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This article is about the 2004 Tamil film. For the 2009 Kannada film, see Gilli (film).
Film poster
Directed by Dharani
Produced by A. M. Rathnam
Written by Gunasekhar
Screenplay by Dharani
Barathan (Dialogues )
Starring Vijay
Prakash Raj
Ashish Vidyarthi
Nagendra Prasad
Music by Vidyasagar
Cinematography Gopinath
Edited by V. T. Vijayan
Release dates
  • 17 April 2004 (2004-04-17)
Running time
168 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil

Ghilli (English: Risk taker) is a 2004 Indian Tamil action film directed by Dharani and produced by A. M. Rathnam under the production company Sri Surya Movies. The film features Vijay and Trisha in lead roles with Ashish Vidyarthi, Dhamu, Prakash Raj, Mayilsamy and Janaki Sabesh playing supporting roles. The soundtrack album and background score were composed by Vidyasagar. Cinematography was handled by Gopinath and editing was done by V. T. Vijayan. Dialogues for the film were written by Bharathan. The plot revolves around an aspiring Kabaddi player who saves a girl from a murderous factionalist leader who wants to marry her. It was released on 17 April 2004 received positive reviews and was declared a blockbuster running up to 200 days at the box office.


Velu alias Ghilli (Vijay), is an aspiring kabaddi champion who is the son of Chennai's Assistant Commissioner of Police Sivasubramanian (Ashish Vidyarthi). Sivasubramanian is not fond of his son, constantly chiding him for his lack of interest in studies and his love for kabaddi. In contrast, his mother (Janaki Sabesh) dotes on him and his younger sister Bhuvana ('Baby' Jennifer) is a sharp and inquisitive schoolgirl, constantly getting Velu into trouble with his father, but nevertheless still adores him.

In Madurai, there is a ruthless factionalist leader Muthupandy (Prakash Raj), who is obsessed with Dhanalakshmi (Trisha Krishnan) and would do anything to marry her. Muthupandi kills Dhanalakshmi's elder brother as he rejects his offer to marry Dhanalakshmi. Then Dhanalakshmi’s younger 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 go away from the place and lead a peaceful life at her uncle’s place in the US by giving her the necessary certificates and money. Muthupandi catches her when she starts fleeing because by coincidence Dhanalakshmi 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 from Muthupandi and takes her to Chennai.

Velu takes Dhanalakshmi to his house and hides her in his room, unknown to his family. Velu, with the help of his friends, arranges passport, visa and flight tickets for Dhanalakshmi so that she can go to the US. Meanwhile, Muthupandi and his father, who is the Home Minister, ask Sivasubramanian to search for Dhanalakshmi and the apparent kidnapper. When Sivasubramanian discovers that it is his own son who did the "crime", Velu and Dhanalakshmi run away and hide in the lighthouse. Dhanalakshmi has by now fallen in love with Velu, and has been accepted by Velu's mother and sister. So she is reluctant to go to the US. Velu however, is adamant on sending her to the USA and he, along with his friends, get Dhanalakshmi to the airport in time for her flight before their kabaddi match against Punjab in the final of the National League. Sivasubramanian, 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 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, he accidentally falls on a floodlight and dies.



Vijay expressed interest in starring in a Tamil remake of the successful Telugu action flick Okkadu and prompted producer A. M. Rathnam to purchase the remake rights of the film. Dharani was finalized as the director, whose previous film Dhool under Rathnam's production had been a financial success. Dharani made minor changes to the script to suit Vijay's image and Tamil audience's taste. 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.

Simran Bagga was roped to play the female lead opposite Vijay, But due to her wedding arrangements Trisha Krishnan was replaced 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. Ashish Vidyarthi, Janaki Sabesh and Baby Jennifer were selected to portray Vijay's parents and sister, respectively. Playback singer T. K. Kala made her acting debut with this film.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]


Soundtrack album by Vidyasagar
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Five Star Audio
Producer Vidyasagar
Vidyasagar chronology

The soundtrack features 6 songs composed by Vidyasagar.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).[7] The song was also adapted as Hum Na Tode in the Hindi movie Boss starring Akshay Kumar.[8] 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.[9][10]

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Kabadi"   Maran, Jayamoorty 01:44
2. "Arjunaru Villu"   Sukhwinder Singh 04:27
3. "Sha La La"   Sunidhi Chauhan 04:30
4. "Appadi Podu"   KK, Anuradha Sriram 05:53
5. "Soora Thenga"   Tippu 04:03
6. "Kokkarakko"   Udit Narayan, Sujatha Mohan 05:00


Ghilli was due for release on 9 April but later got postponed for a week and opened in over 150 theaters on 16 April. 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. Another reason was that Vijay got cold feet after the Udhaya debacle as the film had not even taken an opening.[6]


The film opened to highly positive reviews from critics. Sify appreciated the film for its fast moving screenplay and said as a racy entertainer giving a rating of 3.5/5 stars.[11] stated that "Gilli, story wise, is neither fresh popcorn nor spicy samosa found in theaters.. but the screenplay and overall treatment is as fresh and appetizing as full meals after a long day. and gave an overall rating of 3/5 stars[12] The Hindu stated that "Vijay, the hero whom the masses today identify with, and Prakashraj, the inimitable villain in tow, this remake of the Telugu flick, "Okkadu," comes a clear winner".[13] Indiaglitz called the film that Gilli is an out and out entertainer and commented that "Vijay and Trisha on track with another blockbuster".[14] Rediff stated that, "Don't miss 'Gilli'.[15]


In Chennai city alone, the film has grossed Rs. 1.06 crores which was a new record.[16] The film released all over the State met with unprecedented response.[17] Ghilli has done a business worth Rs. 1.75 to Rs. 1.90 crores in Coimbatore. The film was declared a super hit all over Tamil Nadu and has celebrated 51 days in 106 stations. It reached 100 day mark on July 25 collected Rs 50 crores from all centers.[18] Which was the highest grossing Tamil film of that period.[19] The film got a record breaking collection all over world grossed over 50 crore (US$7.4 million) at the box office.[20] The film was emerged the highest-grossing Tamil film of the year, celebrating a 175-days-run.[21][22]



The film established Prakash Raj as a villain and the dialogue Chellam became popular.[24] The scene where Vijay threatens to hurt Trisha when Prakash Raj, who allows him to pass through unopposed was included in the list "Top 20 Mass Scenes" by Behindwoods.[25] The scene was parodied by Shah Rukh Khan in Chennai Express (2013). Behindwoods rated Ghilli as "2004's summer blockbuster of the decade (from 2003 to 2013)".[26]

Remakes & character maps[edit]

Okkadu (2003)
Ghilli (2004)
Ajay (2006)
Jor (2008)
Tevar (2015)
(Mahesh Babu)
Saravana Velu (Velu)
(Puneeth Rajkumar)
(Jeetendra Madnani)
Pintoo Shukla
(Arjun Kapoor)
(Bhumika Chawla)
(Trisha Krishnan)
(Anuradha Mehta)
(Barsha Priyadarshini)
Radhika Mishra
(Sonakshi Sinha)
Obul Reddy
(Prakash Raj)
(Prakash Raj)

(Prakash Raj)
(Subrat Dutta)
Gajendar Singh
(Manoj Bajpai)
Ajay's father
(Mukesh Rishi)
(Ashish Vidyarthi)
Surja's father
(Deepankar De)
S. P. Shukla
(Raj Babbar)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ghilli (DVD): opening credits from 1.05 to 1.25
  2. ^ a b c d Ghilli (DVD): closing credits from 157.25 to 157.30
  3. ^ grill mill. The Hindu (21 November 2010). Retrieved on 17 April 2015.
  4. ^ Rustic Art: The Actor Vimal Interview. 10 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Action-packed family drama". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 19 March 2004. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "An All time Blockbuster -Ghilli". Sify. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  7. ^ Articles – Copy Cat Crown (Part 8). (31 January 2008). Retrieved on 17 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Music Review: Boss soundtrack is a winner". Rediff. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  9. ^ M Suganth (24 November 2011). "Why south songs are a national rage...". The Times of India. TNN. Archived from the original on 28 June 2014. 
  10. ^ M Suganth (25 November 2011). "Very, Very Kolaveri!". The Times of India. p. 23. Archived from the original on 28 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Movie Review:Gilli.
  12. ^ Indian Movies, showitmes, reviews, videos.
  13. ^ "Ghilli". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 23 April 2004. 
  14. ^ Gilli Tamil Movie Review – cinema preview stills gallery trailer video clips showtimes. 25 April 2004.
  15. ^ Guru Subramaniam (23 April 2004) Don't miss 'Gilli'. You will enjoy it!
  16. ^ "The Summer winner is Ghilli". Hindu. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Ghillis record break". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "GHILLI". cinemalead. 
  19. ^ "True box office kings". moviecrow. Retrieved 23 Feb 2012. 
  20. ^ "Ghilli's record break". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 24 July 2004. 
  21. ^ "The Hindu : Entertainment : Year 2004 – a flashback". 31 December 2004. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "Welcome to". Sify. 20 January 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  23. ^ a b "Filmfare Awards for South India". Idlebrain. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  24. ^ "‘I am elated’". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  25. ^ "7. Ghilli – Top 20 Mass Scenes". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  26. ^ "2004 – Ghilli – The Summer Blockbusters of the Past Decade!". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 

External links[edit]