Veera (1994 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Suresh Krissna|
|Produced by||Meena Panchu Arunachalam|
|Screenplay by||Panchu Arunachalam|
|Based on||Allari Mogudu|
|Cinematography||P. S. Prakash|
|Edited by||Ganesh Kumar|
P. A. Art Productions
Veera is a 1994 Tamil language Indian romantic comedy film directed by Suresh Krissna. The film stars Rajinikanth, Meena and Roja in the lead roles. It is a remake of the Telugu film Allari Mogudu (1992). In Veera, a man marries his boss' daughter after the presumed death of his first love. Things contort for him when she is revealed to be alive and searching for him.
The film was released on 14 April 1994, the Puthandu (Tamil New Year) holiday frame. Despite initially having a mixed critical and commercial response, it picked up within a few weeks and became a success, running for 150 days in theatres.
Muthuveerappan, a village idler, comes to the city for a song contest. He meets tabla player Ravikanth, and both work hard for the singing contest. Muthu tells Ravikanth about how he fell in love with Devayani, and how he got her to love him. Devayani is the daughter of a song teacher in his village. He came to this contest so he could win the money and pay off the loan his mother had to the village leader. They both work together and end up winning the song contest.
Muthu goes back to his village with joy and finds out a flood had come and Devayani's house had been destroyed, it was reported that her father and her body had not been found. Muthu thinks that Devayani is dead, and is very sad. He then goes and gives the money to the village leader, paying off his mother's debt. His mother takes him to the city so that they can find a job and so that Muthu can forget about Devayani. When they reach the city, Muthu learns that his song was a big hit. Therefore, he had become very popular. Viswanathan, the holder of the song contest, calls on Muthu to come work for him. Muthu does not want to, but his mother persuades him. He then works for Viswanathan and his daughter Roopa falls in love with Muthu. Muthu who is still in love with Devayani refuses to marry Roopa. His mother says Devayani will not come back and she wishes to see his marriage. Therefore, he marries Roopa.
After the marriage, Roopa goes to the United States for her father's surgery after he suddenly suffers a heart attack. Devayani is revealed to be alive but has amnesia. Muthu's songs are playing on the radio and Devayani regains her memory after hearing them. She promptly gets on the bus to the city from a village where she was helping the fisherman who saved her life. She meets Muthu at the recording studio. He is surprised and overjoyed but does not tell her about his marriage to Roopa. Devayani is then adamant to get married soon, so they both marry. He then leads two lives – as Devayani's husband Muthu, and Roja's husband Veera. He nearly gets caught when both Roopa and Muthu with Devayani go to the sari shop and bump into each other. To prove that Muthu and Veera are two different people, he takes a photo and manipulates it to show two of him shaking hands. They then all believe Muthu and Veera are different people.
Harishchandra, a criminal who Muthu had earlier caught and handed over to the police, takes revenge by kidnapping his wives. He also knows that Muthu and Veera are one person, and when he comes to save them it is revealed that both are one person. After he saves them both his wives fight over him, one says that he officially married her first (Roopa) while the other (Devayani) says that she fell in love first. His wives do not want to share. When he tries to explain they go away angrily. Muthu then leaves the city to go back to his village. When he gets home he finds them both in his house. The film ends with them both holding his bag as he enters the house.
- Rajinikanth as Muthuveerappan
- Meena as Devayani
- Roja as Roopa
- Janagaraj as Vishwanathan
- Senthil as Ravikanth
- Vadivukkarasi as Parvathi
- J. Livingston as Chandran
- Mahesh Anand as Harishchandra
- Vinu Chakravarthy as Pannaiyar
- Ajay Rathnam as Rathnavelu, Pannaiyar's son
- Vivek as Arivu
- Y. G. Mahendran as Chinnasamy
- Charan Raj as Inspector Prathap
Additionally, Charuhasan appears in an uncredited role as Krishnamurthy Shastri.
In 1992, actor Rajinikanth, director Suresh Krissna and producer-writer Panchu Arunachalam saw the Telugu film Allari Mogudu. Rajinikanth liked the film and talked about remaking it in Tamil, but Krissna was against the idea as he found the film to be "crude". Rajinikanth told him about his desire to do a "two-wife" comedy and assured him that Arunachalam would handle the subject well. Krissna wanted to begin work on Baashha, of which he already had a few plot points ready, but Rajinikanth told him that if their next film after the action-packed Annaamalai (1992) was anything similar or bigger, "we will get caught. Bring the hopes down, bring the level down and then take it up again. So you make a good entertaining film, and people will say it wasn't like [Annaamalai]. Once their expectancy is low, now you hit, it'll become bigger." Krissna assented, but avoided going for a shot-for-shot remake of Allari Mogudu. He made substantial changes to the script that included tailoring it to Rajinikanth's style and adding some logic to the scenario. Krissna submitted the final draft to Arunachalam who liked it and made more suggestions about what to keep and what not. The film was titled Veera.
Rajinikanth was cast as the male lead Muthuveerapan, who juggles between two lives: Muthu, the husband of his first love; and Veera, the husband of his second love. Meena was chosen as one of the female leads Devayani, reprising her role from the Telugu original, while Roja was chosen as Roopa, the other female lead. Senthil was cast as the tabla player Ravikanth, Janagaraj as Roopa's father Vishwanathan, Vadivukkarasi as Muthuveerappan's mother Parvathi, J. Livingston as Chandran, newcomer Mahesh Anand as the antagonist Harishchandra, Vinu Chakravarthy as Pannaiyar, and Charuhasan in an uncredited role as Krishnamurthy Shastri.
The song "Maadethile Kanni" was planned to be shot at Talakona, a forest near Tirupati, but was ultimately shot at Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai. "Konji Konji" was filmed at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai. One scene picturised on Muthuveerapan, Ravikanth, Roja and Devayani was filmed at Birla Mandir, Chennai, which did not generally permit the shooting of films. In the post-production phase, Meena's voice was dubbed by K. R. Anuradha.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|1||"Aathile Annakili"||Arun Mozhi||Ilaiyaraaja||1:11|
|2||"Adi Pandalile"||Mano||Panju Arunachalam||1:37|
|3||"Konji Konji"||K. S. Chithra||1:16|
|4||"Konji Konji"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam||5:10|
|5||"Maadethile Kanni"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Swarnalatha||Vaali||4:24|
|6||"Malai Kovil Vaasalil"||Mano, Swarnalatha||4:36|
|7||"Pattu Poo Poo"(removed from screen)||K. S. Chithra||4:25|
|9||"Vaadi Vethalai"||Mano, K. S. Chithra||Vaali||4:03|
Release and reception
Veera was released on 14 April 1994, during the Puthandu (Tamil New Year) holiday frame. The film initially received mixed reviews; audiences and fans of Rajinikanth were disappointed as they expected something bigger than Annaamalai. Malini Mannath wrote for The Indian Express on 22 April, "Veera starts promisingly enough", praising Rajinikanth's comedy timing in the film's first half, but the manner of Veera learning of Devayani's presumed death was "not very convincingly told". She said that after the return of Devayani, "The script takes a nosedive here, never to recover." Malini Mannath added that while Rajinikanth's comedy was good initially, it felt forced in the film's second half, saying that "At this stage of his career [Rajinikanth] could have taken more meaningful roles", but concluded by praising the songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The reviewer of the magazine Manushi wrote, "The director has displayed much ingenuity in bringing the first supposedly dead "wife" back to life, bringing the two wives together, etc. The final scenes were shoddy, ill-conceived and in bad taste."
Veera took time to gather momentum. The film had lukewarm response for first couple of weeks because of comparisons with Annaamalai. After a few weeks, Veera began its victory run, and completed a 150-day run in theatres. According to journalist Sudhir Srinivasan, it was the first Tamil film to collect ₹1 crore (equivalent to ₹4.9 crore or US$710,000 in 2018) in the NSC (North Arcot, South Arcot and Chengalpattu) area. Despite Allari Mogudu having a Hindi remake titled Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Veera has been dubbed in the same language and released under a number of different titles.
Rajinikanth's English dialogue "How is it?" (pronounced "Owwizzit?") became immensely popular, as did the response "Super" (pronounced "Soopar").
- Ramachandran 2014, pp. 153–154.
- Ramachandran 2014, pp. 154–155.
- Krissna & Rangarajan 2012, pp. 97–99.
- Ramachandran 2014, p. 155.
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- Ramachandran 2014, p. 156.
- Mannath, Malini (22 April 1994). "Two women in a boat". The Indian Express. p. 6.
- Krissna & Rangarajan 2012, p. 101.
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- Krissna & Rangarajan 2012, pp. 108–114.
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- Krissna & Rangarajan 2012, pp. 126–128.
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- Ramachandran 2014, p. 157.
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- "Double standards". Manushi. Samta. 1995. pp. 4–5.
- "Rajinikanth's 'Veera' was remade in Hindi". The Times of India. 19 September 2013. Archived from the original on 11 July 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Srinivasan, Sudhir (26 March 2016). "The man who made Rajinikanth". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 20 September 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Krissna, Suresh; Rangarajan, Malathi (2012). My Days with Baasha. Westland Ltd. ISBN 978-93-8162-629-0.
- Ramachandran, Naman (2014) . Rajinikanth: The Definitive Biography. India: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-81-8475-796-5.