|Music by||S. A. Rajkumar|
|Cinematography||Arthur A. Wilson|
|Edited by||V. Jaishankar|
|Distributed by||Aascar Film Pvt. Ltd|
Vaanathaippola (English: Like the Sky) is a 2000 Tamil family drama film written and directed by Vikraman. The film features Vijayakanth in dual lead roles as well as Prabhu Deva, Meena, Livingston, Kausalya and Anju Aravind. Produced by Venu Ravichandran under Oscar Films, the film has a score and soundtrack composed by S. A. Rajkumar and cinematography handled by Arthur A. Wilson. The film tells the story of a caring brother who makes sacrifices to ensure his three younger brothers succeed in life.
The film opened to positive reviews and box office success in January 2000, and went on to win the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment the following year. Furthermore the success of the film led to two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, as well as several remakes in other Indian regional languages such as Telugu and Kannada.
Vellaichaamy (Vijayakanth) thinks the world of his three brothers, even giving up marriage when he learns that the woman he loves plans to send them to a hostel after the wedding. The brothers live with their grandmother (S. N. Lakshmi). He works hard to raise them and they too reciprocate his love and affection. The eldest of the three, Muthu (Vijayakanth again), is a cook in a small hotel, When Vellachamy learns that Muthu is in love with his childhood playmate Gowri (Meena) he goes to the city to his friend (Rajiv) with the marriage proposal. Only to be insulted! Circumstances bring Muthu to the city, to the girl's palatial bungalow where he works as a cook. The girl is arrogant and rude till she realises that Muthu is her childhood pal. And now it is she who does all the wooing and persuades her father to get her married to Muthu.
One expects fireworks when she enters the rustic home of Muthu. But she happily blends into the sugary ambience. Her father, the business tycoon, does make some unpleasant noise in the background, but gives up soon enough. Shanmugam(Livingston), the second, who is training to be an inspector, is married to Vellaichamy's friend's daughter Sumathi (Anju Aravind). Initially she too is rude and insulting to Vellachamy but due to her astrological reasons made her to speak like that, she too turns out to be a good lady.
The third brother Selvam (Prabhudeva) is a doctor. The brother has a girl friend Nandini (Kausalya) a talkative and vivacious girl. But she has just to meet Vellachamy and she becomes one more addition to the 'love Vellachamy' brigade. She however turns out to be the daughter of Vellachamy's enemy (Devan). The latter refuses to get his daughter married to Vellaichamy's brother. But apart from taking a promise from Vellachamy that he would leave the village once the marriage was over, gives his consent. Kausalya's cousin (who wanted to marry her for the wealth) kidnaps her but Muthu saves her. Vellachamy returns and re unites with his family.
- Vijayakanth as Vellaichamy and Muthu
- Prabhu Deva as Selvakumar
- Meena as Gauri, Muthu's wife
- Livingston as Shanmugam
- Kausalya as Nandini, Selvakumar's girlfriend
- Anju Aravind as Sumathi, Shanmugam's wife
- Vineetha as Radha
- Ramesh Khanna
- Devan as Dharmalingam
- S. N. Lakshmi
- Kazan Khan
- Sabitha Anand
- Balu Anand
Vaanathaipola was the first film produced by Aascar Ravichandran who earlier worked as a distributor for two decades. Ravichandran had liked the script when Vikraman had earlier narrated the film for Sarathkumar. Ravichandran then advised Vikraman to direct this script with Vijayakanth, and had to convince the director to stick with his decision.  Vikraman had initially considered Shilpa Shetty to portray a role in the film, but her unavailability meant that Meena was selected to portray the character.
The film opened in January 2000 to predominantly positive reviews from critics. The Hindu gave the film a favourable review, remarking that "Vijaykanth excels in comedy and Ramesh Kanna has all the makings of a good comedian", "S. N. Lakshmi as the grandmother is hilarious and adds levity to the film as a whole" and that "Prabhu Deva and Kousalya form an energetic, sprightly pair." The critic also noted that "sentiment and sibling love fail to appeal after a point, when they reach implausible levels". Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan in its review mentioned "The film highlights the theme of everyone living with unity without any troubles [..] The drawback in this [..] film is there is no villain to the hero character and hence after some time the film struggles to hold attention without any twists".
Vaanathaippola subsequently went on to become the most commercially successful film in Tamil, running for over 250 days in cinemas. The film secured a hit for the team and prompted Vijayakanth to star in further films. The film went on to win the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment the following year. Furthermore the success of the film led to two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, winning Best Film for Ravichandran and Best Director for Vikraman.
The film was remade in Telugu as Maa Annayya with Rajasekhar in the title roles, while a Kannada version Yejamana featured Vishnuvardhan, Radha Bharathi who directed Prashanth's debut film Vaigasi Poranthachu has directed the Kannada version along with Sheshadri. Kannada version was a successful venture at the box office. In 2009, Vikraman and Vijayakanth came back together to make another family drama film titled Mariyadhai, though failed to replicate the success of Vaanathaippola.
|Soundtrack album by S. A. Rajkumar|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Length||The Best Audio|
The soundtrack of the film was composed by S. A. Rajkumar, was well received by the audience. G. Dhananjayan in his book Pride of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 2013 wrote that the film's success can "also attributed to its superhit songs".
|2.||"Engal Veetil Ella Naalum"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Sujatha, Arunmozhi|
|4.||"Nathiye Nayil Nathiye"||Sukhwinder Singh, Anuradha Sriram|
|5.||"Rojappu Maalaiyile"||K. S. Chithra, Mano|
|6.||"Thavaniye Ennai Mayakiriye"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Swarnalatha|
|7.||"Vaanil Vennila"||Sujatha Mohan|
|8.||"Mainave Mainave"||Unni Menon, K. S. Chithra|
- Dhananjayan 2014, p. 381.
- Dhananjayan 2014, p. 382.
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- Dhananjayan 2014, p. 383.
- "Hits and misses of the year that was". The Hindu. 2001-01-19. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
- "rediff.com, Movies: Gossip from the southern film industry". Rediff. 2000-06-21. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
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- "Maa Annayya review: Maa Annayya (Telugu) Movie Review - fullhyd.com". fullhyderabad.com. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
- "Yajamana - Review". vishnuvardhan.com. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
- "Cinema Plus / Film Review : The pattern continues - Mariyaadhai". The Hindu. 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2012-08-25.