|Produced by||Mani Ratnam|
|8 September 1995|
Aasai (pronunciation (help·info)) (transl. Desire) is a 1995 Indian Tamil-language romantic thriller film, written and directed by Vasanth and produced by Mani Ratnam. The film featured Ajith Kumar and debutant Suvalakshmi in the lead roles, while Prakash Raj, Rohini, Poornam Vishwanathan, Nizhalgal Ravi, and Vadivelu play supporting roles. Jeeva was the cinematographer, while Deva composed the music. Upon release, the film received positive reviews and went on to become a commercial success at the box office. The movie was dubbed into Telugu as Asa Asa Asa, and remade in Hindi as Pyaar Zindagi Hai.
Saraswathi "Yamuna", the younger daughter of an Orthodox father, comes to Madras for finishing her studies. Major Madhavan, the husband of Yamuna's elder sister Ganga, gets infatuated with Yamuna after seeing her photo in a letter sent by her. Meanwhile, Yamuna meets Jeevanantham "Jeeva" in a bus, who gives his ticket to her as she had not taken her own. Later one day, Jeeva decides to express his love to Yamuna by writing "1 4 3" (the number of letters in "I love you") in a letter and giving it to her, but he witnesses a group beating a boy who did the same thing, so he crumples the letter, and it is found by Yamuna, who realises his love. One day when they were walking together, Jeeva tries to remove the dirt from Yamuna's eyes, and he kisses her. Yamuna is angry with him. Jeeva senses it and gets wet in the rain and gets a cold. Hearing this, Yamuna meets him. Jeeva expresses that she is the only medicine to him, and he needs her. Yamuna promises she will marry him. On Yamuna's birthday, Jeeva jumps into her house and presents her a puppy. One day, fearing that Yamuna's father might not marry him to Yamuna, he decides to marry her in a register office, but Yamuna refuses and Jeeva leaves.
Meanwhile, Madhavan settles his father-in-law's debts and earns his trust. He also pays for connecting a landline to Yamuna's house and talks to her regularly, but Ganga is unaware of this. One day, Ganga finds it, and starts to realise his true identity. Madhavan then expresses his love affair on Yamuna to his wife. This makes her so upset that she attempts to go and live with her father and Yamuna. Madhavan imprisons her in home, and one day he tells her she can go to her father's house by flight, and tricks her by putting a sleeping pill in milk and making her drink it. She falls unconscious. Madhavan then murders Ganga by suffocating her to death with a polythene cover and tying it around her head by his shoelace, and lies to everyone that she died from heart attack. He then makes Yamuna and her father stay with him in Delhi to look after his baby, but he has other plans.
Jeeva comes to Delhi. One day he sees Yamuna, who ignores him. Later he sees her carrying the puppy he presented and tells why she needs the puppy when she does not need him. Yamuna leaves the puppy in the middle of the road. Later that night, Yamuna comes to take the puppy in the rain. Jeeva sees this and realises she really loves him. Two months later, Yamuna's father decides to get her married to Jeeva. This shocks Madhavan, and he decides to stop the marriage. Yamuna's family meets Jeeva in a restaurant. While Jeeva was talking to Madhavan, a Sardar dashes against him. In the confusion, Madhavan steals Jeeva's purse. Later, when Jeeva senses his purse missing, he argues with the Sardar. Later, he suspects Madhavan and wants to check him. This angers Yamuna's father as he blindly believes Madhavan.
Madhavan later gives Jeeva's flight ticket and wants to send him to Madras, but Jeeva fools Madhavan by tearing the ticket and spending the day with Yamuna. Enraged, Madhavan drenches his baby in the rain and calls Yamuna to look for it. Later, Madhavan arranges for some men to pour liquor into Jeeva's mouth and lay him in the middle of the road. Madhavan makes Yamuna and her father believe Jeeva is a drunkard. The father boasts that he has the divine gift to discern people upon sight; with that "gift", he declares Jeeva bad. Meanwhile, Jeeva complains to Lt. Col Hariharan, a friend and higher officer to Madhavan, but he does not believe Jeeva. Later when celebrating Holi, Madhavan asks Jeeva the puppy he had presented to Yamuna. Jeeva gives it, but Madhavan kills the puppy dies and frames Jeeva. An argument ensues between them; Madhavan tries to kill Jeeva with a rod, but stops when Yamuna pleads with him.
Hariharan eventually realises the truth about Madhavan and tells him to stop. Instead, Madhavan kills Hariharan, staging it as a car accident. Madhavan hides brown sugar in Jeeva's pillows, leading to Jeeva's arrest. While meeting Jeeva in prison, Madhavan tells him how he cruelly killed Ganga for getting Yamuna. Yamuna overhears this and informs her father. Her father wails in agony for his murdered older daughter and his folly and poor judgement. They plan to escape, but Madhavan arrives, knocks out Yamuna's father, and holds Yamuna prisoner in his house. Jeeva escapes from prison and arrives there. A fight ensues between Madhavan and Jeeva in which Jeeva triumphs. Yamuna and Jeeva take the baby to the hospital as it fainted. Yamuna's father locks the doors, opens the gas cylinder, and lights a matchstick in which they both die in the explosion. Jeeva is exonerated and unites with Yamuna and the baby.
- Ajith Kumar as Jeevanantham "Jeeva" (Voice over by actor Suresh)
- Suvalakshmi as Saraswathi (Yamuna) (Voice over by actress Revathi)
- Prakash Raj as Major Madhavan
- Rohini as Ganga
- Poornam Vishwanathan as Yamuna's father
- Nizhalgal Ravi as Lt. Col Hariharan
- Vadivelu as Jeeva's friend
- Dhamu as Jeeva's friend
- S. J. Suryah as Auto Driver
- Monica (child artist)
- Madhan Bob
- Mahanadi Shankar
- Bayilvan Ranganathan
- Pooja Batra in a special appearance in the song "Shokkadikuthu Sona"
- Anand Krishnamoorthi in a special appearance in the song "Shokkadikuthu Sona"
- Raju Sundaram in a special appearance in the song "Shokkadikuthu Sona"
The lead role was initially offered by Vasanth to Suriya, son of actor Sivakumar, to make his debut but he rejected the offer, citing a lack of interest in an acting career. He was duly replaced by Ajith Kumar, in his first major lead role, after Vasanth and S. Sriram were impressed with Ajith's performance in Pavithra. Suresh dubbed for Ajith in the film.
Upon release, the film won positive reviews from critics. Ananda Vikatan, in a review dated 1 October 1995, rated the film 41 out of 100. The film went on to win three awards at the Tamil Nadu State Awards securing honours for the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Director for Vasanth, the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director for Deva and the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for Hariharan. The film was later remade in Hindi as Pyaar Zindagi Hai in 2001. The film ran for more than 210 days in theatres and emerged as a major breakthrough in Ajith Kumar's career.
|Soundtrack album by|
The music was composed by Deva.
|1.||"Konja Naal Poru"||Vaali||Hariharan||5:10|
|2.||"Meenamma Athikalayilum"||Vaali||P. Unni Krishnan, Anuradha Sriram||5:32|
|3.||"Shockkadikuthu Sona"||Vaali||Suresh Peters, G. V. Prakash Kumar||5:42|
|4.||"Pulveli Pulveli"||Vairamuthu||K. S. Chithra, P. Unni Krishnan||6:26|
|5.||"Pulveli Pulveli (Male)"||Vairamuthu||P. Unni Krishnan||6:36|
|6.||"Thiloththama"||Vairamuthu||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Swarnalatha||5:44|
|Asha Asha Asha (Telugu)|
|Soundtrack album by|
|2.||"Chilakamma"||Unni Krishnan, Anuradha Sriram||5:36|
|3.||"Ayyo Ayyayyo"||Suresh Peters, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Sujatha Mohan||5:42|
|4.||"Mellaga Mellaga"||K. S. Chithra, Unni Krishnan||6:29|
|5.||"Mellaga Mellaga (Male)"||Unni Krishnan||6:11|
|6.||"Oka Cheli"||S. P. Balu, Swarnalatha||5:44|
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