Their van gets hit by the other vehicle and is overturned, throwing the injured man outside. Shiva and Jagapathi remain inside the van. Sampath, the leader of the gang in the black jeep, steps out of his vehicle and shoots the dying man after a short conversation. Sampath then discovers that two men (Jagapathi and Ajay) had attempted to save the injured man; he orders his henchmen to kill them. Upon hearing Sampath's order, Ajay and Jagapathi run for their lives.
Meanwhile, Ganesh and Ram Babu have entered an abandoned factory in search of help. Finding the place empty, they walk out and wander around for some time. They soon reach the place where the van had overturned and realize that their friends are missing. At the same time, Ajay and Jagapathi are trapped inside a room within close range of one of the hitmen and escape narrowly. Ganesh and Ram continue to search the area for their friends and eventually find them after fighting with a few hitmen. Realizing that they are caught in a dangerous situation, all four run away from the factory toward the distant sound of a train. They barely manage to board the last car. Jagapathi does not board the train; he sees that his pocket has been torn, and he deduces that his wallet had fallen somewhere inside the factory. Ajay and Ram frantically attempt to convince Jagapathi to board the train. Jagapathi fears that the assassins might cause problems for his wife and child, since his wallet (containing his identity) might be in the hands of the gangsters. Thus, all four friends return to the factory to recover the lost wallet.
After a short argument in which the frightened Ajay hesitates to go along with Jagapathi to the factory, Ganesh is pushed to accompany him. Jagapathi and Ganesh enter the room where the wallet was dropped. One of the gangsters momentarily walks into the room, in the view of Ganesh. Ganesh hides and tries to warn Jagapathi to stay out of sight. When Jagapathi finds the wallet and turns around he realizes that Ganesh has disappeared. After searching the room thoroughly, Jagapathi decides to leave. When he walks out, Ajay and Ram are waiting alone, and there is no sign of Ganesh. This sparks off another argument; Ajay asserts that he would not leave the place without Ganesh. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Ganesh had wandered into another room to save himself. Finding Saroja tied up inside, he frees her and explains to her that he is not a member of the gang. In his usual manner, he falls in love and tries to impress her. Saroja and Ganesh then sneak out of the room. The other three set out to rescue Ganesh, but they get caught in the process.
Sampath continues to demand money from Vishwanath to release his daughter. ACP Ravichandran consoles Vishwanath and does all he can to help rescue Saroja. Meanwhile, the gangsters taunt the three men they have captured and continue to do so until Kalyani (Nikita Thukral), Sampath's girlfriend, walks in and informs the group that Saroja has escaped. Sampath sends all of his men to find the girl, leaving a single gangster with the three captives. Ram attacks the gangster and kills him. They run out of the factory and catch up with Ganesh and Saroja. They are soon trapped in a building with a single entry. The henchmen follow them and await them in front. The friends are convinced that the only way to escape is to fight the gangsters. Suddenly, Jagapathi comes up with the idea of designing a contraption using objects in the building as weapons in a grand "Rube Goldberg machine." In the meantime, Sampath asks Vishwanath to come to the area at once to take his daughter in exchange for the ransom money. Soon, Vishwanath and ACP Ravichandran arrive, and Ravichandran is disguised as Vishwanath's driver.
The four friends and Saroja finally arrive at the railway station to escape. They soon realize to their horror that the railway station is actually the exact spot where Sampath is planning to collect the ransom money from Vishwanath and Ravichandran. Vishwanath and Ravichandran are standing on the other side of the tracks. Saroja leaves the hideout, crosses the tracks, and embraces Ravichandran out of relief.
Just as Vishwanath is overjoyed that his daughter is back in safe hands, Ravichandran pulls out a gun and points it at Saroja. At that moment, Vishwanath realizes that Ravichandran is actually the mastermind behind Saroja's abduction and that Sampath is just another henchman responsible for carrying out Ravichandran's orders. A flashback reveals that Ravichandran and Sampath are good friends and that they have long been jealous of Vishwanath for his social status and wealth.
In the nick of time, the heroes emerge from the hideout and fight the goons with all their might. Vishwanath finally shoots and kills Ravichandran, and Saroja is reunited with her family. As everyone returns home, the four friends try to recall the name of the girl they have just rescued.
- Shiva as Ajay Raj
- SPB Charan as Jagapathi Babu
- Premji Amaren as Ganesh Kumar
- Vaibhav Reddy as Ram Babu
- Vega Tamotia as Saroja Vishwanath
- Prakash Raj as Vishwanath
- Jayaram as Ravichandran (Sri Hari in Telugu)
- Sampath Raj as Sampath
- Kajal Aggarwal as Pooja
- Nikita Thukral as Kalyani
- Amritha as Vishwanath's Wife
- Ammu as Jagapathi Babu's Wife
- Nagendran as Naaga
- Bose Venkat as R. Venkatraman
- Krishna Moorthy
Special appearances by actors during the song "Aaja Meri Soniye" (in alphabetical order) by:
- Anantha Kannan
- Badava Gopi
- Latha Rao
- M. S. Baskar
- Raadhika Sarathkumar
- Subbu Panchu
Special appearances by actors and crew members throughout the film by:
- Ajay Raj
- Aravind Akash
- Deepa Venkat
- Fathima Babu
- Ranina Reddy
- Inigo Prabhakaran
- Nithin Sathya
- S. N. Surendar
- Sakthi Saravanan
- T. Siva
- Venkat Prabhu
- Vijay Vasanth
- Vijayalakshmi Ahathian
- Yuvan Shankar Raja as Club singer
After the success of Chennai 600028, Venkatprabhu announced his next project in 2007 titled "Saroja" inspired from a hit song of his previous hit film. Film launch was held on December 5 at Green Park Hotel in Vadapalani, Chennai. Shruthi Haasan was initially offered the role of the titular character but later rejected it. Jai wanted to appear in the film but director said big no as there is no scope for him; Jai accepted to play a small role. Venkatprabhu added that Saroja is a thriller. The film was shot as a bilingual by making Srihari to play inspector role in Telugu version.
|Soundtrack album by Yuvan Shankar Raja|
15 July 2008 (India)
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Producer||Yuvan Shankar Raja|
|Yuvan Shankar Raja chronology|
After the success of Chennai 600028 (2007), director Venkat Prabhu teamed up with his cousin Yuvan Shankar Raja again for the musical score of Saroja. The soundtrack was released on 15 July 2008 at the Chennai Trade Center Convention Hall in Nandambakkam by composer A. R. Rahman. It features six tracks, out of which one song ("My Life") was designed as a promotional song, which would feature in television channels and popularize the film. The song, also composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja, was performed by Indian band Yodhakaa from Mumbai. The lyrics were provided by 'Kavignar' Vaali, Gangai Amaran and Yuvan Shankar Raja. The song "Cheeky Cheeky" was sung by Mathilda D'Silva, with Yuvan Shankar Raja and Nirdhiya, who was a contestant of the reality show Singapore Idol.
|1||"Aaja Meri Soniye"||Vijay Yesudas, S. P. B. Charan, Premgi Amaren||4:30||Gangai Amaren||Picturised on Shiva, Vaibhav Reddy, SPB Charan, Premji Amaren, & Kajal Aggarwal and several television actors and actress (see under Cast)|
|2||"Dosth Bada Dosth"||Haricharan, Naveen, Rahul Nambiar||4:40||Vaali||Picturised on Shiva, Vaibhav Reddy, SPB Charan, & Premji Amaren|
|3||"Nimirindhu Nil"||Shankar Mahadevan||4:53||Gangai Amaren||Picturised on Shiva, Vaibhav Reddy, SPB Charan, Premji Amaren, & Vega Tamotia|
|4||"Cheeky Cheeky"||Yuvan Shankar Raja, Matilda D'Silva, Nrithya Maria Andrews||3:50||Vaali and Yuvan Shankar Raja||Picturised on Vega Tamotia & Yuvan Shankar Raja|
|5||"Kodaana Kodi"||Ranina Reddy, Suvi Suresh, Rahul Nambiar||4:57||Gangai Amaren||Picturised on Sampath Raj & Nikita Thukral|
|6||"My Life"||Tanvi Shah||3:29||Yuvan Shankar Raja||Soundtrack film performed by the band "Yoddhakka"|
The album received very positive reviews from critics, and the songs became widely popular. It was listed in many "Top 10 Albums of the Year" lists. "Dosth Bada Dosth" was a chartbuster, among the most frequently played songs, and became an anthem of friendship.
Saroja received universal acclaim worldwide. It was a huge commercial success as well, grossing almost 4 crores at the Chennai box office in 14 weeks according to the comparison website Behindwoods.com, thus making it Venkat Prabhu's second successive hit after Chennai 600028. The film completed 100 days all over Tamil Nadu, making it one of the blockbusters of 2008.
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- "Venkat Prabhu's next is Saroja - Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Venkat Prabhus Saroja". Sify.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- SHRUTI KAMAL VENKAT PRABHU EZHU Telugu director Gothandrama Reddy son Vikram Arvind Jayaram Amma creations Yuvan Shankar Raja picture wallpaper stills image gallery
- "Actor Jai - Behindwoods.com - Tamil Movie Actor - Vamanan Subramaniapuram Goa Chennai-28". Behindwoods.com. 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "'Saroja is not Chennai 600028'". rediff.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "'Saroja is not Chennai 600028'". rediff.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "A R Rahman Releases 'Saroja' Audio". indiaglitz.com. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- "Saroja’s goes English!". Behindwoods. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- "'Saroja' music set to make waves". indiaglitz.com. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- "Best Tamil Music Albums, 2008". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
- "TOP 10 TAMIL ALBUMS OF 2008". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
- "008- Top 10 Caller Tunes in Kollywood". Sify.com. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
- "Yuvan has a winner". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
- "Saroja - Top Ten Movies Tamil Box Office Chennai Collections - Behindwoods.Com Vaaranam Aayiram Poo Thenavattu Mahesh Saranya Mattrum Palar Aegan Ellam Avan Seyal Saroja Seval Jayamkondaan Kodaikanal Hot Picture Gallery Images". Behindwoods.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Events - ‘Saroja’ 100 Days Celebration". IndiaGlitz. 2009-02-18. Retrieved 2012-07-13.