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Directed byNassar
Produced byNassar
Keerthi Reddy
Edited bySuresh Urs
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Indus Film Factory
Release date
  • 27 June 1997 (1997-06-27)

Devathai (transl. Angel) is a 1997 Indian Tamil-language supernatural thriller film written, directed and produced by Nassar. The film stars himself, Keerthi Reddy (in her Tamil film debut) and Vineeth, while the film's score and soundtrack are composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The film released in June 1997 to positive reviews, however it ended up becoming an average grosser at the box office.[1] The film's story was loosely based on 1992 American film Bram Stoker's Dracula and novel of the same name.



The film centres on Shashanka, a dacoit who starts off as a Robin Hood type before lapsing into mass, and merciless, killings. He then falls in love with the daughter of one of his captives, only to be spurned. The dejected dacoit commits suicide. Years later, the girl is reborn in Dubai, grows up, falls in love and is on the verge of getting married when she makes a visit to India, to the family's ancestral home. Disturbing thoughts, hallucinations and meetings with a bearded man who is, though she doesn't know it just yet, Shashanka reborn, mark the visit. The rest of the story traces Shashanka's intentions of trying to convince the girl of their previous life characters.





After the failure of his directorial debut, Avatharam, Nassar claimed he "remembered a story I [he] had first heard as a child, it stayed with me and gave me the creative seed for this film", talking about how he picked to make a story on reincarnation.[2] Nassar struggled to find an apt actress to play the lead role and even advertised in newspapers asking potential actors to audition, before finding and finalising on Telugu actress Keerthi Reddy.[3] Vineeth was signed on for a supporting role, while professor of Drama, M. Ramasamy was also given a role.[4] Nassar himself portrayed a prominent character in the film. He recalled that a famous actor of that time was signed to do the role in the film but he backed out in the last minute, fearing his image and also the actor wanted some changes in the script, which Nassar was not willing to do.[5]

The authorities in Dubai initially were reluctant to let Nassar shoot his film there, as a previous Tamil filmmaker had depicted the city in poor light. Eventually the actor-director was able to convince them to let him shoot his film in the city after providing them with an entire script.[3]

The art director, Trotsky Marudu, revealed that he worked very hard during the portions in the first 30 minutes of the film, with the sets, costumes, weapons, make-up having to be similar to conditions 300 years ago. Nassar and Marudhu further proceeded to incorporate graphics into the film, using "Flint" software, to create several special effects scenes in the film.[3]



The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja.[6]

Track listing
1."Deepangal"ArivumathiS. P. B. Charan, Sandhya, K. P. Mohan 
2."Andam Kidukidunga"K. A. GunasekaranK. A. Gunasekaran 
3."Engey En Kadhali"Ponniyin SelvanKarthik Raja 
4."Kokkarako Kozhi"IlaiyaraajaJanagaraj 
5."Naal Thorum"KamakodiyanIlaiyaraaja, Kavita Krishnamurthy 
6."Oru Naal Antha"ArivumathiS. Janaki 



K. N. Vijiyan of New Straits Times wrote, "It is hoped [Nassar] would come out with a better movie next time. Or better still, he should dedicate himself fulltime to acting where his talents seem to lie."[7] Kalki praised Nassar for making a fantasy film with realism and also for depicting ancient period with realism.[8] The film became a financial failure, prompting Nassar to sign many films in a rush to pay off his debts. He revealed that his immediate busy schedule had subsequently cost him a role in Lagaan (2001).[9]


  1. ^ "Dhevathai ( 1997 )". Cinesouth. Archived from the original on 7 May 2004. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  2. ^ Rajitha (1 September 1997). "'Direction is challenging, acting is soul-satisfying'". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 6 December 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  3. ^ a b c Krishnan, Sandya. "Mookan's success story". Indolink. Archived from the original on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ Saravanan, T. (15 September 2011). "On the stage of life". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 May 2023. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  5. ^ Pillai, Sreedhar (11 December 2002). "At home in every role". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 13 March 2003. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  6. ^ "Devadai". AVDigital. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  7. ^ Vijiyan, K. N. (19 July 1997). "Warrior pursues his love across the gulf of time". New Straits Times. pp. Arts 4. Retrieved 25 May 2023 – via Google News Archive.
  8. ^ ஆர். பி. ஆர். (13 July 1997). "தேவதை". Kalki (in Tamil). pp. 44–45. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  9. ^ Warrier, Shobha (10 January 2002). "'Aamir offered me a role in Lagaan". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 6 December 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2023.