Chekka Chivantha Vaanam
|Chekka Chivantha Vaanam|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mani Ratnam|
|Produced by||Mani Ratnam|
|Written by||Mani Ratnam|
|Narrated by||Vijay Sethupathi|
A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman
|Edited by||A. Sreekar Prasad|
|Distributed by||Lyca Productions|
|Box office||₹ 910 million |
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (lit. The Crimson Red Sky) is a 2018 Indian Tamil-language crime drama film directed by Mani Ratnam. Produced by Ratnam and Subaskaran Allirajah, the film stars Aravind Swami, Silambarasan and Arun Vijay as three brothers who engage in a power struggle for control over their deceased father's criminal empire, without realizing that they are playing into the hands of a suspended police officer played by Vijay Sethupathi. Co-written by Ratnam and Siva Ananth, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam features Jyothika, Aditi Rao Hydari, Aishwarya Rajesh, Dayana Erappa, Prakash Raj, Jayasudha, Thiagarajan and Mansoor Ali Khan in supporting roles.
Principal photography commenced on 12 February 2018 at the outskirts of Chennai and got completed by 2 June 2018 at Serbia. The soundtrack album and score are composed by A. R. Rahman and Qutub-E-Kripa while Santosh Sivan is the cinematographer and Sreekar Prasad is the editor and the venture is jointly produced by Mani Ratnam and Subaskaran under their banners Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions.
Sena (Prakash Raj), a God-fearing boss of a crime family, is on a tour to a temple with his wife Lakshmi (Jayasudha). Despite being escorted by heavily armed men, assassins disguised as cops attempt taking down Sena and Lakshmi, but they evade the assault. His children are notified of this. Sena has a daughter (RJ Sindhu) and three sons: the eldest being Varadan (Arvind Swami), who runs a part of his empire in Chennai. The second, Thyagu (Arun Vijay), operates his business in Dubai with Arabs. The third, Ethi (Silambarasan), runs the Serbian section of Sena's empire.
Meanwhile, Varadan tries phoning his friend Rasool (Vijay Sethupathi), a police inspector, for information as to who the person behind the ambush on his father was. Rasool, who is in midst of an interrogation, fails to answer his call and gets suspended for violating rules. Soon after his arrival and meeting up with Varadan, they discuss of the attack and about the potential mastermind behind it with Chinnappa (Thiagarajan) being the most probable. Chinnappa has been a long rival of Sena's ever since both dons have ruled Chennai. Varadan kills Chinnappa's son-in-law (Appani Sarath), creating a gang war. At the same time, Sena regains health. During their meetup with Chinnappa, Sena tells him that he is aware of who the culprit is, and later lets Lakshmi know that one of their sons is behind this.
Soon after, Sena passes away, and the brothers start a fight over who will be the next king to his throne. The brothers doubt each other, and a feud begins between them after Varadan takes control of his father's empire. Further, he conspires against his brothers by harming their wives and hiring men to kill them. Ethi and Thyagu join hands to revenge against Varadan, on the condition that Thyagu will be the sole king. They try to get back to India via Nepal but are captured by Varadan's men at the airport. Ethi and Thyagu manage to escape from there and reach Chennai. They overpower Varadan by manipulating his henchman and roping Rasool to their side. They kill their uncle Chezhiyan (Siva Ananth), who is Varadan's father-in-law, and capture his girlfriend Parvathi (Aditi Rao Hydari), a TV reporter.
Fearing that his brothers may harm his family, Varadan flees from Chennai. During a shootout, Varadan's wife Chitra (Jyothika) gets killed. It is transpired that Varadan hired the assassins to kill Sena so that he could succeed in getting his father's place. Ethi and Thyagu catch Varadan with Rasool's help. In the midst of the confrontation, Thyagu shoots Varadan for framing and incarcerating his wife Renu (Aishwarya Rajesh). Ethi kills Thyagu for setting up a hitman to kill his wife Chaaya (Dayana Erappa).
In the end, Ethi tries to lure Rasool at gunpoint by offering either to bite the dust or join him. Rasool tells Ethi that Ibrahim was a small gangster and was killed before his eyes in a police encounter. His mother sent him away to his uncle's house so that he would not be like his father. Since then, he hated gangsters. Rasool was still working undercover to eliminate Sena's empire, and the rift between the brothers created a chance to bring the family down. Rasool kills Ethi and reports to his authorities that Operation Red Sky has been accomplished.
- Arvind Swami as Varadharajan "Varadhan" Senapathi
- Silambarasan as Ethirajan "Ethi" Senapathi
- Arun Vijay as Thyagarajan "Thyagu" Senapathi
- Vijay Sethupathi as Rasool Ibrahim
- Jyothika as Chitra Varadarajan (voice over by Deepa Venkat)
- Aditi Rao Hydari as Parvathi, Varadan's girlfriend and a TV reporter (voice over by Krithika Nelson)
- Aishwarya Rajesh as Renuka Thyagarajan aka Renu
- Dayana Erappa as Chaaya Ethirajan
- Prakash Raj as Senapathi aka Sena, a fearsome kingpin
- Jayasudha as Lakshmi Senapathi
- Thiagarajan as Chinnappadas aka Chinnappa, Sena's rival
- Mansoor Ali Khan as Khalid, Ethi's accomplice
- Appani Sarath as Chinnappa's son-in-law
- RJ Sindhu as Sena's daughter
- Santhosh as Sena's son-in-law
- Gowtham Sundararajan as Assistant Commissioner
- Siva Ananth as Chezhiyan
- T. M. Karthik as Ranjith
- Sugunthan as Veluthambi
- George Vijay Nelson as Esthappa
- G. Vittal Rao as A. H. Basheer
- Kavitha Bharathi as Aruldas
Following a brief break after the release of Kaatru Veliyidai (2017), Mani Ratnam chose to begin pre-production on his next film by June 2017 and brought in composer A. R. Rahman and cinematographer Santosh Sivan for the project.
Cast and crew
In July 2017, reports in the media suggested that Mani Ratnam's next film would feature four male characters, and actors Vijay Sethupathi, Arvind Swami, Fahadh Faasil and Dulquer Salmaan were in negotiations to play various roles. While the first three actors eventually accepted to work on the film, discussions with Dulquer fell through. Silambarasan later signed the film in early September 2017, and an official announcement from the production studio confirmed the four lead actors were attached to the project. Telugu actor Nani had also held discussions with Mani Ratnam for a role in the film, but was later not included in the final cast. Prior to the beginning of the shoot, Silambarasan undertook a rigorous weight loss regime to get into shape for his character. In the months leading up to the start of the shoot, there was speculation in the media that Silambarasan would be banned from the project after allegations were made by producer Michael Rayappan about the actor's deliberate lack of co-operation during the making of Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan (2017). Despite protests from other film producers, Mani Ratnam chose to retain Silambarasan in the film. In a media interaction during January 2018, Vijay Sethupathi confirmed that he would portray a full length role, denying reports which suggested that he had an extended cameo appearance. Fahadh later opted out due to scheduling conflicts with other projects, and was later replaced by Arun Vijay.
Jyothika agreed to portray a leading female role in early September 2017, and confirmed her participation to the media while promoting Magalir Mattum (2017). She had earlier appeared in Mani Ratnam's production venture Dumm Dumm Dumm (2001), but stated her excitement at being selected in a film to be directed by him. Likewise, Aishwarya Rajesh also revealed her presence in the project during early September 2017, and expressed her delight working with Mani Ratnam. In late January 2018, Aditi Rao Hydari, who had appeared as the lead actress of Mani Ratnam's previous project Kaatru Veliyidai (2017), was also confirmed to be a part of the cast. Model Dayana Erappa also later joined the cast to play the fourth leading actress, marking her first acting assignment. She was cast after two rounds of auditions and then prepared for her role by attending workshops led by theater actors in Mumbai.
For a supporting role, actress Jayasudha agreed to work on the film in November 2017, while Prakash Raj joined the cast during the following month to portray her husband. The production house revealed that actors Thiagarajan and Mansoor Ali Khan were also added to the cast before filming started. Furthermore, other supporting actors including Cheenu Mohan and Malayalam actor Antony Varghese were reported to have signed to play characters in the film, though Varghese was later replaced by Appani Sarath. Chennai-based radio jockey Sindhu also debuted as an actress, during the first schedule. Siva Ananth was credited as the co-writer, while Bejoy Nambiar worked as one of the creative producers. Dhilip Subbarayan was signed to choreograph the stunt sequences, while Sharmishta Roy and Eka Lakhani were signed as the production designer and costume designer, respectively.
In late January 2018, prior to the start of the shoot, Lyca Productions agreed to purchase the rights of the film on a "first copy" basis and release it worldwide. Three days prior to the start of shoot in February 2018, the film's title was announced as Chekka Chivantha Vaanam in Tamil, and as Nawab for the dubbed Telugu version. Principal photography began on 12 February 2018 on the outskirts of Chennai, with scenes shot on the East Coast Road and at the Apollo Hospital in Vanagaram during the first schedule. A second schedule began on 26 February 2018, with all members of the cast intermittently featuring in the shoot. As the second schedule progressed, cinematographer Santosh Sivan released images of the various actors on the sets of the film. The shoot continued in Chennai until mid-March, with a wedding scene also shot, before being halted as a result of a film industry-wide production strike announced by the Tamil Film Producers Council, who were campaigning against extortionate rates employed by digital service providers.
Following the strike, production resumed in Chennai on 25 April 2018, with scenes involving Vijay Sethupathi being shot near Kovalam Beach in Chennai. Media reports emerged suggesting that the production team had carelessly littered areas of the beach during the making of the film, making it dangerous for public use, but production manager Siva Ananth refuted the allegations. In May 2018, the team travelled to Abu Dhabi and Dubai to shoot scenes involving Arun Vijay and Aishwarya Rajesh, as a part of three week schedule. The final schedule featuring Silambarasan and Dayana Erappa was completed over a week in Serbia and principal photography was subsequently wrapped up on 2 June 2018.
A. R. Rahman began composing on the film on a recce to Goa with Mani Ratnam and lyricist Vairamuthu. The album was released on 5 September 2018 by Sony Music, and Rahman gave a live performance of the songs.
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam was released worldwide on 27 September 2018 along with its dubbed Telugu version Nawab.
Behindwoods gave the film 3 out of 5 stars saying that, "CCV is a worthy family gangster drama in true Mani Ratnam style with massy fan moments." Times of India gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and summarized that, "The single-mindedness of the script, which doesn't stray away from its two major concerns is actually the film’s strength." S. Shiva Kumar of The Hindu noted this film's similarities to the South Korean film New World. According to Kumar, "Chekka Chivandha Vanam is the closest [Mani Ratnam has] come to plagiarism." while Scroll.in called it a subtle yet clever tribute to Akira Kurosawa's Ran .
During the first four days of the film's release, it grossed ₹300 million (US$4 million) gross in Tamil Nadu alone, taking one of the largest openings recorded in the region. The film did well in international markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and the New Zealand. Within two days of release, the film had made A$170,682 (US$121,512) in Australia, £63,895 (US$82,690) in the UK, NZ$54,411 (US$35.530) in New Zealand and $592,319 in the US.
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