Ameerin Aadhi-Bhagavan

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Ameerin Aadhi-Bhagavan
Ameerin Aadhi-Bhagavan.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAmeer
Written byAmeer
Produced byJ. Anbazhagan
StarringJayam Ravi
Neetu Chandra
Sudha Chandran
CinematographyK. Devaraj
Edited byS. P. Ahmed
Music byYuvan Shankar Raja
Production
company
Distributed byTeamwork Production House
Release date
22 February 2013
Running time
157 minutes[1]
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil

Ameerin Aadhi-Bhagavan (transl. Ameer's Aadhi-Bhagavan) previously known as Aadhi Bhagavan, is a 2013 Indian Tamil-language action film[2] written and directed by Ameer. Produced by DMK politician J. Anbazhagan, the film stars Jayam Ravi in the titular dual role along with Neetu Chandra, Saiju Kurup and Sudha Chandran. The film follows Aadhi, a Thailand-based gangster living separately from his mother and sister due to his criminal activities. His life changes when he rescues a young waitress from goons and soon finds himself drawn in a violent conspiracy hatched by Bhagavan, his Mumbai-based lookalike.

The cinematography was handled by R. B. Gurudev and K. Devaraj, while Ram Sudharsan edited the film. The film features a background score from the 2011 Telugu-language film Panjaa composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja, who composed the music for both the films. It also features a Hindi-language song Agadam Bagadam sung by Mohit Chauhan.[3] It is the second Asian film to make use of Auro 3D audio technology after Vishwaroopam.[4] Following a formal announcement in February 2010, the film was in production for a period of three years and filmed primarily across Thailand, in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Goa, as well as the locales of Chennai, Mumbai, Toronto, Ontario and Canada.[5]

The film had to undergo a title change following protests from Hindu religious groups. The film also faced censorship issues as the Central Board of Film Certification gave it an A (adults only) certificate in spite of 24 cuts. The film was released theatrically on 22 February 2013 and received mixed reviews from critics.[6] The action sequences and Ravi's performance were praised, but the writing was criticized. In spite of its moderate box office success, the director Ameer announced a sequel.[7][8] In 2014, Neetu Chandra won the award for Best Actor in a Negative Role (Tamil) at the 3rd South Indian International Movie Awards.[9]

Plot[edit]

Posing as a CBI official, Aadhi Shanmugham robs a Hyderabad politician with the help of his team and flees away from the country as the politician orders his men to hunt him down. Aadhi is a Bangkok-based gangster who is despised by his mother and sister due to his criminal activities. They reject all his offered help despite his attempts to mend their relations. Aadhi comes across a waitress named Karishma and one night sees her getting kidnapped. He fights off the kidnappers, pays them to free her the next day and allows her to stay with him. During a drug deal, Aadhi and the dealer get attacked. The ensuing shootout leaves Aadhi nearly dead, only to be rescued by Karishma, who treats him. Aadhi confesses his love for her, and they plan to depart for Mumbai. At the airport, Karishma is found talking to the man Aadhi paid to get her freed, and it is revealed they've been working together to trap Aadhi. In the meanwhile, it is revealed that Aadhi has a lookalike named Bhagavan, a gangster with slightly feminine behavior. Once Aadhi and Karishma land in Mumbai, she gives him a drink that puts him to sleep. He's taken to a place where his hair is shortened, mustache and beard are shaved. ACP Ranadev Patel, a corrupt officer, publicly announces the capture of Bhagavan. When a politician tries to kill Aadhi, mistaking him for Bhagavan, due to his brother's death, Ranadev stops him, and Aadhi is left alone with an inmate who reveals Karishma is actually Bhagavan's girlfriend, and her real name is Rani.

When told by the politician to deal with a Tamil Nadu MP, Bhagavan fought off rowdies who told him about the MP's location, following which he killed him and got invited to a party by the politician along with Rani. There, he found out that the politician's brother Sushil was attracted to Rani, and later even tried to force himself on her while drunk. The politician offered Bhagavan money to spare Sushil, but he set the money on fire and killed Sushil for his behavior. The politician enlisted police help to find Bhagavan, who had gone into hiding with Karishma. When Ranadev informed them about the same, Karishma received pictures of Aadhi, clicked by a partner and decided to trap Aadhi in order to get him framed for Bhagavan's crimes. Learning this, Aadhi is shocked and is taken away by the police before Rani personally meets and explains how she trapped him. Ranadev gets paid by the politicians: Sushil's brother and the Hyderabad politician, to kill Aadhi. Despite being wounded, Aadhi fights off the goons and escapes with his inmate. Believing Ranadev to have sold out Aadhi due to greed for money, Bhagavan kills him. Aadhi and his inmate meet a man who arranges a Malaysian passport for Aadhi to flee and also informs him Bhagavan and Rani are still in Mumbai. Aadhi decides to seek revenge and pursues Rani after learning of her location through a source. A shootout ensues, followed by a chase and resulting in a fight between Aadhi and Rani in which both are equally matched but Aadhi manages to get the upper hand and stabs Rani to death. Bhagavan enters and witnesses Aadhi murdering Rani and is heartbroken to see Rani's corpse. Aadhi challenges Bhagavan to a fight. An infuriated Bhagavan brutally beats up Aadhi. But after a lengthy battle Aadhi brutally stabs Bhagavan and tells him that 2 people in a world can't exist with the same face and leaves as a bloodied Bhagavan drags himself near Rani's corpse. After Aadhi leaves, Bhagavan is no longer near Rani's corpse implying that he escaped

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Ameer, lowing the release of his Yogi, was expected to commence a project titled Kannabiran featuring Jayam Ravi, which was initially to start in 2007. In February 2010, Ameer officially announced his new project at a press meet, stating that he had shelved Kannabiran for the time being, and instead began working on a different script for a film with Jayam Ravi, which was titled as Aadhi Bhagavan. He, furthermore, disclosed that for the first time, he had written a script, after the lead actor had been finalized, while usually only after completing his script he selects the most suitable actors for the characters.

Casting[edit]

Early reports suggested that Jayam Ravi would enact the role of a gangster;[10] later he was many-times reported to be playing double roles in the film,[11] one of them being a transgender,[12] however Ameer refuted these allegations and clarified that he would be playing a single role, that of a CBI officer, who would appear in various get-ups.[13]

During the official announcement, it was reported, that the lead female actress had not been chosen yet, and Ameer, like for his previous directorials, was searching and struggling to find a suitable actress. Talks were held with Priyamani,[14] and Mamta Mohandas to play the role of a modern NRI, with the latter even confirming in May/June 2010 to be part of the film,[15][16] despite call sheet and date complications.[17] However, , one month later, she once for all opted out of the project as she was not willing to give almost a year of her dates.[18] She was eventually replaced by Neetu Chandra, who was approached by Ameer, while working with him in Myshkin's Yuddham Sei.[19] Being a black belt holder in taekwondo, Chandra performed her own stunts in the film. For a pivotal role as the lead character's mother, television actress Sudha Chandran was signed up in May 2010.[20] Malayalam actor Saiju Kurup was roped in to essay the role of the main antagonist; he would portray a Mumbai-based Assistant Police Commissioner.[21] Sakshi Shivanand was selected to perform an item number alongside 150 foreign dancers at specially erected set in April 2011.[22] Upon completion of filming, director Ameer revealed to the media that he, too, had played an important role,[23] although he had stated earlier that he would not act in the film.[24]

Filming[edit]

The first schedule, primarily featuring Jayam Ravi, was held in May 2010 in Bangkok, Thailand.[25][26] After the lead actress had been finalized, the film crew returned to Thailand in September that year for the subsequent schedule that took place at the beach resort Pattaya which was decorated as hero's office by art director Jacki,[27] following which couple of scenes were canned in Mumbai and Chennai.[11] Ameer started the third schedule in early February 2011 with shoots being held in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan and Bhuj, Gujarat.[28] Jayam Ravi then moved on to finish his other ongoing project, Engeyum Kadhal for that he also sported a different look, as a result of which the filming of Aadhi Bhagavan came to a halt;[29] it recommenced in December 2011.[30] In April 2012, filming was carried out in Goa.[31] Although filming was supposed to be completed with the Goa schedule,[32] the crew moved to Rajasthan by early July 2012 to shoot a couple of climax action sequences in the deserts of Jaisalmer and Jaipur,[33] which could not be shot during the previous schedule due to Neetu Chandra's absence, who had left to shoot for an international project.[34] A fight sequence between two Jayam Ravis was shot in Bhojpur district during a 15-day schedule, seven cameras were said to have been used for the scene.[35] Neetu Chandra finished shooting her portion on 25 July,[36] while the entire filming was eventually completed on 31 July 2012, following its final schedule in Bikaner, Rajasthan.[37][38]

Post-production works commenced by early 2012, while filming was still carried out, and the first look posters were published in July 2012.[39] A press statement in June 2012 announced that Aadhi Bhagavan would become the first Tamil film to feature 7.1 surround sound at standard resolution. The film was recorded at composer A. R. Rahman's AM Studios, Chennai, India.[40]

Music[edit]

Ameerin Aadhi-Bhagavan
Soundtrack album by
Released6 October 2012
Recorded2010–2011
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length25:37
LanguageTamil
LabelGemini Audio
ProducerYuvan Shankar Raja
Yuvan Shankar Raja chronology
Dhenikaina Ready
(2012)
Ameerin Aadhi-Bhagavan
(2012)
Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer
(2012)

As with Ameer's previous directorials, the film score and soundtrack were composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja and lyrics were written by Snehan. In late July 2010, the trio left for Singapore for song compositions.[41] One of the songs was reported to be a club number, featuring completely Hindi lyrics; Hindi singer Mohit Chauhan was recruited to lend his voice to this song.[42][43] In late November 2010, another song was recorded, which Yuvan Shankar considered as one of his toughest compositions. While usually completing his songs within a couple of days, this song, performed by Shreya Ghoshal and Sharib Sabri, had taken him more than a week to finish, after he had made seven to eight versions of it.[44][45] In late July 2012, the composer was working on the final sound mixing (mixed by Kausikan Sivalingam in Berlin, Germany.[46] Tamil Canadian rapper Rajeev ThaProphecy collaborated with Yuvan Shankar Raja and sang a full rap song in the film.[47][48] Yuvan reused the background score from the Telugu film Panjaa (2011), which was also composed by himself.

The soundtrack album was unveiled at a grand event on 6 October 2012 at the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario, Canada,[49][50] the first ever Tamil audio launch event held in North America.[51][52][53] The event saw the presence of several noted film personalities, along with the film's cast and crew.[54] Besides the six songs from Ameerin Aadhi-Bhagavan as well as popular songs from the director and composer's previous collaborations, the event saw a dance performance by South African dancers.[55] The album met with highly positive response from public and critics alike and Yuvan won accolades for providing a wholesome variety album.

Behindwoods gave the album 3.5 out of 5 and stated, "The album sounds rich and has wide-ranging songs. This turns out to be another winner for the Ameer – Yuvan duo. The racy songs gel with the gangster genre of the movie while there are ample melodies as well to back the romance portions."[56] Moviecrow gave 6.5 out of 10 and stated, "Aadhibhagavan is an album filled with songs from various genres. Yuvan has done a remarkable job in experimenting with sounds and tunes. The album would have gotten better attention it deserves if the audio release was sufficiently spaced from others released recently."[57] Indiaglitz gave the album 3 out of 5 and stated, "Aadhibhagavan is very different from your everyday Tamil album. It has a lot of new kinds of music to present to you. It will leave you wondering on a lot of occasions. Yaavum Poidhaana and Oru Thuli Vishamaal make for pleasant listens. The rest of the album, however, is up for you to judge. Yuvan has pitched in with several tiny additions. Still, when you look at the whole picture, you might not notice them as easily."[58] Milliblog commented, "Barring minor annoyances, Yuvan's fresh new sound works very well!"[59]

Track listing
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Eisalaamey Eisalaam"SnehanManasi Scott & Rahul Nambiar (Harmony)4:58
2."Kaatriley Nadanthene"ArivumathiUdit Narayan, Shweta Pandit4:55
3."Yaavum Poithaanaa"SnehanMadhushree4:20
4."Oru Thuli Vishamai"SnehanSharib Sabri, Shreya Ghoshal5:36
5."Agadam Bagadam"ManojMohit Chauhan4:22
6."Bhagavan Rap Song"Rajeev ThaProphecyRajeev ThaProphecy, Sathyan3:43

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

Aadhi Bhagavan was filmed around a span of two years. It was speculated that the film was scheduled to release on the eve of Pongal festival, which falls on 10 January 2013.[60] Later, the film was scheduled to be released on 24 January 2013,[61] then postponed to avoid clashing with Vishwaroopam (2013), which was scheduled on the same date.[62] Moreover, the sudden postponement and the uncertainty prevailing over the release of Vishwaroopam, affected the film's release by pushing towards the end of February.[63] It was also speculated that the film would be scheduled for a Valentine's Day release, on 14 February 2013.[64] But, the makers confirmed that the film will be released on 22 February 2013.[65]

The film was awarded an A certificate by the censor board, citing the action sequences and violence,[66] with 24 cuts.[67] Before its release, the censor board officials requested to change its title, by adding a prefix Ameerin, which was named as Ameerin Aadhi-Bhagavan.[68] Reservations for the film were started three days before the release, on 19 February 2013.[69] The film was released in 1200 screens worldwide clashing with G. N. R. Kumaravelan's Haridas (2013).[70][71] This film was also dubbed in Hindi as Main Shareef Tu Badmash.

Marketing[edit]

As a part of the film's promotions, director Ameer launched an official website and official Facebook page for the film.[72] The trailer of the film was released at a grand launch event held in Chennai on 8 November 2012, with the presence of the film's cast and crew.[73][74] The making video of the film's shooting in Thailand was released in December 2012.[75] A new trailer was launched on 17 January 2013.[76]

Home media[edit]

The satellite rights of the film were sold to Sun TV.[77] A censored version of the film was released digitally on Sun NXT.[78]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film raked 50% - 70% occupancy on first day collected 5.85 crore. The film got a decent opening the first weekend, collected 23.6 crore at the box office. The film first week collection worldwide 37.9 crore at the box office. The film worldwide gross around 85 crore at the box office. The film declared hit by traders analyst.[79]

Critical response[edit]

Ameerin Aadhi-Bhagavan received mixed reviews from critics. The praise was aimed at the performances and action sequences, while the writing and pacing drew criticism.

Writing for Rediff.com, S. Saraswathi praised the performances and action sequences but felt the film might not appeal to everyone due to the heavy amount of violence and "every second scene being a fight scene".[80] Behindwoods.com similarly gave the film 3 stars out of 5 and praised the performances and action sequences. Although Chandra's lip sync for Tamil dialogues, the quick and abrupt cuts in the action scenes and the overdose of Hindi dialogues were criticized, the reviewer felt the film was watchable due to Ravi and the action set-pieces, further recommending it to fans of raw action films.[81] Kollywood Today gave the film 2.5 stars of 5 stars, praising the lead stars, music, cinematography and Chandra's efforts in the climactic fight sequence but criticizing the slow pace and the Scarface inspirations in the first half, and also feeling the characters were half baked.[82] Writing for The Hindu, Malathi Rangarajan praised Ravi's performance and Chandra's martial arts skills showcased in the action scenes, but found the characters and situations predictable. She also criticized the placement of voice-overs translating the Hindi dialogues into Tamil, as they gave the feel of a dubbed film.[83]

Controversies[edit]

The film faced criticisms from Hindu groups, as the film, as well as its former title, Aadhi Bhagavan, was mentioned as offensive to their religion.[84] Later Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), filed a petition against the film, seeking a ban on it, as the title was meant objectionable to the group, and they also demanded a statewide protest.[85] This forced the makers to change its title to Ameerin Aadhi-Bhagavan.[68][86]

Ameer criticised the censor board officials, regarding that the film was given A certificate, unnecessarily.[87][88] A member from the censor board registered a complaint against Ameer, to the city police commissioner citing that, the officials had asked him for a bribe amount to receive a U/A or U certificate to the film.[89] The officials clamed that post the release of Vishwaroopam, the censor board tightened the rules and the film was given an A certificate for the mafia storyline.[87]

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External links[edit]