Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru

Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru (transl. 16 extremes), also known as D-16, is a 2016 Indian Tamil-language neo-noir crime thriller film written and directed by Karthick Naren, and starring Rahman.[1] Featuring a predominantly new cast and crew, the film went on to gain positive reviews from film critics as well becoming a sleeper hit.[2][3] The film completed its 100 days on April 6, 2017. The film was remade in Kannada as Aa Drushya (2019) starring V. Ravichandran.[4]

Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru
Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKarthick Naren
Produced byNaren
Written byKarthick Naren
Prakash Vijayaraghavan
Ashwin Kumar
Music byJakes Bejoy
CinematographySujith Sarang
Edited bySreejith Sarang
Knight Nostalgia Filmotainment
Distributed byDream Factory
Venus Infotainment
Release date
  • 29 December 2016 (2016-12-29)
Running time
105 minutes


The story begins with Deepak (Rahman) narrating the story of one of his cases that occurred during his service as a police officer in Coimbatore. Deepak narrates the story to a man who is the son of another police officer who has come for taking career advice from him. Then Deepak starts the story. Three young men (named Fabian, Mano and Melvin) hit a man with the car they were driving on a rainy day in a neighborhood. Afraid that they might get caught, they carry the body to their home. Deepak continues the story from his perspective. He comes to his office in the morning and his sub-ordinate officer informs him about a suicide of a person named Krish that has happened in the area and hands over the license of that person. The informer, who is a newspaper boy is called in to give his information. On his way out, the newspaper boy sees the car from the crime scene and shouts out to police. They ignore him.

Deepak visits the crime scene and meets the new police officer, Gautham. Gautham follows his instinct and mentions about the those young men. They go to investigate them. They act suspicious. After finding nothing, they return to the office. While on their way, they get a call informing them of another incident. They go there to find that, Shruti is missing with blood stains on her bedroom. Her friend Vaishnavi was the one to identify this. Later Deepak gets a call saying that Shruti, previous day evening had written a complained against a person Mano. He recognizes the name as that of one of the young men and interrogates them. They tell of the incident that happened 10 days prior to missing of Shruti. The incident was - she unknowingly overspeeds and nearly hits them. The three young men also confess that after the incident, they have not met her. On further investigation in Shruti's apartment, it is revealed that the blood group is B+ which matches with Krish.

Gautham investigates and identifies that, Shruti had told the neighbour about a young man who is her fiancé. They decide that the fiancé might be Krish and decide to watch the young men as suspects. As the day ends, Deepak decides to go home. His neighbor informs him about a young man who was waiting for him. Deepak had captured a camera from some kids. These kids were asked to meet him at his residence for getting back the camera. From the camera, Deepak sees that Vaishnavi has lied about arriving late to the house, while she was there earlier. He also notices the car number from the video. Both Gautham and Deepak decides to check on Vaishnavi, but they realize that she is missing from her house. They go looking for her everywhere but she is not found. She is then shown to be in the airport. Gautham and Deepak come to the conclusion that one among the young boys might have been the suspect and that Shruti would have given complaint against the one whose name she would have confused with. After this conclusion they see Mano (one among the three young boys) on the road on his way to police station.

To the Deepak and Gautham, he narrates the incident of how they hit the man while driving the car, and later carrying the body and finally realizing that the body was taken by the original killer. He confesses this to the police and says that the newspaper boy who saw them hit the man has been asking for ransom and threatening them. The newspaper boy explains to the police that on the day of the incidence, he saw a man with a bullet wound who had apparently committed suicide and another case were the car hit a man. Gautham and Deepak hypothesize the situation by narrating a story - Both Krish and Shruti are in the apartment and then the anonymous killer breaks in and kidnaps Shruti, Krish, and Vaishnavi's assumed boyfriend and threatens Vaishnavi. While trying to escape, Krish is killed. Vaishnavi's boyfriend (assumed) also escapes and is hit by the car and killed. But they are not sure of the story. Finally they get a lead to the car number and follows it. But Gautham and Deepak meets with an accident.

After narrating this much, Deepak asks the other man to him he was narrating the story whether he still wants to be in the police. Deepak excuses himself into the house. While he is there, he comes to know that the person with whom he was conversing is not the person whom he thought to be. He becomes cautious and takes his pistol.

In the climax it is revealed by Vaishnavi to Deepak that Shruti was abused and her videos taken by Krish (who actually introduced himself to Vaishali as Mano, against whom Shruti had given a complaint) and his friend. Shruti's boyfriend, Rajeev, had planned to visit her this same day to surprise her. He enters the scene. But Krish overpowers him and takes away Shruti. Finally, Rajeev meets Krish and attacks him. In this fight, Krish dies. And Rajeev chases Krish's friend, Prem, and it is this man who gets hit by the car (driven by the men) and dies. Rajeev then takes Vaishanvi and Shruti to Nasik along with him.

The man to whom Deepak was talking to reveals himself as his old partner, Gautham. Before Deepak can take his gun, Gautham holds him at gunpoint. He tells Deepak that after the accident he had to get a surgery to get his face restored. He had come to ask Deepak on why he let the killer live. He answers that Rajeev was his son and hence did not solve the case. This angers Gautham who shoots him saying that because of Rajeev, he now has to live as another person. Deepak gets killed, while Gautham gets shot in the arm by the police who later overpowers him. His fate is unknown. The movie ends with Deepak narrating that had the story been told from Gautham's point of view, he would have been the villain. He also said that one small incident, Shruti complaining about Mano (who was actually Krish), had not happened, Krish might not had gone to Shruti's house to abuse her and make her MMS. Had Krish not gone to Shruti's house, Rajeev had not attacked Krish and killed him and Prem (Krish's friend) had not been killed in the car (driven by those 3 men) accident. So, ultimately this whole "incident" might not have happened. Hence, Gautham might not have gone for the surgery and he (Rahman) might have lived more...


  • Rahman as Deepak Inspector of Police
  • Prakash Vijayaraghavan as Gautham, before he underwent reconstruction facial surgery due to the accident.
  • Ashwin Kumar as Gautham, after he underwent reconstruction facial surgery due to the accident.
  • Pradheep as Rajan
  • Sharath Kumar as The paperboy
  • Santhosh Krishna as Fabian
  • Karthikeyan as Melvin
  • Praveen as Mano
  • Bala Hasan as Prem
  • Vinod Varma as Krish
  • Kunal Kaushik as Rajiv
  • Anjana Jayaprakash as Vaishnavi
  • Yashika Aannand as Shruti
  • Delhi Ganesh as Sriram
  • SM. Sivakumar
  • Karthick Naren as Shortfilm maker(cameo appearance)

The reason behind the name of the movie "Dhuruvangal 16" is also this:there are 16 characters in it as mentioned above.


In September 2015, Rahman revealed that he would work on a Tamil thriller film to be directed by Karthick Naren, then only aged twenty one years old. Rahman stated that was initially apprehensive about signing on to feature in a film to be made by newcomers and held a few hearings despite being impressed with the way the script was presented to him through a narration that was both "appealing and convincing".[5][6] Debutant director Karthick revealed that Rahman was his "only choice" for the lead role, while stating the script was "the culmination of an intensive probe into the world of crime" and that his father would back the film as the producer. Sujith Sarang, Sreejith Sarang and Jakes Bejoy, who had previously worked together in Thakka Thakka (2015), collaborated again to work as the cinematographer, editor and music composer for the project.[7] Sachin Sudhakaran and Hariharan worked on the sound engineering for the film, with Rajakrishnan assisting as the mixing engineer.[8] Apart from Rahman, the only other notable actor cast in the film was Delhi Ganesh, with most of the remaining actors being newcomers. Ashwin Kumar, who previously appeared in a supporting role in Jacobinte Swargarajyam (2016), was also picked to play a role, with his identity kept secret during the promotions.[9] Rookie actress Yaashika Aanand appeared in the role of Shruti, her second film appearance following a brief role in Kavalai Vendam (2016).[10] Anjana Jayaprakash, who portrayed the role of Vaishnavi, was a college senior of the director and was signed after the pair had a mutual interest for working on short films.[11]

The film was predominantly shot in October and November 2015, over a period of 28 days in and around Chennai, Coimbatore and Ooty.[12][13] The film's first look was released by director Gautham Menon through a poster in January 2016, while R. Madhavan and A. R. Rahman released a further poster and the trailer of the film, respectively, during August 2016.[14] Prior to the theatrical release of the film, Rahman screened the film for his friends in the film industry.[15]


Dhruvangal Pathinaaru
Soundtrack album by
Jakes Bejoy
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelThink Music India
ProducerJakes Bejoy
Jakes Bejoy chronology
Thakka Thakka
Dhruvangal Pathinaaru
Mannar Vagera

Soundtrack contains two songs composed by Jakes Bejoy and the lyrics were written by Vivek and Mani Amudhan.[16]

  • Kaatril Oru — Lawrence, Kavita Thomas
  • Uthira Kaayangal — Vijay Prakash


The film was theatrically released across Tamil Nadu on 29 December 2016, alongside seven other films and played initially in 95 screens.[17] However, by the first show, the film started receiving a good response, and positive word-of-mouth meant that 160 screens played the film in its second week. Furthermore, the film was moved from smaller halls in cinemas to the biggest main screens in several multiplexes across Chennai.[18] It subsequently went on to become a commercial success at the box office, with Sify.com stating it was a "multiplex super hit".[19] Following the release of the film, it received widespread critical acclaim with several Indian actors and technicians praising the venture. Rahman praised the team and stated he was "left in awe at the efforts of the youthful brigade, and things fell in place as if it was programmed that way" and noted that "the success should inspire other directors to think out of the box".[20] Leading Tamil film technicians including A. R. Rahman, Shankar, AR Murugadoss and Karthik Subbaraj tweeted appreciating the film, as did actors such as Vijay, Silambarasan, Sivakarthikeyan, Rana Daggubati and Prashanth.[21][22][23][24]

In his review for The Hindu, film critic Baradwaj Rangan gave the film a positive review and concluded that Dhruvangal Pathinaaru was "a procedural with solid writing, first-rate filmmaking", adding that the director had "announced that he’s a filmmaker".[25] Similarly, The New Indian Express gave the film a very positive review stating "an eminently watchable suspense- thriller, Dhruvangal Pathinaaru has a universal sensibility and a feel that makes Tamil cinema proud", while also singling out Rahman stating he gave a "truly brilliant performance and the best in his career".[26] Sify.com wrote it was a "well executed whodunit murder mystery" and added that the film "engages us throughout and keep throwing surprises till the end".[27] Likewise, Behindwoods.com noted that it was "an engaging thriller with an impressive storyline" and that "Karthick is a director to look out for".[28] Indiaglitz.com stated it was a "fantastic thriller", concluding "D16 is surely the surprise end package to the year 2016, a good finish from a logically sound and promising director supported by a good cast and fine technicalities".[29] The film was later dubbed and released in Telugu as D16 was released in March 2017, after plans to remake it was dropped.[30]

Box officeEdit

The film collected 14.47 lakh (US$20,000), 59.43 lakh (US$83,000) to 1.04 crore (US$150,000) in Chennai in ten days.[31] Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru, made on a shoe-string budget of around ₹2.5 crore, is said to have earned a distributor's share of ₹3.5 crore from Tamil Nadu theatricals alone. Add another ₹3 crore for digital, satellite and remake rights (Hindi and Telugu), and it can be termed a superhit in terms of return on investment


In 2017, Karthick Naren announced that his upcoming directorial venture Naragasooran would be the second of a "thriller trilogy" of films that began with Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru, and set in the same universe as the latter film.[32]


  1. ^ "Rahman plays a cop in his next". Deccanchronicle.com. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Director Karthick Naren talks about his debut film Dhuruvangal 16 aka D16". 13 September 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru to be remade in Hindi, Telugu". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  4. ^ https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/entertainment/reviews/aa-drushya-movie-review-ravichandrans-parade-of-characters-fill-up-the-narrative/articleshow/71972669.cms
  5. ^ "Young director impresses Rahman". Deccanchronicle.com. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Actor Rahman signs a movie by 21-year-old debutant director". The Hindu. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  7. ^ Vasudevan, K V. "Karthick Naren on 'Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru'". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  8. ^ Vasudevan, K V. "The right mix". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru: Ashwin Kkumar's Tamil debut confirmed for 29 December release". 25 December 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  10. ^ "An aspiring entrant!". 1 December 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  11. ^ M., Ramakrishnan. "Luck by chance". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  12. ^ By Manigandan K R (10 November 2015). "Rahman in a 21-Year-Old's Crime-Thriller Directorial". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  13. ^ Vasudevan, K V. "Lighting the way". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  14. ^ "Dhuruvangal 16 will be a film without songs". Behindwoods. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Actor Rahman talks about Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru aka D16". 26 December 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  16. ^ http://www.starmusiq.com/tamil_movie_songs_listen_download.asp?MovieId=6281
  17. ^ "Friday Fury-December 30". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru aka D16 second week box office report". 9 January 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Chennai Box Office — sify.com". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  20. ^ Vasudevan, K V. "Team effort to the fore". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  21. ^ "K-Town celebs rave about Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru — Times of India". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  22. ^ "I had doubts if people would accept the film: Karthick Naren — Times of India". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  23. ^ "Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru director Karthick Naren about the response for his debut". 30 December 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Shankar heaps praise on 'Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru'". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  25. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj. "Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru: A matter of crime". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  26. ^ "'Dhruvangal Pathinaaru' Review: You can't be distracted even for a second". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  27. ^ "Review : Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru review: A well executed whodunit". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  28. ^ "Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru (aka) Dhuruvangal 16 review". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  29. ^ "Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru review. Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru Tamil movie review, story, rating — IndiaGlitz.com". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  30. ^ http://www.deccanchronicle.com/entertainment/tollywood/180117/a-remake-of-dhuruvangal-pathinaaru.html
  31. ^ "Box office collection: Dangal gets 'blockbuster' status, Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru business witnesses huge growth in Chennai". International Business Times. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  32. ^ http://www.deccanchronicle.com/entertainment/kollywood/040517/shriya-saran-lands-naragasooran.html

External linksEdit