Bigil (transl. Whistle) is a 2019 Indian Tamil-language sports action film written and directed by Atlee Kumar and produced by Kalpathi S. Aghoram under the banner AGS Entertainment.[7][8] The film stars Vijay in dual lead roles as father and son alongside Nayanthara and Jackie Shroff in other prominent roles.[9] The film has music composed by A. R. Rahman. The film's title, Bigil was announced on 22 June 2019.[10]

Bigil poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAtlee Kumar
Produced byKalpathi S. Aghoram
Kalpathi S. Ganesh
Kalpathi S. Suresh
Written byAtlee Kumar
Screenplay byAtlee Kumar
Story byAtlee Kumar
Jackie Shroff
Music bySongs:
A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman
CinematographyG. K. Vishnu
Edited byRuben
Distributed byScreen Scene Media Entertainment
Release date
  • 25 October 2019 (2019-10-25)[1]
Running time
178 minutes[2]
Budget180 crore[3][4]
Box officeest. 285–300 crore[5][6]

The film follows Michael, a mobster and a former footballer who decides to coach a women's football team when their coach gets attacked. Michael faces challenges when his team doesn't co-operate with him due to his violent background and also finds himself hunted by some rivals who want revenge.

Bigil emerged as the highest-grossing Tamil film of 2019.[11]


Michael Rayappan is a rowdy working for public welfare in a Chennai slum. His friend Kathir, the coach of the Tamil Nadu women's football team, gets attacked by goons while driving home. Michael fights them off but realises his archenemy Daniel has stabbed Kathir, leading to spinal injuries that prevent him from accompanying the team. The team blames Michael for his condition, while Kathir tells a member of the federation to replace him with a former footballer named "Bigil" who is none other than Michael.

The scene shifts to seven years back, Michael is a talented footballer who brings glory to the state and his slum by winning matches. His father Rayappan, a don, gets into a brawl with the henchmen of Alex, Daniel's father. This leads to bitter relations between the three. Rayappan encourages Michael to become a champion and stay away from the life of violence. When Michael and his team are not selected for the Indian football team, Rayappan personally convinces the All India Football Federation president, J. K. Sharma, to get the boys selected. However, while leaving, Michael witnesses Rayappan getting stabbed to death by Alex and his henchmen, following which he jumps off the train and proceeds to kill the goons including Alex. Following Rayappan's death, Michael decides to stay in the slum and leaves behind his dream.

In the present, Daniel is arrested and Michael accepts Kathir's request to return to footballing. He accompanies the team to Delhi as their coach, along with his girlfriend Angel who becomes the team's physiotherapist. Michael is later attacked in the premises by some goons, due to which he is nearly expelled but J. K. Sharma comes to his rescue. The girls, reluctant to co-operate with Michael due to his violent background, also blame him when they lose to Manipur in the opening match. A dejected Michael tenders resignation to Sharma, but soon learns that Sharma was behind the attack on him and was trying to seek revenge. It is then revealed that Sharma did not object to Bigil based on his father's criminal background, but because he wanted a bribe, and that Rayappan had later tortured and blackmailed him to select Michael and his team. Michael now starts training his team, eventually making them toil and realise the spirit of teamwork. He and Angel also succeed in reviving former key players to boost the team's strength: Gayathri, a Brahmin girl who had to give up football after marriage in a conservative family; and Anitha, who has gone into depression after an acid attack. On the day of their match with Haryana, Sharma gets Michael arrested due to the brawl in the premises. With the help of his own men, Michael frees himself and rushes to the stadium where he finds some Haryana players and the referee manipulated by Sharma using dirty tactics. Michael instructs a player Pandiyamma to hit the referee in an accident, following which they beat Haryana and win all the remaining matches. They qualify for the finals at Chennai where they are to play with Manipur again.

On the eve of the final, Vembu, one of the team's players, is kidnapped and forcefully injected with cocaine by Daniel, who is hired by Sharma once released from prison. Vembu is declared unfit to play the match, while the team's captain Thendral is also kidnapped by Daniel. He tries to inject her as well, but Michael rescues her and tries to kill Daniel after the ensuing fight. However, seeing Daniel's young son, he decides to spare him and end the conflict. The next day, Michael's team succeeds in winning the match through a penalty shootout. Seated in a wheelchair, Kathir watches Michael and the team dedicate their success to him.

During the credits, Sharma gets arrested in Malaysia after he is framed by Michael for drug possession. Michael quits rowdyism and takes up football coaching for children, following which Daniel asks him to train his son. Michael asks him like whom he wanted to become: like Messi or like Ronaldo. But however Daniel's son refuses and aspires to become like "Bigil".



Principal photography started on 21 January 2019.[12][13][7] Three of the cast members collaborate with Vijay for the first time in a decade or more; 11 years in the case of Vivek and 10 for Nayanthara and Anandaraj.[8][14][15] The action sequences are choreographed by Anl Arasu. G.K Vishnu and Ruben were selected as cinematographer and editor respectively, continuing their association with the director after working on Mersal (2017).[8] Filming completed in August 2019.[16][17]


Soundtrack album by
Released19 September 2019
23 November 2019 (Additional Songs)
StudioPanchathan Record Inn and AM Studios, Chennai
GenreFeature film soundtrack
6.37 (Additional Songs)
LabelSony Music
ProducerA. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Sarvam Thaala Mayam
99 Songs
Singles from Bigil
  1. "Singappenney"
    Released: 23 July 2019
  2. "Verithanam"
    Released: 1 September 2019
  3. "Unakaaga"
    Released: 18 September 2019
  4. "Kaalame (Additional Song)"
    Released: 23 November 2019
  5. "Idharkuthaan (Additional Song)"
    Released: 23 November 2019
External audio
  Audio Jukebox on YouTube

The soundtrack and background score was composed by A. R. Rahman, marking his second collaboration with Atlee after Mersal, and also his fifth collaboration with Vijay. The album features five songs, with all lyrics written by Vivek.[18] The music rights were secured by Sony Music India.[19] Actor Vijay sung a song for this film, which was written by Vivek, that was confirmed by a poster release, on 8 July 2019, which features Rahman, Vijay, Atlee and Vivek in the recording room followed by the song titled "Verithanam". Reports have stated that Vijay sung a song titled "Verithanam" composed by Rahman.[20]

The song "Singapenney" was unofficially leaked through the internet on mid-July 2019. Following the leak, the song was officially released on 23 July 2019. The music video features Rahman and Shashaa Tirupati, rendering the song while lyricist Vivek and Atlee also made an appearance. Singapenney, considered to be a woman anthem, Vivek, who wrote the lyrics, stated that "This is a woman anthem, dedicated to mother, sister, wife and all women in the world" while also noting that "the song will change the stereotype of a woman, which considers that the stronger themes were denoted for men (fire, storm) and the softer themes were denoted for women (flower, breeze)".[21]

The second single, "Verithanam" was released on 1 September 2019.[22] As a singer, this film marks Vijay's first collaboration with Rahman. The third single "Unakaaga" was released on 18 September 2019. The audio launch event was held on 19 September 2019 at Sri Sairam Engineering College. The film's cast and crew and all the other celebrities attended the event.[23] Initially the makers wanted to telecast the event live, but due to technical difficulties, the audio launch will be telecasted on Sun TV on 22 September 2019[24][25]

Behindwoods gave the album a rating of 3.25/5, saying, "A. R. Rahman's perfect mix of class and mass music amplifies Bigil's verithanam!".[clarify][26] IBI Times gave the album a rating 3/5, saying, "A. R. Rahman delivered a hit music album for Vijay in the form of Bigil".[27]

A month after the film's release, an album with two additional songs was released. While these two songs are also written by Vivek, the song "Kaalame" was sung by Bamba Bakya, while the song "Idharkuthaan" was sung by Dhee with additional vocals from Sunitha Sarathy and Arjun Chandy.[28][29][30]

Track list
1."Singappenney"A. R. Rahman, Shashaa Tirupati6:04
2."Verithanam"Vijay, Poovaiyar4:05
3."Unakaaga"Sreekanth Hariharan, Madhura Dhara Talluri4:26
4."Maatharey"Chinmayi, Madhura Dhara Talluri, Sireesha, Akshara, Vithusayni4:21
5."Bigil Bigil Bigiluma"A.R. Rahman2:02
Total length:20:58
Additional songs
1."Kaalame"Bamba Bakya3:55
2."Idharkuthaan"Dhee (Additional vocals: Sunitha Sarathy, Arjun Chandy)2:42
Total length:6:37


Bigil was released simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu (titled Whistle) on 25 October 2019, two days ahead of the Diwali festival, which falls on 27 October 2019.[7] The film is estimated to be released on 4200 screens worldwide, and it is the first Tamil film to release in IMAX screens.[31][32]


The film was distributed worldwide by Screen Scene Media Entertainment.[33] The Chennai city distribution rights were acquired by Gopuram Films. Trichy and Thanjavur rights were acquired by Karpagam Films. Sushma Cine Arts acquired the theatrical rights of Salem. Surya Movies acquired the rights of Madurai and Ramnad district. The film will be released by Kanthaswamy Cine Arts in Coimbatore and Vasundhara Devi Cine Films in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari.[33] United India Exporters and X Gen Studios have jointly bought the overseas theatrical rights for the film. The Telugu rights have been bought by Mahesh S. Koneru under the banner East Coast Productions, and will be released in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.[34] Also the film's Hindi dubbing rights have been bought by Goldmines Telefilms Pvt. Ltd.[35]


The film's title, Bigil was announced on 22 June 2019.[36] The first look was released on 21 June 2019, featuring Vijay in a double role, one a footballer, and the other as a gangster. Vijay wears a salt-and-pepper hairstyle for this film.[37] The film's second look poster was released on 22 June at midnight,[38] and another poster was released at 6pm on the same day, with Vijay holding a cycle chain as a similar reference to Thirumalai (2003).[39][40] The new poster from the film was released on 28 August 2019, featuring Vijay, Anandaraj, Yogi Babu and others. The theatrical trailer was released on 12 October 2019.[41][42]

To promote the movie the makers teamed up with Chennai City FC, an Indian professional football club, to organise a mini football tournament consisting of 64 teams, on 19–20 October 2019, at Tiki Taka, Velachery, Chennai.[43][44] Another event titled Bigil FIFA Esports Championship, organised by Sky Esports was held in Arkmensis Gaming India, Chennai on 17–20 October 2019, and in Woot Gaming Lounge, Kochi on 15 October 2019.[45] The makers teamed up with Chennaiyin FC, for the upcoming Indian Super League season.[46] A new Twitter emoji for the film was launched officially, for the film's marketing purposes.[47]

The first look of the dubbed Telugu version titled Whistle, was released on 6 October 2019, and its trailer was released on 17 October 2019.[48]

Copyright infringement allegations

Telugu filmmaker Nandi Chinni Kumar sued director Atlee for story theft and copyright infringement in Hyderabad court.[49][50]


Critical reception

M Suganth of The Times of India gave 3 out of 5 stars stating "Though it lacks depth and is overlong, Bigil proves to be an engaging entertainer".[51] Sify gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Bigil relies squarely on the charm of its leading man and Vijay dives into the character with an enthusiasm we haven’t seen before. It is a paisa vasool mass, sports-action-entertainer which is sure to be enjoyed by the masses and family audiences".[52] Sreedhar Pillai of Firstpost gave 3.25 out of 5 stars stating "Bigil is designed as a crowd-pleaser from the very word go; with the basic underdog story, women empowerment and equality as themes, it works to a large extent. Vijay takes Bigil to its winning goal".[53] IndiaGlitz gave 2.75 out of 5 stars stating " Despite it's predictability, Bigil is lead to a victory by the impressive Vijay!".[54] stated "Bigil packs in enough entertainment in its three-hour running time, feels A Ganesh Nadar".[55] Karthik Kumar of Hindustan Times stated "Despite a problematic first half, the Atlee-directed Vijay starrer makes up in the second half with an emotionally rewarding end, and is excruciatingly long and if not for the football portion which is executed on a grand scale and visuals, the film would’ve struggled to stay afloat".[56]

Box office

The Times of India stated that Bigil has collected a total of ₹300 crore worldwide, while Firstpost stated a gross of 285 crore.[5][6] The film's Tamil Nadu theatrical distribution rights were sold at ₹80 crore[57] and it has grossed ₹143 crore in Tamil Nadu after four weeks.[58][59] In three weeks, the film had collected ₹13 crore from Chennai alone.[60] Bigil collected US$1 million at U.S box office, Vijay's fourth film to do so.[61] The film has performed very well in Delhi and Mumbai,[62] with sold-out shows at most locations in Mumbai the first week.[63] As of 6 November 2019, Bigil has collected $11.5 million in overseas territories.[64][65] The film earned more than 33,000 entries in France, overtaking Mersal and Enthiran.[66] The film also earned GBP 588,234 in United Kingdom surpassing highest Mersal which earned GBP 560,858.[59] In first six days, the film has reported to have earned $2 million in Malaysia.[67]

Social impact

Bigil has become an influential film for women. According to the coach of Madurai women's football team which recently won national qualifiers in Bangalore, parents are encouraging their daughters to take up football.[68]

Awards and nominations

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref
Zee Cine Awards Tamil 4 January 2019 Favorite Heroin Nayanthara Won [69]
Best Music Director A.R. Rahman Nominated
Favorite Song Of The Year (Verithanam) Nominated
Favorite Actor Vijay Won
Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards 11 January 2020 Best choreographer Shobi & Lalitha Shobi Won [70]
Most popular film AGS Entertainment Won
Best Music Director A. R. Rahman Nominated
Edison Award TBA Best PlayBack Singer Male for Singappenney A.R. Rahman Pending [71]
Best Background Score
Best Music Director


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External links