|Directed by||Gautham Vasudev Menon|
|Produced by||Manickam Narayanan|
|Written by||Gautham Vasudev Menon|
|Music by||Harris Jayaraj|
|Release dates||25 August 2006|
|Running time||174 minutes|
|Budget||24 crore (US$3.9 million)|
|Box office||50 crore (US$8.1 million)|
Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (English: Hunt and Play) is a 2006 Tamil crime-thriller film written and directed by Gautham Menon. Starring Kamal Haasan, Jyothika, Kamalinee Mukherjee, Prakash Raj and Daniel Balaji in prominent roles, the film features music composed by Harris Jayaraj. It was one of the first Indian films to make use of Super 35mm technology.
The film was dubbed in Telugu as Raghavan and released on 17 August 2007 to positive reviews. In 2012, reports stated that Menon would direct the film's Bollywood remake, but these were later dismissed. It was dubbed in Hindi as The Smart Hunt.
The film starts with a girl named Rani (Bidushi Dash Barde), the daughter of former Chennai police officer Arokiya Raj (Prakash Raj), talking to her father over the phone saying that she will back home in 20 minutes. As she leaves the telephone booth, she is approached by someone. The screen then cuts to black and we find out that Rani does not come home. The following morning Arokiya Raj finds a finger hanging at his door. Police reports confirm that it is his daughter Rani's finger. He calls Raghavan (Kamal Hassan), his old friend, for investigation. Raghavan handles the case and they eventually find the body of Rani in a forest in the city outskirts. The doctor's report states that the killer bisected Rani’s body with a surgical knife, proving that the murderer has a strong medical background. Following the trauma of losing their only daughter, Arokiya Raj and his wife move to New York.
After a week Raghavan finds out that Arokiya Raj and his wife have been murdered in New York. This creates a link between the Chennai police and the New York Police Department. Raghavan leaves for New York to represent the Indian police. On the flight, he thinks about his dead wife Kayalvizhi (Kamalini Mukherjee) who was murdered by the mob because he stood in their way. Raghavan still cannot forgive himself for his wife's death. He reaches New York and starts his investigation with NYPD detective Anderson (Lev Gorn).
Raghavan stays in a hotel in downtown New York where he constantly keeps his superiors in Chennai updated on the investigation. Staying next to his room is Aradhana (Jyothika). He immediately notices that she is going through a rough time in her life. One night, he gets suspicious on what she is up to and breaks into her room, only to find her attempting suicide by choking herself. Raghavan saves her life and the two strike a friendship. Aradhana reveals that her violent husband is filing for divorce after cheating on her.
Raghavan and Anderson start the investigation. They find a connection between the murder of Rani and an Indian-American girl, Chandana, whose finger was also found hung in her boyfriend's car. With much difficulty, they find the body of Chandana and three more American girls. Suspicion falls on two Indian medical students studying in New York - Amudhan (Daniel Balaji) and Ilamaaran (Salim Baigg). Raghavan and Anderson try to get into their room where Ilamaaran shoots Anderson. Amudhan tells Raghavan that he misbehaved with Rani and Rani told that to her father Arokyaraj. Arokyaraj had kept him in the police station for a night and tortured him and Ilamaaran. As a result, he wanted to kill her whole family. They then both escape from there.
Raghavan is admitted in the hospital after falling off the apartment and injuring himself severely in the process. Aradhana takes care of him. Raghavan and Aradhana return to India. There Raghavan tells Aradhana that he has fallen in love with her, but she is not ready for another life and she has to take care of her 11-month old daughter Maya.
Amudhan and Illamaran, who have evaded Mumbai police at Chhatrapathi Shivaji International Airport, reach Chennai from Kozhikode. Ilamaaran, after seeing Aradhana with Raghavan, desires to have her no matter what and Amudhan kidnaps her while Ilamaaran tries to get into Raghavan's house and flees. He is chased and caught by Raghavan. At the climax Raghavan kills both Amudhan and Illamaran and rescues Aradhana, who accepts his love and they both marry.
- Kamal Haasan as DCP Raghavan
- Jyothika as Aradhana
- Prakash Raj as Arokiya Raj
- Rajashree as Arokiya Raj's wife
- Bidushi Dash Barde as Rani Arokiya Raj
- Kamalinee Mukherjee as Kayalvizhi Raghavan
- Daniel Balaji as Amudhan
- Salim Baig as Ilamaran
- Lev Gorn as Anderson
- Yog Japee as Arun
- Ahuti Prasad as Commissioner
- Janaki Sabesh as Aradhana's mother
- VTV Ganesh as Dharma
- Mumaith Khan (item number in Neruppe Sikki Mukki Song)
- Sunny Veer Singh (item number in Neruppe Sikki Mukki Song)
- Gautham Menon in special appearance
Gautham Menon was signed on to direct a venture starring Kamal Haasan and produced by Kaja Mohideen, and initially suggested a one-line story which went on to become Pachaikili Muthucharam for the collaboration. Kamal Haasan wanted a different story and thus the investigative thriller film, Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, was written with Jyothika, Kamalinee Mukerji, Prakash Raj, Daniel Balaji and Saleem Baig added to the cast. As per Menon's usual method for picking a title, he asked his associates for suggestions, which included the title of Thadayaara Thaaka, which was later used for another film. The film told another episode from a police officer's life, with an Indian cop moved to America to investigate the case of psychotic serial killers before returning to pursue the chase in India. During the shooting, the unit ran into problems after the producer had attempted suicide and as a result, Kamal Haasan wanted to quit the project. Menon subsequently convinced him to stay on as they had taken advance payments. He has since revealed that unlike Kamal Haasan's other films, he did not take particular control of the script or production of the film. The film however had gone through change from the original script with less emphasis on the antagonists than Menon had hoped and he also revealed that scenes for songs were forced him and shot without him. Actresses Rohini and Andrea Jeremiah dubbed for the voices of female leads Jyothika and Kamalinee Mukherjee respectively.
Original CD cover
|Soundtrack album by Harris Jayaraj|
|Released||5 March 2006|
|Harris Jayaraj chronology|
|1.||"Karka Karka"||Devan Ekambaram, Tippu, Nakul , Andrea Jeremiah||4:54|
|2.||"Partha Mudhal"||Bombay Jayashree, Unni Menon||6:06|
|3.||"Manjal Veyil"||Hariharan, Krish, Nakul||5:54|
|4.||"Uyirile"||Mahalakshmi Iyer, Srinivas||5:13|
|5.||"Neruppe"||Franko, Solar Sai, Sowmya Raoh||4:50|
The film was dubbed in Telugu as Raghavan. All Lyrics are penned by Veturi Sundararama Murthy.
|1.||"Katthi Doosthe"||Devan Ekambaram, Tippu, Nakul , Andrea Jeremiah||4:54|
|2.||"Banam"||Bombay Jayashree, Harish Raghavendra||6:06|
|3.||"Paccha Velugu"||Karthik, Krish, Nakul||5:54|
|4.||"Hrudayame"||Mahalakshmi Iyer, Srinivas||5:13|
|5.||"Merupe"||Franko, Solar Sai, Sowmya Raoh||4:50|
Behindwoods wrote a positive review, stating: "The album has not let down expectations. It is the usual mix by Harris. However, Bombay Jeyashree’s contribution and the beautiful lyrics by poetess Thamarai are the greatest assets to the album. Harris once again proves his mastery in orchestration and the audio will surely be a hit like Minnale or Kaakha Kaakha." Rediff said, "The most disappointing part is the music. Mr Harris Jayaraj, what has happened to you? The music, which could have taken the movie to a different level, is so loud that it seriously hinders the story flow."
The film garnered largely positive reviews from critics. National Award winning crtic Baradwaj Rangan summarised it in his review: "The story of a police investigation is detailed in a smart, grown-up movie that gets most things right." He praised the film for "giving us a sense of a day in the life of a cop, as if an invisible crew followed him around as he went about his job." He lavished heavy praise on Gautham Menon for mature handling of the relationship between the lead pair, saying, "Gautham continues to dream up for Jyotika parts that no one's imagined her in before, and she contributes to the kind of mature romantic angle we’ve rarely seen before. It’s not just about boy meeting girl and falling in love; it's about boy with baggage meeting girl with bigger baggage and tentatively exploring the practicality of a new relationship after their respective old ones have faded away." Behindwoods said, "It is definitely a triumph of sorts for Gautham and Manickam Narayanan, who have gone through innumerable hitches in getting the movie released. Enjoy!!" Rediff gave it 3.5/5, saying "In his best performance in recent times, Kamal portrays the character with believable honesty and charm." Sify stated that "what gives you goose flesh is the finely calibrated performance of Kamal as DCP Raghavan. You just can’t take your eyes off him as he laces his portrayal with dignity, grace and dry wit."
Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, made on a budget of 240 million (US$3.9 million), collected totally 500 million (US$8.1 million) worldwide. Behindwoods declared the film a "blockbuster". This was the first Tamil film to be released in 16 theatres in Chennai city alone and changed the trend of film release.
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