Raja Rani (2013 film)

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Raja Rani
Raja rani tamil.jpg
Directed by Atlee
Produced by
Written by Atlee
Starring
Music by G. V. Prakash Kumar
Cinematography George C. Williams
Edited by Ruben
Production
company
Distributed by Fox Star Studios
Release date
  • 27 September 2013 (2013-09-27)
Running time
160 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil
Budget 15 crore (equivalent to 18 crore or US$2.8 million in 2016)[1]

Raja Rani (English: King Queen) is a 2013 Tamil romantic drama film directed by debutant Atlee, who previously worked with Shankar as an assistant in Enthiran (2010) and Nanban (2012). Produced by AR Murugadoss and Fox Star Studios,[2] the film features Arya, Jai, Nayantara and Nazriya Nazim in the lead roles while Sathyaraj, Santhanam and Sathyan appear in supporting roles.[3] The film released worldwide on 27 September 2013,[4] to generally positive reviews from critics.[5] The Telugu dubbed version is also titled as Raja Rani and was released on March 14, 2014. It was remade in Bengali as Shudhu Tomari Jonyo in 2015, with Dev, Srabanti Chatterjee, Soham Chakraborty and Mimi Chakraborty and in Odia as Tu Je Sei starring Babushan.

Plot[edit]

The movie begins with the marriage of John (Arya) and Regina (Nayantara) at a church. The marriage is an arranged one, to which both have consented reluctantly to make their parents happy. After the marriage they live together as strangers in an apartment, where the neighbors are upset with John who comes home drunk every night, which he does deliberately to annoy Regina. Eventually, Regina applies for a transfer to Australia to stay away from John.

One night, Regina falls down with fits. John calls an ambulance and takes Regina to the hospital, where he is unable to respond to the doctor's queries about Regina's age and past medical history. When he goes to apologize to the doctor later on, he is told that it is important to know about his wife's health, even if he dislikes her. John then asks Regina about her health and she reveals she had fits twice in the past. The movie now goes into flashback mode as she explains her past and the love of her life, Surya (Jai).

While in college, she falls in love with Surya, who works in the call center of a mobile company. Surya gets selected for airline cabin-crew training in the USA. They decide to inform their parents about their love but his father objects to their relationship and hence they decide to get married without informing their parents. On the designated day, Surya fails to show up at the Registrar's office for the wedding. Regina's father James (Sathyaraj) feels sorry his daughter and takes Regina to Surya's house, where they learn that Surya has already left for the US. A few days later Regina gets a call from Aiyappan (Sathyan Sivakumar), Surya's friend, saying Surya had committed suicide in the US. In her shock she suffers fits for the first time.

Upon hearing this story, John begins to like Regina and he now has immense respect for her. Regina however continues to treat John with scant respect until one day when Sarathy (Santhanam) comes to their flat and reveals John's past in the second major flashback of the movie. John had fallen in love with Keerthana (Nazriya Nazim), an orphan, and they eventually get married. On the first day after their marriage, Keerthana is hit by a car while crossing the road, and she dies in front of John.

Regina now begins to like John. Though they like each other, they never reveal it to each other. Finally, on John's birthday, Regina gives John a gift and insists that he opens it alone, but John never opens the gift as he thinks that Regina is only pretending to be affectionate in front of her father.

Regina's request for the transfer to Australia is approved. When she tells John while he was having a beer that she bought for him, he asks her to go ahead with her plans, as he thinks that she was trying to bribe him with the beer to get him to agree to a divorce, while she actually wanted him to express his love for her.

John drops off Regina at the airport. When he is about to leave the airport, he gets a call from Regina, who tells him that she saw Surya at the immigration counter. John rushes off to meet Surya and tries to get him to accept Regina. Surya says that he was forced to leave by his father, that he faked his suicide so that Regina would get over him. Surya says that he is now happily married and tells John, "You can't always marry the girl you love, but you should always love the girl you marry." As he leaves, he glances at the ring in his hand, which was gifted to him by Regina, showing that Surya will always live with the memories of their relationship.

Regina, who is terribly angry, slaps John as she never wanted to get back with Surya, as that was the past. Regina throws the gift that John never opened. When he opens it he finds the words "Let us begin our life". John and Regina realize their love for each other and begin their life together.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Casting[edit]

Atlee Kumar, an assistant director to Shankar, narrated his script to Murugadoss in early 2012 who agreed to finance the film. Atlee revealed he wrote the script with Arya in mind to portray the lead role, and was insistent on signing Nayantara as the female lead as he felt they made a good on-screen pair.[8] Atlee had initially selected Sivakarthikeyan to portray a role in the film, but subsequently chose Jai to appear as Nayanthara's love interest in a flashback segment.[9] Priya Anand was considered another leading role, but the opportunity was later offered to Nazriya Nazim who had made her debut with Neram (2013) in Tamil films.[10] Sathyaraj, Santhanam and Sathyan were also signed to play other supporting roles in the film.[11] The film has music by G. V. Prakash Kumar, art direction by T. Muthuraj and cinematography by debutant George C. Williams, a former associate of Nirav Shah.[12]

Filming[edit]

"At my age I thought I should give a nice love story; we hear many love stories so I thought mine should be unique and came up with a husband and wife story. Since the best onscreen pair in Tamil at present is Arya and Nayantara, I narrated it to them"

— Atlee on how the idea of Raja Rani was developed.[13]

The film began its first schedule at a bungalow in Greams road, Chennai.[14] Kamal Haasan switched on the camera and a song picturizing Jai and Nayanthara was canned on the occasion.[15] The sequence involving Jai and Nayantara were canned first and Arya joined the team after completing his work on Irandam Ulagam.[16]

Themes and influences[edit]

Critics have noted that the film draws similarities to Mani Ratnam's Mouna Ragam[17][18] and the Kannada film Milana.[19][20][21]

Soundtrack[edit]

Raja Rani
Soundtrack album to Raja Rani by G. V. Prakash Kumar
Released 23 August 2013
Genre Feature Film Soundtrack
Language Tamil
Label Think Music
Producer G. V. Prakash Kumar
G. V. Prakash Kumar chronology
Thalaivaa
(2013)Thalaivaa2013
Raja Rani
(2013)
JK Enum Nanbanin Vaazhkai
(2013)JK Enum Nanbanin Vaazhkai2013

The soundtrack album for Raja Rani was composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar. The lyrics were penned by Na. Muthukumar, Pa. Vijay and Gaana Bala. The single, "Hey Baby" was released on 19 August 2013.[22] The complete album was released on 23 August 2013 at Sathyam Cinemas, Chennai.[23][24] The audio was released by actors Jiiva and Arya.

Track list[25]
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "Hey Baby" Na. Muthukumar, Gaana Bala G. V. Prakash Kumar, Gaana Bala, Aishwarya 05:06
2. "Angnyaade" Pa. Vijay Shakthisree Gopalan 03:37
3. "Chillena" Na. Muthukumar Clinton Cerejo, Alphons Joseph, Alka Ajith 05:12
4. "Unnale" Na. Muthukumar Vandana Srinivasan 01:41
5. "Oday Oday" Pa. Vijay Vijay Prakash, Shashaa Tirupati, Shalmali Kholgade 04:32
6. "Imaye Imaye" Pa. Vijay G. V. Prakash Kumar, Shakthisree Gopalan 03:26
7. "A Love For Life"   G. V. Prakash Kumar, Navin Iyer, Chennai Symphony 03:17
Total length: 26:50

Behindwoods rated the album 3.25 out of 5, and said "G.V strikes with lively & cheerful melodies. A very pleasant album !"[26] IndiaGlitz rated it 2.5 out of 5 and said, "GV Prakash keeps his promise".[27] Cinemalead.com rated the album with 3.5 out of 5 stars and said the album is Innovative,Interesting and Intriguing[28]

Release[edit]

A first official film teaser showing the lead pair quarrelling through their projections in a mirror, was released on 11 May by Fox Star Studios.[29] The teaser went instantly viral garnering a large number of views.[30] The film was given a "U" certificate by the Indian Censor Board.[31] This film released in many theatres across the USA especially Towne 3 cinemas in San Jose. It was a blockbuster in Tamil, did decent business in Telugu and U.S.A market.

The official trailer was released along with the music album in a very innovative manner on 23 August 2013.[32] The trailer was released on YouTube earlier in the day and was simultaneously telecast across 12 television channels at 7 PM.[33] The trailer received positive response.[34] The satellite rights of the film were sold to STAR Vijay.[35]

Critical reception[edit]

Raja Rani received generally positive reviews from critics.[5] Rediff rated it 3/5 and stated, "Debutant director Atlee's 'Raja Rani' is a simple refreshing tale about how to cope with life, when we lose someone we love. The film has a lot going for it and definitely succeeds in entertaining the audience."[36] Behindwoods rated it 3/5 and stated "The movie's running time is 2 hours 45 minutes and there are moments in the second half leading to the finale which sag. The end product could have been much tauter. To sum up, though the second half of Raja Rani moves along predictable lines, it's still a promising debut by Atlee".[37] The Times of India gave 3 stars out of 5 and wrote "The film does leave you exhausted by the time it ends. Still, it remains always watchable, mainly because the director, like his mentor Shankar, embraces his old school storytelling methods with conviction".[38]

Sudhish Kamath of The Hindu cited "Atlee’s promising debut Raja Rani merits a watch in spite of its fundamentally flawed structure".[17] IndiaGlitz said, "One look at the movie and there might be suspicions of Atlee as a debutant, he gives away a clean family entertainer with no hoopla's. There are two other major contributing factors. George C. Williams's enchanting cinematography giving a bouncing color to the film, and flows with freshness. And the other is GV's music, if the songs are chartbusters, then the BGM is another success story. They flow well with the scenes right from the start to the end, way to go team."[39]

In contrast, Gautaman Bhaskaran of Hindustan Times rated it 2 stars and said, "At a little over 150 minutes, Raja Rani is a bumpy ride with potholes of songs, with characters who are nothing better than caricatures and with a romance that hardly engages".[40] Sify too gave an unfavourable review stating, "Debutant director Atlee's highly hyped Raja Rani starts off promisingly and keeps us engaged in the first half. But post-interval it loses steam, and turns out to be a cheesy, emotionally manipulative drama with a predictable long drawn out climax that goes on and on for 35 minutes".[19]

Box office[edit]

The film released in 350 screens in Tamil Nadu.[41] It earned approximately 32 million on its first day, which was said to be Arya's best ever opening,[4] and had collected an opening weekend collection of 122 million in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.[42] The total collections from overseas market after the opening weekend were estimated at around 50 million.[42] Raja Rani eventually emerged a huge success after earning over 500 million (US$7.8 million) from the South Indian box office within four weeks.[43] The Telugu dubbed version too was a success grossing 40 million (US$620,000) on its opening weekend and 120 million (US$1.9 million) in its lifetime.[citation needed] The film thus emerged as the third blockbuster in Arya's career after Arinthum Ariyamalum and Boss Engira Bhaskaran as well as the fifth most successful film of the year.[44]

The Telugu dubbed version is also titled as Raja Rani and was released on March 14, 2014. It was remade in Oriya as Tu Je Sei starring Babushan. It was also remade in Bengali as Shudhu Tomari Jonyo in 2015, with Dev reprising Arya's role, Srabanti Chatterjee reprising Nayantara's role, Soham Chakraborty reprising Jai's role and Mimi Chakraborty reprising Nazriya Nazim's role.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Ceremony Category Nominee Result
Edison Awards Best Actress Nayantara Won
Best Debut Director Atlee Won
Best Background Score G. V. Prakash Kumar Won
Norway Tamil Film Festival Awards The Most Popular Film Won
Vijay Awards Favourite Heroine Nayantara Won
Best Actress Won
Best Debut Director Atlee Won
Best Story, Screenplay Writer Nominated
Best Dialogue Nominated
Favourite Song
Nominated
Best Music Director Nominated
Best Background Score Nominated
Best Best Supporting Actor Sathyaraj Nominated
Favourite Film Nominated
Best Cinematographer George C. Williams Nominated
Best Editor Anthony L. Ruben Nominated
Best Art Director T. Muthuraj Nominated
Best Make Up
  • Albert Chettiyar
  • Avinash
  • Bujji Babu
  • Ramachandran
  • Ramu
  • Shanmugam
Nominated
Best Costume Designer
  • Chaitanya Rao
  • Deepali Noor
  • Kaviza Raebhela
  • Sathya
Nominated
Filmfare Awards South Best Actress Nayantara Won
Best Supporting Actor Jai Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Sathyaraj Won
Best Supporting Actress Nazriya Nazim Nominated
SIIMA Awards SIIMA Awards for Best Tamil Actress Nayantara Nominated
Best Actor Supporting Role Male Jai Nominated
Best Music Director G. V. Prakash Kumar Nominated
Best Debut Director Atlee Nominated
Best Film Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Raja Rani (3 Days) First Weekend Collection At AP Box Office". www.filmibeat.com. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Arya, Nayantara to act in Atlee's next". CNN-IBN. 17 June 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Jai to work with Nayanthara". Times of India. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "'Raja Rani' Box Office Collection: Arya-Nayanthara Starrer Gets Off to Fantastic Start, Earns Over ₹3 Crore on Day 1 – International Business Times". Ibtimes.co.in. 29 September 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "'Raja Rani' Review Roundup: Clean Entertainer; Worth a Watch – International Business Times". Ibtimes.co.in. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Raja Rani (DVD): clip from 1.52 to 2.12
  7. ^ a b c Raja Rani (DVD): clip from 2.33.32 to 2.33.40
  8. ^ "Nayanthara and Arya to romance again!". Times of India. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Nayanthara giving sleepless nights to Jai". IndiaGlitz. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Priya Anand in talks for an Arya film?". Postnoon. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Nayanthara, Jai shoot together!". Times of India. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Arya-Nayan-Jai's 'Raja Rani' starts rolling!". Sify. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  13. ^ Y. Sunita Chowdhary. "Atlee displays his chops". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  14. ^ "Raja Rani shooting begins in the presence of Kamal Haasan". IndiaGlitz. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Raja Rani shoot begins". Times of India. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Jai pairs up with Nayanthara". Behindwoods. 29 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  17. ^ a b Sudhish Kamath (28 September 2013). "Raja Rani: Boy, Girl, Her Ex and His". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Review: 'Raja Rani'". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "Movie Review : Raja Rani". Sify. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  20. ^ Features, Express. "'Raja Rani' remake of 'Milana'". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  21. ^ sandesh (2 October 2013). "Puneet's Milana Vs Arya's Raja Rani". OneIndia. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  22. ^ "Arya, Nayan marriage made in heaven?". The Times of India. 20 August 2013. 
  23. ^ "Raja Rani Audio Launched". Oneindia Entertainment. 23 August 2013. 
  24. ^ "Raja Rani audio launched". Sify. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  25. ^ Think Music (23 August 2013). "Raja Rani Official Full Songs". Youtube. 
  26. ^ "Raja Rani Songs Review Raja Rani, Arya, Nayanthara". Behindwoods. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  27. ^ "Raja Rani Music Review songs lyrics". IndiaGlitz. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  28. ^ "Raja Rani Music Review MusicReview". Cinemalead.com. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  29. ^ Raja Rani Teaser featuring Arya and Nayanthara (YouTube). Fox Star Studios. 
  30. ^ "Raja Rani teaser crosses 5.50 lakh views!". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  31. ^ "Raja Rani Censor Report". CineSine. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  32. ^ "'Raja Rani' trailer released". The Times of India. 23 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "Raja Rani Trailer Review". iFlickz. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  34. ^ Sangeetha Seshagiri (24 August 2013). "Arya-Nayanthara's 'Raja Rani' Trailer Goes Viral". International Business Times. 
  35. ^ "Vijay TV Pongal 2015 Premier Tamil Movies on 15th and 16th January 2015". Satellite Rights.com. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  36. ^ "Review: Tamil film Raja Rani is refreshing". Rediff. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  37. ^ "Raja Rani Movie Review Raja Rani, Arya, Jai". Behindwoods. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  38. ^ "Raja Rani movie review: Wallpaper, Story, Trailer at". The Times of India. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  39. ^ "Raja Rani Tamil Movie Review". IndiaGlitz. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  40. ^ "Gautaman Bhaskaran's review: Raja Rani". Hindustan Times. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  41. ^ "Raja Rani's box-office collection report around the South". behindwoods.com. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  42. ^ a b "'Raja Rani' Box Office Collection: Arya-Nayanthara Starrer Earns Over ₹12 Crore in India, Performs Well in Overseas Markets – International Business Times". Ibtimes.co.in. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  43. ^ "Raja Rani crosses 50 crore mark". Times of India. 
  44. ^ "Kollywood Box-Office Hits of 2013 - Tamil Blockbuster Movies Collections 2013 [Year End Special]". Tamil Cinema News - Movie Reviews - Gossips. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 

External links[edit]