Unnaipol Oruvan (2009 film)

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Unnaipol Oruvan
Unnaipol Oruvan 2009.jpg
Theatrical release Poster
Directed byChakri Toleti
Produced byKamal Haasan
S. Chandra Haasan
Ronnie Screwvala
Written byNeeraj Pandey
Kamal Haasan
E. R. Murugan
StarringKamal Haasan
Ganesh Venkatraman
Anuja Iyer
Music byShruti Haasan
CinematographyManoj Soni
Edited byRameshwar S. Bhagat
Release date
  • 18 September 2009 (2009-09-18)
Running time
109 minutes
Budget240 million (equivalent to 450 million or US$6.5 million in 2018)[1]

Unnaipol Oruvan (English: Someone like You) is a 2009 Indian Tamil drama-thriller film directed by Chakri Toleti in his directional debut. It stars Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal in the lead roles. The film was simultaneously made in Telugu as Eeenadu with Venkatesh playing Mohanlal's role,[2] both remakes of the Hindi film A Wednesday!.[3]. The film was turned out to be a blockbuster and No.1 collection film of the year 2009.

The film tells the story of City Police Commissioner of Chennai, Irinjalakkuda Govindan Raghavan Maraar (I.G.Ragavan Marar) (Mohanlal) who gets an anonymous call. The caller (Kamal Haasan) demands that he release militants in exchange for information about many bombs planted across Chennai. The caller is serious as the police find a bomb planted very close to their headquarters. The commissioner is later cornered between releasing militants who had been responsible for killing innocent people and stopping bomb blasts around the city. Whatever he chooses forms the rest of the plot. Unnaipol Oruvan received positive reviews from the critics[4][5] and was a commercial success. It was dubbed into Malayalam as Oru Budhanazhcha.


The recently dismissed police commissioner of Chennai, Maraar describes in a voice-over about his sudden termination for police, due to a common man who walked into his life. An unnamed man is shown strategically placing a travel bag in a train in the Chennai Central railway station and in a shopping mall. He proceeds to place another bag, under the pretence of lodging an FIR, in the toilet of a police station in Anna Salai, Chennai. He then arrives on the rooftop of an under-construction building and sets up his base of operations, equipped with gadgets and instruments. He calls up Maraar and informs him that five bombs have been planted in locations throughout Chennai, which are programmed to explode simultaneously within four hours.

The caller demands that he would like to negotiate with a senior government official, who has the full authority. Maraar seeks the services of the chief secretary to act as the negotiator. Maraar also alerts his team involved in intelligence research and surveillance, tapping all the available resources in gathering preliminary information and tracing the location of the caller. Meanwhile, the caller tips off news reporter Natasha Rajkumar, telling her to reach Anna Salai police station immediately.

Maraar initially suspects the caller to be bluffing, but his doubts are dispelled as the caller, to prove his seriousness and the police force's helplessness, reveals that a bomb has been planted in the Anna Salai police station. When the bomb disposal squad find the bomb, there is only three minutes left. They manage to deactivate the bomb after following the caller's instructions. Natasha reaches the scene on the caller's instructions and reports about the situation. An intense debate ensues between Maraar and the chief secretary on who would act as the negotiator with the caller. The chief secretary appoints Maraar as the State's negotiator with unrestricted power for one day. The caller talks full of life logics and religious philosophy and finally asks Maarar to release three terrorists and one convicted arms seller, all who were arrested by him years ago.

Maraar's men realise that the caller is using advanced software to automatically switch the numbers and locations of his mobile phone SIM card every minute, rendering their manpower and the obsolete equipment useless and prompting them to employ the services of a young hacker, an IIT drop-out. In the meantime, Maraar is able to obtain a facial composite of the caller with help of the police officer to whom the caller had approached to lodge the fake FIR, but much of the time passes without any concrete results on the identity or the location of the caller.

Ultimately, Maraar agrees with the caller's demand and puts two of his best men, Arif Khan and Sethuraman, in charge of handing over the four terrorists at the Sozhavaram airstrip. Once there, the caller confirms the identity of the four men via a conference call with Arif and Maraar. He then asks Arif and Sethu to unlock their handcuffs and leave them alone at a particular spot. Sethu orders his men to do as told but, at the last moment, Arif decides not to hand over terrorist Abdullah, to ensure all the information regarding the locations of the bombs can be forced out from the caller. Sethu argues with Arif and demands he do as ordered, but Arif forcefully grabs Abdullah and starts walking away. The other three enter a car which explodes soon after, killing them. But the caller knows that Abdullah is alive.

The caller threatens to blow up the remaining bombs across the city unless Arif and Sethu kill Abdullah. The Chief Secretary tells Maraar that the Chief Minister has to know about the current situation but Maraar disagrees and tells her that he will face the consequences, and orders Arif to kill the terrorist. Arif kills Abdullah and Sethu shoots Arif in the hand to make it look like an attack for self-defense. The caller confirms it via the news and reveals that he was bluffing and there are no more bombs anywhere in Chennai. He tells that as terrorism is instant, justice and safety must be so. Then Maarar questions the IIT hacker to trace the caller, but he refuses. But Maraar looks in the hacker's computer, discovers the location, and leaves abruptly towards the site. The caller, meanwhile destroys all of his gadgets with a mini-bomb inside a drum. As he leaves his hideout with all his camouflage, Maarar catches up to him.

Both shake hands; in a voiceover, Maraar says the caller told him his real name, but does not reveal it as it does not have any significance. He adds that the higher most officials saved themselves by framing him as a recluse and the Chief Minister fired him. Maraar admits that they all knew the caller was disturbed because of the insecure environment and the incompetence of the governing authorities but he never imagined him to go to such lengths and have the guts to do something like that. He also repeats that the facts of this incident cannot be found in any written records but only in the memories of those who actually witnessed it. He acknowledges that although the incident has ambiguous moral significance, he personally feels that whatever happened, happened for the best.


Cameo appearances in promotional song



While Kamal Haasan was cast in the lead role; confirmation of Mohanlal's presence in the film followed. Ganesh Venkatraman, who debuted in the 2008 film Abhiyum Naanum, was later confirmed for a supporting role. Bharath Reddy, who played a cop in the Telugu film Siddam, is playing another supporting cop role.[6]

UTV Motion Pictures distributed the film along with Raaj Kamal Films International, Haasan's home production company, which produced it. Unnaipol Oruvan was directed by Chakri, a US-based filmmaker and a close friend of Haasan. Chakri had previously played the role of Govind's friend, Sai Ram, in Dasavathaaram, and the role of a child who takes still photographs of Kamal in the 1983 Telugu film Saagara Sangamam. Neeraj Pandey wrote the film's dialogue and screenplay. The music was composed by Kamal Haasan's daughter, Shruthi Haasan.

The title was changed from Thalaivan Irukkiran to Unnaipol Oruvan in early April 2009.[7] Recent news in 2012 confirms that Thalaivan Irukkiran is a different film altogether, that is touted to be a multistarrer.[8]


Unnaipol Oruvan started its first filming schedule on 6 February 2009. It completed shooting in 65 days.[9]


According to Kamal, Unnaipol Oruvan portrays the "common man's anger, angst and suffering".[10]


It was initially set to release on 12 August 2009, since the date coincided with the release of Kamal Haasan’s first film Kalathur Kannamma and his entry into Tamil cinema in 1959, marking 2009 as Haasan's 50th year in cinema. However, owing to technical and administrative difficulties, the release was postponed to 18 September.[11] The film was given a U/A (Parental Guidance) rating from the Central Board of Film Certification, mainly because of its theme – terrorism.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Unnaipol Oruvan received positive reviews from the critics. Sify said that technically the film was picture-perfect and that both Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal coming together is worth the ticket money. It mentioned that unlike in the Hindi version where Naseeruddin Shah had an edge over Anupam Kher, here the best dialogues were almost equally given to Mohanlal as well. Kamal Haasan' s performance and acting was well naturally received by critics.[4]

Behindwoods rated that overall it was a brilliant work which will be appreciated by every socially responsible citizen of India.[5] Indiaglitz commented that Unnaipol Oruvan deserves to be watched to see how Kamal & Mohanlal pit against Naseer & Kher.[13] Kollywood Today praised that the movie was stupendously awesome and was a must-watch.[14] Pavithra Srinivasan of rediff.com provided 4 stars and also had the same comments.[15]


Unnai Pol Oruvan
Soundtrack album by
Released6 September 2009
LabelThink Music

The music was composed by Shruti Haasan, daughter of Kamal Haasan. The album contains four songs and a remix. The songs are featured throughout the film. Kamal Haasan, singer Blaaze, and Manyusha Puthran contributed the lyrics. The audio launch was held on 6 September 2009 at Sathyam Cinemas.[16]

No. Song Singers Length (m:ss) Lyrics
1 "Unnaipol Oruvan" Shruthi Haasan, Akshara Haasan, Subbalakshmi, Satish, Leo, Krishnan Swaminathan, Bala, Mira, Tara, Aiden 3:43 Kamal Haasan
2 "Nilai Varumaa" Bombay Jayashree, Kamal Haasan 4:44 Kamal Haasan
3 "Vaanam Ellai...Illai" Shruti Haasan, Blaaze 3:15 Kamal Haasan, Blaaze (Rap bit)
4 "Allah Jaane" Kamal Haasan 5:10 Manushyaputhiran
5 "Allah Jaane (Part 2)" Shruti Haasan 4:34 Remix by Vinayaka


  1. ^ "Unnai Pol Oruvan finally release today". Financial Chronicle. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Kamal, Mohanlal & Venkatesh join hands". Behindwoods. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Kamal starts shooting bilingual remake of 'A Wednesday'". The Hindu. 10 April 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Movie Review:Unnaipol Oruvan". Sify. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Unnaipol Oruvan – Tamil Movie Reviews". Behindwoods. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Ajith as encounter specialist! - Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Thalaivan Irukkiran changes". Behindwoods. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Kamal's next is 'Thalaivan Irukiran' – Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  9. ^ "Kamal to start A Wednesday remake!". Sify. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  10. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (17 September 2009). "Anger, action, reaction" – via www.thehindu.com.
  11. ^ "Unnaipol Oruvan's release". Behindwoods. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  12. ^ Super Admin (14 September 2009). "Tamil Movie Unnaipol Oruvan". OneIndia. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  13. ^ "Unnaipol Oruvan Tamil Movie Review". IndiaGlitz. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Review – Unnai Pol Oruvan". Kollywoodtoday.in. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  15. ^ "Unnai Pol... A rocking Tamil remake of A Wednesday". Rediff. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  16. ^ "Kamal Haasan's 'Thalaivan Irukiran' is 'Unnai Pol Oruvan'". Kollywood Today. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.

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