|Directed by||M. Raja|
|Produced by||V. Ravichandran|
|Written by||Subha (dialogues )|
|Screenplay by||M. Raja
R. T. Neason
|Story by||M. Raja|
|Music by||Vijay Antony|
|Edited by||V. T. Vijayan|
|Distributed by||Aascar Film Pvt. Ltd
|Box office||₹600 million|
Velayudham is a 2011 Indian Tamil masala film written and directed by M. Raja. It stars Vijay in the title role, alongside Genelia D'Souza, Hansika Motwani, Abhimanyu Singh, Saranya Mohan and Santhanam in supporting roles.
The film revolves around a villager who arrives in the city to collect money, is forced to take upon the disguise of superhero and starts to eradicate the evils that pertains within the society such as corruption, prostitution, terrorism etc. In the process, he loses his younger sister. The rest of the story is how Velu avenges the death of his sister and thwarts the plans of a terrorist and an evil minister who is behind the misdeeds.
Velayudham released on 26 October 2011 to positive reviews and became a major commercial success among Tamil Diwali releases despite competition with 7aum Arivu. The movie went on to complete its 100-day theatrical run on 3 February 2012 at many centers. The movie was dubbed into Hindi as Super Hero Shahenshah. The movie was declared a blockbuster and went on to become one of the top grossing films of 2011.
A young journalist Bharathi (Genelia D'Souza), along with two of her friends, investigate a series of terrorist attacks which have taken place in Chennai and also illegal activities like women trafficking. When they are caught video-recording illicit activities happening in a secluded house one night by a group of thugs, they attempt to flee from them. While Bharathi's friends are killed, Bharathi manages to escape despite being stabbed by one of the thugs. But after the attack on Bharathi and her friends, the thugs' vehicle explodes due to a small mishap when a matchstick falls over petrol packets stored in the vehicle, killing all the thugs. Bharathi comes up with a new idea to eradicate society's evils by creating and propagating a fictional character called "Velayudham" who wants to clean up the city of terrorism and other illegal activities.
The scene then shifts to a village called Pavunoor, where a milk vendor named Velayudham aka Velu (Vijay) is residing with his younger sister Kaveri (Saranya Mohan), whom he loves dearly. One day, Velu, Kaveri and their cousin Vaidehi (Hansika Motwani), who is infatuated by Velu, leave for Chennai to collect money from a chit fund for Kaveri's marriage. At the Chennai Egmore railway station, Velu's money is stolen by Speedu (Santhanam), a petty thief. He pursues Speedu on a motorbike parked at the station and manages to get back his money, but moments after alighting from the bike, the bike explodes. The parked bike was meant to ensure a terrorist attack at the railway station, and thus, Velu inadvertently thwarted a deadly terrorist attack which would have killed several people. After a few more incidents where Velu unknowingly prevents more terrorist attacks, he comes to the attention of Bharathi. She convinces him to take up the role of Velayudham and provide hope to the people. In the avatar of Velayudham, Velu starts to eradicate the evils that pertain within the society such as corruption, prostitution and terrorism among others. He soon gains wide support and acceptance among the public and even the police.
A few months later, Velu returns to Pavunoor for Kaveri's marriage. Unknown to him, the leader of a terrorist group Muzamin Ibrahim (Abhimanyu Singh) follows him to the village. Ibrahim wants to kill him since he, in the garb of Velayudham, had thwarted every terrorist attack he had planned in Chennai. On the day of Kaveri's marriage, a bomb planted by Ibrahim at Velu's house explodes, killing Kaveri.
A few days after Kaveri's death, a grieving Velu learns from Bharathi that the corrupt Home Minister of Tamil Nadu Ulaganathan (Vineet Kumar) is responsible for the terrorist attacks and also Kaveri's death. He allowed Ibrahim to carry out terrorist attacks in exchange for money. He even tries to gain popularity by claiming Velayudham as his idea, planning to reveal Ibrahim as Velayudham's real identity in a function at the Nehru Stadium, Chennai. Velu returns to Chennai, kills Ibrahim, exposes Ulaganathan's misdeeds and reveals himself as Velayudham to the whole world.
The film was launched on 15 July 2010 at the Madras University campus. Genelia D'Souza who had acted opposite Vijay in Sachein was chosen for the role of a journalist, and Hansika Motwani was chosen to portray Vijay's love interest, while Saranya Mohan would play sister to Vijay's character. Art director Veera Samar also was roped in to play a journalist. While Santhanam and M. S. Baskar were chosen to play the comedy lead in the film, Sayaji Shinde, Vineetkumar and Abhimanyu Singh were selected to play negative roles. Tom Delmar, who had worked as a stunt coordinator in several Hollywood films, joined the crew to choreograph the stunts in the film. Due to his commitment to Velayudham, Vijay almost lost his role in S. Shankar's Nanban. He had walked out of Nanban, since the two films demanded two completely different looks, however, he joined the film later as the scenes involving the protagonist were reserved to be shot later. R. T. Neason who earlier directed Muruga (2007) and went on to direct Vijay in Jilla (2014) worked as a second unit director.
Filming was carried out primarily at three locations, Southern Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the last schedule in Chennai. A song sequence choreographed by Shobi that was originally to be shot in Switzerland was canned in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, with Genelia and Hansika filming alongside Vijay. Tom Delmar, the stunt co-ordinator of projects such as Braveheart, has been behind the shooting of an extremely tricky train sequence for Velayudham. It has been shot on a train moving on a bridge Vijay performed the very risky sequence coolly.The Director said "A slight miss and the actor could fall 100 feet below! "A very risky sequence, but Vijay did it coolly. My heart was in my mouth when it was being filmed,".This stunt has been taken in the location Rayagada in Orissa. while another fight sequence was filmed at Golkonda fort, Hyderabad. The audiography was done by M. R. Rajakrishnan and film's dubbing was done in Four Frames Recording Studio in Chennai.
Themes and influences
The film has been widely reported to be a remake of the 2000 Telugu film Azad that starred Soundarya as a journalist and Akkineni Nagarjuna as a villager, incidentally the roles played by Genelia and Vijay, respectively. However, director M. Raja claimed that it was not a remake but his own story. He later admitted that Azad served as the inspiration and that he had penned a new screenplay. Vijay had signed up to appear in a village action story titled Velan in 2001 to be directed by Thirupathisamy, the director of Azad, which was postponed indefinitely after the death of the director. Raja told his cast that it was inspired by Azad and requested them to not watch the original. Post the film's release, Raja said that his brother Jayam Ravi had help him in improving the script. Another reported influence for the film was the superhero costume worn by Vijay's character, which was believed to have been "loosely borrowed" from the Assassin's Creed video game series, bearing a resemblance to the robes of young Altaïr, one of the protagonists in the series, leading to criticism of the film being "copied" from the video game. The film 7aum Arivu, which had released alongside Velayudham was also compared with the game.
|Soundtrack album to Velayudham by Vijay Antony|
|Released||28 August 2011|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Sony Music Entertainment|
|Vijay Antony chronology|
The soundtrack is scored by Vijay Antony. The audio right was bought by Sony Music for huge amount. The soundtrack consists of 6 tracks and was released on 28 August 2011, at CSI Grounds in Madurai, attended by thousand of Vijay fans. Vijay, Hansika Motwani, S. A. Chandrasekhar, Vijay Antony, Viveka, and several distributors and theatre owners were present in function. In a press statement Ashok Parwani, Sony Music Entertainment Chennai, said, "We are overwhelmed with the response the movie and the music have received. Velayudham has broken all records and we have sold all our units within a day of its launch. The soundtracks are original, soulful and memorable. We’re sure that the compositions will go down in history as some of the best melodies of our times."
The audio launch was held in Madurai on 28 August.
|1.||"Rathathin Rathame"||Annamalai||Haricharan, Srimathumitha||4:38|
|2.||"Molachu Moonu"||Vivega||Prasanna, Supriya Joshi||4:52|
|3.||"Chillax"||Annamalai||Karthik, Charulatha Mani||4:25|
|4.||"Mayam Seidhayo"||Vivega||Sangeetha Rajeshwaran||4:14|
|5.||"Sonna Puriyadhu"||Siva Shanmugam||Vijay Antony, Veera Shankar||5:39|
|6.||"Vela Vela Velayutham"||Priyan||Vijay Antony, Mark||1:16|
The soundtrack positive reviews and the clash between Vijay and Ajith fans ended up with the release of this movie and mankatha as the both stars movie had a scene showing their friendship between them, with critics recommending the album for Vijay's fans. Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff gave it 2 out of 5 stating "Vijay Antony plays it safe mostly, with the result that there's nothing new." P. G. Devi from Behindwoods gave it 2.5 out of 5 and said "Vijay Antony continues to flaunt his success this time around with Velayutham. The album has a bunch of entertaining soundtrack like, 'Molachu moonu', 'Mayam Seidhayo' and usual mass beat tracks 'Sonna Puriyadhu' and 'Vela Vela'." Prakash Upadhyaya from Oneindia.in said "Vijay Antony's music has met the expectations of the audience. The album has all kinds of songs and the music director has targeted the mass as well as class listeners". Indiaglitz said "the music album [...] presents us a variety fare, however with the main target being the 'mass audience'", labelling it as a "food festival for the appetite of Vijay fans, who are craving for mass masala numbers from their hero".
The film was given a "U" (Universal) certificate by the Indian Censor Board on 13 October 2011 and the theatrical trailer was released in October 2011 to positive response. The film was initially supposed to be released on 22 June, coinciding with Vijay's birthday, but was postponed due to delay in production.
Velayudham released on 26 October 2011, during the Deepavali festival and had a tough competition with Ra.One and 7aum Arivu. The film was released with over 820 prints worldwide. It also saw a release in about 100 theaters in Karnataka and 120 theaters in Kerala.
Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV), a pro-Kannada outfit, requested all the theatres in the state not to screen any non-Kannada movie on the occasion of Kannada Rajyaotsava Day but some of the cinema halls did not take their plea seriously, which irked the KRV activists to show their anger against the Tamil film. However, the theatre authorities realised that the situation might reach out of control and hence, they agreed to cancel all the shows of the day. The film was distributed by producer K Manju in Karnataka.
As per overseas distributor Ayngaran International, the film released in 17 theatres in UK. The US theatrical rights were acquired by GK Media. The film's theatrical distribution rights were sold for ₹40 crore.
The film opened to positive reviews from critics. Sify gave the film 4.0 out of 5 and called it a "paisa vassol film", stating that the film was a "perfect outing with family, but far too long in length". Rediff.com gave the film 2.5 out of 5,and called it a "paisa vassol film" " CNN-IBN defined the film as a "must watch" and "treat for Vijay fans". Indiaglitz labelled it a "racy entertainer this Deepavali season" and cited it was a "right choice for the festival mood". The Times of India gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars, and concluded that Velayudham is sure to add to his box-office muscle. Behinds woods named the film a "Complete mass entertainer spiced up by Vijay" and gave the film 3 out of 5 as well. Similarly Oneindia.in described it as a "complete masala entertainer", highlighting its story and "amazing action-sequences" with a rating of 4 out of five stars. Nowrunning.com rated it 2.5/5, writing: "Velayudham, part comedy part action sails through both streams smoothly until it is struck and sunk by crude melodrama". The Hindu stated that the film "simply enters and entertains" and that Raja had "churned out reasonably engaging fare", adding that it had a "strong story, a neat screenplay arresting action, admirable dance movements, one or two hum-worthy numbers and the ever-helpful sister sentiment". Indo-Asian News Service gave the film 3.5 out of 5, citing that it "defies all logic, but has the magic of the star called Vijay". The Movie was dubbed in Hindi as Superhero Shehanshah.
Velayudham took a big opening on Diwali day. The film topped the overseas box office, forcing the producers to release more prints. In its opening weekend, spanning five days, the film grossed ₹2.1 crore in Chennai. According to trade sources, the film grossed ₹19 crore in Tamil Nadu and around ₹40 crore during the first week worldwide. On 28 October 2011, two days after its release, Vijay, Vijay Antony and director Raja met the press at a hotel in Chennai to celebrate the success of the film.The total collections in Chennai amounted to ₹7.75 crore in seven weeks. Velayudham also grossed ₹5.20 crore in Kerala during its complete run.
Velayudham was a relatively high grosser in Europe and North America, with Taran Adarsh, a Bollywood film critic highlighting that the film was "rocking internationally". Velayudham collected a total of £5,244 in UK. In Australia too, the film collected A$7,175.
Velayudham was honored with the Best Film Award at V4 Entertainment Awards 2011. Velayudham won the honours in the Best Musician category too. Actor Vijay received Edison Award for Best Actor and Superstar Rajini Award in the year 2012 for Velayudham. Vijay received "Hero of the year" award at the 7th Variety award 2011 held on 16 December 2012.
- T. N. Ashok (16 February 2013). "Tamil films: alive and kicking". Madras Musings.
- "A makeover for Vijay?". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- "Velayutham Story | Preview | Synopsis". movies.com.pk.
- "Vijay’s Velayudham wins the race". supergoodmovies.com.
- JT. "Vijay's Velayudham completes 100 days – KOLLY TALK". KOLLY TALK.
- "Top 10 Tamil Movies 2011 Box-Office Collections | Kollywood Top 10 of 2011". Tamil Cinema News | Movie Reviews | Gossips.
- Velayudham (DVD): clip from 4.36 to 4.48
- Velayudham (DVD): clip from 2.45.16 to 2.45.27
- "Events – Vijay's 'Velayudham' First Look". IndiaGlitz. 14 July 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "Genelia's role in Velayudham". Behindwoods. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Hansika enjoys it". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Hansika Motwani wants to dub her voice in Tamil". Times Chennai. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Celebrations At Velayudham Shooting Spot". Behindwoods. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Velayutham actor wants Amala Paul". Behindwoods. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "'Velayudham' gearing for completion".
- "B-Town baddies in Velayudham". The Times of India. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "Velayudham Gets Hollywood Touch!". Behindwoods. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "'Velayudham' updates". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Vijay Not To Campaign". Behindwoods. 22 January 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Official: '3 Idiots' is 'Nanban'. Vijay is Aamir Khan". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "R T Nesan – Interview". behindwoods.com.
- S. R. ASHOK KUMAR. "Audio beat: Jilla – Big stars and some great music". The Hindu.
- "Velayutham team in Thiruvananthapuram". Behindwoods. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Velayutham's last schedule". Behindwoods. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Vijay, Hansika & Genelia in Kashmir". Sify. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Hansika v/s Genelia battle over a song!". Sify. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "The V quotient". THE HINDU.
- "Velayudham starts in Hyderabad".
- "Vijay at Four Frames". Behindwoods. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- Prakash KL (15 July 2010). "Vijay's Velayudham set for grand launch". Entertainment.oneindia.in. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Velayudham is not Azad". Top 10 Cinema. 17 July 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Priyanka's southern debut star-crossed : Down South News". ApunKaChoice.Com. 7 September 2001. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- "Velayudham inspired by Azad!". The Times of India. 29 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
- "Events – Vijay @ 'Velayudham' Success Meet". IndiaGlitz. 29 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
- "Tale of three superheroes". The Hindu. 6 November 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- Shruti Menon (14 October 2012). "Who’ll bell the copycats?". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- "J.Jayalalitha to attend Velayudham music launch?". Southdreamz.com. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Fans are important for Vijay". 29 August 2011. Behindwoods. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- "'Velayudham' smashes all records!". indiaglitz.com.
- "Velayudham music is for Vijay fans only". Rediff. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- P. G. Devi. "VELAYUDHAM MUSIC REVIEW". Behindwoods. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- Prakash Upadhyaya. "Velayudham – Music Review". Oneindia.in. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "Velayudham Music Review". Indiaglitz. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "'Velayudham' cleared with clean 'U'". Deccan Chronicle.
- "Diwali release update". Sify. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Vijay's Velayutham status". Behindwoods. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Vijay's 'Velayudham' to hit screens this Diwali". CNN-IBN. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
- "'Velayudham' releasing with 820 prints!". Indiaglitz. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- "Velayudham Struggles". OneIndia. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Velayudham-Biggest release after Endhiran". Behindwoods. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Velayudham US theatrical rights sold". 13 October 2011. Oneindia.in. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- "Jaya TV takes Velayudham rights", Deccan Chronicle, 13 August 2011, retrieved 15 August 2011
- "Description – Velayudham Tamil DVD With English Subtitles". njmtv.com.
- "Movie Review: Velayudham". 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Velayudham is paisa vasool". 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Tamil Review: 'Velayudham' a must for Vijay fans". CNN-IBN. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "Velayudham – Vijay is the weapon". 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Velayudham – Times of India review". The Times of India. 30 October 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- "Velayudham movie review". 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Velayudham review". entertainment.oneindia. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Velayudham – Movie Review". 31 October 2011. Oneindia.in. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "Velayudham Review – Tamil Movie Review by Rohit Ramachandran". Nowrunning.com. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
- Malathi Rangarajan (29 October 2011). "Arts / Cinema : Lance view". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
- "Review: Velayudham". NDTV. Indo-Asian News Service. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
- "Velayudham's victory over 7aam Arivu surprises all – Entertainment – DNA". Daily News and Analysis. 30 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "Jayam Ravi was involved in Velayutham". 29 October 2011. Behindwoods. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- Prakash (31 October 2011). "Box Office Reports". Rediff. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- Prakash (31 October 2011). "Box Office Reports". Oneindia.in. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "Velayutham, more prints". 29 October 2011. Behindwoods. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "More prints for 'Velayudham', to be remade in Hindi?". 29 October 2011. IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "Chennai Diwali Box-Office (October 26 to 30)". Sify. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "Velayutham rakes in Rs 19 crore in the state". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- "7aum Arivu vs. Velayutham". Behindwoods. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- CNN-IBN. "Vijay'S Velayudham Is A Hit – ( Cnn Ibn Live News )". YouTube. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "BEHINDWOODS VELAYUDHAM SUCCESS PARTY – IMAGES – Tamil Evnet Images – Behindwoods velayudham success party | Vijay – Behindwoods.com". behindwoods.com.
- Velayudham Box Office. behindwoods.com. December 2011
- "Ayngaran International". ayngaran.com.
- "2011: A bleak streak for Tamil film industry". CNN-IBN.
- "U.K. Weekend Box Office". Box Office Mojo. November 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- "Velayudham surpasses 7aam Arivu at UK Box Office". Oneindia.in. 5 November 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- "Velayudham rakes money in UK Box Office". Oneindia.in. 5 November 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- "Velayudham rakes money in Australia Box Office". Bollywood Hungama. 5 November 2011.
- "Dhanush And Anjali – Best Actor And Actress – Dhanush – Anjali – Velayutham – Prabhu – P Vasu – – Tamil Movie News – Behindwoods.com". behindwoods.com.
- "Welcome superwoods.com – Hostmonster.com". superwoods.com.
- சிறந்த நடிகர் – நடிகைகள்,தனுஷ் – அஞ்சலிக்கு விருது!!
- "Best of Kollywood 2011: Vijay beats Ajith, Surya, Vikram". www.filmibeat.com.
- "Twice as nice". The Hindu. 18 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- "Vijay the best actor and Jeyam Ravi the romantic hero". Behindwoods. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "Vijay bags Rajini Award". Deccan Chronicle. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "Hero of the year". kollytalk. Retrieved 18 December 2012.