Pithamagan (transl. Son of One Thousand Fathers) is a 2003 Indian Tamil-language action drama film written and directed by Bala. The film stars Vikram, Suriya, Laila and Sangeetha. Based on Jayakanthan's short story Nandhavanathil Oru Aandi, it revolves around a man who grew away from civilisation with minimal human contact, and as a result is animalistic.[1]

Pithamagan
Pithamagan poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byBala
Screenplay byBala
Based onNandhavanathil Oru Aandi
by Jayakanthan
Produced byV. A. Durai
Starring
CinematographyBalasubrahmannyam
Edited bySuresh Urs
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Production
company
Release date
  • 24 October 2003 (2003-10-24)
Running time
158 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil

Pithamagan was released on 24 October 2003. The film became very successful and Vikram won the National Film Award for Best Actor. Owing to its success, the film was dubbed into Telugu and released as Siva Putrudu (transl. The son of Shiva) on 2 April 2004. The film was also remade in Kannada as Anatharu (2007).

PlotEdit

An anonymous woman dies while giving birth in a graveyard. Her child, Chithan, is found and raised by the caretaker of the graveyard. Chithan grows up among corpses with minimal human contact and is seemingly autistic. He growls, runs like a one legged man, but seems to understand loyalty and is (despite his circumstance) a social animal. He ventures into a town in search of food and gets into trouble as he does not understand the concept of money. He is rescued by Gomathi, a petty ganja seller. She sees his ability to be loyal and enrolls him into the service of her employer, a large scale ganja producer. Chithan is caught during a drug raid and is arrested.

Sakthi is a con artist with a silver tongue. He gets into trouble when he cons a woman named Manju into losing all her personal effects in a game of dice. Sakthi gets sent to jail thanks to Manju's detective work. He meets Chithan in prison and starts protecting him out of sympathy and pity. Chithan starts to reciprocate to Sakthi's kindness with the only way he knows: by being as loyal as a dog.

Sakthi serves his term and then butts heads with the ganja producer named to get Chithan out of jail. Chithan gets out but commits a crime when he obeys his master's instruction to burn the body of a murder victim. Sakthi, realising that Chithan is being used as accessory in crimes that he cannot comprehend, prevents Chithan from going back to working in the ganja fields. At the same time, a budding romance starts between Sakthi and Manju. Chithan too starts to see a shared spirit in Gomathi.

The police catches a wind of the murder and arrests Chithan. Sakthi gets Chithan to side with the police and goes against the ganja producer. The ganja producer later attacks and kills Sakthi and dumps his body in the middle of the road – all of this when Chithan is not around. Chithan does not understand that Sakthi is dead and zones out to outer space when everyone surrounds him. Gomathi, Manju, and the others are crying. Gomathi sees Chithan's confusion as indifference and angrily drives him away from Sakthi's body.

Chithan slowly starts to understand that Sakthi is dead as he sees him on the funeral pyre. His realisation is complete when he wakes up in the morning next to the burnt remains of Sakthi's corpse. He experiences emotions that he has never experienced before: fury, agony, betrayal, and pain that he has never felt. His body bears the scars of a million bruises and his acts of violence have always been self-defence and the defence of his masters. This realisation of the meaning of death and the pain of losing a loved one breaks the feral chains that had wound up on his psyche.

Chithan then sets out like a man intent on genocide. He sets fire to the ganja fields, lets the ganja producer experience the pain of his loss, and then sets upon destroying him physically. He drives him through the street, taking his time by breaking a few bones at a time until he is done toying with him. He then kills the ganja producer and offers his body as a tribute to Manju, who now has lost her will to live.

Gomathi realises what Chithan has been through and tries to get him to stay. However, Chithan turns back to the world of the graveyard among the corpses that cannot hurt him any more.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

After Nandha (2001), Bala announced his next project Pithamagan with Vikram and Suriya, the main lead actors of his previous films who received popularity after struggle. For Gomathy's role, Bala selected Rasika P. Mani after considering Vijayashanti, Malavika and Gayatri Jayaraman and also changed her name back to Sangeetha.[3] Most part of the film was shot in Theni district.[4]

SoundtrackEdit

The soundtrack album was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The lyrics were penned by Vaali, Mu. Metha, Palani Bharathi and Na. Muthukumar. The song "Piraiye Piraiye" is set in Pantuvarali raga.[5]

No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Adadaa Aghangaara Arakka Kaigalil"Mu. MethaK.J. Yesudas04:38
2."Aruna Runaam" Savitha Reddy for Simran & Old Songs Medley06:39
3."Elangaathu Veesudhey"Palani BharathiSriram Parthasarathy, Shreya Ghoshal06:10
4."Elangaathu Veesudhey" (solo)Palani BharathiSriram Parthasarathy06:10
5."Kodi Yethi Vaippom"Na. MuthukumarBhavatharini, Shanmugasundari, Periya Karuppa Thevar, Harish Raghavendra04:08
6."Piraiye Piraiye"VaaliMadhu Balakrishnan04:41
7."Yaaradhu Yaaradhu"Na. MuthukumarIlaiyaraaja 
Total length:32:26

Release and receptionEdit

Pithamagan was released on 24 October 2003, coinciding with Diwali. The film released alongside Vijay's Thirumalai, Ajith's Anjaneya and Arjun's Ottran.[6] Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu praised Vikram as "Without any dialogue to support him he carves a niche for himself in the viewer's mind with his expressions and excellent body language" and Suriya as "Who would have thought that this young man, pitted against the serious Chithan, would prove so perfect a foil?" going on to declare the movie as "..a symphony on celluloid".[7] A reviewer at Sify noted, "..it is the expert performance of the lead actors that elevate the film above the commonplace".[8] Film critic Baradwaj Rangan remarked, "Bala's ingeniousness is evident everywhere .... And he gets tremendous support from his leads...It all adds up to a first-rate film that excoriates as much as it entertains".[9]

AccoladesEdit

The film has won the following awards since its release:

National Film Awards 2003

Filmfare Awards South

Tamil Nadu State Film Awards

CineMAA Awards

  • Won – South India's Best Actor – Vikram[11]

RemakesEdit

Pithamagan was dubbed into Telugu and released as Siva Putrudu (transl. The son of Shiva) on 2 April 2004.[12] The film was remade in Kannada as Anatharu (2007).[13] In October 2011, it was reported that Satish Kaushik bought the Hindi remake rights of the film.[14] Later, it was reported that he wanted Salman Khan to reprise Vikram's role. However the project failed to materialise.[15][16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Aravind, CV (22 July 2017). "The man who did roles no hero would touch: The rise of 'Chiyaan' Vikram". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 11 May 2021. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  2. ^ "Suriya: Tamil stars play themselves on screen". The Times of India. 13 August 2013. Archived from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Sangita on a high". Chennai Online. 4 December 2003. Archived from the original on 24 December 2003. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  4. ^ Mannath, Malini (29 August 2003). "Director Bala on 'Pithamagan'". Chennai Online. Archived from the original on 31 October 2003. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  5. ^ Mani, Charulatha (30 September 2011). "A Raga's Journey — Poignant Pantuvarali". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 December 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  6. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (24 October 2003). "Variety fare for Deepavali". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 November 2003. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  7. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (31 October 2003). "Pithamagan". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 16 November 2003. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Pitamagan". Sify. Archived from the original on 18 August 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  9. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (8 November 2003). "Review: Pithamagan". Baradwaj Rangan. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  10. ^ "51st National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. p. 28. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Telugu CineMaa Awards 2003". Idlebrain.com. 5 November 2004. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  12. ^ Jeevi. "Siva Putrudu". Idlebrain.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Anatharu (Kannada)". The Times of India. 15 September 2007. Archived from the original on 25 April 2022. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  14. ^ "Pithamagan is B-town bound". The Times of India. 11 October 2011. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Satish Kaushik wants Salman for 'Pithamagan' Hindi remake". Mid-Day. 16 May 2012. Archived from the original on 25 April 2022. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Suriya-Vikram's Tamil film 'Pithamagan' to be remade in Hindi". The News Minute. 21 February 2019. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 25 April 2022.

External linksEdit