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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
167 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil
Box office 300 million (US$4.5 million)[1]

Ghilli (English: Risk taker) is a 2004 Indian Tamil action film directed by Dharani and produced by A. M. Rathnam.[2] The film is a remake of Telugu blockbuster Okkadu, that starred Mahesh Babu, Bhoomika Chawla, and Prakash Raj in the lead roles. Ghilli stars Vijay, with Trisha Krishnan and Prakash Raj playing the female lead and antagonist, respectively. The soundtrack and background score of the film were composed by Vidyasagar. The film released on Tamil New Year day on 14 April 2004; opened to highly positive reviews and emerged the highest-grossing Tamil film of all time, surpassed later by Chandramukhi.[3][4][5][6] Ghilli has grown a strong cult following over the years.[1] It was dubbed in Hindi as Keertimaan.


Velu as Ghilli (Vijay), is a wannabe kabbadi champion who is the son of 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. His mother (Janaki Sabesh), on the other hand, dotes on him and his younger sister Bhuvana ('Baby' Jennifer) is the typical 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 a beautiful girl 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 USA 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 the hands of 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 USA. Meanwhile, Muthupandi and his father, who happens to be the Home Minister, ask Sivasubramanian to search for Dhanalakshmi and the apparent kidnapper. When Sivasubramanian finds out that it's 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 USA. 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. During the fight, Muthupandi accidentally falls on a floodlight, killing him. The movie ends with Velu and Dhanalakshmi finally united.



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.[9] 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.[10]

Filming began in mid-2003, after Vijay had completed his action flick with director Ramana; 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.[11] 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.[12]


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).[13] The song was also adapted as Hum Na Tode in the Hindi movie Boss starring Akshay Kumar.

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.[12]


The film opened to highly positive reviews, and became the biggest commercial success of Vijay's career then. Sify appreciated the film for its fast moving screenplay and said as a racy entertainer giving a rating of 3.5/5 stars.[14] 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[15] Oneindia gave the film 4/5 stars and stated the film as a "Blockbuster".[16] 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".[17] Indiaglitz called the film that Gilli is an out and out entertainer and commented that "Vijay and Trisha on track with another blockbuster".[4] Rediff stated that, "Don't miss 'Gilli'.[18]


Remakes & character map[edit]

Okkadu (2003)
Ghilli (2004)
Ajay (2006)
Jor (2008)
Tevar (2015)
(Mahesh Babu)
(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 "Ghilli's record break". 24 July 2004. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Gilli Cast and Crew.
  3. ^ Gilli Review.
  4. ^ a b Gilli Tamil Movie Review – cinema preview stills gallery trailer video clips showtimes. 25 April 2004.
  5. ^ "An All time Blockbuster -Ghilli". Sify. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  6. ^ REIGN: VIJAY’s GHILLI rocks China. November 2010
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Ghilli (DVD): opening credits from 1.05 to 1.25
  8. ^ a b c d Ghilli (DVD): closing credits from 157.25 to 157.30
  9. ^ grill mill. The Hindu (21 November 2010). Retrieved on 2015-04-17.
  10. ^ Rustic Art: The Actor Vimal Interview. 10 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Action-packed family drama". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 19 March 2004. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "An All time Blockbuster -Ghilli". Sify. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  13. ^ Articles - Copy Cat Crown (Part 8). (31 January 2008). Retrieved on 2015-04-17.
  14. ^ Movie Review:Gilli.
  15. ^ Indian Movies, showitmes, reviews, videos.
  16. ^ Ghilli – Tamil Movie Reviews, Trailers, Wallpapers, Photos, Cast & Crew, Story & Synopsis –
  17. ^ "Ghilli". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 23 April 2004. 
  18. ^ Guru Subramaniam (23 April 2004) Don't miss 'Gilli'. You will enjoy it!

External links[edit]