Paalai is a 2011 Indian Tamil-language period film written and directed by Senthamizhan, who had previously assisted director Ram in Katradhu Thamizh. Based on Sangam literature, the film is set in 300 BC years and starred debutant Sunil Kumar and Shammu in pivotal roles. The film released with little publicity in November 2011.

Directed bySenthamizhan
Produced byT. Ravi
StarringSunil Kumar
CinematographyAbinandhan Ramanujam
Music byVed Shankar
Semmai Productions
Release date
  • 25 November 2011 (2011-11-25)


  • Sunil Kumar as Valan
  • Shammu as Kaayampoo
  • Prof. V. Natarajan
  • Jayan
  • Krishnagiri
  • Julu


The film was shot extensively in the forests of Thanjavur, Mysore and Sathyamangalam.[1] Actress Shammu was the only professional actress to be cast in the film and Sunil Kumar prepared for his role by standing for hours under the sun to sport a tan as well as learning the basics of different forms of martial arts.[2][3] It became the actress's final film before she left the film industry to complete her education.[4] Members of the Irula tribe also acted in the film.[5]


The film was widely appreciated by critics though it was not released in many theaters. The film was privately screened in Norway a week later and was prepared for a theatrical release in the country shortly after, with the makers claiming it would be the first Tamil film to be released in regular cinema halls across Norway.[6] The film was screened at the Norway International Film Festival and then subsequently at the 10th International Tamil Film Festival in Canada in 2012.[7] It has won the best social awareness movie in Norway international film festival.[8]


Ved Shanker Sugavanam is the debudant music director. All the lyrics were written by M. Senthamizhan. There are five tracks in the film.

  • 1. "Maayama Mayaa"
  • 2. "Yaado Yaadho" (Male)
  • 3. "Paalai Theme"
  • 4. "Yaadho Yaadho" (Female)
  • 5. "Hey Kollare"


  1. ^ "Shammu in a pre-historic film". Archived from the original on 8 May 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  2. ^ "Shammu's journey to the past". The Times of India. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Shammu's look in 'Paalai' - Tamil News". 20 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Shammu bids adieu to Kollywood, flies back to U.S." Tamilkey. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Paalai is the first pre-historic film". VN Music Dreams. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Paalai set for release in Norway - Times of India". The Times of India.
  7. ^ "'Paalai' goes global - Tamil News". 23 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Paalai movie dinamani review".

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