Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||H. Vinoth|
N. Subash Chandrabose
|Written by||H. Vinoth|
|Music by||Sean Roldan|
|Cinematography||K. G. Venkatesh|
|Edited by||Raja Sethupathi|
Manobala's Picture House
Thirrupathi Brothers Film Media
|Distributed by||Thirrupathi Brothers Film Media|
Sathuranga Vettai (transl. Chess Hunt) is a 2014 Tamil-language heist thriller film written and directed by debutant H. Vinoth, starring Natraj and Ishaara Nair in the lead roles, while Ponvannan, Ilavarasu, and Piraisoodan, among others, play supporting roles. Produced by Manobala, it features music by Sean Roldan and cinematography by K. G. Venkatesh. The film, touted to be an "indianized con movie", was released by Thiruppathi Brothers Film Media on 18 July 2014 and received positive reviews from critics. A sequel is currently under development titled Sathuranga Vettai 2 starring Arvind Swamy and Trisha Krishnan. It has been remade in Telugu as Bluff Master and is being remade in Kannada as Jagath Khiladi.
Gandhi Babu is a skilled conman. He dreams up ingenious scams and executes them perfectly. His scams include but not limited to selling ignorant people ordinary snakes, claiming that they are exotic and will fetch crores in the international market, promoting a nonexistent "multilevel marketing" company with its controversial chain referral schemes promising a BMW car within the year. The climax has him pulling off 'the rice pulling scam', one of the most high-profile scams of recent times.
About 40 minutes into the film, Gandhi is arrested with multiple cases filed against him. The money that he has scammed over the years comes to his rescue. He is released but still continues to manipulate everyone. He believes that if a person is foolish or greedy enough to be duped, then the person is to be blamed. He argues that every election voters are conned by the candidates who promise them the moon, but never come through.
Bhanu is from a poor family. She comes to work for Gandhi and falls for his charms. Gandhi, despite having a soft corner for her, has money as his first priority. Because of this, he abandons Bhanu. Some of his friends betray Gandhi, and he is beaten to a pulp. Bhanu looks after him for some time, and they get married. Later, she becomes pregnant.
Towards the end of the film, a group of people whom Gandhi had tricked capture him. They threaten him to settle their lump sum of money. He performs a final heist to hand over the money to them. The passage of money results in a tussle. Gandhi kills them and returns to his wife and child with the money. Finally, the look on her face makes him realize the value of life, and he leaves the money to the police custody.
- Natraj as Gandhi Babu
- Ishaara Nair as Bhanu
- Ponvannan as ACP
- Ilavarasu as Chettiyar
- Piraisoodan as Judge
- Ramachandran Durairaj as Thillagar
- Madhusudhan Rao as Cheta
- K. S. G. Venkatesh
- Valavan as Valavan
- Dharani Vasudevan as Guru
- Senthi as Valli
- Vani Shree as Snake Doctor
- Flower A. Manoharan
- Divya Krishnan as NGO akka
Director Vinoth said that he was turned down by several producers before he met director Nalan Kumarasamy who he handed over his film's script. While Nalan was on a trip, his mother found the script, read and loved it and asked Nalan to read it too, who too liked it and came forward to help him find a producer. Actor Manobala, who had wanted to start a new production house and had asked Nalan to find some good stories, read the script by Vinoth and instantly agreed to produce it.
The film was said to be a "con film". Vinoth stated, "My film is about the pace at which we all want to make money in our lives. It's about the anger of common man who thinks money is the solution to all his problems. When there's imbalance in nature, we experience tsunami and earthquake. Likewise, my story is about the imbalance in the social morals of a common man". Although it was a heist film, the director said that he had made the film "as funny as possible" and that it had been narrated with "a lot of fun, satire and dark humour". It was reported that the film's screenplay was written in "a six-episode format".
|Soundtrack album to Sathuranga Vettai by|
|Released||27 April 2014|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Sean Roldan chronology|
The Times of India gave the soundtrack a rating of 3 stars and wrote, "the composer doesn't disappoint in his second outing. This five-track album has a fair mix of every genre...with a touch of Sean's guitar techniques that you cannot miss out". Indiaglitz.com wrote that Sathuranga Vettai was "Sean's supreme sophomore effort" and that he "is definitely here to stay for a long time".
|1.||"Yemarum Jename"||Pradeep Kumar, Sean Roldan||3:33|
|2.||"Kadhala Kadhala"||Kalyani Nair||3:44|
|3.||"Verichodi Ponathada"||Sean Roldan||3:13|
|4.||"Munne Yen Munne"||Sathya Prakash||3:55|
|5.||"Porape Nadape"||Anthony Dasan||2:34|
The film's rights were bought by Thiruppathi Brothers Film Media in June 2014. The satellite rights of the film were sold to STAR Vijay. Prior to the release, Manobala had held several sneak previews of the film for personalities from the film industry, who were impressed with the film. Thereafter, Thirrupathi Brothers were trying to release the film in over 200 screens in Tamil Nadu.
The Times of India gave it 3.5 stars out of 5 and wrote, "Sathuranka Vettai shows what good writing can do to a film. The film is an expertly woven tale of a remorseless con man, for whom, "money is the ultimate"...The real hero of Sathuranka Vettai is its script, which, with its twists and turns, keeps us guessing for most parts of the film". Sify wrote, "With terrific screenplay, racy narration and out-of-the-box presentation, Sathuranga Vettai is a surprisingly fresh film that works big time. The film rests on intelligent writing peppered with smart dialogues and the fresh appeal of its lead actors. H Vinoth is definitely one of the great new finds of Tamil cinema and scores for his near perfect script, narration and packaging. Here is superior quality cinema perfect for a night out at the movies". The New Indian Express wrote, "With an intelligently-crafted screenplay, deft treatment, racy pace and some meaningful lines, director Vinoth establishes his credentials as a writer-director in Sathuranga Vettai, his very first effort. Weaving a tale centered around a conman, he infuses in it a judicious blend of humour, sentiment, intrigue and suspense, keeping one’s attention glued to the screen". Silverscreen.in wrote, "It’s a con movie of the highest order. It could also be a book. There’s intrigue, there’s laughter, there’s conspiracy, and more laughter. One moment, there’s feverish excitement, and the next, we slap our forehead in exasperation. It also makes us whistle. It’s that cool". IANS gave it 3 stars out of 5 and wrote, "The reason newcomer Vinoth's Sathuranga Vettai is an almost flawless film in the genre is because it succeeds in managing to con the audiences as well, more than once. It's not a film about people who con but one about those who get conned, why they get conned and how they get conned".
Baradwaj Rangan gave a more mixed review, writing, "Vinoth employs a series of tricks to amp up his narrative, to make us feel we’re watching a really cool movie...What we don’t get is the pleasure of being conned. We don’t see too many of these films in Tamil, so the newness keeps us watching (this is one of those not-bad-for-a-first-film films) — but the cons aren’t shaped well. They seem too easy (except for the last one) and the victims seem too dumb".
- Vikatan Award for Best Film 
- Second Best Feature Film at Chennai International Film Festival 
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