Kaithi (2019 film)

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Kaithi
Kaithi 2019 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLokesh Kanagaraj
Produced byS. R. Prakashbabu
S. R. Prabhu
Thiruppur Vivek
Written byLokesh Kanagaraj
Pon Parthiban
StarringKarthi
Narain
Music bySam C. S.
CinematographySathyan Sooryan
Edited byPhilomin Raj
Production
companies
Release date
  • 25 October 2019 (2019-10-25)
Running time
146 minutes[1]
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil
Box office₹105 crore[2]

Kaithi (transl. Prisoner) is a 2019 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film written and directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj.[3] The film stars Karthi with Narain, Arjun Das, Harish Uthaman, George Maryan and Dheena in pivotal roles. It is produced by S. R. Prakashbabu and S. R. Prabhu under the banner Dream Warrior Pictures and co-produced by Tiruppur Vivek under the banner Vivekananda Pictures.[4][5] The film score and soundtrack was composed by Sam C. S. The cinematography was handled by Sathyan Sooryan, and edited by Philomin Raj. It was noted to be inspired by the 1976 American film Assault on Precinct 13.[6] In the film, a recently released prisoner races against time to drive poisoned cops to a hospital in exchange for meeting his daughter, while evading criminals chasing after the lorry.

Kaithi was released on 25 October 2019, coinciding on Diwali, along with the Telugu dubbed version titled Khaidi.[7] It opened to generally favorable reviews praising the action sequences, performances, writing and exclusion of songs.[8][9] Following the positive reception, the film became a blockbuster and went on to win a number of accolades.[10][11] A Hindi-language remake starring Ajay Devgn has been officially announced.[12] Kaithi was selected for official screening at International Indian Film Festival in Toronto, held in August 2020.[13]

Plot[edit]

At a children's hostel for orphaned girls, a 10-year-old girl named Amudha is told by the caretakers that someone important is going to meet her at 10:00 AM, the next morning. She waits anxiously, wondering who it may be.

A smuggling van carrying a ton of drugs and a group of smugglers are captured by Inspector Bejoy and his team. The drugs belong to Adaikalam, who none of the police officers has seen nor know how he looks. Adaikalam's brother Anbu plans to capture the five police officials, kill them, and take their drugs back from them. According to Anbu's plan, all the police officials in the city get unconscious after consuming poisoned drinks at a higher official's retirement party. Bejoy, who avoided the drinks as he was under medication, tries to save the lives of all the unconscious officials without letting the media or anyone else finding out. He convinces Dilli, an ex-prisoner who happened to be there with him as he was detained for looking suspicious (and being the only one who can drive the lorry) to help him save the officers' lives by threatening him that he would not let him meet his daughter Amudha for the first time the next morning, with the help of a lorry borrowed from Kamatchi, a caterer present at the party. As Kamatchi has good knowledge of routes and roads, Dilli tells him to come with them as well. Dilli, Bejoy, and Kamatchi together load the unconscious bodies of the officials onto the lorry and try their best to get them to the hospital as soon as possible without any casualties.

As Anbu enlists a huge sum of money as the reward for catching the policemen, gangsters from Anbu's gangs try to hunt down Bejoy and his team. They are guided by Paalpandi, a corrupt cop (recruited by Stephen Raj, Zonal Head of Narcotics Division working for Anbu) who acts unconsciously while giving information about the location of the lorry to the gangs.

Meanwhile, at the commissioner's office, the drugs are hidden along with Adaikalam's men who are under custody. As Anbu and his gang would take the drugs and free Adaikalam's men, Bejoy orders constable Napoleon and a group of college students detained due to drunken driving, to close all the possible exits and to try and keep the gangsters outside the commissioner's office at the cost of their own lives while they wait for higher officials.

Dilli, Bejoy, and Kamatchi come across the various gangs but Dilli takes care of them brutally. Back at the building, Napoleon is instructed by Bejoy to negotiate a deal with the captured men of Adaikalam. Napoleon makes one of the men call Anbu and agrees to release the prisoners in exchange for his and the students' safety. Surprisingly, Anbu agrees. However, Bejoy realizes that Adaikalam himself is captured unknowingly by his men and instructs Napoleon to cancel the deal. Adaikalam tries to guide Anbu into the commissioner's office, but the students purposely blast loud music to keep him from hearing Adaikalam. Anbu manages to climb up to the roof and break into the building, but he is subdued by the students and tied up.

Dilli and Kamatchi manage to transfer the unconscious officers to a school bus from the hospital so that they can continue to the commissioner's office. Paalpandi then convinces them that he is alright, so they take him with them. However, they come across another gang who beats up Bejoy and Paalpandi stabs Dilli twice in the back. Dilli still manages to kill Paalpandi and the gangsters, while rescuing Bejoy and proceeding to the building. Anbu's gang outside the building and manages to catch a student, and under the order of Anbu, they kill him. Napoleon bludgeons and kills Anbu with a fire extinguisher out of rage, to which Adaikalam swears he will kill all of them and their families. Dilli, Bejoy, and Kamatchi make it to the building. Dilli alone enters the building through a secret underground passage and sends the students out through the secret passage, while he and Napoleon go to burn up all the drugs. The Duo reach the drug stored room, but to their surprise, they also find a confiscated gatling gun. Instead of just burning the drugs, Napoleon decides to eliminate all the drug dealing rowdies. They reach the ground floor as the goons break-in. Dilli uses the gun to kill all of Anbu's gang outside the building. All the police are resuscitated and Bejoy finds the moles in his department. Stephen Raj is incriminated and all injured are moved to the Government Hospital overnight. Bejoy thanks Dilli and promises him that he will soon arrange a good life for him and his daughter. The Doctor from Dilli's prison brings Dilli's daughter Amudha to the spot, and they meet with tears of joy. Dilli, Amudha, and Kamatchi leave for Dilli's village.

One of the captured men tells Adaikalam that Dilli, who had no connection with the gangs, was the prime reason for all of their losses, to which Adaikalam responds by saying that Dilli does have a connection, leaving open the possibility for a sequel.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Lokesh Kanagaraj, initially chose Mansoor Ali Khan to play the lead role. But as the process of writing went forth the story demanded Karthi, to play the lead role and the scale of the film also increased.[14] In June 2017, while Karthi, was filming for Theeran Adhigaram Ondru, reports suggested that he would be signing the director's next venture after Maanagaram, which was officially confirmed in December 2017.[15] The film makers confirmed that there will be no female lead for Karthi in this film.[16] The technical crew of the film comprises Sam C. S. as the music director, Sathyan Sooryan and Philomin Raj as the film's cinematographer and editor respectively. Karthi suggested Pon Parthiban as an additional screenplay writer as Karthi appreciated the latter's work in Kaatrin Mozhi (2018).[17][18] The film was titled as Kaithi on 8 March 2018, with the first look poster release, and announced that Karthi will be playing as a prisoner in the film, which the title of the film itself reveals.[3]

Filming[edit]

The film was announced on 12 December 2018, and the principal photography of the film commenced the following day.[19][20] The team further revealed that there will be no songs placed in the film.[21] The portions of the film were shot around Chennai and in Tirunelveli, and no day sequences took place for this film.[22][23] Kanagaraj cited the climax fight choreographed by the duo Anbariv, from Karthi's 2010 action film Naan Mahaan Alla as the benchmark for the film's action sequences.[24]

Soundtrack[edit]

Kaithi
Soundtrack album by
Released22 November 2019
Recorded2019
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length28:18
LabelSony Music
ProducerSam C. S.
Sam C. S. chronology
Gorilla
(2019)
Kaithi
(2019)
Arjun Suravaram
(2019)

Sam C. S. composed the film's score. Initially, it was reported that the film does not feature any songs. However, a song titled "Neel Iravil" sung by Sam, was featured in the film's teaser. The original soundtrack which features 17 tracks in the album, with four songs and the rest of them were themes was released on 22 November 2019, a month after the film's release. The vocals for the songs were written and performed by Sam and Sharanya Gopinath, with the latter rapping a few versions in English.[25]

Track Listing
No.TitleLength
1."Kill and Destroy" (Lyrics and English rap versions performed by Sharanya Gopinath)3:19
2."Dilli's Swag"0:50
3."Grief of Dilli"3:44
4."Rise of Dilli"1:19
5."Nepolean Theme"2:25
6."Nee Eppo Varuva Appa"1:14
7."The Hot Biriyani" (Vocals performed by Sam C. S.)1:50
8."The Battle of Cop and Killer"1:30
9."Kaithi Main Theme"0:28
10."Beginning of the War"2:11
11."The Phase of Deathcall"0:34
12."Eternal Love of Father" (Vocals performed by Sam C. S.)3:14
13."Arrival of the Ruffian"0:48
14."Neel Iravil" (Vocals and lyrics performed by Sam C. S.)1:21
15."The Emotion Hustler"0:42
16."The Maze"0:58
17."Night is Dark" (Vocals performed by Sam C. S, with English rap versions done by Sharanya Gopinath)1:53
Total length:28:18

Release[edit]

It was rumoured that the film will be released in July 2019.[26] The film was initially slated to release on 27 September 2019,[27] but the release was pushed to October, and the makers announced that the film will be released on 25 October 2019, coinciding with Diwali.[28][29] The film's release coincided with Vijay's sports film Bigil (2019).[30] Kaithi was censored with U/A certificate, from the Central Board of Film Certification.[31] The film was dubbed in Telugu as Khaidi, and released simultaneously along with the Tamil version. After the film's successful theatre run, the movie was made available to stream on OTT platform Hotstar on 25 November 2019,[32] which created controversy amongst distributors and exhibitors.[33] The Telugu version of the film was made available to stream through Ahavideo. The satellite rights were brought by Star Vijay. Kaithi was selected for the official screening at the Internal Indian Film Festival in Toronto (IIFFT), which was held on 9-15 August 2020.[34]Kaithi was also dubbed in Hindi as same name 'Kaithi' by Goldmines Teleflims on October 25, 2020.[35]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Kaithi received highly positive reviews from critics who praised Karthi's performance, Lokesh's direction and the screenplay. India Today gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Kaithi is a film that showcases filmmaking at its best, and Karthi is terrific and so natural that you could literally picture a prisoner going through a tough time."[36] The Times of India gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Kaithi is a tense, impressively shot action thriller, a pure genre film."[37] News18 gave 3 out of 5 stars stating "Karthi's stunning performance makes it an engaging watch, Kaithi plays at multiple levels."[38] Firstpost gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Karthi is terrific with his eyes, especially in a scene involving his daughter where he breaks down. It is a well-made film that takes the road less travelled and provides enough thrills."[39]

The Indian Express gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "The characters in this Karthi starrer are in a constant fight-or-flight mode. Lokesh forces them to choose between pain and pride. Surrender or resist."[40] Sify gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Kaithi is a solid action thriller and it will be a feast for action lovers. The film also has a lovely underlying father-daughter sentiment which works well in the climax! Prepare to be thrilled."[41] Great Andhra gave 3 out of 5 stars stating " ‘Khaidi’ (Telugu title) is a unique action drama that should be appreciated. It will appeal to serious movie lovers."[42] The News Minute gave 4 out of 5 stars stating "A gripping tale of men imprisoned by their circumstances, There is no star in 'Kaithi'. Director Lokesh shows that a hero is anyone who goes beyond thinking about just himself."[43] Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion South wrote "But what I missed more is character building. Everyone stays the same from start to end. This isn't about twists and shock-reveals. This is just about transforming these one-note “types” into flesh-and-blood people".[44]

Box office[edit]

The film collected around 3.5 crore (US$545,580.1) on first day, 2.8 crore (US$436,464.08) on second day, about 4.7 crore (US$732,636.13) on third day, total of 11 crore (US$1.71 million) on 3 day weekend, close to 7 crore (US$1.09 million) on fourth and fifth day and 25 crore (US$3.9 million) and added a little over 10 crore (US$1.56 million) in 3 days to take 35 crore (US$5.46 million) on 10 days in Tamil Nadu. The film collected over 3.35 crore (US$522,198.1) in Chennai. The film collected over 5.5 crore (US$857,340.16) in Kerala, close to 10 crore (US$1.56 million) in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana from Tamil and Telugu versions and over 7 crore (US$1.09 million) in Karnataka. The film collected around 13 crore (US$2.03 million) in Overseas to take its worldwide collection of 70 crore (US$10.91 million) in 10 days.[45] The film collected 83.4 crore (US$13 million) in Overseas on 12 days.[46] The film collected 100 crore (US$15.59 million) worldwide.[47]

Sequel[edit]

As implied at the end of the movie, a sequel is planned. The director Lokesh and Karthi have confirmed the same.[48][49] The dates and whereabouts are yet to be mentioned. Lokesh has also conveyed his interest in developing the film into a franchise, and also that he has an idea for both a prequel and sequel.[50]

Remake[edit]

In February 2020, Madhu Mantena along with Reliance Entertainment confirmed that they have bought the rights for the Hindi remake of the film,[51] and Ajay Devgn is signed to play the lead role.[52] Sources claimed that, Shivarajkumar is expected to play the lead role in its Kannada remake.[53]

Impact[edit]

The film revived the popularity of the song "Jumbalakka" composed by A. R. Rahman, from the film En Swasa Kaatre (1999); in a scene from Kaithi where the students play an assortment of songs using a music player in loud volume to distract the prisoners from commandeering instructions to their comrades outside the police station. The song became a trend after the release of the film.[54][55]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Date of ceremony Award Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
4 January 2020 Zee Cine Awards Tamil Favourite Director Lokesh Kanagaraj Won [56][57]
Best Stunt Director Anbariv Won
Best Villain Arjun Das Won
Best Supporting Actor - Male George Maryan Won
11 January 2020 Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards Best Supporting Actor - Male Won [58]
Best Stunt Director Anbariv Won
15 January 2020 Norway Tamil Film Festival Awards Best Actor Karthi Won [59]
Best Villain Arjun Das Won
Best Editor Philomin Raj Won
14 March 2020 Critics' Choice Film Awards Best Actor – Male Karthi Nominated [60][61]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]