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.[1] The film began production in 2013 and released on 14 January 2016.[2] Ilaiyaraaja won the National Film Award for Best Background Score at the 63rd National Film Awards.


Sannasi (Sasikumar) is the head of a music troupe, while Sooravali (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) is the chief dancer, who loves him. Times are tough and the troupe jumps at a chance to perform at the Andaman Islands for a hefty sum. But they soon realise that the sponsors are more interested in women, and not their dance.

Humiliated, they return home, only to continue their struggle without work. At this time, Sooravali receives a marriage proposal from Karuppan (R. K. Suresh), who claims to have a government job and decent salary. Sannasi is torn between his love for Sooravali and wanting her to have a secure life.



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.[3] In January 2014, Bala decided to call Ilaiyaraaja in to the project to replace G. V. Prakash.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] Sasikumar was asked to shave his trademark beard and sport a thin moustache, in order to reportedly play a Nadaswaram player in the movie.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9][10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14][15]


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.[16] The album was released in on December 25, after the Chennai floods.[17] 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.[18] The first paragraph of the song Idarinum is from the third Thirumurai, penned by Thirugnanasambandar.[19] 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.[20][21][22]

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."[23] Baradwaj Rangan of the Hindu wrote "Bala essentially keeps making the same movie. He’s, repeatedly, to darkness, and love is but another stop on the tortuous road to doom. Plus, the highly stylised performances, which don’t seem to come from the actor so much as the director."[24]


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."[25]


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

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