Kaithi (2019 film)
Kaithi (transl. Prisoner) is a 2019 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film written and directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. The film stars Karthi with Narain, Arjun Das, Harish Uthaman, George Maryan and Dheena in pivotal roles. It is produced by S. R. Prakashbabu and S. R. Prabhu under the banner Dream Warrior Pictures and co-produced by Tiruppur Vivek under the banner Vivekananda Pictures. In the film, a recently released prisoner races against time to drive poisoned cops to a hospital in exchange for meeting his daughter, while evading criminals chasing him. The film was noted to be inspired by the 1976 American film Assault on Precinct 13.
|Directed by||Lokesh Kanagaraj|
|Written by||Lokesh Kanagaraj|
|Produced by||S. R. Prakashbabu|
S. R. Prabhu
|Edited by||Philomin Raj|
|Music by||Sam C. S.|
|Budget||₹ 25-30 crore|
|Box office||₹ 100crore|
Lokesh initially wanted Mansoor Ali Khan to play the lead role, but during the writing process, Karthi was demanded to play the lead, with the scale of the budget being increased further. The film was launched officially on 12 December 2018, with principal photography being held the following day, and was completed within August 2019. The film was entirely shot at night, without any day sequences took place during the shoot. The film features no songs, but the background music was composed by Sam C. S. The cinematography was handled by Sathyan Sooryan, and edited by Philomin Raj.
Kaithi was released on 25 October 2019, coinciding with Diwali, along with the Telugu-dubbed version titled Khaidi. It opened to generally favorable reviews praising the action sequences, performances, writing and exclusion of songs. Following the positive reception, the film became a blockbuster and went on to win a number of accolades. A Hindi-language remake starring Ajay Devgn has been officially announced. Kaithi was selected for official screening at International Indian Film Festival in Toronto, held in August 2020.
This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (July 2020)
At an orphanage for girls, a 10-year-old girl named Amudha is told by the caretakers that someone important is going to meet her at 10:00 AM the next day. She waits anxiously, wondering who it may be.
A smuggling van carrying a ton of drugs and a group of smugglers is seized by Inspector Bejoy and his team. The contraband was smuggled by a gang headed by Adaikalam, who none of the police officers has seen nor know how he looks. Adaikalam's brother Anbu plans to capture the five police officials, kill them, and retrieve the contraband. According to Anbu's plan, all the police officials in the city get unconscious after consuming poisoned drinks at a higher official's retirement party. Bejoy, who avoided the drink as he was under medication, tries to save the lives of all the unconscious officials without letting the media or anyone else finding out. He convinces Dilli, an ex-prisoner who happened to be there with him as he was detained for looking suspicious (and being the only one who can drive a lorry), to help him save the officers' lives by threatening him that he would not let him meet his daughter Amudha the next morning, with the help of a lorry borrowed from Kamatchi, a caterer present at the party. As Kamatchi has good knowledge of routes and roads, Dilli tells him to come with them as well. Dilli, Bejoy, and Kamatchi together load the unconscious officials into the lorry and try their best to get them to the hospital as soon as possible without any casualties.
As Anbu announces a huge sum of money as the reward for catching the policemen, gangsters from Anbu's gangs try to hunt down Bejoy and his team. They are guided by Paalpandi, a corrupt cop (recruited by Stephen Raj, Zonal Head of Narcotics Division] who pretends to be unconscious while giving information about the location of the lorry to the gangs.
Meanwhile, at the commissioner's office, the drugs are hidden along with Adaikalam's men who are in custody. As Anbu and his gang would take the drugs and free Adaikalam's men, Bejoy orders constable Napoleon and a group of college students detained due to drunken driving, to close all the possible exits and to try and keep the gangsters outside the commissioner's office at the cost of their own lives while they wait for higher officials.
Dilli, Bejoy, and Kamatchi come across the various gangs, but Dilli takes care of them brutally. Back at the building, Napoleon is instructed by Bejoy to negotiate a deal with the captured men of Adaikalam. Napoleon makes one of the men call Anbu and agrees to release the prisoners in exchange for his and the student's safety. Surprisingly, Anbu agrees. However, Bejoy realizes that Adaikalam himself is captured unknowingly by his men and instructs Napoleon to cancel the deal. Adaikalam tries to guide Anbu into the commissioner's office, but the students purposely blast loud music to keep him from hearing Adaikalam. Anbu manages to climb up to the roof and break into the building, but he is subdued by the students and tied up.
Dilli and Kamatchi manage to transfer the unconscious officers to a school bus from the hospital so that they can continue to the commissioner's office. However, they come across another gang who beats up Bejoy, and Paalpandi stabs Dilli twice in the back. Dilli still manages to kill Paalpandi and the gangsters, while rescuing Bejoy and proceeding to the building. Anbu's gang is outside the building and manages to catch a student, and under the order of Anbu, kill him. Napoleon bludgeons and kills Anbu with a fire extinguisher out of rage, to which Adaikalam swears he will kill all of them and their families. Dilli, Bejoy, and Kamatchi make it to the building. Dilli alone enters the building through a secret underground passage and sends the students out through the secret passage, while he and Napoleon go to burn up the drugs. The duo reaches the storage room, but to their surprise, they also find a confiscated Minigun. Instead of just burning the drugs, Napoleon decides to eliminate all the drug dealing rowdies. They reach the ground floor as the goons break-in. Dilli uses the gun to kill all of Anbu's gang outside the building. All the policemen are resuscitated, and Bejoy finds the moles in his department. Stephen Raj is incriminated and all injured are moved to the Government Hospital overnight. Bejoy thanks Dilli and promises him that he will soon arrange a good life for him and his daughter. The Probation Officer from Dilli's prison brings Dilli's daughter Amudha to the spot, and they meet with tears of joy. Dilli, Amudha, and Kamatchi leave for Dilli's village.
One of the captured men tells Adaikalam that Dilli, who had no connection with the gangs, was the prime reason for all of their losses, to which Adaikalam responds by saying that Dilli does have a connection, leaving open the possibility for a sequel. Dilli walks up with Amudha in his hands also along with kamatchi on the roadside, As the movie title displayed (for the first time in the movie), KAITHI.
- Karthi as Dilli
- Narain as Inspector Bejoy, a member of the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force
- Arjun Das as Anbu
- Harish Uthaman as Adaikalam
- George Maryan as Constable Napoleon
- Dheena as Kamatchi
- Hareesh Peradi as Stephen Raj
- Malavika Avinash as Nalini, a Probation officer at Puzhal Jail
- Deepthi as Thamizh, a college student
- Baby Monica as Amudha, Dilli's daughter
- Kanna Ravi as Ajhas Ahmed
- Krishnamoorthy as K. Venkat
- Chetan as Dr. Amudhan
- Arun Alexander as Paalpandi
- Ramana as Tips
- Vatsan Chakravarthy as a college student
- Lallu as a college student
- Udayaraj as a college student
- Kishore Rajkumar as a college student
- R. N. R. Manohar as an IG Of Police
- Winner Ramachandran
Lokesh Kanagaraj, initially chose Mansoor Ali Khan to play the lead role. But as the process of writing went forth, the story demanded Karthi, to play the lead role, and the scale of the film also increased. In June 2017, while Karthi, was filming for Theeran Adhigaram Ondru, reports suggested that he would be signing the director's next venture after Maanagaram, which was officially confirmed in December 2018. The film makers confirmed that there would be no female lead for Karthi in this film. The technical crew of the film comprises Sam C. S. as the music director, Sathyan Sooryan and Philomin Raj as the film's cinematographer and editor respectively. Karthi suggested Pon Parthiban as an additional screenplay writer as Karthi appreciated the latter's work in Kaatrin Mozhi (2018). The film was titled as Kaithi on 8 March 2019, with the first look poster release, and announced that Karthi would be playing as a prisoner in the film, which the title of the film itself reveals.
The film was announced on 12 December 2018, and the principal photography of the film commenced the following day. The team further revealed that there will be no songs placed in the film. The portions of the film were shot around Chennai and in Tirunelveli, and no day sequences took place for this film. Kanagaraj cited the climax fight choreographed by the duo Anbariv, from Karthi's 2010 action film Naan Mahaan Alla as the benchmark for the film's action sequences. Principal photagraphy was completed on August 2019. 
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||22 November 2019|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Dream Warrior Pictures|
|Producer||Sam C. S.|
|Sam C. S. chronology|
Sam C. S. composed the film's score. Initially, it was reported that the film does not feature any songs. However, a song titled "Neel Iravil" sung by Sam, was featured in the film's teaser. The original soundtrack, which features 17 tracks in the album, with four songs, and the rest of them were themes, was released on 22 November 2019, a month after the film's release. The vocals for the songs were written and performed by Sam and Sharanya Gopinath, with the latter rapping a few versions in English.
|1.||"Kill and Destroy" (Lyrics and English rap versions performed by Sharanya Gopinath)||3:19|
|3.||"Grief of Dilli"||3:44|
|4.||"Rise of Dilli"||1:19|
|6.||"Nee Eppo Varuva Appa"||1:14|
|7.||"The Hot Biriyani" (Vocals performed by Sam C. S.)||1:50|
|8.||"The Battle of Cop and Killer"||1:30|
|9.||"Kaithi Main Theme"||0:28|
|10.||"Beginning of the War"||2:11|
|11.||"The Phase of Deathcall"||0:34|
|12.||"Eternal Love of Father" (Vocals performed by Sam C. S.)||3:14|
|13.||"Arrival of the Ruffian"||0:48|
|14.||"Neel Iravil" (Vocals and lyrics performed by Sam C. S.)||1:21|
|15.||"The Emotion Hustler"||0:42|
|17.||"Night is Dark" (Vocals performed by Sam C. S, with English rap versions done by Sharanya Gopinath)||1:53|
The film was initially slated to be released during August 2019 and later pushed to release on 27 September 2019, but the release was pushed to October, and the makers announced that the film will be released on 25 October 2019, coinciding with Diwali. The film's release coincided with Vijay's sports film Bigil (2019). Kaithi was dubbed in Telugu as Khaidi, and released simultaneously along with the Tamil version. After the film's successful theatre run, the movie was made available to stream on OTT platform Hotstar on 25 November 2019, which led to criticism from the distributors and exhibitors. Major multiplex chains PVR and Inox stopped its theatrical run, soon after the digital premiere. The Telugu version of the film was made available to stream through Ahavideo. The satellite rights were brought by Star Vijay. Kaithi was selected for the official screening at the International Indian Film Festival in Toronto (IIFFT), which was held on 9-15 August 2020. It was also dubbed in Hindi as same name by Goldmines Teleflims on 25 October 2020.
Kaithi received highly positive reviews from critics who praised Karthi's performance, Lokesh's direction and the screenplay. India Today gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating, "Kaithi is a film that showcases filmmaking at its best, and Karthi is terrific and so natural that you could literally picture a prisoner going through a tough time." The Times of India gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Kaithi is a tense, impressively shot action thriller, a pure genre film." News18 gave 3 out of 5 stars stating "Karthi's stunning performance makes it an engaging watch, Kaithi plays at multiple levels." Firstpost gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Karthi is terrific with his eyes, especially in a scene involving his daughter where he breaks down. It is a well-made film that takes the road less travelled and provides enough thrills."
The Indian Express gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating, "The characters in this Karthi starrer are in a constant fight-or-flight mode. Lokesh forces them to choose between pain and pride. Surrender or resist." Sify gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Kaithi is a solid action thriller and it will be a feast for action lovers. The film also has a lovely underlying father-daughter sentiment which works well in the climax! Prepare to be thrilled." Great Andhra gave 3 out of 5 stars stating " 'Khaidi' (Telugu title) is a unique action drama that should be appreciated. It will appeal to serious movie lovers." The News Minute gave 4 out of 5 stars stating "A gripping tale of men imprisoned by their circumstances, there is no star in 'Kaithi'. Director Lokesh shows that a hero is anyone who goes beyond thinking about just himself." Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion South wrote, "But what I missed more is character building. Everyone stays the same from start to end. This isn't about twists and shock-reveals.
The film collected around ₹3.5 crore (US$545,580.1) on first day, ₹2.8 crore (US$436,464.08) on second day, about ₹4.7 crore (US$732,636.13) on third day, total of ₹11 crore (US$1.71 million) on 3 day weekend, close to ₹7 crore (US$1.09 million) on fourth and fifth day and ₹25 crore (US$3.9 million) and added a little over ₹10 crore (US$1.56 million) in 3 days to take ₹35 crore (US$5.46 million) on 10 days in Tamil Nadu. The film collected over ₹3.35 crore (US$522,198.1) in Chennai. The film collected over ₹5.5 crore (US$857,340.16) in Kerala, close to ₹10 crore (US$1.56 million) in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana from Tamil and Telugu versions and over ₹7 crore (US$1.09 million) in Karnataka. The film collected around ₹13 crore (US$2.03 million) in Overseas to take its worldwide collection of ₹70 crore (US$10.91 million) in 10 days. The film collected ₹83.4 crore (US$13 million) in Overseas on 12 days. The film collected ₹100 crore (US$15.59 million) worldwide.
|Award[a]||Date of ceremony[b]||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards||11 January 2020||Best Supporting Actor – Male||George Maryan||Won|||
|Best Stunt Director||Anbariv||Won|
|Critics' Choice Film Awards||14 March 2020||Best Actor – Male||Karthi||Nominated|||
|Norway Tamil Film Festival Awards||15 January 2020||Best Actor||Karthi||Won|||
|Best Villain||Arjun Das||Won|
|Best Editor||Philomin Raj||Won|
|South Indian International Movie Awards||18 September 2021||Best Film – Tamil||Dream Warrior Pictures||Won|||
|Best Director – Tamil||Lokesh Kanagaraj||Nominated|
|Best Actor – Tamil||Karthi||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor – Tamil||George Maryan||Won|
|Best Actor in a Negative Role – Tamil||Arjun Das||Won|
|Best Cinematographer – Tamil||Sathyan Sooryan||Nominated|
|Zee Cine Awards Tamil||4 January 2020||Favourite Director||Lokesh Kanagaraj||Won|||
|Best Stunt Director||Anbariv||Won|
|Best Villain||Arjun Das||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor – Male||George Maryan||Won|
As implied at the end of the movie, a sequel is planned. The director Lokesh and Karthi have confirmed the same. The dates and whereabouts are yet to be mentioned. Lokesh has also conveyed his interest in developing the film into a franchise, and also that he has an idea for both a prequel and sequel.
The film revived the popularity of the song "Jumbalakka" composed by A. R. Rahman, from the film En Swasa Kaatre (1999); in a scene from Kaithi where the students play an assortment of songs using a music player in loud volume to distract the prisoners from commandeering instructions to their comrades outside the police station. The song became a trend after the release of the film.
It is reported that the sequel and the remake of this movie were banned by Kollam High Court at Kerala complaint by a man named Rajeev Fernandez, a native from Kollam filed a case against the producer S. R. Prabhu who steals his story without his permission Which was based on the Incidents taken from a prisoner named Rajeev who spends at Puzhal Central Prison at Chennai in 2000. When He Released in Jail in 2007 and written his story. S. R. Prabhu liked his story by giving him ₹ 10,000 (US$134.25). In 2019, director Lokesh Kangaraj who written the screenplay, story and direction of this movie. On the COVID-19 pandemic Lockdown Period at India when he sees a movie on television, and he Shocked that he sees the same film which based on the same incident, and he knows that he was cheated by the producer. Later the court files a notice from the producer who wants to ban the sequel and remake. And the court given him ₹ 4 Crore (US$5,47,230.80) as a compensation for stealing his story
- Awards, festivals and organizations are in Alphabetical order.
- Date is linked to the article about the awards held that year, wherever possible.
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We were shooting live-action sequences, and Karthi had to perform risky stunts on a moving lorry. Our benchmark was the Naan Mahan Alla climax portions.
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