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Thalaivaa film official poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byA. L. Vijay
Produced byS. Chandraprakash Jain
Written byA. L. Vijay
Music byG. V. Prakash Kumar
CinematographyNirav Shah
Editing byAnthony
StudioSri Mishri Productions
Distributed byVendhar Movies
Release dates8 August 2013 (France, Singapore and Canada)
9 August 2013 (Worldwide)
20 August 2013[1] (Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry)
Running time182 minutes

INR60 crore (US$9.6 million)[2]

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Thalaivaa film official poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byA. L. Vijay
Produced byS. Chandraprakash Jain
Written byA. L. Vijay
Music byG. V. Prakash Kumar
CinematographyNirav Shah
Editing byAnthony
StudioSri Mishri Productions
Distributed byVendhar Movies
Release dates8 August 2013 (France, Singapore and Canada)
9 August 2013 (Worldwide)
20 August 2013[1] (Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry)
Running time182 minutes

INR60 crore (US$9.6 million)[2]


Thalaivaa (English: Leader) is a 2013 Tamil political thriller film directed and written by A. L. Vijay. The film features Vijay and Amala Paul in the lead roles, Abhimanyu Singh as the main antagonist, as well as Sathyaraj, Santhanam, Ponvannan, Rajiv Pillai and Ragini Nandwani in supporting roles.[4] The film, produced by Chandraprakash Jain, features background score and soundtrack composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar with cinematography handled by Nirav Shah. The film was released worldwide on 9 August 2013, except in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, where the film's release was delayed until released on 20 August 2013 due to controversies.[5][6]


In 1988, the slum of Dharavi in mumbai (now Mumbai) are ravaged by riots between the local Maharashtrians and the immigrant Tamilians following the death of Dharavi's Tamil mafia don Varadarajan Mudaliar. A Tamil coolie named Ramadurai (Sathyaraj), known as Anna among the locals, bravely fights the Maharashtrians and also encourages his fellow Tamilians to fight them. As a result, his wife Ganga (Rekha) is killed by the henchmen of the Marathi leader who instigated the riots. In retaliation, Ramadurai kills the Marathi leader following which he decides to step into Varadarajan Mudaliar's shoes and protect Dharavi. He then gives away his young son Viswa to his friend Ratnam (Nassar) as he wants him to grow up away from the Bombay underworld. 25 years later, Ramadurai has established himself as a mafia don, providing his own brand of justice to protect the downtrodden and engaging in a bitter feud with the gang led by Bhima Bhai (Abhimanyu Singh), the son of the slain Marathi leader who has sworn to take revenge on Ramadurai for killing his father. With support from the Government of Maharashtra and the Mumbai police, Bhima Bhai manages to frame false cases against Ramadurai and his gang, as a result of which Ramadurai goes into hiding.

Meanwhile, Viswa (Vijay), who is now an adult, lives in Sydney and runs a mineral water bottling plant, assisted by his childhood friend Logu (Santhanam). He maintains contact with his father regularly, though he is oblivious of his activities in Mumbai. While driving one day, he runs into a young woman named Meera Narayanan (Amala Paul) and takes an instant attraction to her. He goes to her house to take up a contract to supply water to a restaurant newly opened by her father (Suresh) who takes an immediate liking to him. Soon, Meera and Viswa fall for each other and together they revive her father's unprofitable restaurant business and win a local dance competition. Eventually, she proposes to Viswa and her father who immediately agree to this relationship and expresses his intention to meet his father to talk about their wedding. When they arrive in Mumbai however, they are received by Ramadurai's brother Ranga (Ponvannan), who takes only Viswa with him to Mahim Fort, where he finally meets his father after many years. After hearing his story, Ramadurai decides to meet Meera and her father at their hotel to finalise the wedding. It soon turns out that Meera is a police officer who knew that Viswa was Ramadurai's son and she along with another police officer (who pretended to be her father) decided to lure him to Mumbai to arrest his father by faking her love for him and pretending to show interest in meeting his father. Ramadurai is arrested, but as soon as he is locked in the police van, the van explodes, killing him. Viswa, who is also present, notices that the van was bombed by Bhima Bhai and his gang.

A distraught Viswa refuses to return to Australia and instead takes charge of his father's gang. After stopping a Bhima Bhai-led eviction drive in Dharavi, he is arrested and brutally beaten by the police, only to be released after Meera intervenes. However, his resilience and attempt to stand up to Bhima Bhai makes him a hero among the downtrodden and is hailed as the successor of Ramadurai.

Later, clashes between Maharashtrians and non-Maharashtrians take place at Matunga. Video Kumar (Udhaya), who is video recording a Gujarati wedding there, finds out that Bhima Bhai and his henchmen are responsible for instigating the riots in order to lure Viswa there and kill him. He records their conversation, but is immediately noticed by them, who pursue and kill him. However, they are not able to steal the tape where their conversation was recorded as it had been stolen from Kumar while he was escaping from them in a local train. Viswa finds out about the incident and immediately tracks the pickpocket who stole the tape, acquiring the tape much before Bhima Bhai and his henchmen acquire it. When the tape is made public, Bhima Bhai is arrested.

When Viswa meets Bhima at prison and threatens to kill him, he escapes from prison and goes to the minister for aid (one of Bhima's allies and one of the conspirators in Ramadurai's assassination) where he finds out that the minister has been killed by Viswa and Bhima is framed for the minister's murder and is arrested again.But Bhima escapes again and plans to kill Viswa as soon as possible.That night, at the Maha Shivaratri celebrations at Dharavi, Viswa and his men get drunk. The next morning, he realises that six of his men, along with a young Gujarati woman Gowri (Ragini Nandwani), who had a crush on Viswa, were killed the previous night while he was drunk. He also finds out that Ranga has been kidnapped by Bhima Bhai and is keeping him prisoner in a fort. He immediately rushes there, only to find out that Ranga was working for Bhima Bhai all along. Ranga had killed Viswa's henchmen when Viswa was drunk and also killed Gowri after she saved Viswa from being killed. He stabs Viswa and escapes with his son who is oblivious of Ranga's double agent role. After finding out that Ranga had killed Viswa and was a traitor, he drives the car they are in into an oil tanker, killing them both. It is then revealed that Viswa did not die as claimed by Ranga, but is still fighting Bhima Bhai and his henchmen at the fort. After subduing all the henchmen, he finally stabs Bhima Bhai in the neck, killing him. Soon, Meera arrives there with the police and after finding out that Viswa killed Bhima Bhai and his henchmen, she shoots their dead bodies to show that she killed Bhima Bhai because she has now fallen in love with Viswa as a result of which she doesn't have the heart to arrest him. She then resigns from the police.

The movie ends with Viswa and Meera getting married. Also, the surviving members of Bhima Bhai's gang, unwilling to face Viswa, flee Mumbai.




Vijay on the sets of Thalaivaa

After watching A. L. Vijay's period drama film Madrasapattinam (2010), Vijay was impressed by the film and contacted the film director for a new project. A. L. Vijay later narrated the Thalaivaa story to Vijay and he agreed to play the role within fifteen minutes.[7] Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Yami Gautam were initially approached for the lead female role.[8][9] Later Amala Paul was selected.[10] Vijay Yesudas was reported to be finalized for antagonist role in this film,[11] but he denied it as rumour.[12][13] Sathyaraj was also selected to be a part of this film.[14] A. L. Vijay's brother Udhaya has been selected to feature in a prominent role.[15] G. V. Prakash Kumar will be the music director while Nirav Shah will crank the camera. R.K. Naguraj has been enrolled as art director. Rumors about a Hollywood star portraying a singer, were refuted by Vijay.[16]


The muhurta of the film was held in Chennai on November 16, 2012.[17] The first schedule began in Mumbai from November 23, 2012.[18] The title song "Thalaivaa Thalaivaa" was shot in Mumbai with 500 junior artists.[19] A major portion of the film was shot in Australia.[20] The first look and title was revealed on January 14, 2013. Additional posters were released on January 26, 2013.[21]

As of February 8, 2013, 50 percent of total shootings were completed, with stunt scenes conducted by Stunt Silva.[22] Ragini Nandwani, who plays a North Indian, stated that all of her film sequences were shot in Mumbai over 25–30 days. They moved to Chennai and shot a song at Binny Mills.[23] A last shooting schedule in Australia was completed by April 24.[24][25] They shot scenes at the Bondi Beach in New South Wales.[26] It was revealed that Vijay would portray a leader of a dance group based in Australia, performing dance styles of different genres including tap dancing with Sathish (June Ponal song fame), Karthik (Ungalil yaar Prabhu Deva winner) & their dance schoolmates.[27]



Front cover
Soundtrack album by G. V. Prakash Kumar
ReleasedJune 21, 2013[28]
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSony Music India
ProducerG. V. Prakash Kumar
G. V. Prakash Kumar chronology
Udhayam NH4 (2013)Thalaivaa (2013)Raja Rani (2013)

The soundtrack features five songs and two theme music tracks.[29] The soundtrack was composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar and the lyrics are by Na. Muthukumar, both teaming with A. L. Vijay for the fifth time. This was also G. V. Prakash's first collaboration with actor Vijay. As of November 21, 2012, he had composed two songs for the film.[30] One song had been sung by Vijay being his 26th song alongside with Santhanam.[31] A third song was completed on February 11, 2013.[29] The audio launch took place on June 21, 2013 in Hotel Connemara.[32] The audio rights of Thalaivaa was bought by Sony Music.[33]

All lyrics written by Na. Muthukumar

Track listing
1."Tamil Pasanga"  Benny Dayal, Sheezay.Psycho Unit5:06
2."Yaar Indha Saalai Oram"  G. V. Prakash Kumar, Saindhavi5:12
3."Vaanganna Vanakkanganna"  Vijay, Santhanam5:31
4."Sol Sol"  Vijay Prakash, Abhay Jodhpurkar, Megha5:46
5."The Ecstacy Of Dancel"  Kiran, Chennai Symphony2:08
6."Thalapathy Thalapathy"  Haricharan, Pooja Vaidyanath, Zia Ulhaq5:36
7."Thalaivaa Theme"  G. V. Prakash Kumar2:46
Total length:


The soundtrack garnered rave reviews from audience and critics. Behindwoods rated it 3.5/5, stating "A true for the fans, high on energy and drama".[34] Oneindia said GV Prakash Kumar has composed the songs keeping new-age audience in mind. Thalaivaa album simply cannot be ignored.[35] Indiaglitz said "Thalaivaa is all about energy and jive. Ranging from foot tapping to soul lifting, the album is elevating in all respects. For a crowd puller like Vijay, this album is aptly scored to be cheery and soulful. In all, GV Prakash has redefined music crafted for dance and rated 3.75 / 5 – Energy packed album. Get up and dance."[36]


Thalaivaa distribution rights for the United States and Canada were bought by Bharat Creations.[37] Ayngaran International acquired the overseas rights for Thalaivaa[38] Tamil Nadu rights were bought by Vendhar Movies and Kerala rights by Thameens via Vendhar movies. The music rights were sold to Sony Music.[39] Prior to Vijay's birthday on June 21 a theatrical film trailer was released by Sony Music India on their YouTube channel.[40] Trailer got 1000 views in 32 hours and 2 million views within 10 days on YouTube after its release. The film garnered 3 million hits on YouTube. The satellite rights of the film were bagged by Sun TV. The film's running length is 3 hours 2 minutes and was given a "U" certiticate by the Indian Censor Board. The film has been released on Friday, 9 August all over India and abroad except in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Thalaivaa released on August 20 in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.[41]


On 7 August 2013, the film were taken to court by the son of a Mumbai-based Tamil businessman who filed a civil suit charging the makers of the film with distorting the lives of both his late father and grandfather.[42][43][44][45][46] In the petition, S. K. R. Karnan from Tirunelveli District said he reliably learnt that the film’s story was based on the life of his grandfather, S.S. Kandasamy Sait, alias SSK, and his father, S. K. Ramasamy, alias SKR. His grandfather and father were well known among the Tamils in Dharavi, Mumbai. Karnan also argued that his grandfather and father were being portrayed as dons in the Dharavi area in the likes of the famous Varadarajan Mudaliar, which was a total distortion of facts. According to the petitioner, they never indulged in illegal activities, as did the lead characters in Thalaivaa played by Vijay and Sathyaraj did, and were social leaders.[42][43][44][45][46][47]

On 9 August 2013, the release of Thalaivaa in Tamil Nadu was halted after several prominent theatres in Chennai reported to have received bomb threats, which critics would later describe as being similar to the controversies related to Vishwaroopam (2013).[48][49][50][51] The film also reportedly failed to receive tax exemption from the Tamil Nadu Department of Revenue.[42][43][52][53][54][55] On 17 August 2013, it was announced that the film will see theatrical release on August 20.[56]


The film opened with positive to mixed reviews especially for Vijay's acting "[57] stated that the film is not a typical Vijay's masala entertainer, but will make his fans to be proud as his fans.[58] [59] IBN Live rated 2.5/5 stating that the film is a half-baked product. stated "Thalaivaa likes the curate’s egg is good in parts and would have been better if it was more racy and shorter".[60] gave the movie 2.75/5 commenting "Although slow at the start and missing in some of its character backstories, the film makes up for it with few unexpected turns of events.Relatively, gave the movie 2.8/5 stating that the film tests the patience for 3 hours.[61] gave the movie 2/5 stars stating, "Thalaiva which runs for 185 minutes has very intelligent scenes and is expected to be a complete class hit entertainer movie of the year".[62] AP gave 3/5 stating that "the film is not only for die-hard Vijay fans".[63]

'Times Of India' gave 3 stating Vijay is in top form when he's normal and menacing. Sathyaraj as the don is effective. But the one who makes this arduous journey enjoyable is Santhanam, whose poker-faced humour provides relief in a largely grim story.[64] gave the movie 3.75/5 stating "First half is fast paced with romance, dance, funny scenes like chemistry between Santhanam-Amala Paul is glorified better than Vijay-Amala in the movie and second half is good with twits and revenge drama.[65] MovieCrow rated 3/5 stating that the movie could be watched only for the first half.[66] gave 3/5 and commented, Thalaivaa is old wine in new bottle".[67]

Box office[edit]

The film got a good opening in Kerala grossing INR13.8 crores on 2 days.[68] At the end of the third weekend, total gross of the film in Kerala is INR4.8 crore.[69]

The film totally grossed INR2 crore in Andhra Pradesh.[70] In Karnataka, the film grossed about INR1.7 crore with the distributor’s share being INR.7 crore. In Bangalore city, the occupancies in the second weekend were hovering around the 40% mark in single screens while some of the multiplexes such as Cinemax and Gopalan were sold out.[71][72]

In Chennai, after having a delayed release in Tamil Nadu, the film got a good opening by fetching INR4.22 crore in its opening day.[73] In Malaysia, the film overall grossed $1,902,959 (INR.8 crore).[74] Thalaiva Review Vijay's Thalaivaa a class entertainment hit film | Reviews. (2013-08-09). Retrieved on 2013-12-29.</ref>


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External links[edit]