Suyamvaram (Tamil: சுயம்வரம்) is a 1999Tamilcomedy-drama film starring an ensemble cast from actors in the Tamil film industry and shot by a large technical team from the industry. The film was planned by Giridharilal Nagpal and brought together 14 major directors, 19 cinematographers and over thirty leading actors in the Tamil film industry.
The film also holds the Guinness World Record for casting the most stars in a film and also for being the quickest ever full feature-length film made, with filming being completed in 23 hours and 58 minutes. The film released on July 16, 1999 to positive reviews from critics, praising the intentions of the makers.
The movie opens with Kuselan's 60th birthday celebrations and Kuselan gets a heart attack. At the hospital, the family is informed that Kuselan will not live long and to keep him comfortable in his last days. From the devastated family, Kuselan asks for one last favour: that all his children get married before he dies. The children all agree and a state wide ad is put out saying that those chosen to marry Kuselan's children would get a piece of the family properties and 1 crore in cash. Needless to say, the mention of wealth brings in potential brides and grooms by the truck full to be interviewed by either Bhagyaraj and Oorvasi or the two doctors Janagaraj and Senthil.
The parents and Napoleon are happy thinking that everything would happen as planned but there is a major hitch that they didn't know about. Most of the children have already fallen in love. Satyaraj, Prabhu and Abbas have fallen love with Kushboo, Aishwarya and Heera respectively while Roja, Kasturi, Maheswari and Preeti are in love with Prabhu Deva, Pandiarajan, Vineeth and Livingston respectively. Each of them get their lover ready for the interview and after some hard work (and in the end, some bribing), they are all selected. Rambha is linked with the absent-minded doctor Karthik who shows up at the interview thinking it is an interview for a doctor's post in a clinic while Suvalakshmi, who is handicapped, pairs with Parthiban in the end. Mansur Ali Khan, with Vichitra in tow, tries to worm his way in as a groom and when that effort fails, he kidnaps the 9 brides for ransom. Napoleon, who calls his friend Assistant Commissioner Arjun Sarja for help. After finding the brides and after the marriage Kuselan explains that his heart attack was just a joke and he wanted them to get married and that's why he said he had a heart attack.
Cinematographers: M. V. Paneerselvam, U. K. Senthil Kumar, R. B. Imaiyavarman, Ram Gunasekharan, R. Rajaratnam, R. H. Ashok, K. B. Ahmed, G. Mogan, Victor. S. Kumar, K. S. Selvaraj, Ashok Rajan, Babu, R. Ragunatha Reddy, L. B. Rao, A. Karthikraja, K. S. Udhayashankar, D. Shankar, Vijayasri
Editor: L. Kesavan, K. Thanikachalam, P. Sai Suresh, P. Madhan Mohan
Producer Giridharilal Nagpal announced his intentions of making, Suyamvaram, a film shot within 24 hours in January 1999, citing it had been a fourteen-year dream. The film's launch occurred in March 1999 with Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan in attendance. He announced his intentions of shooting the film within 24 hours on April 5 and 6, 1999 across film studios in Chennai. Along with Nagpal, the film brought together 19 associate directors, 45 assistant directors, 19 cameramen, 36 assistant cameramen, nine steadycam operators, 14 heroes, 12 heroines, villains, comedians, five dance masters, 16 assistants, 140 chorus dancers, stunt coordinators, art director, makeup, costume and set designers, 15 film units, a still photographer and 1,483 extras to make the film. Despite months of planning, Nagpal has left many details to the last minute with no script produced and directors describing scenes to actors, who would rehearse them once before filming. Two representatives, on behalf of the Guinness World Records, were present to oversee the time-schedule. Giridharlal said, "The goal is to finish every stage of film-making within the stipulated 24 hour period, Shooting, developing rushes, editing, dubbing, re-recording and final mixing for the master copy will all be done in that time. The script is being divided into 11 parts, and one director will shoot one part, all of them working on the same day, at different sets and venues".
Production began on April 5 at 7 am on the sixth floor of the AVM Studios and then the AVM Gardens directed by Sundar C. At 9.30am scenes were shot at the Kamaraj Memorial involving Prabhu Deva and Roja, while at 11am scenes with Sathyaraj and Kushboo were shot in studios. At noon in Film City, a song sequence with Abbas and Heera was shot and at Guindy, Ramdoss shot scenes involving Pandiarajan and Kasthuri. A dance sequence at a discothèque in Abu Palace was shot at 5.30pm with Vineeth and Maheswari and kidnap scenes were shot at night at Kushaldoss House. At 3am on April 6, the film ran two hours behind schedule and four directors improvised and changed the storyline with two scenes being cut and planned into one. The climax sequence was shot at Vijaya Vauhini studios, designed to look like a wedding hall. At 6.30, the entire family is collected at one place and the final scene is shot. The film finished filming at 6.50am on April 6, 1999 with ten minutes to spare.
Director Sundar C, who shot the opening scene of the film, revealed that the all the directors of the film had "several sittings together and had planned everything in advance". While, P. Vasu claimed that all the directors were constantly in touch with each other so that one scene smoothly merged into the other. Actor-director, Arjun appeared as a cop in the film as well as directing and coordinating the action scenes in the film's climax. Art director, G. K., was in charge of co-ordinating sets at all 21 locations and managed to keep in control of events through his mobile phone; while Giridharilal's son Vinay, scooted from location to location, ensuring that the project was developing smoothly.
The film was released on July 16, 1999 to positive reviews from critics, with reviewers praising the production of the film rather than the overall content. Shobha Warrier of Rediff.com claimed the attempt "particularly praiseworthy if we take into consideration the time factor and the amount of co-ordination the film-makers had to do", whilst adding that the movie was "slicker and better made than many churned out regularly by some film factories". A reviewer from Indolink.com cited that "it is a laudable venture" and "they have even tried to have a storyline for this movie". In regard to the technical aspects the critic claimed that "the songs are okay - nothing to rave about". Another reviewer labelled that it "is not only a fairly humorous entertainer but an example of how the artistes and technicians of Tamil filmdom can co-operate wholeheartedly", praising the final product.
The film was dubbed into Telugu as Pellante Idera! by P. R. Kutumba Rao and released in October 2001. A Hindi remake of the film was pondered by the producer, but later shelved.