|Produced by||Mukesh R. Mehta|
|Written by||Maharajan (Dialogues)|
|Story by||Chandrakant Kulkarni|
S. P. Venkatesh(Credited as Sangeetharajan)
|Edited by||N. Gopalakrishnan|
Surya Cine Arts
|November 24, 2000|
Snegithiye (English:Oh Friend! (female) ) is a 2000 Tamil mystery thriller film directed by Priyadarshan. The story is loosely based on the 1999 Marathi film Bindhaast written by Chandrakant Kulkarni. The film notably features only female characters in the lead roles, played by Jyothika, Sharbani Mukherjee, Tabu and Ishita Arun. Music was composed by Vidyasagar. The film, released in 2000, proved to be an average grosser at the box office but bagged positive reviews from critics. Today, it is considered a cult classic that was underrated at the time of its release. Originally planned to be made as a bilingual, in Tamil and in Malayalam, the film released first in Tamil only, while the Malayalam dubbed version, Raakilipattu, as well as the dubbed Hindi version, Friendship, released seven years later.
Best friends Vani "Vasu" Subramaniyam (Jyothika) and Radhika (Sharbani Mukherjee) are carefree pranksters at a prestigious ladies' college in Chennai. They stay up late, break rules and wreak havoc at their hostel much to their lecturers' annoyance. They also form a rivalry against Gita (Ishita Arun), the college queen bee. Malathi (Lakshmi), Radhika's aunt, wants her niece to complete her studies so that she can take over her late parents' multi-million business. In order to straighten Radhika out, Malathi arranges for her to get married.
At this point, Vani and Radhika are introduced to Gayathri (Tabu), a fiercely independent and strong police officer and an alumni of their college. During at an event at the college, Gayathri explains how women in their country lose their independence and livelihood after getting married. Convinced that they should avoid marriage as much as possible, Vani and Radhika pretend that Radhika has a boyfriend from overseas named Ramesh in order to avoid Malathi from arranging anymore suitors. However, this fantasy takes on a whole new meaning when an actual person named Ramesh (Major Ravi) calls and sends Radhika letters claiming to be her boyfriend. To end this nuisance, Vani and Radhika invite Ramesh to their hostel during the college dance program and hand over the impostor to the police. Vani instructs Radhika to bring her aunt's guns for their safety.
However, a mysterious shooter kills Ramesh before the girls can confront him. Fearing that suspicion will fall on them, they decide to dispose of the body by hiding it in the air ventilator. Unexpectedly, the body slides down the vent and lands on the auditorium stage in the middle of a performance. Gayathri, who is the guest of honour at the event, takes charge of the case. She finds Radhika's necklace on the body and the two girls are brought to help with the investigation. At the police station, an old woman shows up claiming that Ramesh is her son and he has gone missing. Knowing that their story will be difficult to believe, Vani and Radhika escape police custody and hide out at an abandoned mansion in the outskirts of the city.
Realizing that they are now the prime suspects of Ramesh's murder, they decide to find the real killer before Gayathri catches up on them. Vasu suspects Malathi of framing them in order to inherit her family's wealth. When Vani and Radhika finally seize the chance to meet her, Malathi explains that she had known all along that the girls have been fooling her. The young man who was pretending to be Ramesh is actually the son of a family friend named Vikram, whom Radhika plans to marry Radhika off to.
Through their college friends, the girls discover that Gita had gone missing on that fateful night. Through much difficulty, the girls find Gita hiding at a border town in. However, Gita reveals that she too is on the run from Gayathri because she had witnessed Gayathri killing Vikram that night. On the night of murder, she returned to hostel to take medications, witnessed the murder and fled from the scene as Gayathri will use her influence to cover up her crime. Unfortunately, Gayathri manages to catch up on the trio. However, the woman pretending to be Ramesh's mother from earlier turns out to be a CBI officer who has been investigating Gayathri and knows the girls were not responsible for Vikram's murder.
Because of her mental stress, Gayathri ends up going insane. The CBI officer then reveals that Gayathri murdered Vikram to avenge her sister's paralysis because Vikram raped her after Gayathri found out he was a womanizer and stopped her sister from dating him. To escape justice, she had to frame Vani and Radhika as the murderers. The film concludes with Gayathri institutionalized at a mental asylum where the three girls, now close friends, paying her a visit.
- Jyothika as Vani Subramaniam (Vasu)
- Sharbani Mukherjee as Radhika
- Tabu as ACP Gayathri
- Ishita Arun as Geetha
- Shweta Menon as police officer Jayshree
- Lakshmi as Malathi
- Manorama as Vani's mother
- Vadivukkarasi in a cameo
- Bharati Achrekar
- Major Ravi as Ramesh
- Mita Vasisht as Prema Narayanan, the under cover cop
- Sukumari as the hostel warden
- Jomol in a cameo as Savitri, Gayathri's sister
- Deepti Bhatnagar in a Special Appearance
- Manasi Scott as Nimmi
- Suchithra as Advocate
- Manju Pillai as police constable
- Poornima Parameswaran as Kutti Paru
- Shari in a cameo (Arundathi)
- Philomina in a cameo
The original story idea for the film was taken from Marathi writer Chandrakant Kulkarni, who had made the successful Marathi film, Bindhaast, based on the story last year. Priyadarshan heard about the film and asked producer Mukesh Mehta to see it and decide whether he would like to produce the movie and thus Mehta went to Bombay, saw the film and liked it. However the producer reiterated that they have taken only the main thread from the Marathi story with the rest of the film, its sub-plots and the treatment are completely different from the original. Initially, it was planned as a Malayalam film with a cast familiar to the Kerala audience. But as Priyadarshan's excitement over the project grew, the canvas got wider and the producer decided to look for a bigger audience. Thus Jyothika, Sharbani Mukherjee and Ishita Arun, daughter of Ila Arun, stepped in to give it a more national flavour. Seasoned actresses like Manorama, Lakshmi, Lalitha, Sukumari, Mita Vasisht, Tabu and Dipti Bhatnagar also joined the all-female team. Cinematographer Jeeva and art director Sabu Cyril also joined the team and they shot 90 per cent of the film in a college in Mysuru (previously Mysore) and the rest in Chennai (Madras), also featuring live coverage of the Dasara (Dussera) festival of Mysuru. The film was subsequently made simultaneously in Tamil and Malayalam with a title of Raakilipattu, while a Hindi version was also planned in 2000. The title of the Tamil version of the film was taken from a song from the 2000 Mani Ratnam film Alaipayuthey.
Jyothika prioritised her work in the project and thus delayed her schedules for Uyirile Kalanthathu in order to ensure the film was released as early as possible. The songs of the film were released at Devi Theatre with Kamal Haasan appearing as the chief guest.
Release for the film was postponed several times with the makers hoping to get a simultaneous release for all versions. The team also noted the kidnapping of Kannada actor Rajkumar by bandit Veerappan as reason for the delay. Snegithiye opened to positive reviews but performed averagely at box office. However the film went on to inspire other film makers to produce all women ventures, with director Gnanasekharan announcing that his project, Aishwarya, starring Uma, Monal and Abhinayashree would be a "small-scale Snegithiye".
The film was dubbed and released in Hindi in 2007 as Friendship, but went unnoticed after arriving with very little publicity. Despite originally being planned in only Malayalam, that version was released in 2007.
|Soundtrack album by Vidyasagar|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
While S. P. Venkatesh composed the film score, all the songs were composed by Vidyasagar, except Kannukulle which was composed by Raghunath Seth as mentioned in the original audio cassette. The songs were well received by the audience. Lyrics written by Vairamuthu and Kadhalmathi.
|1.||"Othayadi Padhayile"||Manasi, Ila Arun|
|2.||"Radhai Manathil"||K. S. Chithra, Sujatha, Sangeetha Sajith|
|3.||"Doora Desam"||Venugopal, Sujatha|
|4.||"Kalluri Malare"||K. S. Chithra, Sujatha, Sangeetha Sajith|
|6.||"Devadhai Vamsam"||K. S. Chithra, Sujatha|
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- "The Hindu : Talk of the town".