Samurai (2002 film)

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Samurai
Samurai DVD Cover.jpg
DVD Cover
Directed byBalaji Sakthivel
Produced by
Written byBalaji Sakthivel
Starring
Music byHarris Jayaraj
CinematographySethu Sriram
S. D. Vijay Milton
A. Venkatesh
Edited byV. T. Vijayan
Production
company
Aalayam
Release date
  • 12 July 2002 (2002-07-12)
Running time
180 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil

Samurai (Also known as Saamuraai) is a 2002 Indian Tamil-language vigilante action film directed by Balaji Sakthivel and produced by S. Sriram. The film featured Vikram in the title role, while Anita Hassanandani, Jaya Seal and Nassar played supporting roles. Harris Jayaraj scored the film's music, while Sethu Sriram handled cinematography. Originally launched in 2000, the film went through production delays and was only released in July 2002, when it opened to mixed reviews and an average response at the box office.[1]

Plot[edit]

Thiyagarajan (Vikram), a medical college student, leads a gang of four to abduct corrupt politicians and bureaucrats who use the loophole in law to enjoy their prison term in hospitals or guest houses. Deiva (Anita Hassanandani) is a schoolgirl and the daughter of Sandana Pandian (Nassar), a police officer on the trail of the mysterious gang. She has a crush on Thiyagu but is not aware of his real identity. The reason for Thiyagu to take up illegal activities is out of frustration. His college mate Kavitha (Jaya Seal) commits suicide when she does not get support from him in her effort to expose a drug sale racket in the medical college. This shocks him and spurred him into taking law into his own hands. Nabbed by Pandian and hauled before the special court, Thiyagu reveals the crimes committed by those he had kidnapped. He offers to free them if they are sentenced to life imprisonment. When the judges refuse, the public storms the court. Pandian lets the gang members go scot free along with his daughter.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Vikram signed the film in May 2000 and it became the first venture he committed to after the blockbuster success of Bala's Sethu.[2] North Indian model Anita Hassanandani was selected to make her debut through the film, though another film, Varushamellam Vasantham, ended up releasing before Samurai.[3] Simran was approached to play a pivotal role in the movie, but Jaya Seel, who appeared alongside Prabhu Deva in Pennin Manathai Thottu, was roped in to play a medical student.[4] Malayalam actor Kollam Thulasi was signed up to play a negative role in the film and thus made his debut in Tamil films.[5]

Vikram went to yoga classes to prepare for the opening scene for Samurai, where he poses in the Mayura asanam posture.[6] In an interview in 2002, the actor stated that when he first met Balaji "he was a very enthusiastic, charged person" and was able to convince Vikram to star in the film, and he also compared him with director Shankar.[7] Shooting commenced at Chenni and the unit then moved on to locations in Kuttralam, Ooty, Andhra, U.P. and Bihar, Some scenes were shot on the lead pair in the forest areas of Kerala which was also the location for a song shot on Vikram. Again, a lavish set was erected at the AVM Studios where Vikram, Anita, and new-face Shreya took part.[8] The film was heavily shot in Orissa, while songs were canned in Syria.[9]

Release[edit]

Samurai opened in July 2002 to mixed reviews from critics. The Hindu's critic noted that "Samurai will satisfy action lovers but for those looking for innovation in story and screenplay, the soldier leaves you yearning". About performances, the critic added that "with an admirably well-maintained physique and powerful eyes Vikram is all geared up for action", and that "Anita is more of an essential prop, but Jayaseel in a cameo has scope to perform, which she does well".[10] Rediff.com wrote that "the net result is disappointing due to the worn out theme that is very reminiscent of recent films". The reviewer however continued that "Vikram, though, is convincing in his portrayal and the 'training' scenes where he gains expertise and invulnerability is thrilling and the stunt scenes draw applause".[11] A critic from Nowrunning.com felt that "Vikram has done an excellent job as the revolutionary in Samurai and he has ably used his physique and emoting capabilities to lift the film to an above average action thriller." The critic also noted that "the few flaws in the screenplay and a similar climax from an earlier Ajith-starrer (Citizen) has marred the otherwise technically well-made film."[12] The director himself later labelled the film a "damp squib", mentioning he made serious errors with the film's screenplay.[13]

The film successfully runs 100 days in theatres, ending a string of consecutive successful Vikram films in Dhill, Kasi and Gemini.[14] However, despite this it was reported that Balaji Sakthivel was keen to make Vikram star in his next film, though the director next went on to make the successful low-budget film Kaadhal (2004).[15] Samurai was later dubbed and released under the same name in Telugu in late 2004 to capitalise on Vikram's star potential.[16] The film was also later dubbed into Hindi as Samurai: Ek Yodha in 2012 by Wide Angle Media Pvt. Ltd.

Soundtrack[edit]

The music and background score were composed by Harris Jayaraj.

Samurai
Soundtrack album by
Released2002
Recorded2002
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length26:59
LabelFive Star Audio
Ayngaran Music
An Ak Audio
ProducerHarris Jayaraj
Harris Jayaraj chronology
Vasu
(2002)
Samurai
(2002)
Lesa Lesa
(2003)

All tracks are written by Vairamuthu.

Track listing
No.TitleSinger(s)Length
1."Aagaya Suriyanai"Harish Raghavendra, Harini5:25
2."En Manadhil"Vasundhara Das5:02
3."Adidadi Appatha"Suneeta Rao, Vadivukkarasi4:38
4."Moongil Kaadugale"Hariharan, Tippu6:20
5."Oru Nadhi"Nithyashree Mahadevan, Tushara5:34
Total length:26:59

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Filmography of samurai". Tamil.cinesouth.com. 12 July 2002. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Movies: Gossip from the southern film industry". Rediff. 31 May 2000. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  3. ^ "34th Tamil film of the year 2002". Cinematoday3.itgo.com. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Tamil Cinema — Feature on Jeya Sheel". India4u. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  5. ^ http://muthala1.tripod.com/cinenews8.html
  6. ^ "Strongman in search of a challenge". The Hindu. 22 July 2001. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  7. ^ "`I want to strike a balance'". The Hindu. 31 May 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Samurai". Archived from the original on 11 September 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  9. ^ "The "Samurai" story". The Hindu. 4 June 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  10. ^ "Samurai". The Hindu. 19 July 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Movies: Sigh!". rediff.com. 5 August 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Samurai Review". Nowrunning.com. 31 July 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  13. ^ "Cinema Plus / Cinema : My first break". The Hindu. 7 December 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Pongal releases 2003". Redif. 11 January 2003. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  15. ^ "A Tamil entertainment ezine presenting interesting contents and useful services". Nilacharal. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  16. ^ http://www.sify.com/movies/vikram-is-red-hot-in-andhra-news-telugu-kkfvHnjchci.html

External links[edit]