Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (2006 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gautham Vasudev Menon|
|Produced by||Manicam Narayanan|
|Written by||Gautham Vasudev Menon|
|Music by||Harris Jayaraj|
7th Channel Communications
|25 August 2006|
|Budget||₹25 crore (equivalent to ₹65 crore or US$9.1 million in 2019)|
|Box office||₹60 crore (equivalent to ₹155 crore or US$22 million in 2019)|
Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (transl. Hunt and Play) is a 2006 Tamil-language neo-noir action thriller film written and directed by Gautham Menon. The film stars Kamal Haasan, Jyothika, and Kamalinee Mukherjee in prominent roles, while Prakash Raj, Daniel Balaji, and Salim Baig played supporting roles. The music was composed by Harris Jayaraj with cinematography being handled by Ravi Varman and editing done by Anthony. The film is also one of the first Indian films to be made using Super 35.
The film was released on 25 August 2006 to positive reviews and became a blockbuster at box office. It also released in Telugu as Raghavan and in Hindi as The Smart Hunt. Kamal Haasan won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor. Jyothika was nominated for the Best Actress category at the Filmfare Awards for her character Aradhana.
Rani (Bidushi Dash Barde) , the daughter of former Chennai police officer Arokiya Raj (Prakash Raj), tells her father over the phone that she will be back home in Madurai in three hours. As Rani leaves the telephone booth, she is approached by someone she knows, and she does not come home. The following morning, Arokiya Raj finds Rani's finger hanging at his door.
Arokiya Raj calls the DCP in Chennai Crime Branch, Raghavan (Kamal Haasan), his old friend from Chennai, to help in the investigation of Rani's disappearance. With Raghavan's assistance, the police eventually finds Rani's body in the outskirts of the city. The coroner's report states that the killer bisected Rani's body with a surgical knife, proving that the murderer has a strong medical background, and that he also savagely raped her. Six months following the trauma of losing their only daughter, Arokiya Raj and his wife Chithra (Rajashree) move to New York City to get away from the pain of losing Rani, and Rani's wish was to do her MS there.
Three months later, Raghavan learns that both Arokiya Raj and Chithra have been brutally murdered in New York. Collaborating with the New York City Police Department (NYPD), Raghavan leaves for New York to represent the Indian police (IPS). On the flight, he reminisces about his late wife Kayalvizhi (Kamalinee Mukherjee), who was murdered by a local gang in an attempt to get to him.
Once in New York, he begins his investigation with NYPD detective Anderson (Lev Gorn). Raghavan stays at a hotel in downtown New York, where he constantly keeps his superiors in Chennai updated on the investigation. At the hotel, he meets his neighbour Aradhana (Jyothika), an NRI. He immediately notices that she is going through a rough patch in her life and one night, worried about her safety, he breaks into her room, only to find her attempting suicide by asphyxiation. He saves her life and the two strike a friendship. Aradhana reveals that her violent husband Arun (Yog Japee) is filing for divorce after cheating on her.
Meanwhile, Raghavan and Anderson find a connection between Rani's murder in Madurai and a two-year old unsolved murder of an Indian American girl named Chandana, whose finger was also found hanging in her boyfriend's car. Raghavan's instinct leads them to Chandana's body in a restricted area in the suburbs, found along with three other American girls, raped and murdered in a similar manner. After narrowing down their suspects using flight records, their suspicion falls onto two Indian doctors who studied in New York: Amudhan Sukumaran and Ilamaaran Aanandhan. Amudhan and Ilamaaran are secretly in a homosexual relationship.
Raghavan and Anderson visit Amudhan and Ilamaaran's apartment to question them, only to find it unoccupied. Raghavan and Anderson break into the apartment and find pictures of the victims and the murder weapons. Before they can call for backup, Amudan and Ilamaaran arrive, and a violent fight ensues, leaving Anderson shot dead, Raghavan gravely injured, and Ilamaaran unconscious. In order to buy time, Raghavan asks Amudhan why such intelligent young men like them would succumb to such psychopathic acts.
Amudhan explains that they had developed a habit of killing from childhood itself. He claims that he managed to keep his violent urges under control for three years. However, the animal inside him was awoken on the night when he and Ilamaaran were arrested by Arokiya Raj for assaulting Rani. The inspector on duty had them locked up at a local station for a night with a eunuch who molested them. Thirsty for revenge, both of them left for New York to pursue their higher studies in medicine and went on to kill many local young women. On their trip to India, they killed Rani and then returned to the States. After finding out that Arokiya Raj had moved to New York, they killed him and his wife. Thinking that Raghavan will be dead in minutes due to his injuries, they set their apartment on fire and take the next flight to Mumbai to escape the NYPD.
Raghavan makes it out alive by jumping out the window and is hospitalized. Aradhana takes care of him, and their bond grows stronger. Raghavan and Aradhana return to Chennai together. During their flight, Aradhana explains that she has a daughter who is living with her parents in Chennai, and she feels guilty for being selfish and wanting to commit suicide. As they wait in line for customs, Raghavan proposes to Aradhana, but she refuses, saying that she is not ready for another relationship, having just finalized her divorce, and wishes to focus on being a good mother to her daughter first.
Amudhan and Illamaran, evade the Mumbai police at Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport and finally reach Chennai, leaving a trail of bodies in their path. After seeing Aradhana with Raghavan, Amudhan kidnaps her, while Ilamaaran tries to get into Raghavan's house to kill him. When the cops arrive, Ilamaaran attempts to flee but is caught by Raghavan after a chase and fight. He came to realize that Amudhan and Ilamaaran are in a gay relationship. Trying to negotiate Ilamaaran's freedom for Aradhana's, Raghavan agrees to meet with Amudhan. The final altercation results in Raghavan killing both Amudhan and Ilamaaran and rescuing Aradhana. The film ends with the marriage between Raghavan and Aradhana.
- Kamal Haasan as DCP Raghavan IPS
- Jyothika as Aradhana
- Kamalinee Mukherjee as Kayalvizhi
- Prakash Raj as Arokiya Raj
- Daniel Balaji as Amudhan
- Salim Baig as Ilamaran
- Lev Gorn as Anderson
- Rajashree as Chithra
- Bidushi Dash Barde as Rani
- Yog Japee as Arun
- Ahuti Prasad as Commissioner of Chennai
- Janaki Sabesh as Aradhana's mother
- VTV Ganesh as Dharma
- Mumaith Khan (item number in Neruppe Sikki Mukki Song)
- Sunny Veer Singh (item number in Neruppe Sikki Mukki Song)
- Stun Siva as "Royapuram" Mani (special appearance)
- Rajeevan in a special appearance
- Gautham Menon in a special appearance
- Rajendran as a henchman in "Karka Karka"
In 2005, Gautham Menon planned to make a film in Malayalam (which eventually became Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu) and approached Mohanlal after finishing the script, but nothing materialised. Kamal Haasan had agreed to make a film for producer Kaja Mohideen of Roja Combines, and the pair discussed signing Menon to be the film's director, after they were impressed with his work in Kaakha Kaakha (2003). Menon first discussed the script of Pachaikili Muthucharam (2007) with Kamal Haasan, and the actor asked him to develop it into a script within forty days. However he later had second thoughts and asked Menon for a different script to collaborate on. Menon was keen to make a trilogy of cop films, much like Ram Gopal Varma's trilogy of gangster films, and subsequently planned Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu as the second in the series after Kaakha Kaakha. The film narrated another episode from a police officer's life, that of an Indian cop who moves to America to investigate the case of psychotic serial killers before returning to pursue the chase in India. As per Menon's usual method for picking a title, he asked his associates for suggestions, which included the title of Thadayaara Thaaka, which was later used for another film.
The film began production in August 2005 in Chennai, with Ravi Varman signed as the cinematographer. Towards the start of the shoot, producer Kaja Mohideen ran into financial troubles and subsequently attempted suicide. As a result, Kamal Haasan wanted to quit the project but Menon convinced him to stay on as they had taken advance payments. Ravichandran of Oscar Films stepped in and spent 90 lakhs on the film, before also suddenly withdrawing from the project within fifteen days. In order not to waste dates, Menon personally funded a schedule in Mumbai featuring Kamal Haasan and Jyothika and spent 80 lakhs. Menon revealed that unlike Kamal Haasan's other films, the actor did not want to take control of the script or production. Angered by the delays of the film, he kept to himself and made minimal suggestions barring to change some dialogues on location. The film however had gone through changes from the original script, with less emphasis on the antagonists than Menon had hoped, and he also revealed that scenes for songs were forced and shot without him.
For the American schedule, Manickam Narayanan took over as a producer and made the film on a "first-copy" basis. Subsequently, fifty percent of the film was shot in New York City, where shooting lasted for a month. Menon had planned to shoot more scenes in the city, including a car chase sequence, but the change of producer delayed the schedule and cold weather elongated the team's stay and increased costs. Actresses Rohini and Andrea Jeremiah dubbed for the voices of female leads Jyothika and Kamalinee Mukherjee respectively. Menon worked on the post-production of the film in May 2006, while he was simultaneously filming Pachaikili Muthucharam (2007).
Themes and influences
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||21 June 2006|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Five Star Audio|
An Ak Audio
|Harris Jayaraj chronology|
All tracks are written by Thamarai.
|1.||"Karka Karka"||Devan Ekambaram, Tippu, Nakul, Andrea Jeremiah||4:54|
|2.||"Partha Mudhal"||Bombay Jayashree, Unni Menon||6:06|
|3.||"Manjal Veyil"||Hariharan, Krish, Nakul||5:54|
|4.||"Uyirile"||Mahalakshmi Iyer, Srinivas||5:13|
|5.||"Neruppe"||Franko, Solar Sai, Sowmya Raoh||4:50|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||14 July 2006|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
All tracks are written by Veturi Sundararama Murthy.
|1.||"Katthi Doosthe"||Devan Ekambaram, Tippu, Nakul, Andrea Jeremiah||4:49|
|2.||"Banam"||Bombay Jayashree, Harish Raghavendra||6:02|
|3.||"Paccha Velugu"||Karthik, Krish, Nakul||5:53|
|4.||"Hrudayame"||Mahalakshmi Iyer, Srinivas||5:08|
|5.||"Merupe"||Franko, Solar Sai, Sowmya Raoh||4:48|
Behindwoods wrote a positive review, stating: "The album has not let down expectations. It is the usual mix by Harris. However, Bombay Jeyashree's contribution and the beautiful lyrics by poetess Thamarai are the greatest assets to the album. Harris once again proves his mastery in orchestration and the audio will surely be a hit like Minnale or Kaakha Kaakha."
Release and reception
Baradwaj Rangan summarised it in his review: "The story of a police investigation is detailed in a smart, grown-up movie that gets most things right." He praised the film for "giving us a sense of a day in the life of a cop, as if an invisible crew followed him around as he went about his job." He lavished heavy praise on Gautham Menon for mature handling of the relationship between the lead pair, saying, "Gautham continues to dream up for Jyotika parts that no one's imagined her in before, and she contributes to the kind of mature romantic angle we’ve rarely seen before. It’s not just about boy meeting girl and falling in love; it's about boy with baggage meeting girl with bigger baggage and tentatively exploring the practicality of a new relationship after their respective old ones have faded away." Behindwoods said, "It is definitely a triumph of sorts for Gautham and Manickam Narayanan, who have gone through innumerable hitches in getting the movie released. Enjoy!!" Rediff gave it 3.5/5, saying "In his best performance in recent times, Kamal portrays the character with believable honesty and charm." Sify stated that "what gives you goose flesh is the finely calibrated performance of Kamal as DCP Raghavan. You just can’t take your eyes off him as he laces his portrayal with dignity, grace and dry wit."
Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu emerged the biggest Tamil blockbuster of the year grossing a total of ₹600 million worldwide. This was the first Tamil film to be released in 16 theatres in Chennai city alone and changed the trend of film release.
Film Fans Association Award
- Best Actor – Kamal Haasan
- Best Director – Gautham Menon
- Best Music Director – Harris Jayaraj
- Best Playback Singer – Unni Menon
- Best Cinematographer – Ravi Varman
- Best Actor – Kamal Haasan (Nominated)
- Best Actress – Jyothika (Nominated)
- Best Music Director – Harris Jayaraj (Nominated)
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