Tharai Thappattai

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Tharai Thappattai
Tharai Thappattai poster.jpg
Directed byBala
Produced byM. Sasikumar
Written byBala
StarringM. Sasikumar
Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Edited byG. Sasikumar
Distributed byAyngaran International Media
Release date
  • January 14, 2016 (2016-01-14)

Tharai Thappattai or Thaarai Thappattai is a 2016 Tamil musical art film written, produced and directed by Bala. The film features Sasikumar and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar in the leading roles, while Ilaiyaraaja composes the film's music based on karakattam. This film also happens to be Ilaiyaraaja's 1000th film. The film began production in 2013 and released on 14 January 2016.[1] Ilaiyaraaja won the National Film Award for Best Background Score at the 63rd National Film Awards.


Sannasi (M. Sasikumar) is a multi-talented folk dancer and nadaswaram expert in a village living with his father Samipulavan (G. M. Kumar). Samipulavan was once a great singer and thavil expert who stopped performing singing and playing thavil because of the indecent content in the folk dances by the younger generation in recent years. He also has stopped talking with his son because of the same reason.Sooravalli (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) is Sannasi's cousin who loves Sannasi very much and expresses her love often for which Sannasi doesn't responds.Both Sooravalli and Sannasi are in the same group of dancers who go to places for performing.

An innocently dressed Karuppaiah (R. K. Suresh) often interrupts the male performers in the group wherever they go, to know where the next dance programme would happen. One day Sannasi gets a phone call from a group of men in a lodge near by. They pay him a lumpsum amount to book his group for a dance programme in a temple in Andaman Nicobar islands. The group goes to Andaman by a passenger ship, stays in the hotel provided by the organizers and performs Karagattam in a temple. The men who organized the dance liked the women dancers and asks Sannasi to show them the girls indirectly asking for sex. Sannasi without uttering any word takes the organizers to the room where the lady dancers are staying and says to them that he has showed the girls as per their wish . Sooravalli who is short tempered fiercefully hits all the organizers knowing that they had asked for sex with the lady dancers including her. The organizers who were drunk at that time were badly injured and in turn they tore the return tickets to main land India taking revenge on them. That night the group of dancers could not find a shelter and sleep in the road. Not knowing how to get back to main land India, they go in search of a job. A building contractor helps them to find a construction work and asks for some percent of money as his commission. Agreed to this the group of dancers work in the construction site only to damage the buildings and the constructions built so far. In the chaos Sooravalli gets hurt by getting her feet pricked by a nail. The building owner gets irritated with the damage and scolds the contractor. The contractor asks them to stop the work and go back. Without any money the dance group was not able to buy even a tea. Soorvalli who could not see Sannasi starving for hunger puts her make-up and dances karagattam,with the wounded feet, in the street asking the thavil players and nadaswaram players to accompany her. Mesmerized by the dance the public gives them enough money with which they return to mainland India. While returning Sooravalli fells ills because of the nail which got pricked in her foot. Sannasi takes care of her throughout the journey which improves their bonding.

One day Karuppaiah takes Sannasi to a hotel and begs him to get married to Sooravalli saying that he likes her very much. Sannasi who just returned from Andaman after a bad experience hits Karuppaiah in the public . Karuppaiah escapes and after a few days meets Sooravallis mother. He convinces her to accept his wish and says her that he works as a driver for the district collector. Sooravalli's mother speaks with Sannasi and forces him to hate Sooravalli. Sannasi drinks liquor for the first time and then forces Sooravalli to marry Karuppaiah. Sooravalli accepts . Sooravalli is married to Karuppaiah . In the first night while Sooravalli is sleeping Karuppaiah is shown as a drug addict .

After some days Sooravallis mother is shown talking with a collector asking for the where abouts of Karuppaiah as she could not find her daughter in the house where she was last seen.Mean while the number of dance programmes of Sannasi is rapidly declining as the programme organizers demands a girl like Sooravalli. Sannasi decides to find a new girl for his group. With the help of one of his ex group member (Amudhavanan) he finds a girl dancer (Gayathri Raghuram) who demands lavish facilities for her performance. Sannasi accepts it and his first program after several months with the new girl dancer happens to be a funeral house. After getting money for their performance from the funeral house, Sannasis father Samipulavan scolds Sannasi for performing in a funeral house. Sannasi in turn uses harsh words against his father. Samipulavan gets vexed and goes to a foreign delegates meeting to perform there. The people there praises Samipulavan for his soulful song. Proud Samipulavan returns to home and challenges Sannasi that he won and he still has the power and divinity in his performance. After this incident Samipulavan dies. Not knowing how to bounce back, Sannasi's group men asks him to talk to Sooravalli for performing in their group getting permission from her husband Karuppaiah. Sannasi finds that Sooravalli did not even turn up for his father's funeral, with whom she used to be affectionate. He asks Sooravalli's mother. Sooravalli's mother says everything about the missing of Sooravalli .

Sannasi goes to find Sooravalli and some how manages to see a building where Karuppaiahs car went. There he sees Sooravalli. He asks her what has happened to her. Sooravalli cries and a flash back is shown . In the flash back the newly wed Sooravalli wakes up from her first night bed and finds an elder man next to her. Shocked by seeing a different man, she hits him badly and severely.Karuppaiah suddenly comes inside and beats her heavily kicking her on her chest. Karuppaiahs men take her to a room. After getting consciousness she peeps through the door to see a few women getting tonsured. She understands that Karuppaiah does brothel and illegal renting of women's womb. Again Sooravalli is shown as a pregnant lady. Another flash back is shown where an astrologer seeks the help of Karuppaiah for a wealthy old man who doesn't have any heir but wants to have a child from his sperm.He believes that a girl child will be born.He also says that he doesn't want the world to know that it is his daughter. But to the outer world the newly born will be an adopted daughter. Karuppaiah bargains for 3 crore rupees and finalizes Sooravalli as the rental mother. When Sooravali finishes the flash back scene, Karuppaih appears and hits Sannasi badly and takes Sooravalli for delivering the baby to a hospital near by. Karuppaiah wants the child to be born at 7.30 am as per the wish of the wealthy old man and his astrologer but the lady doctors tells him that the operation cannot be done as he wishes and warns that any one of the two, the mother or child will die if the operation is done at an earlier stage. Greedy Karuppaiah takes pregnant Sooravalli illegally to a mortuary where the mortuary assistant claims that he will take the child without bothering about the life of the mother. By the time Sannasi reaches the place and a fierce fight follows between Sannasi and Karuppaiahs men. Finally Karuppaiah gets killed by Sannasi. Sannasi manages to get into the mortuary where Sooravalli's illegal operation is being carried out. When he enters the room, the mortuary assistant attacks Sannasi and gets killed by himself. Sannasi finds Sooravalli dead. At the corner of the room the newly born girl child is shown. The film ends by Sannasi carrying the girl child and walking away.



Director Bala finalised his next project following Paradesi (2013) only in October 2013 and revealed that he would make a film starring his former protege Sasikumar in the lead role, while G. V. Prakash Kumar and Kishore would be the film's composer and editor respectively.[2] In January 2014, Bala decided to call Ilaiyaraaja in to the project to replace G. V. Prakash.[3]

Early reports had suggested that Shriya Saran had been signed on to play the leading female role of a Karagattam dancer, but it was later noted that she had only been auditioned for the part.[4] However, after also auditioning other actresses including Shravanthi Sainath, he then chose to offer Varalaxmi Sarathkumar the leading role and subsequently asked her to lose ten kilograms for the film.[5] Sasikumar was asked to shave his trademark beard and sport a thin moustache, in order to reportedly play a Nadaswaram player in the movie.[6] Furthermore, to look the part, he had to train for a month with folk singers and dancers brought in by Bala. Producer R. K. Suresh of Studio 9 Media Works, was signed on to play the antagonist in the film and undertook training in fight scenes with action choreographer Pandian.[7] The team also selected Hindi film maker Satish Kaushik to portray a character in the film, and he joined the team in the third schedule, while director Haricharan of Thoovanam (2007) was also signed to portray his first acting role.[8][9] In January 2015, reports revealed that Kannada actress Kaavya Sha had been given a pivotal role in the film, which will mark her Tamil debut, after singer Pragathi Guruprasad had opted out of the role.[10] Sahana Sheddy, who is well known for her role as Kavya on the Tamil serial, Azhagu (TV series) plays the role of one of the troupe dancers in this film. The title of the film was announced in March 2014 to be Tharai Thappattai, after titles including Karagattam and Paarai had been considered.[11] Also by March 2014, it was revealed that Ilaiyaraaja had finished recording 12 songs for this film using a live orchestra, in a span of six days. Furthermore, since folk dance is an integral part of the film, he had used folk musicians who are not associated with the film industry.[12] The film's shoot took over 100 days to finish, while the makers had a three-month break in 2015, owing to Sasikumar's hand injury, which he suffered while filming the climax.[13][14]


Tharai Thappattai
Soundtrack album to Tharai Thappattai by
Released25 December 2015
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelThink Music
Ilaiyaraaja chronology
Abbayitho Ammayi
Tharai Thappattai

The soundtrack has been composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The film has garnered a lot of expectations in being promoted as the 1000th film score of Ilaiyaraaja.[15] The album was released in on December 25, after the Chennai floods.[16] The soundtrack consists of seven tracks: five songs and two theme scores. Six of the tracks were released by Think Music in CDs, iTunes and on Store while one song was released as a single by Sa Re Ga Ma. The single released by Sa Re Ga Ma was the song Aarambam Aavadhu, a Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy number from the 1959 film Thanga Padhumai, remixed in this film. The teaser of the film was also released on the same day.[17] The first paragraph of the song Idarinum is from the third Thirumurai, penned by Thirugnanasambandar.[18] The remaining portions of Idarinum, from En Ullam Kovil, have been penned by Ilaiyaraaja. Paaruruvaaya is from Manickavasagar's Thiruvasagam.

The album became popular on iTunes and on social media and was widely lauded by the media.[19][20][21]

No. Song Singers Lyrics Composer Length (m:ss)
1 Hero Intro Theme Ilaiyaraaja 1:31
2 Vadhana Vadhana Vadivelane Kavitha Gopi, Priyadarshini Mohan Rajan Ilaiyaraaja 2:47
3 Paaruruvaaya D. Sathyaprakash, Surmukhi Raman Maanikkavaasagar (Thiruvasagam) Ilaiyaraaja 3:34
4 Idarinum Sharreth Ilaiyaraaja Ilaiyaraaja 4:44
5 Aattakaari Maaman Ponnu M. M. Manasi, Prasanna Ilaiyaraaja Ilaiyaraaja 3:06
6 Thaarai Thappattai Theme Ilaiyaraaja 3:05
7 Aarambam Aavadhu Ananthu Pattukkottai Kalyanasundaram Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy (Redone by Ilaiyaraaja) 4:42

Critical reception[edit]

Rediff wrote "Thaarai Thappattai has all the elements that you expect from the brilliant director and while it may not appeal to all, it is definitely worth a watch."[22] Collection about


At the 63rd National Film Awards, Ilaiyaraaja won for Best Background Score, a category bifurcated from Best Music Direction. However, he refused to accept the award, due to his displeasure with the awards committee's decision to bifurcate the Best Music Direction award, and explained, "What is the meaning of giving me an award for Best Music Direction – Background Score, and M. Jayachandran an award for Best Music Direction? It not only means that I have done an incomplete job as music director but also implies that only half of my work is good."[23]


  1. ^ Vishal & Hari are together again
  2. ^ "Sasikumar in Bala's next? - Times of India".
  3. ^ "Director Bala is back with Isaignani Ilayaraja".
  4. ^ "Shriya Saran is director Bala's new heroine".
  5. ^ "Varalaxmi approached for Bala's next with Sasikumar - Times of India".
  6. ^ Sasikumar and Varalakshmi start preparing for `Tharai Thappatai`!"Bala's Thara Thappattai to go on floors". Behindwoods. 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  7. ^ Gupta, Rinku. "Producer Turns Villain for Bala". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  8. ^ Raghavan, Nikhil (9 January 2016). "Etcetera" – via
  9. ^ Share on Twitter (2014-11-21). "Satish Kaushik in Bala's 'Tharai Thappattai'?". The Times of India. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  10. ^ "Kaavya Sha Makes Her Tamil Debut". Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  11. ^ "Bala and Sasikumar's project titled".
  12. ^ "Bala flick with Sasikumar is 'Tharai Thappattai' - Times of India".
  13. ^ Srinivasan, Sudhir (9 January 2016). "Enjoying his new beat" – via
  14. ^ "A Sishya speaks: An Interview with Director and Actor Sasikumar".
  15. ^ "Bala's film on Karagattam will be Ilayaraja's 1000th film". Behindwoods. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  16. ^ "2015: Shining stars of Kollywood | News Today". Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  17. ^ "Thaarai Thappattai Official First Look Teaser | Bala | Ilaiyaraaja | M.Sasikumar | Varalaxmi". YouTube. 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  18. ^ "[Tharai Thappattai] Idarinum ..." Lyrical Delights. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  19. ^ DN (2015-12-25). "தெறி, கிழி, ருத்ர தாண்டவம்!: 'தாரை தப்பட்டை' இசையைக் கொண்டாடும் ரசிகர்கள்! - Dinamani — Tamil Daily News". Dinamani. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  20. ^ "தாரைதப்பட்டை கிழித்துத் தொங்க விட்ட இளையராஜா! - IlayarajaThaarai Thappattai - இளையராஜா". 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  21. ^ "M.Sasikumar on Twitter: "#ThaaraiThappattai Music Topping the @iTunes Chart India & South. Thank you for all your Support. Legendary Raja Sir"". Retrieved 2015-12-31. External link in |title= (help)
  22. ^ "Review: Thaarai Thappattai is brutally honest".
  23. ^ "When Ilaiyaraaja struck a different note". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-08-14.

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