Paayum Puli (1983 film)

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Paayum Puli
Theatrical release poster
Directed byS. P. Muthuraman
Written byPanchu Arunachalam
Produced byM. Kumaran
M. Saravanan
M. Balasubramanian
M. S. Guhan
Edited byR. Vittal
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Release date
  • 14 January 1983 (1983-01-14)
Running time
130 minutes
Box office20 million

Paayum Puli (transl. Pouncing Tiger) is a 1983 Tamil-language martial arts film[1] directed by S. P. Muthuraman and written by Panchu Arunachalam. Produced by AVM Productions, the film stars Rajinikanth and Radha. Inspired by The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978), it revolves around a meek man who learns martial arts to seek revenge for the murder of his sister.

Paayum Puli was released on 14 January 1983, Pongal day. The film became a commercial success and completed a 133-day run at the box office. It was one of the highest-grossing films that year.


When a smuggler kills his sister, Bharani, a meek man vows to deliver justice for her death and joins a martial arts school. He trains hard there to become a master fighter, honing his fighting skills. Taking on a new identity, Paayum Puli (Pouncing Tiger), he sets off for revenge, but the affection of a beautiful woman Revathy soon puts a hitch in his plans.



Cashing on the then huge popularity of Bruce Lee and his martial arts films, S. P. Muthuraman and Panchu Arunachalam designed the story of Paayum Puli. Judo. K. K. Rathnam was the action choreographer,[3] and the film was inspired by The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978).[4] The production company AVM Productions initially wanted A. C. Tirulokchandar to play the antagonist, but he declined.[5] Karate Mani, a stuntman was later cast in the role, but he walked out. The role finally went to Jaishankar.[6][7]


The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and lyrics were written by Vaali.[8][9] The disco song "Aadi Maasam" was well received, and it was later remixed by Srikanth Deva in Thottupaar (2010).[10]

Track listing
1."Appakada Annakili"Malaysia Vasudevan, P. Susheela3:20
2."Aadi Maasa Kaathadikka"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki5:34
3."Pothukkittu Oothuthadi"Malaysia Vasudevan, P. Susheela4:25
4."Vaa Vaa Maama"S. Janaki4:32
Total length:17:51

Release and reception[edit]

Paayum Puli was released on 14 January 1983, Pongal day.[11][12] Thiraignani of Kalki said the real pouncing tigers of the film were the hero and the technicians.[13] The film was a commercial success, completed a 133-day run at theatres,[14] and grossed over 20 million (equivalent to 340 million or US$4.2 million in 2023).[15] The makers wanted to release the film in Sri Lanka, but got into trouble as the title had "puli" (tiger), perceived as alluding to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. It was decided to release the film in the country with the title Irumbu Karangal (transl. Iron hands), but the film still did not release there.[16]


  1. ^ Barkan, Jonathan (28 June 2019). "DREAD X: SOMETHING ELSE's Arvind Harinath Picks 10 Intro To Indian Horror Films". Dread Central. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  2. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 265.
  3. ^ Ramachandran 2014, p. 147.
  4. ^ Ghosh, Devarsi (29 May 2018). "Bruce Lee died in 1973, but Indian filmmakers refuse to let his memory fade". Archived from the original on 18 August 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  5. ^ சரவணன், ஏவி.எம். (26 June 2005). "பாக்யராஜின் மனைவி பட்ட கவலை!". Kalki (in Tamil). pp. 44–47. Archived from the original on 5 May 2023. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  6. ^ Saravanan 2013, pp. 263–264.
  7. ^ முத்துராமன், எஸ். பி. (20 April 2008). "சண்டைக்குப் போன ரஜினி!". Kalki (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 17 March 2023. Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  8. ^ "Paayum Puli (1983)". Music India Online. Archived from the original on 20 January 2021. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Paayum Puli Tamil Film EP Vinyl Record by Ilayaraaja". Mossymart. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Script matters: Director Tarun Gopi". The New Indian Express. 9 December 2009. Archived from the original on 7 March 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  11. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 263.
  12. ^ "Baashha to Darbar: Here is a list of Rajinikanth's Pongal releases that turned super hits". Asianet News. 8 January 2020. Archived from the original on 15 February 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  13. ^ திரைஞானி (30 January 1983). "பாயும் புலி". Kalki (in Tamil). p. 63. Archived from the original on 14 August 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Paayum Puli". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 7 March 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  15. ^ Raghu, Sunita (4 May 2014). "The top 10 grossers so far". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 23 November 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  16. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 266.


External links[edit]