Varalaru

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Varalaaru
Varalaru.JPG
Directed by K. S. Ravikumar
Produced by S. S. Chakravarthy
Story by RK Celluloids Story unit
Starring Ajith Kumar
Asin
Kanika
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography P. C. Sreeram
Priyan
Arthur.A.Wilson
S.Murthy
Prasad
Edited by Thanikachalam
Production
company
NIC Arts
Release dates 20 October 2006
Running time 166 mins
Country India
Language Tamil
Budget INR120 million (US$1.9 million)
Box office INR600 million (US$9.7 million)[1]

Varalaru (English: History) is a 2006 Indian Tamil action thriller film written and directed by K. S. Ravikumar. The film stars Ajith Kumar in a triple role as a father and his two sons, while Asin and Kanika play the female leads. Ramesh Khanna, Suman Shetty, Sujatha and M. S. Baskar play other supporting roles. The film's soundtrack and score were composed by A. R. Rahman, while P. C. Sreeram handled the film's cinematography. The film was referred to as Godfather prior to release but entertainment tax exemption changes led to the film being renamed. The film released on 20 October 2006 after long delays and became a major blockbuster at the box office while Ajith's work in the film was critically acclaimed.

Plot[edit]

Shivashankar (Ajith Kumar), a wheelchair user, has a son, Vishnu (also Ajith Kumar) who is playful and irresponsible. To teach him a lesson, he sends Vishnu to Thottapuram to help the poor. Vishnu doesn't want to go, but a local pizza restaurateur convinces Vishnu and his friends that the village is one big brothel. In reality, Thottapuram is a sacred village and the restaurateur had purposefully deceived Vishnu and his friends. Also visiting the village are Divya (Asin Thottumkal) and her classmates. They come for their social activity course to improve the village's health and hygiene. A large building is reserved for him and the girls are asked to stay in the poor families' houses. Vishnu and his friends arrive and start to woo the girls, whom they mistake for Thottapuram's prostitutes. When Divya discovers their plan, she and her friends decide to teach Vishnu and his friends a lesson.

Vishnu and his friends are wooed by Divya and the other girls. They are led to separate rooms where the girls inject a serum that makes them itch all over. They leave, screaming and scratching. Vishnu tells Divya to leave her profession and offers to save her honour by marrying her in the village temple the next day. Divya doesn't come, but Vishnu and his friends happen to see her leaving on a bus bearing the name of the girls' college, revealing that they have been duped. When Vishnu returns home, Shivshankar discovers that his son has fallen in love. With his influence, Vishnu and Divya get engaged. Later, Vishnu goes to Divya's house in a drunken state. Her family prevent him from talking to her. This eventually leads to a fight. Vishnu then goes to Divya's cousin's house to meet Divya and apologise for his behaviour. but suddenly attempts to rape Divya's cousin. Disappointed with Vishnu's behaviour, Shivashankar sends Vishnu to a therapist.

Here enters Jeeva (Ajith Kumar's third role), Vishnu's twin. Assuming Vishnu's identity, he had taken money from the bank, got drunk and went to Divya's place and attempted to rape Divya's cousin. Jeeva hates Shivashankar for leaving him and his mentally-challenged mother (Kanika). Later, Divya manages to sneak into Vishnu's room in the hospital and believes his explanation that he is innocent. She leaves and shortly afterwards, Jeeva appears, smuggles and dumps Vishnu out of the hospital, takes over his identity and goes to kill Shivashankar. The father notices that it's not his son and gets out of his wheelchair to defend himself. Vishnu arrives at the scene, surprised that his father is able to walk and demands an explanation.

Shivashankar tells him that he was a dancer who behaved effeminately due to danicng. His mother had arranged for Shivashankar to marry her friend's daughter (Jeeva's mother). He agreed but the girl rejected Shivashankar for being too feminine and insults him in front of the wedding crowd. Unable to bear the embarrassment, Shivashankar's mother died on the spot. Shivashankar, enraged, raped the girl, a deed that resulted in her becoming pregnant. The doctor refused to give her an abortion and so Vishnu was born. Shivashankar takes his child from her mother saying the child would be the only hope of his life. Shivashankar says he is ignorant of Jeeva's existence and the reason for his resemblance to them.

Jeeva escapes and threatens Vishnu and Divya's wedding. Shivashankar attempts to stop him when Jeeva's grandmother arrives and explains that Jeeva is also Shivashankar's son and Vishnu's twin and that Jeeva's mother went mad when Jeeva was about to get hit by a lorry. Jeeva realises his mistake. He wants Shivashankar to shoot him, but the police misunderstand and think that Jeeva is pointing a gun at Shivashankar and they fire at Jeeva. Shivashankar intervenes and is shot instead. Jeeva accepts Shivashankar's apology and is then arrested. Jeeva's mother does not accept food from anyone, until Vishnu comes dressed up as Jeeva and feeds her. The film ends with Vishnu stating that Shivashankar is the godfather of the family.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

K. S. Ravikumar was forced to pull out of a project titled Jaggubhai which he had written and begun directing and consequently signed on Ajith Kumar, who had just opted out of A. R. Murugadoss's action film, Mirattal. The filming of Godfather began in November 2004, with Ravikumar initially announcing a release date of April 2005.[2][3] Asin, Ajith's pair in Mirattal was added to the film while A. R. Rahman was signed on as music composer to the film to be produced by S. S. Chakravarthy. Early reports suggested that one of Ajith's roles in the film would be a eunuch or a transgender,[4] but the role eventually turned out to be that of a classical dancer.[5] Shooting progressed from November 2004 till the end of the year.

In January 2005, it was announced that the film was put on hold due to financial problems, beginning a long delay in the production of the film.[6] The film also faced problems, after the government had banned scenes involving smoking in films, with Godfather featuring several such scenes.[7] Furthermore in mid-2005, Ajith Kumar had also fell out with the producer, who had made several films with him in the past and stated that the pair would never work together again.[8] The indefinite delay had led to Ajith taking a forced sabbatical, with his market being at a low following the failure of his previous film Ji.[9] Ravi Kumar tried to get in R. B. Choudary and his banner of Super Good Movies to finish the movie but to avail.[10]

Chakravarthy avoided trouble by claiming he would finish the film by 15 June 2005 and signed a contract in March with the Tamil Nadu Producers Committee, who wanted to resolve the problem. The film restarted in April 2005, with a 10-day shoot in Ooty including a song, with Ravikumar revealing that further shots would be canned in Hyderabad and then in Canada and that the film will be ready for release by 22 July 2005. P. C. Sreeram opted out of the film after his dates clashed with his work in Kanda Naal Mudhal and was replaced by Priyan. Actress Meena who was supposed to do the father Ajith’s wife character has also opted out due to dates problems, Devayani was also considered for the role but she refused as she did not want to scold Ajith[11] and after unfruitful discussion with Nadhiya, Kanika was signed.[12] Problems arose in mid-2005, when Asin could not allot dates for the film due to her work in Ghajini, Majaa and Sivakasi.[13] However by 15 June, thirty five days work was still required and Ajith was forced to leave the project to begin work on Bala's Naan Kadavul as per the signed contract.[14] Chakravarthy later reported Ajith Kumar for the delays and before further problems occurred, L. Suresh of Ananda Pictures, a leading Chennai based distributor, intervened and solved the existing problems by providing an interest-free loan.[15] Subsequently the film became trouble free but took more than a year to finish the remaining portions and only released in October 2006 as Ajith took priority in completing Paramasivan and Thirupathi. Meanwhile, the title Godfather was reverted to Varalaru (History) after the state government gave an order to grant entertainment tax exemption to movies titled in Tamil.[16]

Release[edit]

The satellite rights of the film were bagged by Raj TV. The film was given a "U/A" certificate by the Indian Censor Board. The film opened in October 2006 during the Diwali season alongside Silambarasan's Vallavan, S. P. Jananathan's E, Saran's Vattaram and Sarath Kumar's Thalaimagan, and emerged the biggest hit of the year.[17][18] Varalaru opened in over 300 screens worldwide including 23 screens in Chennai district, crossed the 100-day mark in several screens and also went on to become Ajith Kumar's biggest hit until the release of his 2007 film, Billa.[19] The critic from The Hindu gave a verdict that the film "scores in pace and performance!" and mentioned that "Ajith's skills as a performer have been appreciably honed and efficiently used" and that it is a "milestone in Ajit's cinema efforts, the film has the potential to propel its hero into a higher league in stardom", while describing Asin as "lustrous and sails through her role smoothly", while Kanika "gets more scope, which she makes good use of".[20] Rediff.com also gave the film a positive review claiming that "Varalaaru is undoubtedly the only must-watch release this Diwali. Watch it for a display of all the elements of Ajith's versatility and range of emotions".[21] The reviewer from Behindwoods praised the film saying "the narration and an implausible screenplay succeed in entertaining the masses", with the critic from Indiaglitz.com citing that "Varalaru may not make history. Yet, Ajith's work will certainly uplift to it being at least a local legend".[22] The critic from Sify.com labelled the film as "average", criticising the time spent on the project and the director's handling.[23] Ajith subsequently won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil for 2006 for his triple role performance.

Ravi Teja announced he was going to remake the film in Telugu in 2007, but eventually did not do so.[24] Further discussions by Pawan Kalyan to do the role in Telugu with Ravikumar as director also failed to materialise.[25] In 2012, cinematographer Sethu Sriram opted to remake the film in Kannada under the original title, Godfather, featuring Upendra, Soundarya Jayamala and Catherine Tresa in the lead roles.[26]

Music[edit]

Varalaaru
Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 2006
Genre Film soundtrack
Length 43:15
Label Panchathan Record Inn and AM Studios
Producer A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Sillunu Oru Kaadhal
(2006)
Varalaaru
(2006)
Guru
(2007)

The film's soundtrack, composed by A. R. Rahman, features nine songs. Rahman finished composing the songs for the film by December 2004, with all songs written by Vairamuthu.[27]

No. Song Singers Length (min:sec)
1 "Ilamai (Remix)" Suresh Peters, Blaaze 04:07
2 "Kamma Karaiyil" Naresh Iyer, Sowmya Raoh 05:30
3 "Katril" S.P. Balasubramaniam, Sadhana Sargam, Reena Bhardwaj 06:04
4 "Innisai (Remix)" Mahathi, Saindhavi, Naresh Iyer 06:30
5 "Ilamai" Mohammed Aslam, Pop Shalini & Thambi 05:19
6 "Thottapuram" Kalpana, Sonu Kakkar, Neol James, Peer Mohamad, Ranjith 05:30
7 "Innisai" Naresh Iyer, Mahathi 03:41
8 "Theeyil Vizhundha" A.R.Rahman 06:17
9 "Theme music" Instrumental 4:53

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Varalaru becomes the biggest grosser of 2006". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ajith is God Father - Bollywood Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 17 November 2004. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ajith tastes success!". Rediff.com. 23 November 2004. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "www.ajithkumar.fr.fm". www.ajithkumar.fr.fm. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "www.ajithkumar.fr.fm". www.ajithkumar.fr.fm. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Godfather in troubled waters - Telugu Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 17 June 2005. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Smoke leads to burns - Kannada Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 3 June 2005. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "www.ajithkumar.fr.fm". www.ajithkumar.fr.fm. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "`Godfather'-Still sulking!". Sify.com. 26 February 2005. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Ajith let down Nic Arts". Behindwoods. 10 March 2005. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Devayani Refuses To Scold Ajith - Devayani - Ajith - Tamil Movie News". Behindwoods.com. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "`Godfather' shoot in full swing!". Sify.com. 24 March 2005. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "www.ajithkumar.fr.fm". www.ajithkumar.fr.fm. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Ajit checkmates producer - Tamil Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "‘Godfather'- Alive and kicking!". Sify.com. 10 July 2005. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Godfather makes history - Tamil Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Ajith's 'Varalaru' gets great opening". Nowrunning.com. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Events - Ajith Celebrates the Success of Varalaru". Indiaglitz.com. 9 November 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Feature: It's Varalaru for Ajith - Tamil Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Friday Review Chennai / Film Review : In the race, surely - Varalaaru". The Hindu. 27 October 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Ajith all the way in Varalaaru". Rediff.com. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "Varalaru review – Ajith’s Diwali treat to set cash registers ringing". Behindwoods.com. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  23. ^ "Movie Review : Varalaaru". Sify.com. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  24. ^ "Raviteja triple role in Varalaru Remake - Oneindia Entertainment". Entertainment.oneindia.in. 7 March 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  25. ^ http://www.kollywoodtoday.in/news/varalaru-moving-towards-telugu/
  26. ^ "Ajit’s Tamil hit Varalaru is Godfather in Kannada, Upendra to lead". Indian Express. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  27. ^ "Print Page - AR Rahman". Bollywhat-forum.com. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 

External links[edit]