Raja Rani (2013 film)

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Raja Rani
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAtlee
Written byAtlee
Produced byA. R. Murugadoss
CinematographyGeorge C. Williams
Edited byRuben
Music byG. V. Prakash Kumar
Distributed byFox Star Studios
Release date
  • 27 September 2013 (2013-09-27)
Running time
164 minutes
Budgetest. 25 crore [1]
Box officeest. 84 crore [2]

Raja Rani (transl. The King and Queen) is a 2013 Indian Tamil-language romantic comedy drama film directed by Atlee in his directorial debut. Produced by AR Murugadoss, the film stars Arya, Jai, Nayanthara and Nazriya Nazim, while Sathyaraj, Santhanam, Sathyan appear in supporting roles.[3][4]

The film was released on 27 September 2013, and received positive reviews upon release.[5][6]


John and Regina agree to marry each other for the sake of their parents. After the marriage, they live together as strangers in their apartment, where the neighbours are upset with John who comes home drunk every night, which he does deliberately to annoy Regina, who later applies for a transfer to Australia. One night, Regina breaks into fits and John takes her to the hospital, where he is unable to respond to the doctor's queries about Regina's age and medical history due to his intoxicated state. When John goes to apologise 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 asks Regina about her health issues, where she reveals that she had seizures twice in the past.

Past: During college, Regina falls in love with Surya Muthuraman, who works in the call centre of a mobile company. Surya gets selected for airline cabin-crew training in the US, where he and Regina decide to inform their parents about their love, but Surya's 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, feels sorry for his daughter and takes her to Surya's house, where they learn that Surya has already left for the US. Few days later, Regina gets a call from Surya's friend Aiyappan and learns that Surya had committed suicide. Due to the shock, Regina suffers seizures for the first time. 3 years later, Regina can't stand the fact her father is in a mess due to her reluctance to marry, and accepts the marriage proposal from John's family for her father's sake.

Present: Upon hearing this story, John begins to like Regina and has immense respect for her, but Regina continues to treat John with scant respect, until his friend Sarathy comes to their flat and reveals what happened in John's past.

Past: John, who roams around town with Sarathy, and goes to Keerthana's house to pick up a cheque on behalf of Sarathy’s uncle. John falls in love with Keerthana at first sight and roams round trying to find out more about her. Eventually he finds out about Keerthana, but she rejects his love after he assaults her co-worker. However, it’s revealed that Keerthana loves John but she never expressed it. John ties the knot with Keerthana a couple days later. The day after their marriage, Keerthana dies in a car accident leaving John heartbroken, where he decides not to marry another girl. 4 years later, Sarathy consoles and convinces John to marry again, which leads John to marry Regina.

Present: Upon learning this, Regina develops feelings for John and feels sorry for his loss, as he witnessed his first wife pass away. Even though John and Regina like each other, they never reveal it to each other. On John's birthday, Regina gives a gift to John and insists that he open it alone, but John doesn’t open the gift and throws it under the bed as he thinks that Regina is only pretending to be affectionate in front of James, who later witnesses this and thinks that John was acting affectionate with Regina in front of everyone. James tells Regina about John privately, but Regina remains confused as she genuinely has feelings for John, but thought John had feelings for her. 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 to express her love for him.

After leaving Regina at the airport, John gets a call from Regina, who tells him that she saw Surya at the emigration counter. John rushes off to meet Surya and tries to get him to accept Regina. Surya tells him that he was forced to leave by his father and that he faked his suicide so that Regina would get over him. Surya lies to John saying that he is now happily married and tells John that a man cannot always marry the girl he loves, but should always love the girl he marries. As he leaves, Surya glances at the ring in his hand, which was gifted to him by Regina, showing that he will always live with the memories of their relationship and never marry another girl.

An angry Regina slaps John and admits that she never wanted to get back with Surya. Regina throws the gift that John never opened. When John opens it, he finds the words "Let's begin our life" and John confesses his love, and Regina says 'Brother, I already have a boyfriend' - alluding to what Keerthana called him during their relationship, meaning that Regina knows about his past. John and Regina realise their love for each other where they reunite and begin their life together.




In early 2012, Atlee, an assistant director to Shankar, narrated his script to Rama Narayanan, 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 Nayanthara as the female lead as he felt they made a good on-screen pair.[9] 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.[10] Nani was also considered for Arya's role, but he did not have the dates.[11] 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.[12] Sathyaraj, Santhanam and Sathyan were also signed to play other supporting roles in the film.[13] 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.[14]


The film began its first schedule at a bungalow in Greams road, Chennai.[15][16] Kamal Haasan switched on the camera and a song picturising Jai and Nayanthara was canned on the occasion.[17] The sequence involving Jai and Nayanthara were canned first and Arya joined the team after completing his work on Irandam Ulagam.[18]

Themes and influences[edit]

Critics have noted that the film draws similarities and inspirations from Mani Ratnam's Mouna Ragam[19][20] and the Kannada film Milana.[21][22]


Raja Rani
Soundtrack album by
Released23 August 2013
GenreFeature Film Soundtrack
LabelThink Music
ProducerG. V. Prakash Kumar
G. V. Prakash Kumar chronology
Raja Rani
JK Enum Nanbanin Vaazhkai

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.[23] The complete album was released on 23 August 2013 at Sathyam Cinemas, Chennai.[24][25] The audio was released by actors Jiiva and Arya.

Track list[26]
1."Hey Baby"Na. Muthukumar, Gaana BalaG. V. Prakash Kumar, Gaana Bala, Aishwarya05:06
2."Angnyaade"Pa. VijayShakthisree Gopalan03:37
3."Chillena"Na. MuthukumarClinton Cerejo, Alphons Joseph, Alka Ajith05:12
4."Unnale"Na. MuthukumarVandana Srinivasan01:41
5."Oday Oday"Pa. VijayVijay Prakash, Shashaa Tirupati, Shalmali Kholgade04:32
6."Imaye Imaye"Pa. VijayG. V. Prakash Kumar, Shakthisree Gopalan03:26
7."A Love For Life" G. V. Prakash Kumar, Navin Iyer, Chennai Symphony03:17
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 !"[27] IndiaGlitz rated it 2.5 out of 5 and said, "GV Prakash keeps his promise".[28] Cinemalead.com rated the album with 3.5 out of 5 stars and said the album is Innovative, Interesting and Intriguing[29]


A first official film teaser showing the lead pair quarrelling through their projections in a mirror, was released on 11 May 2013 by Fox Star Studios.[30] The teaser went instantly viral garnering a large number of views.[31] The film released in many theatres across the USA especially Towne 3 cinemas in San Jose. The film was a blockbuster.

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]

Critical reception[edit]

Raja Rani received positive reviews from critics.[6] 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."[35] 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".[36] 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".[37]

Sudhish Kamath of The Hindu cited "Atlee's promising debut Raja Rani merits a watch in spite of its fundamentally flawed structure".[19] 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."[38]

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".[39] 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".[40]

Box office[edit]

The film was 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, and had collected an opening weekend collection of 122 million in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.[5][42] The total collections from overseas market after the opening weekend were estimated at 50 million.[42] Raja Rani eventually emerged a huge success after earning over 500 million (US$6.3 million) from the South Indian box office within four weeks.[43] 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]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Ceremony Category Nominee Result
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards 2013[45] Best Actor Arya Won
Best Actress Nayanthara Won
Best Dialogue Writer Atlee Won
Best Comedian Sathyan Won
Edison Awards Best Actress Nayanthara Won
Best Debut Director Atlee Won
Best Background Score G. V. Prakash Kumar Won
Norway Tamil Film Festival Awards The Most Popular Film Won
8th Vijay Awards Favourite Heroine Nayanthara Won
Best Actress Won
Best Debut Director Atlee Won
Best Story, Screenplay Writer Nominated
Best Dialogue Nominated
Favourite Song
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
Best Costume Designer
  • Chaitanya Rao
  • Deepali Noor
  • Kaviza Raebhela
  • Sathya
61st Filmfare Awards South Best Actress Nayanthara Won
Best Supporting Actor Jai Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Sathyaraj Won
Best Supporting Actress Nazriya Nazim Nominated
3rd South Indian International Movie Awards SIIMA Awards for Best Tamil Actress Nayanthara Nominated
Best Actor Supporting Role Male Jai Nominated
Best Music Director G. V. Prakash Kumar Nominated
Best Debut Director Atlee Nominated
Best Film Nominated


It was remade in Bengali as Shudhu Tomari Jonyo in 2015 with Dev reprising Arya's role, Srabanti Chatterjee reprising Nayanthara's role, Soham Chakraborty reprising Jai's role and Mimi Chakraborty reprising Nazriya Nazim's role.[46] Similarly, it was remade in Odia as Tu Je Sei in 2016 starring Babushan.[47] The film was remade in Sinhala and was released on 18 January 2024 in Sri Lanka as Sihinayaki Adare starring Hemal Ranasinghe and Pooja Umashankar.[48]


The scene where John (Arya) marries Regina (Nayanthara) is spoofed in Director's own Bigil. In the film, Angel (Nayanthara) refuses to marry John (Abi Saravanan) and instead falls for Michael (Vijay).[49]


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External links[edit]