|Directed by||S. P. Muthuraman|
|Produced by||Kavithalayaa Productions|
|Written by||AL Narayanan (dialogues)|
Y. G. Mahendra
|Cinematography||T. S. Vinayagam|
|Edited by||R. Vittal,
S. B. Mohan
|Distributed by||Kavithalayaa Productions|
|1 September 1985|
Sri Raghavendrar is a 1985 Tamil devotional-biographical film directed by S. P. Muthuraman and was produced by Kavithalaya Productions. The film stars Rajinikanth portraying the title character (in his 100th film), with Lakshmi, Vishnuvardhan, Sathyaraj, Delhi Ganesh and Nizhalgal Ravi portraying supporting roles. The film revolves around the life of Madhwa saint Raghavendra Swami. The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and lyrics were written by Vaali. The dialogues for the film were written by A. L. Narayanan.
The cinematography was handled by T. S. Vinayagam while the editing was handled by the duo R. Vittal and S. B. Mohan. The film was later dubbed in Telugu as Sri Mantralaya Raghavendra Swamy Mahatyam. The film was released on 1 September 1985 to positive reception with Rajinikanth's performance as a saint was widely praised.
This film is the life of Sri Raghavendra. From Birth till his Mahasamadhi has been portrayed by Rajinikanth. The film highlights some of the miracles Sri Raghavendra performed. The film has Lakshmi as his wife and guest appearances by Vishnuvardhan, Mohan and Sathyaraj.
- Rajinikanth as Raghavendra Swami
- Vishnuvardhan as Devotee and successor of Sri Raghavendra, as Sri Yogindra
- Satyaraj as Nawab of Adoni
- Mohan as As one of his disciple, Mukuntha who went to get married at the Swami's blessings and was assisted by Him to eliminate the demon that came to Srikant's house
- Delhi Ganesh as Appanacharya (foremost disciple)
- Major Sundarrajan as King of Tanjavore
- Y. G. Mahendra as Untruthful Devotee
- Somayajulu as Guru of Sri Raghavendra, St Sudeendrar
- Thengai Seenivasan as Priest
- Poornam Viswanathan as Devotee whose son accidentally dies but revived by Sri Raghavendra
- V.S. Raghavan as Srinivasacharya Devotee who mistreats G.Seenivasan's character Malapa as he is "Lower caste", but is later spiritually enlightened by Sri Raghavendra
- Nizhalgal Ravi as Venkanna, Diwan of Adoni who is initially portrayed as slow in learning and intelligence but with Sri Raghavendra's blessing becomes the smart minister in the Nawab's cabinet
- Senthamarai as Tamil Poet
- Janagaraj as St. Sudeendrar's disciple
- Veeraraghavan as Seemasachar
- Srikant as Devotee who is blessed by Sri Raghavendra who protects this family by killing the demon character
- G.Seenivasan as "Lower caste" person mistreated by V.S.Raghavan's character initially but blessed by Sri Raghavendra
- Lakshmi as Saraswati Bai, Sri Raghavendra's wife
- K.R.Vijaya as Devi Saraswathy
- Manorama as Saraswathi Bai's friend
- Ambika as Aparajita, Dancer in the court of the Tanjavore King character played by Major Sundarrajan
- Indira Devi
- I S R
- Venniradai Moorthy
Sri Raghavendra was Rajinikanth's 100th film (including his other language films). The film featured Rajinikanth in the role of saint Sri Raghavendra Swami, different from the larger than life characters which he is known for and portrayed. Rajini who is a fan of Kannada actor Rajkumar, had seen his film called Mantralaya Mahime where Rajkumar portrayed Sri Raghavendra. Rajini approached SP Muthuraman to direct the film. Muthuraman was initially reluctant to direct a devotional film. Balachander encouraged and convinced him to take up the film thus in order to prepare himself to direct the film, Muthuraman watched various devotional films of A. P. Nagarajan who was known for such films. Muthuraman told that during the 90-day schedule all the cast and crew of the film undergone the ritual of fasting on Thursday in reverence to lord's presence considering it was the mythological film.
Soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and lyrics for all songs were written by Vaali. The song "Parthale Theriyadha" is based on Anandabhairavi raga. The song "Aadal Kalaiye" is based on Charukesi raga. The song "Azhaikiran Madhavan" is based on Subhapantuvarali raga. The song "Ramanamam" is based on Mayamalavagowla raga. The song "Mazhaikkoru" is based on Amruthavarshini raga.
|1.||"Aadal Kalaiye"||K. J. Yesudas|
|2.||"Azhaikiraan Maathavan"||Malaysia Vasudevan, K. J. Yesudas|
|3.||"Kathiravan Ezhunthaan"||Malaysia Vasudevan|
|4.||"Mazhaikku Oru Devaney"||K. J. Yesudas|
|6.||"Raama Naamam"||K. J. Yesudas, Vani Jayaram|
|7.||"Unakkum Enakkum"||Malaysia Vasudevan, S. Janaki|
The film received tax exemption from Tamil Nadu government thus making it as an eligible film to be watched by everyone. Cinemalead noted "the audience and fans rejected it as 'Thalaivar' was beyond religion and there were no fights, duets or masala scenes. Though sections of audiences were amazed with Rajini's resemblance to the holy saint". Despite receiving tax exemption, the film was not a commercial success.
Rajinikanth won Cinema Express Award for Best Actor - Tamil. Daliya Ghose of Bollywood Mantra ranked the film fourth on her list of "Top 10 movies of Rajinikanth" in December 2013, saying: "This film brought out the human side of the actor". In May 2007, K. Balamurugan of Rediff ranked Sri Raghavendrar seventh on his list of "Rajni's Tamil Top 10" films. Behindwoods listed Rajinikanth's Raghavendra as one of his "Top 12 acting performances". In December 2013, The Times of India ranked the film eighth on its list of "Top 12 Rajinikanth movies". Rediff described the film in August 2015 as one of Rajinikanth's best.
G. Dhananjayan wrote that it is one of five films the actor considers "close to his heart"; the other four are Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri (1977), Mullum Malarum (1978), Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai (1979) and Enkeyo Ketta Kural (1982).
- "Rediff on the net, Movies: 'Rajini acts in front of the camera, never behind it'". Rediff. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
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- "A Raga's Journey — The charm of Charukesi". The Hindu. Charulatha Mani. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
- "A Raga's Journey — Sorrowful Subhapantuvarali". The Hindu. Charulatha Mani. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
- "A Raga's Journey — The magic of Mayamalavagowla". The Hindu. Charulatha Mani. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
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- ‘Film News', Anandan (2004). Sadhanaigal Padaitha Thamizh Thiraipada Varalaru (Tamil Film History and Its Achievements). Sivagami Publications. p. 738.
- Ghose, Daliya (12 December 2013). "Birthday Special: Top 10 movies of Rajinikanth". Bollywood Mantra. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- Balamurugan, K. (22 May 2007). "Rajni's Tamil Top 10". Rediff. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- "Sri Raghavendra (1985) - Superstar's Top 10 Acting Performances". Behindwoods. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- "Top 12 Rajinikanth movies - 08". Times of India. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
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- Suganth, M. (26 July 2015). "Panchu Arunachalam is the man who invented Rajinikanth as an actor". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.