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Vetrimaaran

High On Films

Every Vetrimaaran Film Ranked

Tamil filmmaker Vetrimaaran belongs to one of those breeds of director whose tight scripts, apt casting, and realistic treatment of storyline has made fundamental changes to the very nature of mainstream filmmaking. His films are made for a multi-cultural audience and backed by the strength of their storytelling and sculpted dialogue, which has reinvigorated the art of popular cinema with a breath of fresh air.

Related Read to Vetrimaaran Films: Every Lijo Jose Pellissery Film Ranked

Each of the films is imbued with a powerful, coherent aesthetic that guides viewers through a dark matrix. At its best, it augments a captivating narrative and sinks viewers into a world of social realism of rural Tamil Nadu. Even urban reality is being depicted showcasing more fallible and life-like characters. The cinema of the carnivalesque with its larger-than-life characters, melodramatic orientation and highly romanticized canvas is something that does not whet his appetite for creativity.

With a filmography of five features and one short film as a director, he has earned his reputation as the most one of the most accessible filmmakers of the last decade. His style involves artistically thriving with a soothing pace lending itself to an atmospheric work filled with oneiric undertones. Some viewers may find his films brutal and gut wrenching as it gets; yet, despite its ruthless depiction, it’s also surprisingly heartwarming.

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5. Polladhavan (2007)

Polladhavan

Vetrimaaran’s debut feature film opens up with a gruesome and brutal fighting sequence and then using the device of flashback, the filmmaker takes us into the dynamic world of contemporary Chennai, where an educated young man, Prabhu ( Dhanush ) fight injustice and in the process is forced to unleash the animal within him.

Also, Read: Every Sriram Raghavan Film Ranked

The protagonist of the film is an uneducated youth who due to turn of events confronts his father (Murali) and an argument regarding the responsibilities of parents towards their offspring ensues. As a result of this conflict, Prabhu gets a hefty amount from his father and he uses the money to purchase a Bajaj Pulsar bike. This appears to be a wise investment because owning the vehicle enables him to get a job and earn respect in society. But the situation takes a drastic turn when a gang of anti-socials steals his bike. Thereafter the film presents the viewers with the transformation of resilience into power and its hold over the life of an individual’s struggle to maintain his position in the harsh reality of everyday life.

The plot of the film has similarities with Wang Xiaoshuai’s Bejing Bicycle (2001). But the well worked out mise-en-scenes of Polladhavan makes it an entertaining tale of a casual urban carefree person’s conversion into a person of genuine worth and true dignity. Polladhavan was remade in Kannada as Punda, in Telugu as Kurradu starring Varun Sandesh, in Sinhala as Pravegeya, in Bengali as Borbaad (2014) and in Hindi as Guns of Banaras (2020). But none of them could achieve the excellence earned by the original version.

4. Visaranai (2016)

Vetrimaaran Films

Based on the Tamil novel Lock Up by M. Chandrakumar, Vetrimaaran’s third outing in its first half has such brutal scenes of police torture that one could genuinely feel the bestial act of police torture. The viewers are compelled to cringe as well as empathize with the plight of four helpless souls. The narrative of the film can be divided into two sections-before and after the intermission. Four migrant workers are falsely accused in a burglary case that has taken place at a rich and affluent man’s bungalow. The police beat these four characters in black and blue and want them to confess. Not able to withstand the pain they agree to accept the charges. Once they are produced in the court the narrative of the film takes a twist and the viewers are presented with one shocking surprise after the other.

Related Read to Vetrimaaran Films: Salt Of The Earth (1954) : A Landmark American Independent Cinema On The Working Class  

The filmmaker displays superb craftsmanship and commitment to an engaging dramatic tale that ends in a tragedy. The film subtly depicts that the characters in the film become a victim because of the system that protected the criminal over the accuser. It is a deeply troubling film that is devoid of cathartic and healing moments. Vetrimaaran does not feel hesitant in constructing the brutal scene with ease and he is neither afraid to carve out its own unique style.

The film had its world premiere at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Amnesty International Italia Award. Back home it had won three National Film Awards- Best Feature Film in Tamil, Best Supporting Actor and Best Editing.

Watch Visaranai (2016) on Netflix

3. asuran (2019).

Vetrimaaran Films

What becomes the last resort for a farmer who goes on the run with his family as he is compelled to protect his son, who has murdered a wealthy upper-caste landlord in a fit of vengeance? The reply should be to fight with the oppressing forces and reclaim his identity. That is exactly what Sivasaami (Dhanush) does to break away from the uncomfortable social status he has inherited. Based on the novel Vekkai by Poomani, Vetrimaaran’s screen adaptation is so watertight that every occurrence in the screenplay feels alluring.

Related Read to Vetrimaaran Films : Asuran (2019) Review: Rise, Asuran, Rise!

With Asuran Vetrimaaran continues his excellent cinematic flair as a director enhancing his commendable grasp on the tropes of mainstream cinema. The film also benefits from technical polish – the cinematography, background score and editing are all top-notch. Asuran too has gut-wrenching violence and prepares the viewer for the edge-of-seat tension. The narrative follows a rhythm where the plot is revealed without wasting much of the screen time. The film belongs to the genre of revenge saga told from the perspective of a lower caste protagonist.

It’s one of those mainstream films that fulfill a social purpose, for it’s hard to imagine anyone viewing Asuran and not abhorring the evil practice of casteism in our country and how it voluntarily degrade human values and status. At the Norway Tamil Film Festival Awards, 2020, Vetrimaaran won the award for best director. The film had won two National Film Awards- Best Feature Film in Tamil and Best Actor.

Read the Complete Review of Asuran (2019) Here

Watch asuran (2019) on prime video , 2. vada chennai (2018).

Vada Chennai

A tale of criminal activities narrated in a non-linear pattern over the span of more than a decade is the perfect recipe for a crime sage. Vetrimaaran’s narrative takes the viewers on a journey that lasts for nearly a hundred and sixty-four hours and introduces them to the world of guilt, regret and vital decisions leading to loyalty turned into betrayal. The protagonist of the film Anbu (Dhanush) is an expert carrom player but his life gets entwined into the world of crime. He gets pulled into the vortex so deeply that penitence alludes to him after a point in time.

Related Read to Vetrimaaran Films : Top Tamil Movies of 2018 and Where To Watch Them

With a multiple cast the story of the film is set in the underbellies of North Chennai as the title of the film implies and the theme of the film is more nuanced than the conventional black-and-white morality tales where evil is punished by good at the end. The film blatantly showcases the graphic world of crime and violence, investigates the nature of friendship, the ethics of vigilantism, and the nature of unhappiness. Vetrimaaran delves deeply into the minds of his tortured characters and explores how the men and women he depicts grapple with moral codes and their emotions.

He further engages with many of the most basic questions about our humanity and how we relate to one another in a complex world. The stylistic elements in the film earn comparisons, bearing marked connections to several of Vetrimaaran’s other films. The film won the Best Film (People’s Choice Award) at the Pingyao International Film Festival, 2018. At the Filmfare Awards South, Dhanush won the trophy for the Best Actor.

Read the Complete Review of Vada Chennai (2018) Here

Watch vada chennai (2018) on disney hotstar, 1. aadukalam (2011).

Aadukalam

As the roosters combat in the arena with each other, it becomes a fight of the egos of the individuals who own the fowl. So, when Karuppu’s rooster emerges victorious he not only earns a lot of money but also the enmity of his boss Periyasamy (V. I. S. Jayapalan) and Rathnasamy (Naren). And from then onwards the life of our protagonist will be filled with one hurdle after the other as the tale of loyalty, self-esteem, deception, and honor unfolds.

Related Read to Vetrimaaran Films : 10 Great Tamil Movies You Can Stream On Netflix Right Now

In his sophomore, Vetrimaaran presents a varied cultural pattern of rural Tamil Nadu and uses realism, tradition, and contemporaneity, soaked in local flavor within the narrative structure of his tightly structured screenplay. The conflicts introduced within the plot points create tension by employing smart conventions that are able to sustain the viewer’s anticipation. The editing pattern of the film creates a commendable pace and multi-layered visual design that heightens the impact of the film. Though the filmmaker has openly admitted that he was inspired by the dogfighting scene of Amores Perros (2000), Vetrimaaran has infused his own style and poise within the film, which is anything by blatant copy.

Despite having strong content and potential for box-office success, filmmakers from another region could not dare to remake the film until now. The reason being the milieu of the film is so rooted in the soil of Tamil Nadu and that makes it the best film in the oeuvre of Vetrimaaran’s impressive career. At the 58th National Film Awards, the film won five awards-Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Choreography and Special Jury Award for Acting.

Special Mention: Oor Iravu (2020)

Oor Iravu

Oor Iravu is a part of the Tamil anthology drama Paava Kadhaigal (2020). Owing to its shorter running time, I have included it in the category of special mention. On the surface level of its narrative, the film depicts the tale of a daughter Sumathi (Sai Pallavi) who had eloped from her village and now she has reunited with her father Janakiraman (Prakash Raj). But as the story of the film moves forward we discover the sensitivity and intricacies of the complex human psyche of individual characters within the film.

Also, Read: Paava Kadhaigal (2020) Netflix: Sinful Filmmaking under the Garb of Hard Hitting Social Drama

Vetrimaaran treated the film with a style that is bold and innovative with the choice of a subject in which the form and content merge into one. The pacing is not fast like his other films rather it is a slow study of how Sumathi’s drastic decision had impacted the lives of various members of his family. Vetrimaaran did not deviate from his usual style of narrative exploration but he has brought an understated rhythm to the unfolding of the events.

There is a kind of freshness in his approach and courage displayed in choosing to build a film around the brutal concept of associating the honor of the family with the sanctity of a woman. The film ends on a depressing note as we realize that such evil things are a reality and will continue to happen unless and until the evils of casteism are not obliterated from our society.

Watch Oor Iravu (2020) on Netflix

Vetrimaaran links : imdb , wikipedia.

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Dipankar Sarkar is a freelance writer on various topics related to cinema. His articles have appeared in Scroll, The Hindu, Livemint, The Quint, The Tribune, Chandigarh, Upperstall, and vaguevisages.com amongst others.

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Vetrimaaran

Vetrimaaran

Producer, Writer, Director, Actor

Born September 4, 1975 in Cuddalore, Tamilnadu, India

Vetrimaaran is an Indian film director, screenwriter and film producer, who works in the Tamil film industry. Vetrimaaran made his directorial debut with the Polladhavan. His second feature film Aadukalam won six National Film Awards. He produces films under his production company, Grass Root Film Company. His movie Visaranai (2016) was selected as India's official entry to the Academy Awards.His film Asuran (2019) was named as the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil.

Filmography

Asuran (Hindi)

Connections

Dhanush

Aadukalam Naren

Aishwarya Rajesh

Aishwarya Rajesh

Samuthirakani

Samuthirakani

Radha Ravi

Andrea Jeremiah

Kishore Kumar G.

Kishore Kumar G.

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Vetri Maaran: A vital link between Tamil cinema and literature 

On his birthday, let's take a look at how vetri maaran is sustaining the trend of film adaptations in tamil cinema.

director vetrimaran movie list

Tamil filmmakers have seldom recognized the untapped potential of Tamil literature. The argument that Tamil cinema is too ‘masala’ for it to borrow from literature doesn’t hold water because Tamil literature doesn’t just have ‘serious’ and ‘deep’ books. It has a humongous repository of pulp fiction. For every intense work like Pa Singaram’s Puyalilae Oru Thoni, there’s one gripping page-turner like Sujatha’s Ratham Orae Niram or Rajkumar’s Kaatrin Niram Karuppu. Thus, it is dumbfounding when stars complain about the paucity of good stories from filmmakers.

However, novel adaptations in Tamil are not entirely nonexistent. It is an age-old phenomenon. Films like Jayakanthan’s Unnaipol Oruvan (which received a National Award in 1965), Rajinikanth ’s Priya (1978), Karaiyellam Shenbagapoo (1981), and Kamal Haasan ’s Vikram (1986) are some of the notable examples. Yet, these are just flashes in the pan. A sustained trend of film adaptations hasn’t happened in contemporary Tamil cinema. But filmmaker Vetri Maaran seems to be giving some hope.

director vetrimaran movie list

The National Award-winning filmmaker has so far directed five feature films of which two are adaptations of Tamil novels. His upcoming films Viduthalai and Vaadivasal are also based on Tamil literary works, which makes Vetri Maaran, a vital link between Tamil literature and cinema. Not just that, he has also cracked the formula of using serious literature for making commercial films.

Literature and Vetri Maaran

The relationship between literature and Vetri Maaran should have begun way early in his childhood as his mom Megala Chitravel is a noted Tamil novelist. On top of that, the director also studied English literature at Loyola College, Chennai . When he wanted to work with his mentor, prolific filmmaker Balu Mahendra, it was his knowledge of literature that aided him to get the opportunity. In an interview with Tamil magazine Anandha Vikatan, Vetri Maaran shared that Balu Mahendra asked him to come up with a synopsis for a novel as part of his interview process for the assistant director role. Though only his third film, Visaaranai (National Award-winning film and official Indian entry to the 89th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film) turned out to be his first adaptation, one can see that his tryst with written words has been an integral part of his journey.

Making literature mainstream

One of the criticisms against Asuran, Vetri Maaran’s film adaptation of Poomani’s Vekkai (Heat), is that the story was commercialised and unfaithful to the source material. Yet, his mainstream treatment of the novel is what contributed to the film’s commercial success. Vetri Maaran gave a ‘Baasha’ twist to Poomani’s novel, which turned the layered novel into a story of an underdog.

Festive offer

Vekkai is about Sivasamy and his 15-year-old son Chidambaram, who are on the run from the police after the latter kills an upper caste man Vadakooran to avenge the murder of his elder brother. As the dad and son spend around eight days in the forest hiding, the story of oppression and caste politics unfolds. The novel is devoid of heroism and deals with everyday people and their excruciating pain. Vetri Maaran made a significant change in his film by making Sivasamy the ‘hero’ of the film, while in the book, Chidambaram is the ‘protagonist’. Also, Dhanush ’s Sivasamy is an entirely different person from the one we find in Poomani’s book. In addition, the entire backstory of Sivasamy, which depicts him as a rebellious young man, is absent in the novel. This made Dhanush’s Sivasamy a familiar trope of mainstream cinema – a man with a violent past. This vital change made the film accessible to all sections of the audience.

However, critics of Vetri Maaran are also not wrong. A faithful remake of the film aided by Vetri’s brilliant cinematic language would have yielded a far better cinema, but it would have been a gamble when it comes to the business aspect of the film. One should only look at Vetri Maaran’s attempts as a small step in the right direction.

Challenges ahead with Vaadivasal

I am looking forward to seeing what he does with CS Chellapa’s novella Vaadivasal. The story of the novel doesn’t have enough meat for a typical Tamil feature film as it is just a story of events happening in one day at a Jallikattu event. A guy named Picchi arrives at a neighbouring village for the jallikattu event. He wants to tame the frightening bull named Kaari, which killed Picchi’s father years ago. That’s all there is to the story of the novella. Yet, it stands as a brilliant literary piece for its dialect and the depiction of caste politics in the sport of jallikattu. It would make up for a great cinema if Vetri Maaran recreates everything faithfully on screen.

Yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if the director opts for an entire flashback portion for Picchi’s father (Reports, already suggest that Suriya is playing a dual role in the film).  Despite the commercialisation, such adaptations continue to sustain the importance of literature. I mean without the film adaptations, the mainstream would have remained unaware of these literary gems.

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Why Vetrimaaran is the most interesting director in Tamil films today

Vetrimaaran is arguably among the most interesting filmmaker working in the tamil film industry. here’s documenting his rise and what it takes to be a talent like him..

His production house’s name, Grass Root Film Company, is a clear pointer to Vetrimaaran’s worldview. This Deepavali’s biggest release in Tamil Nadu is, arguably, Kodi (Flag), a political thriller he has produced that stars Dhanush in his first double role, as twin brothers. The twins may be identical but their natures are mutually exclusive. Refreshingly, Kodi casts Trisha as a feisty woman politico, giving Dhanush’s eponymous hero a run for his money.

Vetrimaaran has directed four feature films and is a winner of four National Film Awards.(Photos: By special arrangement)

“For a hero movie, it’s pretty decently written,” pronounces Baradwaj Rangan, film critic and associate editor at The Hindu. “There’s a conflict, there are surprises and even within a commercial film, it’s properly written and directed. It’s not some random moments strung together to get people whistling.”

A great working chemistry -- actor Dhanush with Vetrimaaran. (Photos: By special arrangement)

The film’s premise is how politics and political interests shape communities and the quality of their life. In this case, it involves skullduggery surrounding a factory emitting toxic effluents. It could be happening not too far away from our backyards.

At the Oscars

Vetrimaaran himself, however, was conspicuous by his absence during Kodi’s promos. He has a bigger task on hand. Visaaranai (Interrogation), the part-docudrama, part-crime thriller he directed, is India’s official entry to the 89th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. So he is in the US persuading jurors take note of his film, which has some truly hairy torture scenes. The last Tamil film that made it to the Oscars was 16 years back: Hey Ram starring Kamal Haasan.

Usually, the choice of any film to represent the country at the Oscars polarises critics, but Visaaranai remains largely unchallenged. Rangan agrees. “Visaaranai was a fantastic film.”

It tells the story of innocent migrant labourers picked up and tortured by the police to extract a false confession for a fatal robbery at an influential man’s house. How the film, shot in 42 days on a Rs 2-crore budget and eventually wining three National Film Awards, got made is interesting. After his Aadukalam in 2011, Vetrimaaran had busied himself with his production ventures, Udhayam NH4, Poriyaalan and Kaaka Muttai. When he was prepared to shoot his next, the script he picked was Soodhadi, a story on gambling, proposing Dhanush in the lead role. However, the actor had to take time off to work in Balki’s Shamitabh, being shot in Mumbai.

Vetrimaaran was mooting a book adaptation when director Balu Mahendra’s assistant serendipitously presented him with Lock Up, a riveting, partly autobiographical book written by M Chandrakumar, a former autorickshaw driver. The book, which took five years to write and another four to publish, narrates his harrowing experience while in jail in (then) Andhra Pradesh.

Vetrimaaran's Visaaranai is based on a book called Lock Up by Coimbatore-based autorickshaw driver Chandra Kumar.

“When I pitched the story to Dhanush, who later produced the film, I said I can only guarantee you a three-day weekend run at the box office. But it’s a low-budget venture; you’ll get your investment back,” Vetrimaaran laughs. “Dhanush was amused, but agreed to fund the project. [I thought] it’s the kind of film that would not bring in repeat audiences. I was proved wrong and it got a good three-week run.”

The author, Chandrakumar, was incarcerated for a fortnight way back in 1983. “Yet his experiences are relevant even today,” points out Vetrimaaran. “Visaaranai reflects a stark reality from which you cannot shut yourself out: that is its success. It was challenging to find the right kind of actors and locations. We employed real stuntmen who could exercise restraint while beating up the actors.”

“What was unique was that there were a lot of first-time actors in the film; that added rawness to it,” says K Hariharan, filmmaker and critic. “Actors like Samuthirakkani and Kishore were entirely on the sidelines. That made it an interesting watch.”

Astutely, the team decided to send it to international film fests right away, confident it would work with foreign audiences. Visaaranai premiered at the Orrizonti section of the 72nd Venice Film Festival, a first for a Tamil film, and won the Amnesty International Italia Award. Crucially, the European audience was exposed to a hitherto unexplored form of Tamil cinema that dealt with grim reality in a non-dramatic but powerful way.

“Europeans have a different policing system. They found my narrative a bit harsh, though they were moved,” explains Vetrimaaran.

A rooted voice

It is Vetrimaaran’s preoccupation with sometimes gritty, sometimes heartwarming reality that makes this 41-year-old one of the best filmmakers of our times.

“The best thing about the regional filmmakers is that they bring in a very ‘native’ feel,” says Rangan. “Like if I watch Nagraj Manjule’s Sairat for instance, I find [elements] that remind me of Vetrimaaran. But that’s more because these filmmakers do these ‘rooted’ things very well. They give you the sense of the atmosphere, the rhythms of life in that particular environment, they take care to bring them alive.”

His critically acclaimed debut venture, Polladhavan (Ruthless Man) in 2007, followed a lower middle-class young man’s search for his stolen bike, an exercise that takes him through the seamy underworld. Four years later came Aadukalam (Arena), a Pongal release that raked in six National Film Awards. The cockfight arena was where love, ego, honour, friendship and betrayal were played out in the rustic backdrop of Madurai.

Says Manimaran, long-time friend and assistant, “Vetri used to like watching cockfights in the neighbourhood in our hometown. So he thought we could develop a story around them.”

There was no doubt about who would play the lead. “I wrote Aadukalam keeping Dhanush in mind,” says Vetrimaaran. “As an actor, he delivers exactly what I need and sometimes more. As a producer, he offers me complete freedom and does not interfere at all. He trusts me completely.”

Rangan explains the Vetrimaaran touch, “There is a world of difference in the way he uses the song and dance elements in Polladhavan and Aadukalam. They have become more organic and rooted; they’re not fantasy elements.”

“I personally prefer Aadukalam to Visaaranai, but it’s like comparing apples and oranges,” says Hariharan. “Aadukalam had a certain kind of warmth and spontaneity. Visaaranai, to me, looked rather staged.”

He explains, “Visaaranai’s [appeal across the world] is that for the first time in Tamil cinema, you see this kind of brute reality without the director taking recourse to a love story or family drama. It’s also interesting that a country like India allowed such a strongly critical film on the system. There’s no doubt that Vetrimaaran is a bold filmmaker.”

Vetrimaaran’s productive chemistry with Dhanush has paid rich dividends. The two went on to produce Kaaka Muttai (Crow’s Egg) in 2015, a subversive film poking fun at what is regarded as cool - pizzas, in this case. This little gem, premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, tracks two brothers from a Chennai slum dying to taste a pizza. Directed by M Manikandan with wit, not once is the children’s dignity compromised. Their family struggles in a heartless and corrupt city and soon we find ourselves cheering for our little heroes. Kaaka Muttai pocketed two National Film Awards.

“There is a stamp of quality that people have begun to associate with Vetrimaaran, because even the films he produces are pretty decent,” says Rangan, adding that he looks for, and gets, that certain quality.

Vetrimaaran’s genius lies in shining a light on people we would not even glance at in our rat race. His films show us that ordinary people often lead extraordinary lives if only we stop to talk to them.

Smitten by cinema

Born in Cuddalore near Puducherry and raised in Ranipet, a suburban town in Vellore district, two and a half hours from Chennai, Vetrimaaran was smitten by cinema even as a child. His mother, a writer, ran a school in the area, while his father was a veterinarian. Friends remember him as a film buff who watched every movie that came to town.

“He would bunk classes and watch them, each three or four times. Then he would come to the school ground where we used to hang out until 7:30 in the evening and would retell the whole story to us. My friends and I have actually walked out of the theatre at times because the film was nowhere as good as his narration. He still has that quality,” says Manimaran, his assistant.

Vetrimaaran was in his second year of Masters in English Literature in 1999 when the now-deceased filmmaker Balu Mahendra was invited to judge a short film contest at the Loyola College, Chennai. Shortly afterwards, he attended a seminar conducted by the director and was inspired enough to assist him in Julie Ganapathy, Athu Oru Kanaa Kaalam and the television series Kadhai Neram.

Athu Oru Kanaa Kaalam cemented his friendship with the lead actor, Dhanush, whom he describes as his best friend. While still assisting Balu Mahendra, Vetrimaaran pitched the story of Desiya Nedunchalai, and the actor readily agreed to play the lead.

Recalls Manimaran, “Producers were not hard to come by because we had Dhanush. But a few had misgivings about how Vetri would handle the project as a newcomer. So we tossed aside that script, which I later made into Udhayam NH4.”

The initial years proved to be rough. “I was pitching different scripts to different people for three years and it was the sixth producer who okayed Polladhavan,” says Vetrimaaran on his directorial debut.

Adds Manimaran, who assisted him in the project, “After the film was edited, we were really scared to show it to the producer. We kept stalling the screening telling him it may not have come out as he expected. Finally, when he saw it, he was satisfied. We were relieved and gradually grew confident.”

Pushing for excellence

When Manimaran himself forayed into direction with Udhayam NH4 in 2013, Vetrimaaran returned the favour by stepping in as producer under his banner, Grass Root Film Company. As he puts it, “I want my production house to be a platform for good, interesting ideas. I can find a producer for my films, but others, who may be first-time filmmakers, might have innovative scripts that mainstream producers might not understand. Like Kaaka Muttai for instance.

“I produce films in partnership as I may not be able to afford the entire budget. Dhanush ends up co-producing some of them as our tastes are similar. None of my producers ever ask me for the budget. I always make sure it is within their means and I can give the desired returns.”

For someone who has been successful both commercially as critically, Vetrimaaran has directed only three films in nine years. “For me, every film is a learning process. After each, I take time to unlearn. Then I find new content, learn it completely and then execute it.”

Manimaran describes his working process thus, “Many directors make changes to the script on the spot. But Vetrimaaran is different because he pays attention to detail. He puts in a lot of effort, so there may be last-minute adjustments with lighting and locations. Unlike working with other directors, you need to be available 24 hours.”

Outside of work, the father of two, who met his wife Aarthi while at college, likes to race pigeons, pretty much like the characters he portrays. His rootedness has also led him to voice the germ of an idea: setting up an organic farm eventually.

Rangan describes grit as the definitive quality of Vetrimaaran’s films, and praises his skill in animating the atmosphere in terms of the integrity of the characters, the plot, and the texture. “The way he shapes the characters and writes them, you feel that these are not [just] individual people; you get a sense of where they come from, where they belong. [They’re] not just some random characters floating around.”

His fans are already talking about his fourth film, Vada Chennai (North Chennai), an ambitious gangster trilogy he has been planning since 2003. After undergoing several changes of scripts and stars, Dhanush, Vijay Sethupathi, Amala Paul and Samuthirakkani are among those confirmed on the project that is currently under way. Slated for release next year, Vada Chennai is also bound to have the by-now classic Vetrimaaran stamp.

(Published in arrangement with GRIST Media.)

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Ranking All Selvaraghavan Movies

  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • Release Year

2. 7G Rainbow Colony (2004)

Not Rated | 186 min | Drama, Romance

A neighborhood good-for-nothing attempts to romance the new girl in town.

Director: K. Selvaraghavan | Stars: Ravi Krishna , Sonia Agarwal , Suman Shetty , Vijayan

Votes: 3,003

3. Pudhu Pettai (2006)

Not Rated | 168 min | Action, Crime, Drama

After running away from his home, Kumar falls in with a gang and slowly rises through the ranks of the criminal underworld.

Director: K. Selvaraghavan | Stars: Dhanush , Sneha , Sonia Agarwal , Azhagam Perumal

Votes: 7,892

4. Ayirathil Oruvan (2010)

Not Rated | 183 min | Action, Adventure

Anitha, a government official, embarks on a journey to find Chandramouli, an archaeologist, who went to Vietnam to search for any existence of the prince of the Chola dynasty.

Director: K. Selvaraghavan | Stars: Karthi , Reema Sen , Andrea Jeremiah , Parthiban Radhakrishnan

Votes: 7,576

5. Mayakkam Enna (2011)

Not Rated | 145 min | Drama, Romance

Karthik and Yamini can't stand each other, but there lies the twist when opposites attract.

Director: K. Selvaraghavan | Stars: Dhanush , Richa Langella , Sunder Ramu , Mathivanan Rajendran

Votes: 4,266

6. Thulluvadho Ilamai (2002)

Not Rated | 144 min | Drama

The story of six high-school classmates, coming from different strata of society, who have each their own problems in their respective families and they deciding to live together on their own the help of an older friend of theirs.

Director: K. Selvaraghavan | Stars: Dhanush , Gangeshwari , Ramesh Khanna , Abhinay Kinger

7. Naane Varuven (2022)

122 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

Prabhu an average suburban man for whom his family is everything. His life is turned upside down when his daughter Satya is possessed by the ghost of a little boy.

Director: K. Selvaraghavan | Stars: Dhanush , Prabhu , Indhuja Ravichandran , Elli Avrram

Votes: 5,416

8. Nenjam Marappathillai (2021)

150 min | Horror, Thriller

A god-fearing young woman who takes up the job of a caretaker in a rich household tries to take revenge on her lustful employer.

Director: K. Selvaraghavan | Stars: S.J. Suryah , Nandita Shwetha , Regina Cassandra , T. Sivakumar

Votes: 2,072

10. NGK (2019)

Not Rated | 148 min | Action, Drama

An educated do-gooder is forced to enter politics in order to serve the society. But, will the old guard make way and allow him to do that?

Director: K. Selvaraghavan | Stars: Suriya , Sai Pallavi , Rakul Preet Singh , Ponvannan

Votes: 5,392

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COMMENTS

  1. Vetrimaaran

    Vetrimaaran made his directorial debut with the Polladhavan (2007). His second feature film Aadukalam (2011) won six National Film Awards. He produces films under his production company, Grass Root Film Company. His 2016 directorial Visaranai was selected as India's official entry to the Academy Awards. [3]

  2. Ranking All Vetrimaran Movies

    6 titles 1. Vada Chennai (2018) Not Rated | 164 min | Action, Crime, Drama 8.4 Rate A young carrom player in north Chennai becomes a reluctant participant in a war between two warring gangsters. Director: Vetrimaaran | Stars: Dhanush, Ameer Sultan, Radha Ravi, Daniel Balaji Votes: 19,521 2. Visaaranai (2015)

  3. Vetrimaaran

    Vetrimaaran is an Indian film director, screenwriter and film producer, who works in the Tamil film industry. Vetrimaaran made his directorial debut with the Polladhavan. His second feature film Aadukalam won six National Film Awards. He produces films under his production company, Grass Root Film Company.

  4. Vetrimaaran List of Movies and TV Shows

    See Vetrimaaran full list of movies and tv shows from their career. Find where to watch Vetrimaaran's latest movies and tv shows

  5. Every Vetrimaaran Film Ranked

    Dipankar Sarkar April 28, 2023 Tamil filmmaker Vetrimaaran belongs to one of those breeds of director whose tight scripts, apt casting, and realistic treatment of storyline has made fundamental changes to the very nature of mainstream filmmaking.

  6. From Polladhavan to Viduthalai Part 1

    Since his debut in 2007, Vetrimaaran has directed six feature films Prathyush Parasuraman Updated on : 04 Apr 2023, 10:04 am Ranking Vetrimaaran's films — excluding the short films he made — can feel like picking a winner from a competition of despair.

  7. Asuran (2019 film)

    Asuran ( transl. Demon) is a 2019 Indian Tamil -language period action drama film [4] directed by Vetrimaaran and produced by Kalaipuli S. Thanu. It is based on the novel Vekkai ( transl. Heat) by Poomani. [5] The film stars Dhanush, along with Manju Warrier (in her Tamil debut), Ken Karunas, and Teejay Arunasalam. G. V.

  8. Vetrimaaran: Movies, TV, and Bio

    Vetrimaaran Writer, Producer, Director, Actor Born September 4, 1975 in Cuddalore, Tamilnadu, India Vetrimaaran is an Indian film director, screenwriter and film producer, who works in the Tamil film industry. Vetrimaaran made his directorial debut with the Polladhavan. His second feature film Aadukalam won six National Film Awards.

  9. Visaranai

    Visaranai (transl. Interrogation ) is a 2016 Indian Tamil-language crime drama film written and directed by Vetrimaaran.It is based on the novel Lock Up by M. Chandrakumar. The film stars Dinesh, Anandhi, Samuthirakani, Aadukalam Murugadoss, Kishore, Pradheesh Raj, and Silambarasan Rathnasamy.The film deals with lives of two men before and after thrown into a kafkaesque scenario in which they ...

  10. Vetri maaran hits and flops all movies list| Director vetrimaaran

    Vetri maaran hits and flops all movies list Director vetrimaaran is a short video that showcases the career of the acclaimed Tamil filmmaker, who has won several national and international awards ...

  11. Vetrimaaran All Films Box-office Verdict

    1. Polladhavan (2007) Not Rated | 150 min | Action, Crime, Drama 7.7 Rate A contemporary action drama revolving around a young man's love for his bike, including the trials and travails he is forced to undergo when it goes missing. Director: Vetrimaaran | Stars: Dhanush, Ramya, Kishore Kumar G., Karunas Votes: 2,465 VERDICT : SUPER HIT 2.

  12. Vetrimaran

    Explore the filmography of Vetrimaran on Rotten Tomatoes! Discover ratings, reviews, and more. Click for details! ... Director - 2011: No Score Yet: 94%: Aadukalam: Director, Screenwriter ...

  13. Vetri Maaran: A vital link between Tamil cinema and literature

    Films like Jayakanthan's Unnaipol Oruvan (which received a National Award in 1965), Rajinikanth 's Priya (1978), Karaiyellam Shenbagapoo (1981), and Kamal Haasan 's Vikram (1986) are some of the notable examples. Yet, these are just flashes in the pan. A sustained trend of film adaptations hasn't happened in contemporary Tamil cinema.

  14. Why Vetrimaaran is the most interesting director in Tamil films today

    Visaaranai (Interrogation), the part-docudrama, part-crime thriller he directed, is India's official entry to the 89th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. So he is in the...

  15. Viduthalai Part 1

    Viduthalai ( transl. Liberation; titled onscreen as Viduthalai Part 1) is a 2023 Indian Tamil -language period crime thriller film directed and co-produced by Vetrimaaran, who co-wrote the screenplay with B. Jeyamohan, under Grass Root Film Company and RS Infotainment.

  16. Viduthalai: Part 1 (2023)

    Vetrimaaran Stars Soori Vijay Sethupathi Bhavani Sre See production info at IMDbPro Add to Watchlist Added by 5.0K users 71 User reviews 11 Critic reviews Awards 1 win Videos 4

  17. Director Vetrimaran Movies List

    #vetrimaran #tamilnadufilmdirectors #director #tamilfilmindustry

  18. Vetrimaaran and Suriya's 'Vaadivaasal' sets a new benchmark

    When veteran Tamil writer Ci. Su. Chellappa (1912-1998) published Vaadivaasal , a novella centred on jallikattu in 1959, he priced it at one rupee and even gave it free to subscribers of his ...

  19. Aadukalam

    Aadukalam (pronunciation ⓘ; transl. Playground) is a 2011 Indian Tamil-language drama film directed by Vetrimaran, who also co-wrote the screenplay and dialogues with Vikram Sugumaran from his story.Produced by S. Kathiresan of Five Star Creations and distributed by Sun Pictures, the film stars Dhanush and Taapsee Pannu (in her tamil debut), with Kishore, V. I. S. Jayapalan, Naren Narayanan ...

  20. Director Vetrimaaran to produce Sasikumar's next film

    05 Nov 2020, 12:00 pm. The award-winning filmmaker Vetrimaaran will soon be making a film with M Sasikumar. While Vetrimaaran will not be wielding the megaphone for this venture, he will be ...

  21. Ranking All Selvaraghavan Movies

    Director: K. Selvaraghavan | Stars: Dhanush, Gangeshwari, Ramesh Khanna, Abhinay Kinger. Votes: 586. 7. Naane Varuven (2022) 122 min | Action, Horror, Thriller . 6.2. 0. ... Ranking All Vetrimaran Movies a list of 6 titles Ranking All Venkat Prabhu Movies a list of 10 titles ...

  22. Director Vetrimaaran Heart Melting Speech About Vetri Duraisamy's Death

    Filmmaker Vetrimaran mourns the sudden passing of his close friend and collaborator, Vetri Duraisamy. Delve into their deep bond, shared passions for film and nature, and how Vetri Duraisamy's life and contributions influenced Vetrimaran's journey. This heartfelt tribute explores loss, friendship, and the enduring legacy of a life well-lived.