Asuran (2019 film)

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Asuran
Asuran 2019 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byVetrimaaran
Screenplay byVetrimaaran
Manimaran
Dialogue bySuKa
Based onVekkai
by Poomani
Produced byKalaippuli S. Thanu
StarringDhanush
Manju Warrier
CinematographyVelraj
Edited byR. Ramar
Music byG. V. Prakash Kumar
Production
company
V Creations
Release date
  • 4 October 2019 (2019-10-04)[1]
Running time
140 minutes[2]
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil
Box officeest. 50 crore[3]

Asuran (transl. Demon) is a 2019 Indian Tamil-language action drama film[4] written and directed by Vetrimaaran and produced by Kalaipuli S. Thanu.[5] The film is based on Poomani's novel Vekkai (transl. Heat). The film stars Dhanush and Manju Warrier, where the latter makes her Tamil debut. G. V. Prakash Kumar scored the music for the film, renewing his collaboration with Vetrimaaran.[6] Cinematography was handled by Velraj, with editing by R. Ramar. The film's plot is influenced by the real-life Kilvenmani massacre that occurred in 1968.[7]

Asuran was released on 4 October 2019.[1] The film was commercially successful at the box office.[8] It won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil in 2021, at the 67th National Film Awards. It was one among the ten Indian films to be screened at the 78th Golden Globe Awards (2021) under the Best Foreign Film category.[9] It was also screened at the 51st International Film Festival of India at Goa, being selected as one of the films under Indian Panorama section for the year 2020.[10] It was remade in Telugu as Narappa (2021).

Plot[edit]

In the late 1970s Tirunelveli, a man and a boy are trekking across a river, carrying homemade bombs. In another part of the village, a woman, man and a girl are also hiding from the police.

Flashback: The narrator reveals that the man is Sivasaami and the boy is his son Chidambaram. In contrast, the woman, man, and child are Sivasaami's wife, Pachaiyamma, her brother Murugesan and daughter Lakshmi. They also had an older son called Velmurugan. They are a family of farmers living in Thekkoor (lit. southern village). Sivasaami has a close relationship with his older son but is distant, almost abusive with Chidambaram. Sivasami's family, along with most residents of Thekkoor, are Dalits.

Narasimhan is an upper-caste landlord from Vadakoor (lit. northern village), who needs Sivasaami's 3 acres of land for a factory, to which the family is against selling, especially Velmurugan. Pachaiyamma is attacked by one of Narasimhan's sons, to which Velmurugan retaliates by severely injuring him and his men and gets imprisoned consequently. Sivasaami pleads with Narasimhan to get Velmurugan released, and in reply, Narasimhan asks Sivasaami to prostrate before every male resident of the landlord's village as atonement.

When Velmurugan hears of his father's humiliation, he beats Narasimhan with a slipper. In revenge, Narasimhan's henchmen, led by a hunter Kariyan, behead Velmuruga and dumps his headless body naked in their field. Pachaiyamma is broken with inability to even complain because of missing head as evidence and after a year, Chidambaram is compelled to kill Narasimhan in revenge. Sivasami sees the killing, cuts the street lights there, and tells the family, where they flee with Chidambaram.

Present: Kariyan is asked to find the pair, tracks them down, and almost kills Chidambaram. Sivasami defeats them all but kills none. While the two recovers, Sivasaami explains why he spared their lives. Twenty years before, he was a village-famous moonshine brewer and trusted servant to Viswanathan, a landlord.

One day, he convinces his boss to employ Pandiyan, Viswanathan's distant relative, as a clerk. Sivasaami's brother Murugan and Venugopal Seshadri, a Brahmin Communist lawyer, are attempting to regain their community's Panchami land from landlords who had seized it illegally. Sivasami's elder sister's daughter Mariyamma proposes to Sivasami, who accepts. The family also accepts. Pandiyan slowly gains Viswanathan's trust and becomes his Mill accountant.

Meanwhile, Sivasami slowly falls in love with Mariyamma. When Sivasaami gives her sandals to wear, Pandiyan hits her and forces her to walk through the village with the sandals on her head. Sivasaami retaliates by hitting him with sandals in the middle of the village and ties him up, but is reprimanded by Vishwanathan. Sivasami quits brewing and joins his brother. One night, before a meeting was conducted by Seshadri and Murugan with the other labourers, news arrives that Seshadri was arrested, and Sivasaami is sent to get the documents authorising the meeting.

When Sivasami returns, Murugan and the others have been killed by Pandiyan and his men, while Sivasami's family (including Mariyamma), along with many others, are burned alive in their huts. Enraged, Sivasami brutally kills Vishwanathan, Pandiyan and their men. Sivasaami leaves his village and months later was found by Murugesan, who taught him farming. He's also introduced to Pachaiyamma, who is not getting marriage proposals. He narrates his story, and Pachaiyamma admires what he did for his family. He surrenders to the court and is given a light sentence. Afterwards, he marries Pachaiyamma.

Present: Chidambaram is amazed at his father's past and starts to admire him. Sivasaami reconciles with his wife and daughter briefly, and he and his son go to Seshadri for help. Seshadri agrees to help them as long as they turn up to court the next day. The next day, the two get into the court premises but are forced to flee after Narasimhan's men ambush them. Sivasaami reluctantly sells his land to prevent Narasimhan's men from targeting his family.

However, Chidambaram is abducted and tortured, in direct violation of the agreement. Sivasami kills many of the henchmen and all of Narasimhan's family male members, though he and Chidambaram sustain serious injuries. Murugesan and their village people arrive armed and defuse the situation. The two villages agreed that the conflict should end and prevented a caste clash.

Sivasaami's family has gathered in the court, and he has agreed to go to prison instead of Chidambaram if necessary. He tells his son to study hard and get a powerful bureaucratic job, and that, unlike land and money, the landlords can't seize their education, where Sivasaami smiles at his family as he enters the court.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Pre-production[edit]

Post the release of Velaiilla Pattadhari 2 (2017), producer Kalaipuli S. Thanu signed a three fim deal with Dhanush. Post success of Vada Chennai (2018), Vetrimaaran announced about the plans for making the film's sequel, with Dhanush reprising his role from the original. However, Vetrimaaran and Dhanush agreed to do another film for Thanu, before working with the sequel of Vada Chennai.[11]

Development[edit]

On 21 December 2018, Dhanush announced the film's title as Asuran, with a poster release,[12] and makers planned to kickstart the shoot in January 2019. Later, G. V. Prakash Kumar was signed in to compose the film's soundtrack, collaborating with the director and actor, after Polladhavan (2007) and Aadukalam (2011), except Vada Chennai which was composed by Santhosh Narayanan.[13] The film was reported to be set in the period of 1960s to 1980s, with Dhanush playing a man of his mid-40s.[14]

Casting[edit]

Jyothika and Sai Pallavi[15][16][17] were selected as the female leads of the film,[18] which marked the latter's acting debut in Tamil. Later Jyothika and Pallavi were replaced by Malayalam actress Manju Warrier and Ammu Abhirami.[19] Ken Karunas, son of actor Karunas and singer Teejay Arunachalam was roped into essay the role of Dhanush's sons in the film, with the latter marking his acting debut.[20] Director Balaji Sakthivel, also made his acting debut, essaying an important role in the film.[21] Actor Pasupathy, was also cast in the film as a supporting role, where he joined the sets in February 2019.[22] Later, Aadukalam Naren and Pawan were also cast in the film.[23]

Filming[edit]

The principal photography of the film began on 26 January 2019,[24] with the first schedule of the shoot being held at Tirunelveli.[25][26] Dhanush was reported to play a dual role of father and son in the film as per sources.[14] Initially, the actor was reported to play a dual role in another film directed by R. S. Durai Senthilkumar, which was titled Pattas (2020). While the film's shoot was progressing in full swing, Dhanush was reported to kick start his shoot for Pattas, later he took a break and resumed shooting for the film in April 2019. The final schedule of the film began in May 2019.[27] It was revealed that the makers planned to wrap the film's shoot by June 2019.[28]

Music[edit]

The soundtrack album and background score is composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar, collaborating with Dhanush and Vetrimaaran for the third time after Polladhavan and Aadukalam. The soundtrack album consists of seven songs, with lyrics written by Ekadesi, Yugabharathi, Eknath, and Arunraja Kamaraj. The film's album was launched on 2 September 2019, coinciding with the occasion of Ganesh Chathurthi at a launch event held at Prasad Studios in Chennai, where Dhanush, Manju Warrier, Ammu Abirami, Ken Karunas, singer-turned-actor Teejay Arunachalam director Vetrimaaran, composer G. V. Prakash Kumar, and producer S. Thanu were in attendance,[29][30] and the album was released in all streaming platforms and on YouTube, the same day.[31] The film's music, including the background score, received positive responses from both audiences as well as critics, with songs "Kathari Poovazhagi", "Yen Minukki" and "Ellu Vaya Pookalaye" were well received by audiences, benefiting to the success of the film.[32]

Release[edit]

Asuran was originally planned to be released on 2 October 2019, coinciding with the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and the weekend of the Vijayadashami festival in India.[33] On 8 August, the makers advanced the release date by one day to 4 October.[34]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Asuran received critical acclaim.

The Times of India, rated 3.5 out of 5 stars, stating that "Vetri Maaran delivers yet another solid action drama that keeps us engrossed from start to finish."[35]

Behindwoods rated 3.25/5, stating that "Asuran is an engaging watch with strong performances, interesting plot and an amazing emotional connect with the audience throughout."[36]

S. Subhakeerthana from The Indian Express rated the film 4 out of 5 and reviewed it as "With this Dhanush starrer, Vetrimaaran proves he's one of the finest directors in Indian cinema, yet again. Only a few filmmakers like him can pull off a mainstream cinema, balancing 'realism' and commercial elements."[37]

Sify rated the film 4.5 out of 5, summarising that "Asuran is a must-watch. Dhanush-Vetrimaaran combo who has once again delivered a raw, rustic, and riveting revenge drama. Don't miss this one!"[38]

Janani K from India Today, rated the film 3.5 out of 5 and stated that "Director Vetri Maaran's Asuran is a thrilling revenge drama of an oppressed family in a village. With solid writing backed by brilliant performances, Asuran is a classic film."[39]

Sreedhar Pillai from Firstpost rated the film 4 out of 5 and posted a verdict " Asuran is one of the best films of the year and a must-watch. Vetrimaran keeps the flag of good cinema flying high."[40]

Krupa Ge from Silverscreen said, "Asuran is a bloody revenge saga, that's also weirdly enough about the futility of violence... Watching the film, after reading the book [Vekkai], feels like dipping in and out of the novel, to wander off to the sides of the pages, filled with detours and notes. It starts where the novel starts, but goes back and forth, imagining what could have been."[41]

Gauthaman Baskaran from News18, gave contrary reviews by rating the film 2 out of 5, stating that "Coming at a time when graphic and lurid on-screen violence is being questioned and even condemned, Asuran would appear needlessly falling back to the old formula."[42]

Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion South wrote, "None of the characters feel fully formed because the timelines feel rushed. We don't feel time and lives weigh down on us the way it did in Vada Chennai or Visaranai. Maybe it's the on/off voiceovers, which feel like hastily applied band-aids over sore spots in the storytelling. But the bigger absence is the lack of set pieces. Vetri Maaran seems to be holding back almost deliberately, as though mirroring his leading man".[43]

Finances[edit]

Asuran grossed approximately 16 crore in Tamil Nadu in its first weekend.[44] The film collected 3.35 crore (US$522,198.1) in Kerala in 10 days.[45] The film grossed around 50 crore worldwide according to Firstpost.[3] The film has crossed ₹100 crore revenue which includes theatrical gross and non-theatrical revenue such as satellite, digital and music rights.[46]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2019 Behindwoods Gold Medal Best Director Vetrimaaran Won [47]
Best Actor Dhanush Won
Best Actress - Special Mention Manju Warrier Won
Find of the year Ken Karunas Won
2020 Zee Cine Awards Best Director Vetrimaaran Won [48][49]
Best Actor Dhanush Won
Best Background Score G. V. Prakash Kumar Won
Best Costume Designer Perumal Selvam Won
Best Female Playback Singer Saindhavi Nominated
Best Actress Manju Warrier Nominated
Favourite Heroine Manju Warrier Nominated
Favourite Hero Dhanush Nominated
Find of the Year Ken Karunas Won
2020 Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards Best Director Vetrimaaran Won [50]
Best Actor - Male Dhanush Won
Best Actor-Female Manju Warrier Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Ken Karunas Nominated
Best Art Direction Jacki Won
Best Playback Singer – Female Saindhavi Won
Best Lyricist Yugabharathi Won
Best Makeup Artist Banu
Nellai V. Shanmugam
K. Velmurugan
Won
2020 Norway Tamil Film Festival Awards Best Film Kalaipuli S. Thanu Won [51]
Best Director Vetrimaaran Won
Best Playback Singer – Female Saindhavi Won
Best Stunt Choreography Peter Hein Won
2020 JFW Movie Awards Best Actress in a Lead Role Manju Warrier Won [52]
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Ammu Abhirami Won [53]
2020 Osaka Tamil International film festival Awards Best Tamil Film Kalaipuli S. Dhanu Won [54]
Best Actor Dhanush Won
Best Director Vetrimaaran Won
Best Music Director G. V. Prakash Kumar Won
Best Art Director Jacki Won
2021 67th National Film Awards Best Actor Dhanush Won [55]

[56]

Best Feature Film in Tamil V Creations (Producer)

Vetrimaaran (Director)

Won
2021 9th SIIMA Awards Best Director Vetrimaaran Won
Best Film Asuran Nominated
Best Actor Dhanush Won
Best Actress (Critics) Manju Warrier Won
Best Cinematographer R. Velraj Won
Best Debut Actor Ken Karunas Won
Best Lyrics Yuga Bharthi -Ellu Vaya Pookalae Nominated
Best Male Playback Singer Velmurugan Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer Saindhavi Won
Best Music Director G. V. Prakash Kumar Nominated

Remake[edit]

It was remade in Telugu as Naarappa starring Venkatesh and directed by Srikanth Addala. Kalaipuli S. Thanu returned as the producer of the film along with Daggubati Suresh Babu under their banners V. Creations and Suresh Productions.[57]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dhanush starrer Asuran to release on October 4". The Indian Express. 8 August 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Certificate Detail". Central Board of Film Certification.
  3. ^ a b Sekar, Raja (6 November 2019). "Bigil, Kaithi, Asuran, Nerkonda Paarvai, Petta show Tamil cinema is heading towards a content-oriented approach". Firstpost. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  4. ^ Suganth, M (4 October 2019). "Asuran Movie Review : A compelling action drama on caste and class". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Suriya and director Vetri Maaran to team up for a film, confirms producer Thanu". India Today. 22 December 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  6. ^ "GV Prakash to compose music for Asuran Vetrimaaran Dhanush". Behindwoods. 24 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Dhanush's 'Asuran' And The Film's Dalit Hero Are Not Worth Celebrating". HuffPost India. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  8. ^ "With the success of Asuran, Dhanush proves he's a rare Tamil star who strikes the balance between scale and substance". Firstpost. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Soorarai Pottru, Asuran, Jallikattu to be screened at Golden Globes 2021, here is the full list of Indian films". The New Indian Express. 20 December 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Indian Panorama announces official selection for 51st International Film Festival of India, 2020". pib.gov.in. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Dhanush Confirms Asuran With Vetrimaaran". www.thehansindia.com. 24 December 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Dhanush's next is 'Asuran' with Vetrimaaran". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  13. ^ Penbugs (8 September 2019). "Asuran trailer: Dhanush-Vetrimaaran promises something big". Penbugs. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Dhanush plays his father in 'Asuran'!". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Sai Pallavi rejected a role in Vetri Maaran directorial Asuran with Dhanush in the lead?". Pinkvilla. 4 October 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  16. ^ Manjula (7 October 2020). "When 'Rowdy Baby' Said No To Dhanush". Hans India. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  17. ^ "தனுஷுடன் நடிக்க மறுத்த ஜோதிகா! 10 FACTS ABOUT DHANUSH | 10 Facts About Jyothika | Latest Cinema News". YouTube.
  18. ^ "Manju Warrier to play the female lead in Dhanush's 'Asuran'". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  19. ^ "Manju Warrier to make her Tamil debut in Dhanush's 'Asuran'". www.thenewsminute.com. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Karunas's son Ken roped in for Dhanush's Asuran". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  21. ^ "Director Balaji Sakthivel acting debut in Dhanush's 'Asuran'?". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  22. ^ "Pasupathi joins the sets of Asuran". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Naren and Pawan join the sets of Dhanush's 'Asuran'". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  24. ^ "Dhanush-Vetrimaaran's 'Asuran' to start on Jan 26". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Dhanush-Vetri Maaran film to kick-start in Tirunelveli". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  26. ^ "Dhanush starts shooting for Asuran". Cinema Express. 26 January 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Dhanush gets trained in martial arts for Pattas". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  28. ^ "Dhanush to wrap up the shooting of 'Asuran' by end of June". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  29. ^ "Asuran audio launched". Sify. 3 September 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  30. ^ "Dhanush, Vetri Maaran & Manju Warrier at the audio launch of Asuran". Pink Villa. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  31. ^ Lahari Music (2 September 2019). "Asuran - Official Jukebox | Dhanush | Vetri Maaran | G. V. Prakash Kumar | Kalaippuli S Thanu". YouTube. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  32. ^ "Tracing how music is still a big commercial pull in Tamil cinema". Firstpost. 20 January 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  33. ^ "Dhanush's 'Asuran' to hit the screens on 2nd October?". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  34. ^ "Dhanush's 'Asuran' to release on THIS date". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  35. ^ Asuran Movie Review {3.5/5}: Dhanush and Manju Warrier starrer is a compelling action drama on caste and class, retrieved 5 October 2019
  36. ^ "Asuran (aka) Asuraan review". Behindwoods. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  37. ^ "Asuran movie review: Dhanush is terrific in this well-made revenge drama". The Indian Express. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  38. ^ "Review : Asuran review: Solid in both, its craft and storytelling! (2019)". www.sify.com. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  39. ^ Janaki K. (4 October 2019). "Asuran Movie Review: Dhanush and Vetri Maaran gift another solid revenge drama". India Today. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  40. ^ "Asuran movie review: Dhanush, Manju Warrier deliver intense performances in Vetrimaran's riveting drama- Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  41. ^ "Asuran Movie Review: A Commentary On Caste And Violence Told As A Bloody Revenge Saga". Silverscreen. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  42. ^ "Asuran Movie Review: Dhanush Shines in Vetri Maaran's Violent Film". News18. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  43. ^ "Asuran Movie Review: Not Up To Vetri Maaran/Dhanush's Earlier Work, But Still Quite Good". FilmCompanion. 4 October 2019.
  44. ^ "Asuran box office collection: Dhanush starrer mints Rs 16 crore in Tamil Nadu in opening weekend". Hindustan Times. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  45. ^ Pillai, Sreedhar (15 October 2019). "Why Dhanush's latest 'Asuran' is clicking at the box office". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  46. ^ "Asuran: Dhanush's film enters Rs 75 core club". The Times of India. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  47. ^ "7TH BEHINDWOODS GOLD MEDALS 2019 - WINNERS!". behindwoods. 9 December 2019.
  48. ^ "Zee Cine Awards Tamil 2020 winners list: Ajith, Kamal Haasan, Dhanush won these honours". International Business Times. 5 January 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  49. ^ "Zee Cine Awards Tamil 2020: Dhanush bags Best Actor award, 'Pernabu' wins Best Film". The News Minute. 5 January 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  50. ^ "Vikatan Awards 2019: Taapsee Pannu wins 'Best Actor' for Game Over, shares surreal moment with Dhanush and Vetrimaaran". The Statesman. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  51. ^ "11th NTFF 2020 – Winners list of Awardees – Tamilar Viruthu – Tamil Nadu". 15 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  52. ^ "Jyothika, Aishwarya Rajesh, Manju Warrier and More! Here is The Complete Winners List of JFW Movie Awards 2020!". jfwonline.com. 19 April 2020.
  53. ^ "Jyothika, Aishwarya Rajesh, Manju Warrier and More! Here is The Complete Winners List of JFW Movie Awards 2020!". jfwonline.com. 19 April 2020.
  54. ^ "Osaka Tamil International Film Festival awards announced". Times of India.
  55. ^ "67th National Film Awards announced". Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 26 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  56. ^ "67th National Film Awards: Complete list of winners". The Hindu. 22 March 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  57. ^ "Asuran is Naarappa in Telugu: Venkatesh looks fierce in Srikanth Addala's film". India Today. 22 January 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.

External links[edit]