Kaalai (Tamil: காளை; English: Bull) is a 2008 Indian Tamil-language action film directed by Tharun Gopi. The lead roles are played by Silambarasan and Vedhika. Supporting roles are played by Lal, Sangeetha, Seema, Santhanam, and Sulile Kumar. The film's score and soundtrack were composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar. The film opened to mixed reviews and was a box office flop. The Hindi version was renamed Jwalamukhi (Man With Fire).
|Directed by||Tharun Gopi|
|Produced by||S. S. Chakravarthy|
|Written by||Tharun Gopi|
|Screenplay by||Tharun Gopi|
|Story by||Tharun Gopi|
|Music by||G. V. Prakash Kumar|
|Cinematography||R. D. Rajasekhar|
Nic Arts / S. S. Chakravarthy
|Distributed by||Nic Arts / S. S. Chakravarthy|
Jeeva (Silambarasan) shares his name with two other people: one villain (Sulile Kumar) and one police officer who becomes a villain (Lal). The confusion arising from this is a significant part of the plot.
At the age of nine, Jeeva’s grandmother Karuppayi Aatha (Seema) slays five men because they scorned her father’s advice and illegally distilled alcohol in the village. After her return from prison, the villagers both fear and revere her, and consider her the head of the village.
Police officer Jeeva (Lal) comes to the village ruled by Karuppayi Aatha to try to find illicit activity. When he cannot find anything, he is thrashed by the villagers. He returns to take vengeance, and in the course of the hostilities burns Karuppayi Aatha alive.
Jeeva the criminal is meanwhile wooing policeman Jeeva’s daughter Brindha (Vedhika). But Brindha loves Jeeva, Karuppayi's grandson, and he wants to take revenge on his namesake for the death of his grandmother. He abducts Vedhika as a hostage to lure her father to his death.
- Silambarasan as Jeeva
- Vedhika as Brindha
- Lal as Jeevanandham IPS
- Sulile Kumar as Jeeva
- Sangeetha as Lakshmi
- Seema as Karuppayi Aatha
- Sabarna as Brindha's friend
- Nila as "Guththa Lakkadi"
- Rinson Simon as a background dancer in the song "Kutti Pisaase" (uncredited)
- Mahat Raghavendra as Jeeva's friend (uncredited)
- Ramdoss as Tea shop fight participant (uncredited)
In pre-production work, Tarun Gopi originally offered the lead role to Madhavan, then to Prabhas. Neither was able to take up the role, so Silambarasan was recruited instead. The original choice for the lead female role was Trisha, who was replaced by Vedhika. Prakashraj was originally selected for the role of the police officer Jeeva, but he was replaced by Lal.
Most of the film was shot in the villages around Theni. Australia was originally planned to be the location for filming songs, but due to visa problems these scenes were shifted to Malaysia. A fast beat song sequence was shot at the Golden Beach, Chennai with Simbu and Vedhika. For much of the filming the heroine was not finalized, so large sections of the movie were shot without the female lead. The shoots appeared disorganized, with few actors recruited ahead of time. Silambarasan did some editing work with Anthony, who is said to have been impressed by his work and presented him with 25,000 rands.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|G. V. Prakash Kumar chronology|
|"Kaala Kaala"||Benny Dayal, Mamta Mohandas||05.45||Silambarasan|
|"Vandhuttaanda Kaalai"||Benny Dayal, Rahul Nambiar, Silambarasan||03:36||Tharun Gopi|
|"Kutti Pisase"||Silambarasan, Suchitra||05:36||Vaali|
|"Guththa Lakkadi"||Lucky Ali, Sunidhi Chauhan||06:03||Vaali|
|"Veeramulla"||Manicka Vinayagam, Sriram, Seerkazhi Chidambaram||05:12||Vaali|
The rights for satellite broadcast were sold to Sun TV. The film was given an "A" certificate by the Indian Censor Board. The film was released at the Pongal 2008 festival at the same time as Bheema, Pidichirukku, Pirivom Santhippom, Pazhani and Vaazhthugal.
Indiaglitz wrote: "The narrative is too loud and it lacks finesse. Silambarasan handles the 'omnipotent hero' character with confidence. Vedhika announces her arrival as the potential glam girl of 2008. This one with a beautiful and innocent face has just the right figure to take up glamour roles".
Sify wrote: "When Silambarasan and director Tarun Gopi came together in Kaalai we expected a racy masala entertainer. Sadly it is a watered down version of earlier films and ends up as an over-the-top ham enterprise, Kaalai is like a bull in a china shop and makes you groan".
- Behind woods (24 July 2008). "Behindwoods BO". Behindwoods. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "The Hindu News Update Service". Hindu.com. 20 June 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Hari, TSV (16 January 2008). "Kaalai: A wasted effort". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
- Behindwoods News Bureau (12 April 2007). "Only eight days of shoot and Kaala team is back in town". Behindwoods. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Behindwoods News Bureau (27 December 2007). "Kaalai going places!". Behindwoods. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Behindwoods News Bureau (5 May 2007). "Simbu, Vedika and the soaring temperature". Behindwoods. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Behindwoods News Bureau. "Silambarasan gets paid by the editor!". Behindwoods. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Mamta croons for Kaalai". Sify. 14 September 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Behindwoods News Bureau (31 December 2007). "A sneak peek into Kaalai music". Behindwoods. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Pongal movies and censor certificates". IndiaGlitz. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Kaalai Tamil Movie Review". IndiaGlitz. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Kaalai Review - Tamil Movie Review by PVS". Nowrunning.com. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Movie Review:Kaalai". Sify. Retrieved 5 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)