|Produced by||A. M. Rathnam|
|Based on||Okkadu (Telugu)|
|Edited by||B. Lenin|
V. T. Vijayan
Sri Surya Movies
Ghilli (transl. Risk taker) is a 2004 Indian Tamil-language sports action film directed by Dharani and produced by A. M. Rathnam under the production company Sri Surya Movies. A remake of the Telugu-language film Okkadu (2003), Ghilli stars Vijay, Trisha and Prakash Raj with Ashish Vidyarthi, Dhamu, Mayilsamy and Janaki Sabesh playing supporting roles.
The soundtrack album and score were composed by Vidyasagar. Cinematography was handled by Gopinath and editing was done by V. T. Vijayan and B. Lenin. Dialogues for the film were written by Bharathan. The film was released on 17 April 2004 to mostly positive reviews. The movie was running for more than 200 days at the box office. It was one of the most successful films in Vijay's career. As per trade, the film emerged as the highest grossing Tamil film of 2004, collecting ₹50 crore domestically alone.
Saravanavelu aka Velu is a state-level kabaddi player living in Chennai. His father, Assistant Commissioner of Police Sivasubramaniam, constantly chides him for his lack of interest in studies and his love for kabaddi. In contrast, his mother dotes on him, and his younger sister Bhuvana, a sharp and inquisitive schoolgirl, constantly gets Velu into trouble with their father, but nevertheless adores him.
Meanwhile, in Madurai, there is a ruthless factionalist leader Muthupandi, who lusts after a girl named Dhanalakshmi and would do anything to marry her. Muthupandi kills Dhanalakshmi's first elder brother as he rejects his offer to marry her. Dhanalakshmi’s second elder brother is also killed by Muthupandi when he tries to avenge his brother's murder. Dhanalakshmi’s father is a meek person who gets horrified by Muthupandi’s acts and asks Dhanalakshmi to leave Madurai and lead a peaceful life at her uncle's place in the USA by giving her the necessary certificates and money. Muthupandi catches her when she starts fleeing, because by coincidence, she gets into one of the lorries owned by him. At this juncture, Velu, who is in Madurai to play in a kabaddi tournament, rescues Dhanalakshmi and takes her to Hyderabad.
Velu takes Dhanalakshmi to his house and hides her in his room, unknown to his family. With the help of his friends, he arranges passport, visa, and flight tickets for Dhanalakshmi so that she can go to the USA. Meanwhile, Muthupandi and his father, who is the Home Minister, ask Sivasubramaniam to search for Dhanalakshmi and the apparent kidnapper. When Sivasubramaniam discovers that it is his own son who did the "crime", Velu and Dhanalakshmi run away and hide in the Chennai Lighthouse. Dhanalakshmi has by now fallen in love with Velu, and has been accepted by his mother and sister. So she is reluctant to go to the USA. Velu however, is adamant on sending her to the USA, and he, along with his friends, get her to the Chennai International Airport in time for her flight before their kabaddi match against Punjab in the final of the National League.
Sivasubramaniam, enraged that his son is a wanted criminal and yet is playing in a kabaddi match, goes to the stadium to arrest Velu. By now, Velu too has fallen in love with Dhanalakshmi and begins to miss her, only to spot her in the stadium during the match. Velu's lack of focus in the game is replaced by his best performance on seeing Dhanalakshmi, winning Tamil Nadu the championship. After winning the championship, Velu is arrested by his father, but is then stopped by Muthupandi, who wants to fight Velu, having been incited by Dhanalakshmi to do so to prove his worth. Velu defeats Muthupandi and embraces Dhanalakshmi, but when Muthupandi regains consciousness and tries to kill Velu, a floodlight broken during the fight accidentally hits Muthupandi who gets electrocuted to death.
- Vijay as Saravanavelu (Velu)
- Trisha as Dhanalakshmi
- Prakash Raj as Muthupandi,
- Ashish Vidyarthi as ACP Sivasubramaniam
- Tanikella Bharani as Rajapandi
- Janaki as Saravanavelu's mother
- Jennifer as Bhuvana (Bhuvi)
- Dhamu as Otteri Nari
- Mayilsamy as Narayana
- Nagendra Prasad as Prasad
- Chaplin Balu as Saravanavelu's friend
- Ponnambalam as Arivazhagan
- Pandu as Police Inspector
- Vinodraj as Dhanalakshmi's father
- T. K. Kala as Muthupandi's mother
- Murugadoss as Aadhivasi
- Brahmanandam as a priest
- Appukutty as the priest's assistant
- Nandha Saravanan as Saravanavelu's enemy (opposite team leader)
- Karate Raja as Muthupandi's henchman
- Pandi as Roadside Seller
- Saai Sundar as Raghu, Dhanalakshmi's second brother
- Ammu Ramachandran as Ammu
- Vimal as Saravanavelu's teammate (uncredited role)
- Priyanka as shopkeeper
- Pondy Ravi
- Scissor Manohar
- Suruli Manohar
Vijay expressed interest in starring in a Tamil remake of the Telugu action film Okkadu and prompted producer A. M. Rathnam to purchase the remake rights of the film. Dharani was finalised as the director, whose previous film Dhool under Rathnam's production had been a financial success. Dharani's regular crew members including cinematographer Gopinath and music director Vidyasagar joined the film, while Rocky Rajesh and Raju Sundaram were chosen to choreograph the stunts and dances, respectively, for which Sundaram was awarded Filmfare Award for Best Dance Choreographer – South later. Later Trisha was confirmed to play the female lead, while Prakash Raj was signed on to reprise the villain's character from the original. Dhamu and Prabhu Deva's brother, Nagendra Prasad were recruited to essay supporting roles. Actor Thiagarajan's refusal meant that Ashish Vidyarthi was cast as Vijay's father in the film, while Janaki Sabesh and Baby Jennifer were selected to portray Vijay's mother and sister, respectively. Playback singer T. K. Kala made her acting debut with this film. Vimal who went on to act in films like Pasanga (2009) and Kalavani (2010) appeared in a small role as one of Vijay's teammates and also worked as "unofficial" assistant director.
Filming began in mid-2003, after Vijay had completed his action flick Thirumalai; the film was completed by early 2004. Filming took place in Chennai surrounding the coastal areas like Mylapore and Besant Nagar. The film's introduction fight scene and a song were shot in a costly set in Prasad studios. A lighthouse set was also erected. Other action and chasing sequences were canned near the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai. The climax scene was shot in a crowd of one hundred thousand people on a Vinayagar Chaturthi occasion.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||17 March 2004|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Five Star Audio|
Vidyasagar was signed to compose the soundtrack album and background score for Ghilli; it marks the fourth collaboration of both Dharani and Vijay, with the former on Ethirum Puthirum, Dhill and Dhool, and working with the latter for Coimbatore Mappillai, Nilaave Vaa and Thirumalai. The soundtrack features six songs. The lyrics were penned by Yugabharathi, Pa. Vijay, Na. Muthukumar, Kabilan and Maran. The soundtrack became a sensation on release. The song Appadi Podu in particular enjoyed high popularity upon release, all over South India and became a huge chartbuster. The song was later reused by Chakri as "Adaragottu" in the Telugu movie Krishna (2008). The song was also adapted by P. A. Deepak, a music producer, as Hum Na Tode in the 2013 Hindi movie Boss starring Akshay Kumar. Following the internet phenomenon of "Why This Kolaveri Di" in 2011, "Appadi Podu" was featured alongside "Oh Podu", "Nakka Mukka" and "Ringa Ringa" in a small collection of south Indian songs that are considered a "national rage" in India. The "Kabaddi" theme music from the soundtrack album was remixed by Anirudh Ravichander, for Master (2021).
|2.||"Arjunaru Villu"||Kabilan||Sukhwinder Singh, Manikka Vinayagam||04:27|
|3.||"Sha La La"||P. Vijay||Sunidhi Chauhan||04:30|
|4.||"Appadi Podu"||P. Vijay||KK, Anuradha Sriram||05:53|
|5.||"Soora Thenga"||Na. Muthukumar||Tippu||04:03|
|6.||"Kokkarakko"||Yugabharathi||Udit Narayan, Sujatha Mohan||05:00|
|7.||"Kadhala Kadhala"||P. Vijay||Sujatha Mohan||03:21|
Ghilli was due for release on 9 April but later got postponed for a week and opened in over 150 theatres on 17 April 2004. Though the reason for the postponement was not given out, rumours were that producer A M Rathnam's creditors put pressure on him to settle his accounts before release.
Ghilli opened to favorable reviews. Sify rated the movie 5 out of 5 stars and said, "the good old formula is back with Gilli. A one-man-army combats an eccentric villain against all odds as he tries to save a helpless girl from his clutches. Dharani has done it for the third time by churning out this hit-and-run yarn that keeps you engaged and entertained for 160 minutes. Nowrunning.com stated that "Gilli, story wise, is neither fresh popcorn nor spicy samosa found in theatres but the screenplay and overall treatment is as fresh and appetising as full meals after a long day and gave an overall rating of 3/5 stars. The Hindu stated that "Vijay, the hero whom the masses today identify with, and Prakash Raj, the inimitable villain in tow, this remake of the Telugu flick, "Okkadu," comes a clear winner". Indiaglitz described the film as "an out and out entertainer". Rediff stated that, "Gilli portrays Vijay as a comic hero who battles his villains logically while his physical powers are exaggerated dramatically. Having said that, Gilli offers nothing less than sheer entertainment and an edgy thriller for the Tamil film industry, which is deprived of such films.
- Filmfare Award for Best Villain – Tamil – Prakash Raj
- Filmfare Award for Best Dance Choreographer – South – Raju Sundaram
- Madras Corporate Club Best Actor Award – Vijay
- Dinakaran Best Actor Award – Vijay
- Film Today Best Actor Award – Vijay
- Dinakaran Best Villain Award – Prakash Raj
- The popularity of Prakash Raj's role as Muthupandi led to several parodies incorporating the character and the endearing name "Chellam" (the way Muthupandi addresses Dhanalakshmi) became popular to sarcastically address an enemy.
- The scene in which Velu briefly uses Dhanalakshmi as a hostage when surrounded by Muthupandi and his men to manipulate them into surrendering their weapons was included in the list "Top 20 Mass Scenes" by Behindwoods.
- In Vijay's 2021 film Master, a kabaddi scene uses music montage invoking Ghilli.
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- Ghilli (DVD): closing credits from 157.25 to 157.30
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