|Produced by||V. A. Durai|
|Based on||Nandavanathil Oru Aandi|
|Edited by||Suresh Urs|
|Distributed by||Evergreen Movies International|
|24 October 2003|
Pithamagan (English: Son of Ancestors) is a 2003 Indian Tamil-language crime drama film written and directed by Bala. The film stars Vikram, Suriya, Laila and Sangeetha in the lead and Simran making a cameo as herself. Produced by V. A. Durai, the film has cinematography by Balasubramaniem, lyrics are by Vaali, Pazhani Bharathi and Na. Muthukumar, dance has been choreographed by Brindha, editing by Suresh Urs, fights by Stun Siva and art direction by A. C. Pillai. The film's score and soundtrack are composed by Ilayaraaja. The film plot is based on Jayakanthan's Nandhavanathil Oru Andi, the story of an undertaker. Upon release, the film met with critical acclaim and Vikram won the National Film Award for Best Actor for his role as Chithan. The film collected 180 million at the box office. Owing to the success, the film was dubbed into Telugu and released as Sivaputrudu (The son of Siva) on 2 April 2004. The film was also remade in Kannada as Anatharu (2007) with Upendra and Darshan playing the roles of Vikram and Suriya respectively.
An anonymous woman dies while giving birth in a graveyard. Her child is found and raised by the caretaker of the graveyard. The child, named Chithan, grows up among corpses with minimal human contact. He growls like a wolf, runs like a gorilla, has the unkempt appearance of an orangutan, but seems to understand loyalty and is, despite his circumstance, a social animal. He ventures into a town in search of food and gets into trouble as he doesn't understand the concept of money. He is rescued by Gomathi, a petty ganja seller. She sees his ability to be loyal and enrolls him into the service of her employer, a large scale ganja producer. Chithan is caught during a drug raid and sent to jail.
Shakthi is a conman with a silver tongue. He gets into trouble when he cons a woman named Manju into losing all her personal effects in a game of dice. Shakthi gets sent to jail thanks to Manju's detective work. Shakthi meets Chithan in jail and starts protecting him out of sympathy and pity. Chithan starts to reciprocate to Shakthi's kindness with the only way he knows, by being as loyal as a dog. Shakthi serves his term and then butts heads with the ganja producer to get Chithan out of jail as well. Chithan gets out but commits a crime when he obeys his master's instruction to burn the body of a murder victim. Shakthi, realizing that Chithan is being used as accessory in crimes he cannot comprehend, prevents Chithan from going back to working in the ganja fields. At the same time, a budding romance starts between Shakthi and Manju. Chithan too starts to see a shared spirit in Gomathi. The police catch a wind of the murder and arrest Chithan. Shakthi gets Chithan to side with the police and goes against the ganja producer. The ganja producer attacks Shakthi when Chithan isn't around, kills Shakthi, and dumps his body in the middle of the road. Chithan doesn't understand that Shakthi is dead and zones out to outer space when everyone surrounds him. Gomathi, Manju, and the others are crying and beating their chests in agony. Gomathi sees Chithan's confusion as indifference, and she angrily drives him away from Shakthi's body.
Chithan slowly starts to understand that Shakthi is dead as he sees him on the funeral pyre. His realization is complete when he wakes up in the morning next to the burnt remains of Shakthi's corpse. He experiences emotions he has never experienced before: fury, agony, betrayal, and emotional pain. His body bears the scars of a million bruises, and his violence has always been self-defense and the defense of his masters. The realization of the meaning of death and the pain of losing a loved one breaks the feral chains that had wound up on his psyche. Chithan sets out like a man intent on destroying the world. He sets fire to the ganja fields, lets the ganja producer experience the pain of his loss, and then sets upon destroying him physically. He drives him through the street, taking his time breaking a few bones at a time until he is done toying with him. Then he kills him and offers his body as a tribute to Manju, who now has lost her will to live. Gomathi realizes what Chithan has been through and tries to get him to stay. However, Chithan turns back to the world of the graveyard among the corpses that cannot hurt him any more.
- Vikram as Chithan
- Suriya as Shakthi
- Laila as Manju (Voice dubbed by Savitha Reddy)
- Sangeetha as Gomathi
- Mahadevan as Ganja Producer
- Karunas as Karuvaayan
- Manobala as Sakthi's uncle
- Rajendran as Prison Warden
- Ganja Karuppu as Ganja Kuduki
- T. P. Gajendran as Director
- Stun Siva as Police Inspector (special appearance)
- Simran as herself in a special appearance
After Nandha, Bala announced his next project Pithamagan with Vikram and Surya, heroes of his previous films who received popularity after struggle. For Gomathy's role, Bala selected Simran and confirmed her for the role by printing her name in invitations,but she was hurry to finish all her commitments due to her wedding plans and she accepted to give only 3 days call sheet to make special appearance initially which was offered to Reemma Sen. After that Vijayashanti, Malavika and Gayatri Jayaraman were considered but at last Rasika was selected for the role and also changed her name back to Sangeetha.
|Soundtrack album to Pithamagan by Ilaiyaraaja|
|Label||Five Star Audio|
|1.||"Adadaa Aghangaara Arakka Kaigalil"||Mu. Metha||K.J. Yesudas||04:38|
|2.||"Aruna Runaam"||Savitha Reddy for Simran & Old Songs Medley||06:39|
|3.||"Elangaathu Veesudhey"||Palani Bharathi||Sriram Parthasarathy, Shreya Ghoshal||06:10|
|4.||"Elangaathu Veesudhey" (solo)||Palani Bharathi||Sriram Parthasarathy||06:10|
|5.||"Kodi Yethi Vaippom"||Na. Muthukumar||Bhavatharini, Shanmugasundari, Periya Karuppa Thevar, Ragavendar||04:08|
|6.||"Piraiye Piraiye"||Vaali||Madhu Balakrishnan||04:41|
Telugu track list
All lyrics written by Vanamali.
|1.||"Adigo Avineethi"||Vijay Yesudas, chorus||04:38|
|2.||"Priyatama Ninne" (Old Songs Medley)||Murali, Lalitha Sagari, chorus||06:39|
|3.||"Chirugali Veechane"||R. P. Patnaik, Sunitha Upadrashta||06:10|
|4.||"Chirugali Veechane" (solo)||R. P. Patnaik||06:10|
|5.||"Evaridi Evaridi"||Vijay Yesudas||01:58|
|6.||"Okate Jananam"||Vijay Yesudas||04:41|
The film was released on 24 October 2003, coinciding with Deepavali. The film released alongside Vijay's Thirumalai, Ajith's Anjaneya and Arjun's Ottran. The satellite rights of the film were sold to Sun TV.
The film received unanimous critical acclaim particularly for Vikram and Surya's performances. Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu praised Vikram as "Without any dialogue to support him he carves a niche for himself in the viewer's mind with his expressions and excellent body language" and Suriya as "Who would have thought that this young man, pitted against the serious Chithan, would prove so perfect a foil?" going on to declare the movie as "..a symphony on celluloid". Balaji Balasubramaniam of Thiraipadam.com reviewed as "With unique characterization, tremendous performances and a smooth screenplay, the movie offers a satisfying experience to the discerning viewer..." and noted "Vikram pretty much lives the role of the undertaker. With dry and streaked hair, dirty teeth and torn clothes, he looks the part and though he doesn't utter a word, he conveys everything through his expressions and body language". A reviewer at Sify.com noted, "..it is the expert performance of the lead actors that elevate the film above the commonplace".
Film critic Baradwaj Rangan remarked, "Bala's ingeniousness is evident everywhere .... And he gets tremendous support from his leads...It all adds up to a first-rate film that excoriates as much as it entertains". Ilaiyaraja also received praise for his musical score, "Ilaiyaraja adds unmeasurable strength to many of the scenes with his background music". "The captivating numbers vouch for the fact that the Raja reigns supreme".
The film has won the following awards since its release:
- Won – Filmfare Best Film Award (Tamil)
- Won – Filmfare Best Director Award – Bala
- Won – Filmfare Best Actor – Vikram
- Won – Filmfare Best Actress – Laila
- Won – Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award – Suriya
- Won – Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award – Sangeetha
The film was remade in Kannada as Anatharu with Upendra and Darshan in the lead and released on 14 September 2007. Repeating the success of the original, the film received favourable reviews and applause for Upendra's performance.
The film is also to be remade in Hindi. Director Satish Kaushik has bought the remake rights of the film. Incidentally, Satish had earlier directed Salman Khan in Tere Naam, the Hindi remake of the Bala-Vikram film Sethu. Once again, Satish has approached Salman Khan to reprise Vikram's role. However the project failed to materialise.
Karunas who acted in the film did a spoof on Vikram's character in a film called Ennavo Pudichirukku (2004). Surya's character as petty thief from Maayavi (2005) was compared with character from Pithamagan.
- S. R. Ashok Kumar (24 October 2003). "Variety fare for Deepavali". The Hindu.
- "If I didn't come to movies, I would have died – Director Bala". 11 October 2012.
- "Siva Putrudu". idlebrain.com.
- "Suriya: Tamil stars play themselves on screen". The Times of India. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
- "Sangita on a high". 24 December 2003. Archived from the original on 24 December 2003.
- "Sangeetha becomes Rasika".
- "The Hindu : Pithamagan". The Hindu. 31 October 2003.
- "Pithamagan – Tamil Movie Review". thiraipadam.com.
- "Pithamagan – Sify Review".
- Baradwaj Rangan (8 November 2003). "Review: Pithamagan".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
- "Pithamagan is B-town bound". The Times of India. 11 October 2011.
- "Satish wants Salman for 'Pithamagan' Hindi remake". ibnlive.com. 30 May 2013.
- "'Pithamagan' Hindi remake – Salman Khan plays Vikram role". 18 May 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.