Amaidhi Padai

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Amaidhi Padai
Amaidhi Padai.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byManivannan
Written byManivannan
Produced byK. Balachandran
U. K. Senthikumar
K. N. Ilamurugan
StarringSathyaraj
Manivannan
Ranjitha
CinematographyD. Shankar
Edited byP. Venkateshwara Rao
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Production
company
M. R. Films International
Release date
  • 13 January 1994 (1994-01-13)
Running time
160 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil

Amaidhi Padai (transl. Peacekeeping Force) is a 1994 Indian Tamil-language political satire film, written and directed by Manivannan. Sathyaraj played a dual role as father and son in the film, with Ranjitha playing the female lead. The story revolves around an ordinary man who builds his political career through shortcuts and unethical means. The film was followed by the sequel Nagaraja Cholan MA, MLA in 2013, also starring Naam Tamilar Katchi's Seeman. It went on to run more than 25 weeks and was declared a blockbuster. This film is touted as one of Sathyaraj's best performances and over years has developed a strong cult following. It is regarded as an ingenious visionary political satire film.[1][2]

Plot[edit]

Amavasai (Sathyaraj), a homeless but egotistical man, gets acquainted with politician Manimaran (Manivannan), then MLA of the Palladam constituency, near Tirupur. Amavasai helps Mani with some petty tasks during his election campaign and meetings. Amavasai quickly grows into a well-acclaimed helper and becomes Mani's associate. Meanwhile, Amavasai lusts after Thayamma (Kasthuri), and they fall in love. One day, he drugs her and then rapes her when she is half conscious. Mani instructs Amavasai to stand for the MLA election as an independent candidate in the upcoming general election with his support as Mani was not given his party ticket. Amavasai changes his name to Nagaraja Cholan to gain social status much to the shock of Mani and starts campaigning. Mani spends lavishly for the campaign. Amavasai wins by a huge margin and becomes the MLA. The same evening, Amavasai forgets Mani's help and forces him to become his crony. He tricks the old Zamindar who had come to the party and arranges for a wedding. He abandons the now pregnant Thayamma. Thayamma and her parents move out of the village to avoid humiliation. Soon, Thayamma gives birth to a boy and dies. Meanwhile, Amavasai marries Sivakami (Sujatha), the only daughter of the rich local landlord and gets the latter's palace.

Over the years, Amavasai grows into a highly influential and corrupt politician with high criminal affluence. He builds a strong political network through shortcuts. His ego and pride to remain in power make him kill many. He wins continuously by nefarious methods and remains as MLA of Palladam for the next 20 years. He has no children as Sivakami refuses to let Amavasai touch her, as he had refused to adopt Thayamma's son.

20 years pass by and Amavasai and Thayamma's son, Thangavel (also Sathyaraj) becomes a Reserve Police constable who is deputed to Amavasai's constituency. Thangavel is betrothed to a girl studying in +2, Kuyili (Ranjitha). They fall in love, but during their engagement event, a dispute arises as people ask about Thangavel's father's identity, and the wedding is cancelled. An enraged Thangavel asks his grandparents about his father, but they remain silent. He accuses his mother of being characterless to which his grandfather slaps him and tells him about Amavasai. Thangavel now comes to know of his real father, about the betrayal of his mother and also his father's corruption. He seeks revenge.

Simultaneously, the state assembly is about to be dissolved earlier to cause general elections. Amavasai and his gang realise that even if the party gives him a seat despite his illegal activities and bad name, the voters will not support him. He creates a caste riot in his constituency and pretends to stop it, so that the people will re-elect him. A police inspector, who belongs to Dalit caste is burned alive and the riot intensifies. Thangavel is posted as the riot police's head constable to stop riots and protect Amavasai. Thangavel saves Amavasai from an assassination attempt. In the night, he goes to Amavasai's house and reveals his identity. He challenges his father that he will stop all of his illegal activities, which Amavasai brushes off.

Thangavel is transferred to regular police and gets posted as a Sub-Inspector in the same area. Thangavel and Sivakami reconcile with each other as stepmother and stepson and plan to trap Amavasai. Thangavel informs CBI of the activities of Amavasai while Sivakami wants to testify against Amavasai. Amavasai gets to know of this and plans to kill both. Sivakami is murdered by Amavasai's henchman and Thangavel, who has escaped is unable to save her. During his wife's funeral, Amavasai acts as a poor widower leading to an outraged Thangavel charging at and beating him up in public. Thangavel is arrested and jailed.

For his final diabolical plan, Amavasai plans to remarry as per advice of a crooked astrologer. He kidnaps Kuyili and her younger sister. He forces Kuyili to marry him and consummate the wedding so that both sisters may live, otherwise her little sister will die. He then takes part in an tantric wedding where his hair is tonsured and he is dressed in saffron robes. Kuyili is forcibly dressed in wedding attire and brought to him to quickly commence the tantric wedding. The henchmen decide to burn her little sister alive due to her constant cries for help.

Thangavel breaks free from prison, rescues both sisters and stops the demonic ritual. After a brutal thrashing of Amavasai and his henchmen, Thangavel holds Amavasai at gunpoint. Amavasai begs Thangavel to spare his life. Remembering all the atrocities committed by his father which include the deaths of his mother and stepmother and seeking to rid the man once and for all, Thangavel guns Amavasai down in a hail of bullets. He is about to leave with Kuyili and her sister, when Amavasai in his last moments throws flowers at the couple, blesses them and dies.

At the end, Thangavel forces Mani to testify against the crimes of Amavasai and all charges against Thangavel are dropped.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Sathyaraj was enjoying good success as a lead actor, when his friend Manivannan narrated the script of Amaidhi Padai to him. He initially rejected the script as he was not interested in playing a negative role. But after being impressed by the narration, he accepted to play the role.[3][4]

Soundtrack[edit]

The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja, while the lyrics were written by Vaali, Pulamaipithan and Ponnadiyan.[5]

Track# Song Artist(s) Lyrics
1 "Sollividu Velli Nilave" Mano, Swarnalatha Vaali
2 "Enakku Unnai Ninaicha" Swarnalatha Pulamaipithan
3 "Ada Naan Aatchu" Mano Pulamaipithan
4 "Muthumani Ther Irukku" Mano, S. Janaki Vaali
5 "Vetri Varuthu" Mano, S. N. Surendar, Deepan Chakravarthy Ponnadiyan
6 "Amma Thaaye" Ilaiyaraaja

Reception[edit]

Amaidhi Padai was released on 13 January 1994, the week of Pongal.[6] Despite facing competition from other Pongal releases like Mahanadhi, Sethupathi IPS and Veetla Visheshanga, it emerged a major success.[7] Malini Mannath of The Indian Express praised Sathyaraj's character and his performance.[8] K. Vijiyan of New Straits Times wrote "A pretty much straight-forward story but it is Manivannan's super handling and interesting dialogues that place this movie above the average".[9]

Sequel[edit]

Manivannan directed the sequel of the film titled Nagarajan Cholan MA MLA (2013) with Sathyaraj reprising his role. However the sequel failed to repeat the success of original film. On 2021, Sathyaraj reprised his role in a political thriller film Tughlaq Darbar[10]

Remakes[edit]

Amaidhi Padai was remade in Telugu as M. Dharmaraju M.A. (1994), and in Hindi as Jallaad (1995).[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "25 years of Amaidhi Padai: Everything you need to know about the Tamil political satire film; see pics". Times Now. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  2. ^ "A sequel to Amaidhi Padai?". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  3. ^ "மணிவண்ணனின் 'அமைதிப்படை' மீண்டும் வில்லனா?: நடிக்க மறுத்தார், சத்யராஜ்" [Sathyaraj initially refused to play negative character in Amaidhi Padai]. Maalai Malar. 7 December 2013. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  4. ^ Rao, Subha (4 May 2013). "Many Shades of grey". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Amaidhi Padai". Gaana.com. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  6. ^ Shivakumar, Vivek (13 January 2019). "25 Years Of Amaidhi Padai: The Politican [sic] As The 'Anti Hero'". Film Companion. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  7. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (17 January 2020). "94-ல், பொங்கலுக்கு கமல், விஜயகாந்த், சத்யராஜ், பிரபு, பாக்யராஜ்; 'மகாநதி', 'அமைதிப்படை', 'சேதுபதி ஐபிஎஸ்' செம ஹிட்டு!". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  8. ^ Mannath, Malini (28 January 1994). "Best as villain". The Indian Express. p. 6.
  9. ^ Vijiyan, K. (12 February 1994). "Sathyaraj plays double role in political movie". New Straits Times. p. 13.
  10. ^ Rao, Subha (11 May 2013). "Fifty and counting". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 September 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Director Manivannan returns with 'Amaidhipadai' sequel". The New Indian Express. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2020.

External links[edit]