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Thenavattu poster.jpg
Directed by V. V. Kathir
Produced by Anthony
Written by V. V. Kathir
Starring Jiiva
Poonam Bajwa
Ravi Kale
Ganja Karuppu
Transgender A. Revathi
Music by Srikanth Deva
Cinematography Vetri
ELK Productions
Distributed by Sun Pictures
Release date
  • 21 November 2008 (2008-11-21)
Country India
Language Tamil

Thenavattu (English: Courage) is an Indian Tamil action film directed by V. V. Kathir, starring Jiiva and Poonam Bajwa in the lead roles, whilst, Ganja Karuppu played a pivotal role. The film released to negative reviews, upon release, the film was also criticized by critics for being "silly and ridiculous". However, with the backing of Sun Pictures, the film did below average at the box-office.



The film actually starts with Kailasam (Ravi Kale), the somber bigwig is performing the last rites of some one dear to him—but the appearance of Kottai (Jiiva), first in the chaotic Koovagam festival and later atop a Veeranam pipe, swinging a scythe maniacally sets the tone for the rest of the film.

Cut to the flashback a few months ago: In Madurai, where Kottai's mother (Saranya Ponvannan) is cutting down logs, and boasting about her son: he is a god who deserves to see the outside world and derive its benefits.

And so Kottai journeys to big bad Chennai in company with Vellaiyan (Ganja Karuppu), who dances with every Karagattam dancer on the roadside, makes lewd jokes and appears to have only one thing on his mind. They end up at the massive home of Kailasam, the local terror who slices up people whenever he can—only, our heroes are unaware of the fact.

Kottai and Vellaiyan thinks that all Kailasam does is cut up trees, which is why he requires their aruvaal-making skills but Kottai gets to know that Kailasam hired him to make sickles to kill people. And so Kottai goes to work. So you have Kottai feeding crying children milk, helping men with epileptic seizures and falling in love with the first fair-complexioned, slim beauty he comes across, Gayatri (Poonam Bajwa).

Naturally, Gayatri, as the heroine, is also a wonderfully kind-hearted girl, who wears revealing saris, teaches music to students. Kottai's logic for falling in love with her is that she treats him like his own family.

Meantime, there is yet another villain, Santhosh (Shafi), Kailasam's son, who goes playing musical instruments, mouthing punch lines and raping women left, right and center. There is also a remarkably stupid and one-dimensionally portrayed minister (Rajan P. Dev) and a helpless, frustrated cop Surya Prakash (Sai Kumar) who simply stands like a rock in uniform and he wants to settle a score with Kailasam because his son raped and killed his sister. Naturally, Santhosh goes on raping women, Surya Prakash goes on standing still; Kottai goes on making aruvaals until Santhosh's catches sight of the ravishing Gayatri, touches her inappropriately and all hell breaks loose. Kottai bashes Santhosh, not knowing that he is the son of Kailasam. When Kailasam comes to know that Kottai has beaten his son to death, he tries to take revenge on Kottai. But Kottai, with the help of Suryaprakash, kills Kailasam and minister. The film ends with Kottai returning to his home.


V. V. Kathir who earlier worked as an assistant to Seeman and Suryaprakash narrated the script to R. B. Choudhry and he liked it and Jeeva also liked it.[1] A photo session was completed in Pallavaram Hills.[2] Interestingly Antony, producer of this film, had earlier produced Jeeva's elder brother Jithan Ramesh's film Puli Varudhu. Bhavana was originally slated to be heroine but she left the film due to unknown reasons.[3] Poonam Bajwa who acted in Telugu films including Boss was selected as heroine making her debut in Tamil and was also shooting for Seval simultaneously. Saranya was selected to play Jeeva's mother.[4] Art director Roobesh created a huge set at YMCA resembling Koothaandavar temple.[5] This was the first Tamil film which had transgender people treated with respect.[6]


  • Enge Irundhai - Harish Raghavendra
  • Usulampatti Sandhaiyila - Shankar Mahadevan, Mahalakshmi
  • Onnu Rendu
  • Enakkena
  • Pattampoochi


Thenavattu was the second film to be distributed by Sun Pictures.

After this film, V V Kathir was supposed to direct Karthi's Siruthai but didn't direct. He went to hibernation and had not directed any film so far. Due to the film's poor response, Antony stopped producing films. Jeeva and Poonam again paired in Kacheri Arambam.

Critical reception[edit]

Behindwoods wrote:"Thenavattu is for people who just adore illogical masala flicks".[7] Rediff called it "silly and ridiculous" and also added "culprit clearly is V V Kathir, who's come up with a half-baked script that manages to destroy even Jeeva's credibility. This flick is all aruvaal and no brains".[8] Indiaglitz wrote:"Director Kathir didn't experiment much and took the familiar path of commercial entertainer following the footsteps of his guru".[9] Nowrunning wrote:"Thenavattu is a tale strictly for the brain dead".[10] Sify wrote:"the film leaves you almost brain dead".[11]