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Thalaivaa film official poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byA. L. Vijay
Produced byS. Chandraprakash Jain
Written byA. L. Vijay
Screenplay byA. L. Vijay
Story byA. L. Vijay
Music byG. V. Prakash Kumar
CinematographyNirav Shah
Edited byAnthony
Sri Mishri Productions
Distributed byVendhar Movies
Release date
  • 9 August 2013 (2013-08-09) (Worldwide except Tamil Nadu)
  • 20 August 2013 (2013-08-20) ( Tamilnadu)
Running time
180 minutes
Budget55 crore[1]
Box office30-35 crore[2][3]

Thalaivaa (English: Leader) is a 2013 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film[4][5] written and directed by A. L. Vijay. It stars Vijay in the title role, Amala Paul, Ragini Nandwani, Abhimanyu Singh, with Sathyaraj and Santhanam in supporting roles. The film, produced by Chandraprakash Jain, features background score and soundtrack composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar with cinematography and editing handled by Nirav Shah and Anthony respectively. The story revolves around a dancer who takes over his father's duty as a crime boss after his death.

The film, which commenced production in November 2012 in Mumbai, was released on 8 August 2013. The film was also released in Telugu under the title Anna in Andhra Pradesh. The film was also dubbed into Hindi as Thalaivaa: The Leader by Goldmines Telefilms in 2017. The film upon its early release was successful at the overseas box office[6] and also successful in Andhra pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka box office.[7] Due to opposition from the ruling AIADMK as insisted by the then Chief minister J Jayalalithaa, the film had a delayed release in Tamil Nadu on 20 August 2013, and as a result, the film performed average only in Tamil Nadu box office.[8][9] The film was remade into Punjabi as Sardar Saab in 2017.[10][11]


Vishwa (Vijay) is a dancer who lives in Sydney, Australia. Meanwhile, he also manages a water distribution business in the name of his deceased mother Ganga (Rekha) there with his childhood friend Logu (Santhanam) and his dance team members. He is the son of Ramadorai (Sathyaraj), a Mumbai-based don who fights for rights of the Tamil-speaking migrants in the city. Ramadorai had sent Vishwa away to Australia when he was a child for his safety, and although they are in regular contact, he lies to Vishwa that he is a businessman.

Vishwa falls in love with Meera (Amala Paul), the daughter of a restaurateur (Suresh), who is one of his customers. Meera reciprocates Vishwa's love and joins his dance team, helping them win a dance competition. She soon proposes marriage to Vishwa, who agrees. Meera's father too agrees to the marriage but wants to discuss the matter formally with Ramadorai. They leave for Mumbai, where Vishwa finds out about his father's true identity and that he is currently in hiding due to several false cases registered against him by his archenemy, another don Bhima Bhai (Abhimanyu Singh). Vishwa also finds out that Meera and her "father" are CBI officers who lured him to Mumbai so that they could locate and arrest Ramadorai. Ramadorai is arrested, but just after he enters the police van, a bomb planted by Bhima in the van explodes, killing him. Vishwa is distraught over his father's death and decides to stay back in Mumbai and take over his father's crime syndicate. He dons the title of Thalaivaa and provides his own brand of justice for the helpless and downtrodden.

Meanwhile, Bhima instigates riots in Mumbai which kill many people and leave several others injured. Although there is seemingly no evidence that Bhima is responsible, a tape recorded by a cameraman highlighting Bhima's involvement in the riots is stolen by a Bhojpuri-speaking pickpocket. Vishwa and his gang manage to reclaim the tape from the pickpocket and publicise it, leading to Bhima's arrest. Vishwa also kills the corrupt Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who had given Bhima and his gang free rein, and puts the blame on Bhima. But Bhima soon escapes from prison and kills most of Vishwa's henchmen on the night of Maha Shivaratri, with the help of Vishwa's uncle Ranga (Ponvannan), who is Vishwa's second-in-command. When Vishwa enters a fort after hearing Ranga is being "held hostage" there by Bhima, he is stabbed by Ranga, who immediately informs the police that Vishwa is "dead" and leaves the fort with his physically handicapped son (M. R. Kishore Kumar), who is Vishwa's driver. When Ranga's son hears about his father's treachery, he becomes enraged and drives the car into a petroleum tanker, killing them both. Meanwhile, Vishwa, though injured, is still alive and after a bitter fight, he kills Bhima by stabbing his throat. Meera soon arrives at the fort and realises Vishwa killed Bhima but acts quickly and shoots the corpses of Bhima and his henchmen to imply she killed them, thus saving Vishwa from a jail term.

Meera eventually quits her job as a police officer after realising her love for Vishwa, and marries him. With Bhima and his gang out of the way, Vishwa is now the unchallenged don in Mumbai.


  • Vijay as Vishwa (Vishwa Bhai), Mumbai Tamilian don Anna's son. Later, he turned as Mumbai don (Thalaivaa).
  • Amala Paul as ACP Meera Narayanan, a CBI Special Branch officer who wants to find Anna with the help of Vishwa by falling in love with him.
  • Ragini Nandwani as Gowri Mohan, Vishwa's love interest who helps him take revenge over Bhima after Anna's death.
  • Sathyaraj as Ramadurai (Anna), Vishwa's deceased father and Mumbai underworld don.
  • Abhimanyu Singh as Bhima Bhai, Anna's enemy from his childhood because Anna assaulted his father in front of him.
  • Santhanam as Logu, Vishwa's best friend.
  • Nassar as Ratnam, Logu's father.
  • Rajiv Pillai as Raju, Anna's henchman.
  • L. N. Srinivasan as Anna's henchman
  • Udhaya as Video Kumar
  • Tanu Vidyarthi as Video Kumar's wife
  • Ponvannan as Ranga (Chithappa), Vishwa's uncle and second-in-command who stabs Vishwa but later dies.
  • M. R. Kishore Kumar as Ranga's physically handicapped son and Vishwa's driver who drives himself and Ranga into a petroleum tanker.
  • Rekha as Ganga Ramadurai, Vishwa's deceased mother whom he manages a water distribution business in her name.
  • Suresh as Meera's father
  • Y. Gee. Mahendra as Lawyer Radhakrishnan
  • Manobala as Anna's assistant
  • Subbu Panchu as Ravi Kiran
  • Ravi Prakash as Kesav
  • Varun as Vishwa's friend
  • Sathish Krishnan as Vishwa's friend
  • Prabhu as Vishwa's friend
  • Pooran Kiri as Jadhav
  • Japan Kumar as Japan
  • Stunt Silva
  • Srinda Arhaan
  • Sam Anderson as himself (special appearance)
  • G. V. Prakash Kumar (special appearance in the song "Vaanganna Vanakkanganna")
  • Silva (special appearance)
  • Sridhar (special appearance in the song "Tamil Pasanga")
  • Dinesh (special appearance in the song "Vaanganna Vanakkanganna")



Vijay on the sets of Thalaivaa with stunt choreographers
Ragini Nandwani who played the second female lead role

After watching A. L. Vijay's period drama film Madrasapattinam (2010), Vijay was impressed by the film and contacted the film director for a new project. A. L. Vijay later narrated the Thalaivaa story to Vijay and he agreed to play the role within fifteen minutes.[12] Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Yami Gautam were initially approached for the lead female role.[13][14] Later Amala Paul was selected.[15][16] Vijay Yesudas was reported to be finalized for antagonist role in this film,[17] but he denied it as rumour.[18][19] Sathyaraj was also selected to be a part of this film.[20] A. L. Vijay's brother Udhaya has been selected to feature in a prominent role.[21] G. V. Prakash Kumar will be the music director while Nirav Shah will crank the camera. R.K. Naguraj has been enrolled as art director. Rumors about a Hollywood star portraying a singer, were refuted by Vijay.[22]


The muhurta of the film was held in Chennai on 16 November 2012.[23] The first schedule began in Mumbai from 23 November 2012.[24] The title song "Thalaivaa Thalaivaa" was shot in Mumbai with 500 junior artists.[25] A major portion of the film was shot in Australia.[26] The first look and title was revealed on 14 January 2013. Additional posters were released on 26 January 2013.[27]

As of 8 February 2013, 50 percent of total shootings were completed, with stunt scenes conducted by Stunt Silva.[28] Ragini Nandwani, who plays a North Indian, stated that all of her film sequences were shot in Mumbai over 25–30 days. They moved to Chennai and shot a song at Binny Mills.[29] A last shooting schedule in Australia was completed by 24 April.[30][31] They shot scenes at the Bondi Beach in New South Wales.[32] It was revealed that Vijay would portray a leader of a dance group based in Australia, performing dance styles of different genres including tap dancing with Sathish (June Ponal song fame), Karthik (Ungalil yaar Prabhu Deva winner) & their dance schoolmates.[33]


Thalaivaa (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Released21 June 2013[34]
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSony Music
ProducerG. V. Prakash Kumar
G. V. Prakash Kumar chronology
Udhayam NH4
Thalaivaa (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Raja Rani

The soundtrack was composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar and the lyrics were written by Na. Muthukumar, both teaming with A. L. Vijay for the fifth time. The soundtrack features five songs and two theme music tracks.[35] As of 21 November 2012, he had composed two songs for the film.[36] One song had been sung by Vijay alongside Santhanam.[37] A third song was completed on 11 February 2013.[35] The audio launch took place on 21 June 2013 in Hotel Connemara.[38] The audio rights of Thalaivaa were bought by Sony Music.[39]

The album received positive reviews from the audience.Behindwoods rated it 3.5/5, stating "A true for the fans, high on energy and drama".[40] Oneindia said GV Prakash Kumar has composed the songs keeping new-age audience in mind. Thalaivaa album simply cannot be ignored.[41] Indiaglitz said "Thalaivaa is all about energy and jive. Ranging from foot tapping to soul lifting, the album is elevating in all respects. For a crowd puller like Vijay, this album is aptly scored to be cheery and soulful. In all, GV Prakash has redefined music crafted for dance and rated 3.75 / 5 – Energy packed album. Get up and dance."[42]

All lyrics are written by Na. Muthukumar.

Track listing
1."Tamil Pasanga"Benny Dayal, Sheezay.Psycho Unit5:06
2."Yaar Indha Saalai Oram"G. V. Prakash Kumar, Saindhavi5:12
3."Vaanganna Vanakkanganna"Vijay, Santhanam5:31
4."Sol Sol"Vijay Prakash, Abhay Jodhpurkar, Megha5:46
5."The Ecstacy of Dance"Kiran, Chennai Symphony2:08
6."Thalapathy Thalapathy"Haricharan, Pooja Vaidyanath, Zia Ulhaq5:36
7."Thalaivaa Theme"G. V. Prakash Kumar2:46
Total length:31:25


Thalaivaa distribution rights for the United States and Canada were bought by Bharat Creations.[43] Ayngaran International acquired the overseas rights for Thalaivaa[44] Tamil Nadu rights were bought by Vendhar Movies and Kerala rights by Thameens via Vendhar Movies. The music rights were sold to Sony Music.[45] Prior to Vijay's birthday on 21 June a theatrical film trailer was released by Sony Music India on their YouTube channel.[46] Trailer got 1.2 million in 32 hours and 2 million views within 2 days on YouTube after its release. The film garnered totally 3.4 million hits on YouTube. The satellite rights of the film were secured by Sun TV for a record sum of 15 crore (US$2.2 million).[47] The film's running length is 3 hours 2 minutes and was given a "U" certiticate by the Indian Censor Board. The film has been released on Friday, 9 August 2013 worldwide.


The movie was well received by critics and audience alike.[48] stated that the film is a typical entertainer from Vijay, and will make his fans proud to be his fans.[49][50] IBN Live gave it a 3/5 rating, stating that the film is a full-baked product. Sify stated "Thalaivaa is good and the movie was racy and shorter".[51] gave the movie 3/5 stars, stating, "Thalaiva which runs for 185 minutes has very intelligent scenes and is expected to be a complete class hit entertainer movie of the year".[48]

'Times of India' gave it a 3/5, stating Vijay is in top form when he's normal and menacing. Sathyaraj as the don is effective. But the one who makes this arduous journey enjoyable is Santhanam, whose poker-faced humour provides relief in a largely grim story.[52] MovieCrow rated it a 3/5, stating that the movie is a typical entertainer.[53] Bookmyshow rated the film 3/5, stating that "Overall, Thalaivaa is a very good movie to watch, not just for movie fanatics down south but all across the nation. If it's the one thing you learn from this flick is – If you're your father's son, you will follow his footsteps!".[54]


Thalaivaa opened well at international markets, especially in the US and UK.[55] In UK From the paid previews on Thursday till Saturday, Thalaivaa's gross in the UK is 78 lakh (US$110,000) approximate from 34 locations and it is seen as a very impressive opening. Vijay's films generally embark on a great start in the UK, and Thalaivaa is no exception.[56] The film's UK collection is said to be 1.14 crore (US$160,000) in its opening weekend.[55] Vijay starrer Thalaivaa has been declared a Hit in UK. In UK "Thalaivaa" made an impressive start earning 1.14 crore (US$160,000) (£1,21,249) from 36 screens in the opening weekend. The film has made higher collections than Suriya's "Singam 2" in the UK. "Singam 2" earned around 99 lakh (US$140,000) in the first week of its release. But Vijay's "Thalaivaa" crossed "Singam 2" collections in its debut weekend. The film continued its dream run at the UK box office even in its second weekend. Its total UK collections are now pegged at 2.09 crore (US$300,000).[57]

At the end of the first weekend, the US gross of Thalaivaa from 44 reported locations is US$212,000 1.29 crore (US$190,000). A record total of 70 locations are screening Thalaivaa and the total gross for the first weekend is expected to be in the US$250,000 range[56] Thalaivaa fared well in Malaysia too. Thalaivaa has maintained exceptionally well in its second weekend in Malaysia. The film has become ninth highest grosser of all time in Malaysia's box office in just 10 days collection. In its second weekend the film has collected 1.14 crore (US$160,000) (MYR 579,153) on 60 screens and average working out per screens 1.90 lakh (US$2,700) (MYR 9,654).[58] Thalaivaa collected around 8.34 crore (US$1.2 million) in just 10 days at the Malaysian box office.[59] Baradwaj Rangan of the Hindu wrote "The director gets a lot of things right...this film has been made with some integrity, with respect for the story being told (and, to some extent, the audience too). After Vishwa’s transformation, he’s rarely shown smiling. Even when Santhanam makes a re-entry, there is no joyous reunion. Even after the heroine is separated from the hero for a while, there are no “dream songs”. "[60]


Award Category Recipient Result
Vijay Awards Favourite Hero Vijay Won
Entertainer of the Year Vijay Won
Favourite Film Thalaivaa Won
Techofes#Awards Favourite Actor Vijay Won


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