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.

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, trending right now.

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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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vetrimaran films

Top 10 best movies of Vetrimaaran

  • April 26, 2023 / 02:30 PM IST

vetrimaran films

Vetrimaaran is an Indian film director, screenwriter and producer, who primarily works in Tamil cinema. As of 2021, he has won five National Film Awards, eight Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards and two Filmfare South Awards. Now, we bring you the list of top 10 movies of this critically acclaimed Kollywood director.

1) Polladhavan (2007)

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.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.

vetrimaran films

2) Visaranai (2016)

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.

vetrimaran films

3) Aadukalam’ – Cockfight competition

‘Aadukalam’ is a remarkable Tamil film as it bagged National Award under several categories. Dhanush played the role of a Madurai based cockfighter. The actor has impressed many with his diverse role. Dhanush in the film takes up the challenge put on him by the opponents and wins a series of matches in cockfight competition to win huge prize money. Vetrimaaran has well created the sequence, and GV Prakash Kumar’s music added more power to itself. 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.

vetrimaran films

4)Vada Chennai

Anbu turning against Senthil Vetrimaaran and Dhanush joined after a gap of several years for the gangster drama ‘Vada Chennai’. The film carries the story of Dhanush from his childhood to a gangster. Anbu (Dhanush) was on the side of Senthil (Kishore) at the start of the film, but at a point, he turned against him since it was a secret mission to kill the opponent. The film received positive reviews, and it had a good theatrical run all over.

vetrimaran films

5) Asuran’

Sivasaami regaining his power Dhanush’s character in ‘Asuran’ was an elder one, and he played the father of two youngsters. Sivasaami (Dhanush) teaches his sons to be calm in life and to stay away from problems. It was surprising for the fans to see their energetic star in a calm role, but it was the opposite when his flashback revealed. Sivasaami regains his power to save his son from a group of people and destroys them.

vetrimaran films

6) Vada Chennai

With Vada Chennai, Vetrimaaran returns to the titular North Chennai where he shot his debut film. This time, however, there is more blood, more history, and more politics, and a richer, denser world full of human foibles and fumbles. The detailing is more vivid — like prisoners snorting lizard tails to get high. The violence is more structural — it telescopes its attention on a neighbourhood over time, not a group of friends like in Visaranai.

Like Aadukalam, Vada Chennai starts with bloodshed, which it returns to in the last half-hour. Unlike Aadukalam, this structure feels perfunctory, because the beginning is almost forgotten in the blitzkrieg of rat-a-tat action centred around Anbu (Dhanush), a sincere carrom player, who gets caught in the crossfire of a gang war that he further curdles and erupts. What sets Vada Chennai apart is not just Anbu as an ambivalent hero who is swept into heroism by circumstances, but a hero who is unsure of who is right and who is wrong. He expresses this moral dilemma to his wife in a moving scene. There is a sense that if this film was narrated from another perspective, it might easily flip the moral labels we have slapped on characters. That a film allows its characters this latitude is a triumph of an expanded, exploded imagination — both moral and literary.

vetrimaran films

7) Asuran (2019)

Asuran perfects a lot of Vetrimaaran’s pursuits — the mass film without the mass conventions. There is no hero entry scene. There is, instead, the intermission block. There is no hip dangling love. There is, instead, trauma and affection. Humour does not exist, distilled in the form of a separate character, like a court jester. It is baked into the exchanges. There is no beauty, no polish. There is a harsh abruptness with which scenes transition. And yet, Asuran has packed in it the most potent scenes of grief and redemptive violence. It is Vetrimaaran allowing his films to char your heart, not just your senses. The second half gives the origin for Sivasaami’s docile nature, one that he has arrived at after a youth of bloodshed that left him orphaned and without love. This mirroring of the two halves is another beautiful Vetrimaaran-ism — from the slippers, to the heroism, to the tragedy that culminates in an escape. It is easy to dismiss this film as templated, but there is a reason templates have survived the onslaught of genre, taste, and time shifts. That it is predictable does not take away from what an artist can do with and within that predictability. Asuran is Vetrimaaran’s most emotionally staining — not draining, but staining — film; its violence lingering as hurt, not horror.

vetrimaran films

8) Viduthalai Part 1 (2023)

In one sense, Viduthalai is the culminating artistic collaboration between Vetrimaaran and cinematographer Velraj, who has lensed all of Vetrimaaran’s films except Visaranai. The opening shot of around 10 minutes takes us, in one sweeping, single take, through the debris of a train bombing. The sheer audacity of the scene, the lubricated ease with which the camera slides, both vertically and horizontally, sets the stage for Kumeresan (Soori), a kind-hearted police officer who has been sent to the forested hills as part of a police force that is trying to weed out an extremist group. It invokes awe while depicting horror.

The dense prologue, the unfussy heroism of Vetrimaaran are both here. The politics is just as long winded and stiff — like how Vada Chennai questioned development, here, too, the story hinges on how the state uses development as a cover for profiteering; the police, here, too, are brutal beasts. Love comes as a reprieve — both to the character and the narrative.

But what marks Viduthalai apart is how it makes violence seem so routine, Vetrimaaran isn’t even interested in sharpening it. There is a blunt relentlessness to it. It is not that the director can’t show violence that whips our moral sense of the world. It’s just impossible to fixate and linger on violence the way he did in the previous films. In Visaranai what was happening to a group of friends, in Asuran what was happening to a family, is, in Viduthalai happening to a whole movement of people. Vetrimaaran employs a disenchanted cutting away from these moments before their full impact is even felt, for the impact is not in its festering but in its unrelentingness.

If you notice closely, these rankings are in the order of Vetrimaaran’s filmography, suggesting that, at least artistically, he seems to be streamlining ahead, a swift, sure motion away from where he first began.

vetrimaran films

A motorbike-obsessed son dupes his father into paying for his chopper in order to impress his lady-love. But the young fellow has lessons to learn, and miles to go.vetrimaaran is story writer of the film.Vetrimaraan only provided story for the film.

vetrimaran films

10) Naan Rajavaga Pogiren

A young man gets sucked into an adventure as he searches for his lookalike. Vetrimaaran gave story and dialogues for this experimental movie.

vetrimaran films

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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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vetrimaran films

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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.

Thriller

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Viduthalai: Part I

Where to watch

Viduthalai: part i, விடுதலை: பாகம் i.

Directed by Vetrimaaran

Kumaresan, a police constable, gets recruited for an operation implanted to capture Perumal Vaathiyar, who leads a separatist group dedicated to fighting against the authorities for committing atrocities against innocent village women in the name of police interrogations.

Soori Bhavani Sre Chetan Gautham Vasudev Menon Rajiv Menon Ilavarasu Munnar Ramesh Vijay Sethupathi Balaji Sakthivel Saravana Subbiah Tamizh Aryan Sardar Satya Manimegalai S. Chandran Bala Hasan Pavel Navageethan Thendral Raghunathan Sundareswaran CVC R. Ganesh Gurung Asuran Krishna R. Velraj Appukutty Surya Vijay Sethupathi

Director Director

Vetrimaaran

Co-Directors Co-Directors

Still Robert A. Jagadeesan

Producers Producers

Elred Kumar V Manikandan

Writers Writers

Vetrimaaran R. S. Durai Senthilkumar Manimaran Mathi Maran

Original Writer Original Writer

Editor editor, cinematography cinematography, additional directing add. directing.

R. S. Durai Senthilkumar Manimaran Tamizh Mathi Maran

Executive Producer Exec. Producer

Art direction art direction, visual effects visual effects.

Harihara Suthan

Stunts Stunts

Peter Hein Stunt Silva

Choreography Choreography

Baba Baskar

Composer Composer

Ilaiyaraaja

Songs Songs

Ilaiyaraaja Suka

Sound Sound

T. Udayakumar

R S Infotainment Grassroot Film Company

Alternative Titles

విడుదల : పార్ట్ 1, విడుదల: పార్ట్ 1, Viduthalai Partie 1

Crime Thriller Action

Crime, drugs and gangsters Violent crime and drugs Bollywood emotional dramas Show All…

Releases by Date

30 mar 2023, 31 mar 2023, releases by country.

  • Theatrical A

146 mins   More at IMDb TMDb Report this page

Popular reviews

Anurag Kashyap

Review by Anurag Kashyap 9

Very powerful film, superb performances across board , the best opening shot I’ve seen in the longest time .. looking forward to part 2 .. Vetrimaran is our best .

Michael James

Review by Michael James ★★★★ 6

Another immersive socio political period drama from Vetrimaaran. His craftsmanship and control over layered storytelling is simply stupendous. The police brutality, custodial violence and systemic oppression is portrayed in a disturbingly hard hitting manner. How media turn into a PR machine to the system for delivering manipulated incidents through social narratives were well depicted. The lead character perfectly resonates the common man dilemma, as he gets caught in between the struggle. The opening single shot sequence sets the tone straight away. And along with the final 20 minutes, they are two standout impact sequences.

Based upon a power struggle conflict between government and revolutionary activist groups, the first part sets up its world, emotional landscape and conflicts effectively with enough question…

Barry Egan 2002

Review by Barry Egan 2002 ★★★★ 1

Vetrimaaran, in glorious form once again, shows cop violence in its most brutal form yet, with Soori as the honest, powerless cop holding the narrative together. Absolutely not for the faint-hearted. Must-watch!

The opening sequence, a continuous shot, was extraordinary for the way the camera covered the entire location for a long duration, and also heartbreaking showing the loss of human lives. Vetrimaaran, from this sequence, tells the viewer, "Be prepared to get mind fucked". The scene reminded me of 'Atonement''s superb Dunkirk sequence. We then see Soori's introduction. Vetrimaaran, in an interview, said that he cast Soori due to his innocent looks. Although I thought a couple of lines were delivered as if he were a comedian, Soori, as…

jack

Review by jack ★★★★★

vetrimaaran stop winning challenge

Alicecharles

Review by Alicecharles ★★★★★

If someone had told me back that I would shout at the top of my lungs for a firing scene by Soori, i would have called it a joke but OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK !!!!!!

cinema_made

Review by cinema_made ★★★★ 2

The mere mention of Vetrimaran is a hypetrain for his film and Vetrimaran easily surpasses that. After a long wait, Viduthalai arrives as a special and scintillating film, that only Vetrimaran has guts to make. The film is the journey of the constable recruit, who in turn becomes rooted in the violent conflict between the police and the revolutionaries. As all the paths come together, there’s more tension and revelance of truth, that makes the character meet dark ends and change their mindsets.

Right from the start, Vetrimaaran channels the film with a strong dose of realism and raw filmmaking that keeps us in the center of the action at all times. This is definitely not a film for the…

Arjun Rajput

Review by Arjun Rajput ★★★★

Vijay Sethupathi in an interrogation scene is cinema. Can't wait for the next part.

joelmathew

Review by joelmathew ★★★ 5

Definitely the most underwhelming Vetrimaaran film so far... although I don't know if its really fair to call it a "film" because only half the story has been told. The whole story of Vada Chennai has also not been told yet but the first film still holds on its own, this however just felt like the first half of a movie...

Also felt it was one of his weaker films technically. Vetri na is known for working on his films till literally the day before it releases. He was making dubbing corrections and changes for Vada Chennai and Asuran few days before release and this one was also no different I heard. But this time it kind of backfired. Some…

Kibriya⚡

Review by Kibriya⚡ ★★★★ 9

Viduthalai was gut wrenching and gory as expected with powerful performance by Soori.  The electrifying one shot opening scene was terrific 🥵. Bring me part 2 and Vijay Sethupathi bringing fire on the screen 🔥

Cinematic parallels - Kumaresan and Desmond Doss from Hacksaw Ridge 

Vetrimaaran the real Polladhavan !

2023 Ranked Vetrimaaran Ranked

sydney

Review by sydney ★★★★★ 1

don't feel great about the gratuitous violence against women and how it's used here, it's not done especially offensively here but it is always frustrating to see it used as a shortcut to underline just how evil someone is and cliche to have women characters exist only as tools to move the male lead along. that said it's an incredible film, cried more than once, it's beautiful and soul crushing and i both can't wait to see the conclusion and am dreading it

Deepak Chazhoor

Review by Deepak Chazhoor ★★★★½ 5

Watched FDFS.

Soori is a revelation here; easily his career best yet. Vijay Sethupathi, with his terrific screen presence and powerhouse potential as an actor, makes every scene he’s featured in, though few and far between, his own. The long takes are fantastic. Ilaiyaraaja’s work here is among his finest of late; “ Kaattumalli ” is an instant favorite. Overall, yet another great work, with its focus on its hard-hitting politics and unapologetic commentary about police brutality searing as ever, from one of the greatest filmmakers of our time. Vetrimaaran never disappoints. Can’t wait for  Part II .

Jaisri Nandhini

Review by Jaisri Nandhini ★★★★

Love it when police brutality is ripped off of it's sugar coating Onscreen! Let's wait for the part 2!

Related Films

Viduthalai: Part II

Similar Films

Antim: The Final Truth

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Vetrimaaran All Films Box-office Verdict

Bhanupriya, Dhanush, Karunas, Daniel Balaji, Ramya, Santhanam, and Kishore Kumar G. in Polladhavan (2007)

1. Polladhavan

Dhanush and Taapsee Pannu in Aadukalam (2011)

2. Aadukalam

Visaaranai (2015)

3. Visaaranai

Dhanush in Vada Chennai (2018)

4. Vada Chennai

Prakash Raj, Manju Warrier, Dhanush, and Pasupathy in Asuran (2019)

6. Paava Kadhaigal

Viduthalai: Part 1 (2023)

7. Viduthalai: Part 1

8. viduthalai part 2.

Vaadivaasal

9. Vaadivaasal

More to explore, recently viewed.

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Vetrimaaran reveals how Pa Ranjith started a bold movement in the Tamil movie industry

Vetrimaaran reveals how Pa Ranjith started a bold movement in the Tamil movie industry

Merry Christmas | Tamil Song - Title Track

Visual Stories

vetrimaran films

Vetrimaaran and Dhanush are two of the most promising names in the Tamil film industry right now. With back-to-back films that are turning out to be both critical and commercial successes, Vetrimaaran has already become one of the biggest names in the country. On the other hand, Dhanush continues to excite his fans by coming up with projects cutting across language lines. Now, the star director and actor are reportedly planning to join hands for the fifth time with a movie set in the backdrop of Kolar Gold Fields (KGF).

While responding to a question on what his upcoming flick Thangalaan (Dir. Pa Ranjith) was based, producer K E Gnanavel Raja of Studio Green told Behindwoods: “Vetrimaaran is set to begin working on a film about KGF with Dhanush in the lead. Vetrimaaran’s film will be based on his research and findings about the area, while Pa Ranjith’s Thangalaan will focus on his discoveries. Both films might have certain elements that are similar, but what matters is how they present these things from their respective points of view.”

vetrimaran films

Since Vetrimaaran’s debut as a director in 2007 with the Dhanush starter Polladhavan, the filmmaker and the actor have joined hands multiple times, also for bankrolling films.

Following Polladhavan, Dhanush played the lead role in three more Vetrimaaran films — Aadukalam (2011), Vada Chennai (2018), and Asuran (2019) — all of which went on to become milestone films in Tamil cinema history. Dhanush’s National Film Awards for Best Actor were for his roles in Vetrimaaran movies — Aadukalam and Asuran.

Festive offer

Kaaka Muttai (2015) and Visaranai (2015) which the two produced had also bagged National Film Awards in Best Children’s Film and Best Feature Film in Tamil categories, respectively.

While Dhanush is currently working on Arun Matheswaran’s Captain Miller, Vetrimaaran’s Suriya starrer Vaadivaasal is in its pre-production stage.

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DC Exclusive: Ram Charan meets Vetrimaran, what’s brewing?

vetrimaran films

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IMAGES

  1. OFFICIAL : 5 Upcoming Movies Of Vetrimaaran

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  2. 'Kakka Muttai' : Dhanush

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  3. Vetrimaran All Set For Telugu debut? Here Are The Details

    vetrimaran films

  4. Watch Vetrimaran Collections Full Movie Online For Free In HD

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  5. Vetrimaaran

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  6. From Polladhavan to Viduthalai: Ranking Vetrimaran Films

    vetrimaran films

VIDEO

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  2. ВЕТЕРАН АФГАНСКОЙ ВОЙНЫ, СНОВА ВСТУПАЕТ В ВОЙНУ! БОЕВИК ПРО МУЖЕСТВО! МАЙОР ВЕТРОВ

  3. Viduthalai Part 1 Movie Review

  4. ВЕТЕРАН ВОЙНЫ ВЫВЕЛ НОВЫЙ СОРТ НАРКОТИКОВ И ТЕПЕРЬ ЗА НИМ ИДЁТ ОХОТА! Фармацевт. Лучшие Триллеры

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COMMENTS

  1. Vetrimaaran

    Vetrimaaran (born 4 September 1975) is an Indian film director, film producer and screenwriter who primarily works in Tamil cinema.Well Known for his unique filmography with major commercial success and high critical acclaim works. He has won five National Film Awards, two Filmfare South Awards and one Tamil Nadu State Film Award.. Vetrimaaran made his directorial debut with the Polladhavan ...

  2. Vetrimaaran

    Vetrimaaran. Writer: Asuran. 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 ...

  3. Every Vetrimaaran Film Ranked

    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 ...

  4. Ranking All Vetrimaran Movies

    Sort by List order. 1. Vada Chennai. 2018 2h 44m Not Rated. 8.4 (20K) 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. 2.

  5. Ranking Vetrimaaran Films

    1) Viduthalai Part 1 (2023) In one sense, Viduthalai is the culminating artistic collaboration between Vetrimaaran and cinematographer Velraj, who has lensed all of Vetrimaaran's films except Visaranai.The opening shot of around 10 minutes takes us, in one sweeping, single take, through the debris of a train bombing. The sheer audacity of the scene, the lubricated ease with which the camera ...

  6. Top 10 best movies of Vetrimaaran

    9)Borbaad. A motorbike-obsessed son dupes his father into paying for his chopper in order to impress his lady-love. But the young fellow has lessons to learn, and miles to go.vetrimaaran is story writer of the film.Vetrimaraan only provided story for the film. 10) Naan Rajavaga Pogiren.

  7. Viduthalai: Part 1 (2023)

    Viduthalai: Part 1: Directed by Vetrimaaran. With Soori, Vijay Sethupathi, Bhavani Sre, S. Chandan. A police officer is recruited to capture the leader of a separatist group.

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

    By Prathibha Parameswaran, Chennai. Nov 02, 2016 08:05 PM IST. Vetrimaaran is arguably among the most interesting filmmaker working in the Tamil film industry. Here's documenting his rise and ...

  9. 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.

  10. Vetrimaaran: 'More than Oscar, making others accept our local

    Vetrimaaran was part of the second edition of the CII Daksin Summit, the largest media and entertainment summit in South India. The National Award-winning director spoke about the reason why South Indian films are transcending borders. "They say art doesn't need language and border, but art has its own language and culture," he began.

  11. Visaaranai

    Wunderbar Films - Dhanush & Grassroot Film Company - Vetri Maaran Present"Visaaranai"Based on the novel 'Lock up', written by M. Chandra KumarAdapted Screenp...

  12. Viduthalai Part 1

    Movie - Viduthalai part 1Music Composer :- ILAIYARAAJAStudio :- Ilaiyaraaja Studios, ChennaiCast: | Soori | Vijay Sethupathi | Bhavani Sri | Chetan | Gautham...

  13. Aadukalam

    Aadukalam (pronunciation ⓘ; transl. Playground) is a 2011 Indian Tamil-language drama film directed by Vetrimaran, produced by S. Kathiresan and distributed by Sun Pictures.The film stars Dhanush in the lead role, alongside Taapsee Pannu (in her Tamil debut), Kishore, V. I. S. Jayapalan, Naren Narayanan, and Murugadoss. G. V. Prakash Kumar composed the film score and soundtrack.

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

    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.

  15. ‎Viduthalai: Part I (2023) directed by Vetrimaaran • Reviews, film

    The mere mention of Vetrimaran is a hypetrain for his film and Vetrimaran easily surpasses that. After a long wait, Viduthalai arrives as a special and scintillating film, that only Vetrimaran has guts to make. The film is the journey of the constable recruit, who in turn becomes rooted in the violent conflict between the police and the ...

  16. 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.It is the first of a two-part adaptation of the short story Thunaivan (transl. Companion) by Jeyamohan.

  17. Vetrimaaran All Films Box-office Verdict

    Polladhavan. 2007 2h 30m Not Rated. 7.7 (2.5K) 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. VERDICT : SUPER HIT. 2.

  18. Vetrimaaran reveals how Pa Ranjith started a bold movement in the Tamil

    Vetrimaran's next project, 'Viduthalai Part 2,' stars Vijay Sethupathi and Soori, with music by Ilaiyaraaja. Director Vetrimaaran is known for his films that address oppression, marginalization ...

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

    Now, award-winning filmmaker Vetrimaaran has entered into an agreement with C. Subramanian, the author's son, and Kalachuvadu for a reported seven-figure sum for a film based on Vaadivasal ...

  20. 'Vetrimaaran-Dhanush's next film to be set in the backdrop of KGF

    Following Polladhavan, Dhanush played the lead role in three more Vetrimaaran films — Aadukalam (2011), Vada Chennai (2018), and Asuran (2019) — all of which went on to become milestone films in Tamil cinema history. Dhanush's National Film Awards for Best Actor were for his roles in Vetrimaaran movies — Aadukalam and Asuran.

  21. DC Exclusive: Ram Charan meets Vetrimaran, what's brewing?

    If reliable sources are to be believed, reigning star Ram Charan has reportedly met Tamil director Vetrimaran who is known for his hard-hitting movies like 'Asuran'. "Ram Charan listened to a

  22. 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 the lives of two men before and after being thrown into a kafkaesque scenario in ...

  23. "He Will Be Deeply Missed": Vetrimaran Pays Tribute to Vetri Duraisamy

    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.

  24. Is Ram Charan swapping blockbuste­rs for raw realism?

    2024-05-26 - B.V.S. PRAKASH. If reliable sources are to be believed, actor Ram Charan has reportedly met Tamil director Vetrimaran who is known for his hard-hitting movies like Asuran. "Ram Charan listened to a story narrated by Vetrimaran since he has good regard for the director who is master in dishing out hard-hitting films," says a source.