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Ethir Neechal (transl. Swimming against the tide) is a 2013 Tamil language sports comedy film written and directed by R. S. Durai Senthilkumar, a former assistant to Vetrimaran and produced by Dhanush.[2] Sivakarthikeyan, Priya Anand and Nandita play lead roles. The movie released on 1 May 2013 to critical acclaim from critics as well as the audience.[3][4]

Ethir Neechal
Ethir neechal.jpg
Tamilஎதிர் நீச்சல்
Directed byR. S. Durai Senthilkumar
Produced byDhanush
Written byR. S. Durai Senthilkumar
Music byAnirudh Ravichander
Edited byKishore Te.
Distributed byVendhar Movies[1]
Release date
  • 1 May 2013 (2013-05-01)
Running time
122 minutes
Budget5 crore (US$720,000)
Box officeest.30 crore (US$4.3 million)



In 1987, a woman Sivagami (Surekha Vani) has complications while giving birth. Sivagami's husband (Pasanga Sivakumar) prays to his native deity that if she delivers his baby successfully, he would name the baby with the name of the deity. The baby is born without any problems and as per the wish, they name the baby Kunjithapadham (Sivakarthikeyan). As a boy, Kunjithapadham faces many problems and embarrassments due to his name, as his peer mates call him "Kunju" or "Kunji" (the private part of the male body). He decides to change his name, but his mother falls ill, and he prays to God that he would never change his name.

Years later, Sivagami dies. Kunjithapadam's friend Peter (Sathish) advises him to change his name in order to have a change in his life. After meeting an astrologer Gunasekara Raja (Manobala), he renames himself "Harish". Luck starts to him from that day onwards. He falls in love with Geetha (Priya Anand) and succeeds in winning her heart. He later gets a job, and life goes smoothly for him. One day, his lottery ticket hits victory, and he must cash it in for a TV as a prize. However, the lottery has registered his name as 'Kunjithapadham'. He gets the TV, but Geetha finds out his true name and berates him for lying to her about his name. She tells him he needs to succeed something in life in order to win her heart.

Harish decides to participate in the Chennai Marathon. He meets with a trainer (Jayaprakash), who takes him to his former student Valli (Nandita), who had quit athletics. She agrees to train Harish. Later, he sees her crying in the terrace with a photo of her dead father (Sharath Lohitashwa). Harish asks her to tell her past. Valli was a naturally talented athlete from her young days. Her father supported her talent and spoke with many men to get her past many tournaments. She got into a state level tournament where she beat the rookie of the corrupt coach Raja Singh (Ravi Prakash). Infuriated, Raja accused Valli of failing a gender verification test. The board punished Valli and stopped her from participating. Heartbroken, Valli's father died of a heart attack.

Hearing this flashback, Harish is moved and decides to win the marathon. Geetha also urges him to win it for the sake of Valli. During the marathon, Harish faces stiff competition from another one of Raja's rookies, but eventually wins the race and publicly reveals Valli's innocence. Raja is arrested, and Valli resumes athletics. Harish later opens and runs a training academy under his original name. A man named Dinakaran (Attakathi Dinesh), acting on Harish's advice, proposes his love to Valli, and she accepts.



Dhanush signed up TV star Sivakarthikeyan in his maiden production venture. Priya Anand was signed up as heroine. She plays a fun character.[2] The film's photo shoot involving Siva Karthikeyan and Priya Anand happened at the Set Fire Studios, Chennai on 7 Jun 2012.[5]

It was reported that Dhansika of Aravaan fame was cast as the second heroine.Soon after Dhansikha's exit, the role was given to Vasundhara Das but Nandita of Attakathi has got the role. She plays the role of an athlete.[6] Velraj of Polladhavan fame will handle the camera. Anu Parthasarathy is the stylist.[7] Priya Anand revealed, that Ethir Neechal is a city-based story without cheap comedy, vulgar dialogues or inappropriate scenes.[8]

The team begun shooting for the film on 23 July 2012. Balu Mahendra took the first shot.[9] Dhanush and Nayanthara will be seen in a special appearance, dancing together in the Kuthu folk dance number Sathiyama Nee Enakku, with Nayanthara designing costumes for herself. The song was shot in Nagercoil at a Punjabi dhabha restaurant.[10][11] A post-production press meeting was held on 24 April.[1]


Ethir Neechal
Soundtrack album by
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSony Music
ProducerAnirudh Ravichander
Anirudh Ravichander chronology
Ethir Neechal

Anirudh Ravichander composed the music for this film; the soundtrack features six tracks that belonged to varied genres.[12] The audio rights was brought by Sony Music.

Track list
1."Nijamellam Maranthupochu"DhanushDhanush, Anirudh Ravichander03:45
2."Boomi Enna Suthudhe"DhanushAnirudh Ravichander04:18
3."Ethir Neechal"Vaali, Hirdesh Singh, Adhithya VenkatapathyAnirudh Ravichander, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Hiphop Tamizha, Fajrul Hafiz04:29
4."Velicha Poove"VaaliMohit Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal05:10
5."Un Paarvayil"R. S. Durai SenthilkumarAnirudh Ravichander, Vivek Siva01:37
6."Local Boys"R. S. Durai SenthilkumarDhanush, Velmurugan04:31


Musicperk gave 8 out of 10 starts saying that "Anirudh seals this year".[12] Behindwoods rated 3.5 of 5 saying, "The album does well to consolidate Anirudh's sensational debut "Anirudh is the real EDM artist . He is the first to bring original EDM music....Wasim – music engineer[13]


The distribution rights of the film were secured by Vendhar Movies. The satellite rights of the film were purchased by STAR Vijay. The film was given a "U" certificate by the Indian Censor Board and is expected to release on 1 May 2013. The censors hinted, that the film would be a wholesome family entertainer.[14] The film released in 300 screens across Tamil Nadu.[15] The theatrical trailer for Ethir Neechal was released on 13 April 2013.[16] The film was released on 1 May with Soodhu Kavvum and Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal and received highly positive reviews.[1]]

Box officeEdit

The film opened 80 – 90% occupancy on first day collected 4 crore. The film total collection is 30+ crore.[17]

Critical receptionEdit

Behindwoods wrote:"just being a mindless romantic comedy, it also makes some valid points about the state of poor athletes in the country".[18] Baradwaj Rangan wrote:"Sivakarthikeyan looks like he’s getting there — he’s not yet a star, at least in the leading-man sense,[sic] he gets a feature-length platform to display his comic chops".[19] Indian Express wrote:"Ethir Neechal is a mild passable entertainer".[20]


  1. ^ a b c "Priya Anand is eager to see Dhanush and Nayanthara rock". Behindwoods. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Priya Anand in Dhanush's home production". Sify. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Ethir Neechal is a nice commercial entertainer!". Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Chennai Box-Office- May 24 to 26". (28 May 2013). Retrieved on 2014-08-17.
  5. ^ "Siva Karthikeyan and Priya Anand clicked". Behindwoods. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  6. ^ Jeshi, K. (4 October 2012). "A good start". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  7. ^ Manigandan, K. R. (9 June 2012). "Cool connect". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  8. ^ Jeshi K. (17 March 2013). "In a happy place". Chennai, India. The Hindu. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  9. ^ "Balu Mahendra directs Sivakarthikeyan!". The Times Of India. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Ethir Neechal set to release". nowrunning. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  11. ^ "Nayanthara did that herself". Behindwoods. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Ethir Neechal". musicperk. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Ethir Neechal Songs Review". Behindwoods. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Ethir Neechal comes out unscathed". Behindwoods. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  15. ^ Oor Kaalan (15 March 2013). "Ethir Neechal slotted for April release | Vijay TV grabs Telecast rights". Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  16. ^ Ethir Neechal Official Theatrical Trailer (YouTube). sonymusicindiaSME. 12 April 2013.
  17. ^ `Ethir Neechal` spells profit for Dhanush. (3 May 2013). Retrieved on 17 August 2014.
  18. ^ "Ethir Neechal Movie Review". Behindwoods. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  19. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (5 May 2013). "Run culture". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  20. ^ Mannath, Malini (4 May 2013). "Ethir Neechal (Tamil)". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 26 June 2013.

External linksEdit