|Directed by||Mani Ratnam|
|Produced by||S. Sriram|
|Screenplay by||Mani Ratnam|
|Story by||Mani Ratnam
Ram Gopal Varma
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
|Cinematography||P. C. Sriram|
|Edited by||Suresh Urs|
|Distributed by||Aalayam Productions|
|13 November 1993|
|Box office||₹4 crore|
Thiruda Thiruda (Thief! Thief!) is a 1993 Tamil action buddy comedy road-heist film co-written by Mani Ratnam and Ram Gopal Varma. The film directed by Mani Ratnam, had its soundtrack and background score composed by A. R. Rahman while the cinematography was handled by P. C. Sriram. The film opened to positive critical reception, but did not do well at the box office The film achieved cult status over the following years. In 1994, the film premièred at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Printed Indian currency, from the Reserve Bank of India security press at Nasik with an estimated value of ₹ 10 billion, is stolen by Vikram (Salim Ghouse), a gangster living in London. The container is snipped off from a goods carrier en route to New Delhi, through Vikram's henchman. The access card of the container is in the possession of pop star Chandralekha (Anu Aggarwal). CBI chief Laxminarayana (S. P. Balasubramaniam) is assigned to track down the stolen currency, which had already been attested by the governor of the Reserve Bank of India. On her way to Vikram, Chandralekha comes across two burglars Kadhir (Anand) and Azhagu (Prashanth) who are on the run from the police—having in tow country-girl Rasathi (Heera Rajagopal) whom they kept from committing suicide and who then ran away from her ruthless uncle. Laxminarayan's assignment will lead him to Ashok Tejani, and then the two burglars, who are on the run from the Police along with the suicidal village belle. His efforts will be frustrated even more after Ashok is killed and his girlfriend Chandralekha, is absconding; and the entry of the international drug dealer himself, simply known as Vikram, who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the loot. After some attempts of cheating each other Chandralekha is making friends with the thieves. When she discovers that Vikram is stopping at nothing—especially not at dead bodies—on his hunt after the loot, she informs the three others about the real value of the code card. In the following pursuit between Vikram, the four heroes and a special police brigade, which has to get back the money before a state crisis comes about, there is not only fierce action, but also love comes to its own.
- Prashanth as Azhagu
- Anand as Kadhir
- Heera Rajagopal as Rasathi
- Anu Agarwal as Chandralekha
- S. P. Balasubramaniam as Laxminarayanan
- Salim Ghouse as T.T. Vikram
- Malaysia Vasudevan
- Thalaivasal Vijay
- S. S. Chandran
- P. C. Ramakrishna
In late 1992, Mani Ratnam chose to make the caper film Thiruda Thiruda as his first directorial venture under his newly set-up production studio, Aalayam Productions, alongside his co-producer Sriram. When writing the script of the film, Mani Ratnam went on a recce with Ram Gopal Varma and both film-makers spent a few days each fine-tuning each other's scripts. While Varma worked on parts of Thiruda Thiruda, Mani Ratnam helped script Varma's political thriller film, Gaayam (1993). With the script of Thiruda Thiruda, he wanted to attempt the caper film genre for the first time and took Rajasekhar's Vikram (1986) and Varma's Kshana Kshanam (1991) as his initial inspirations. He was also inspired by the ongoing financial scandal involving stockbroker Harshad Mehta, which had made Indian national news during early 1992 and chose to adapt his script accordingly.
J. D. Chakravarthy was initially meant to play the role of Kadhir, and actress Kushboo's brother, Abdullah, had also taken a screen test for the role, before Anand was selected. Salim Ghouse, a renowned theatre artist, was roped into play an antagonist in a rare commercial film appearance. Aishwarya, daughter of actress Lakshmi, was also approached for a role in the film but refused the opportunity. K. V. Anand was among P. C. Sriram's assistant cinematographers in the film.
The film did not perform well at the box office, with Mani Ratnam later suggesting that the audience may have expected a more serious film as a follow up to his previous political thriller, Roja (1992).
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
|Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman|
|Recorded||Panchathan Record Inn|
|Producer||A. R. Rahman|
|A. R. Rahman chronology|
The soundtrack features 8 songs composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Vairamuthu. The album, along with that of Roja is regarded as a masterpiece from the acclaimed musician with many fans considering it among his best avant-garde work. Composer Amit Trivedi considers this album an inspiration to him. The film's songs are notable for two reasons—the introduction of relatively unknown vocalists into mainstream Tamil playback singing and the extensive use of experimental sounds, including (Western) orchestral elements and techno instrumental music in familiar Indian cinematic music settings. While vocalist Anupama in the technopop song Chandralekha and the Chinese singer Caroline in Thee Thee sang their first mainstream songs, the late singer Shahul Hameed was roped in to sing Raasathi. Major innovations in Indian film music include a cappella in Raasathi and the incorporation of operatic and techno elements in the main theme and in Chandralekha, highly unpredictable rhythm and melodic pattern in Thee Thee. The song Veerapandi Kottayile became a big hit across South India, inspiring the tune for a popular Malayalam slogan, "Thekku Thekkoru Deshathu".
The lyrics for Tamil version was penned by Vairamuthu while Rajashri and PK Mishra penned lyrics for Telugu and Hindi versions.
- Tamil version
|1||"Kannum Kannum"||Mano, Chorus||04:09|
|2||"Chandralekha"||Anupama, Suresh Peters||05:50|
|3||"Veerapandi Kotayyile"||Mano, Unni Menon, K. S. Chithra||06:31|
|4||"Thee Thee"||Caroline, Noel James||04:57|
|6||"Putham Pudhu Bhoomi"||K. S. Chithra, Mano||04:46|
|8||"Aathukulla Airu Meenu"||Srinivas, Suresh Peters||01:26|
- Telugu version
|1||Kotha Bangaru Lokam||Mano, Chithra|
|4||Veerabobbili||Unni Menon, Mano, Chithra|
|6||Ettilona||Srinivas, Suresh Peters|
- Hindi version
|2||Chor Chor||GV Prakash|
|3||Dil Hi Sanam Dil||Sujatha|
|4||Hum Bhi Tum||Udit Narayan, Mano|
|5||Jhoom Jhoom||SPB, Chitra|
|6||Joor Laga||Srinivas, Suresh PEters|
|7||Pyaar Kabhi||Udit Narayan, Mano, Chithra|
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