Pudhupettai (English: New Hood/Area) is a 2006 Indian Tamil gangster film written and directed by Selvaraghavan, starring his brother Dhanush in the lead, and Sneha and Sonia Agarwal in the lead female roles. The film, with music scored by Yuvan Shankar Raja and cinematography by Arvind Krishna, Selvaraghavan's usual crew members, released on 26 May 2006, receiving critical acclaim for the music, story, Selvaraghavan's direction, editing and cinematography. The film received mixed reviews initially,but went on to become a cult film in later years.
|Produced by||K Muralidharan|
|Music by||Yuvan Shankar Raja|
|Edited by||Kola Bhaskar|
Lakshmi Movie Makers
|Budget||₹10 crore (equivalent to ₹24 crore or US$3.5 million in 2018)|
|Box office||₹15 crore (equivalent to ₹36 crore or US$5.2 million in 2018)|
The story is set in the backdrop of the slums of Pudhupettai in Chennai, where a high school kid Kokki Kumar (Dhanush) sees his mother dead after he comes back from watching a film. He realizes that his father, the murderer, is also planning to kill Kumar. Sensing danger, Kumar runs away from home. Homeless and with no food, he resorts to begging until he is falsely arrested while standing by and watching a commotion on the street. In jail, he befriends henchmen of a local goon Anbu, who works for the opposition party's leader Thamizhselvan(Azhagam Perumal). They take Kumar with them and give him petty jobs. In a confrontation with gangsters headed by the ruling party's politician Murthy, Kumar kills Murthy's brother, thus earning the respect of his gang. Krishnaveni (Sneha) is a prostitute who works under Anbu. Kumar falls in love with her and asks Anbu to release her. Anbu is shocked at Kumar's audacity and refuses his request. He also thrashes Krishnaveni and orders his men to kill Kumar. Kumar approaches Anbu and begs pardon but Anbu is not ready to make peace. Kumar is infuriated and kills Anbu and asks help from Thamizhselvan to keep him safe. Thamizhselvan says if he could escape until the next day morning from Anbu's men, he would be allowed to take over Anbu's money extortion, rowdyism and brothel business in the area. Kumar somehow survives and Thamizhselvan replaces Kumar in Anbu's position.
Kumar gradually grows to be a dreaded don in the underworld. In this time, he also kills his father for revenge and Murthy is stabbed and crippled by Kumar's men. He then meets Selvi (Sonia Agarwal) on the eve of her wedding and falls in love with her and marries her forcibly. Selvi is the sister of his henchman Mani, who now becomes his sworn enemy and joins Murthy's gang. Meanwhile Krishnaveni reveals that she is pregnant and Kumar ends up marrying her as well, earning more hatred from Selvi. Amidst much speculation and gossip about who the child actually belongs to, considering Krishnaveni's profession, Kumar grows to believe firmly that it is his child and loves it unconditionally.
Kumar tries to become a politician in Thamizhselvan's party but is ridiculed by everyone and receives no support from Thamizhselvan in spite of all the work Kumar has done for him. Due to his increasing crime record, Kumar starts accumulating more enemies and multiple attempts are made to murder him. On one such occasion, Murthy's men fatally injure Krishnaveni and kidnap Kumar's baby. He requests Selvi to ask her brother Mani for help, but she refuses and reveals her displeasure at how Kumar ruined her life and that she plans to return to her former fiance soon. Kumar is helpless at this point, but Mani is compassionate enough to return the baby safely back to Kumar. Fearing for his life and future, Kumar is on the run and has no choice but to dump his child for its own safety. The baby is found by a kind hearted woman who adopts it like her own. Finally, Kumar kills Murthy and is arrested, but surprisingly, the incumbent CM sees the high potential in Kumar and brings him out of prison and wipes his record of the murder. The CM then replaces Kumar in Murthy's position in the party thereby giving him a ticket to entry into politics. Then it is told that Kumar won the election, became an MLA and 10 years later became the Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu. He owns large number of industries and educational institutions. Still his lost son is not found after an exhaustive search and Selvi's second marriage ended as her husband went missing within two months and she is in a mental health institution at present.
- Dhanush as Kokki Kumar, a normal boy who lives in Pudhupettai and later become as a gangster in the city.
- Sneha as Krishnaveni, a prostitute who worked under Anbu. Kumar falls for her and marries her.
- Sonia Agarwal as Selvi (voice dubbed by Priya Anand), Kumar's best friend Mani's sister. Kumar marries her without any purpose or permissions.
- Azhagam Perumal as Thamizhselvan, a politician who runs the rowdyism by Anbu later Kumar.
- Bala Singh as Anbu, Tamizhselvan's main hood.
- Prudhviraj as Murthy, Tamizhselvan's and Anbu's rival later Kumar's enemy.
- Thennavan as Selvam
- Vijay Sethupathi as Anbu's henchman
- Murugadoss as Anbu's henchman
- Munnar Ramesh as Sekhar, Kokki Kumar's father
- Bharathi Mani as Politician
- Nitish Veera as Mani, Anbu's henchman
- Pudhupettai Suresh as Ravi, Anbu's henchman
- Puthupettai Jai as Anbu's henchman
- Boxer Dheena as Anbu's henchman
- Pasi Sathya as a woman who adopts Kumar's baby
Selvaraghavan was originally supposed to make a film titled Oru Naal Oru Kanavu for Lakshmi Movie Makers but shelved the venture and began working with the same producers and the same star cast of Dhanush, Sonia Agarwal and Sneha on the gangster film Pudhupettai. The film was launched on 6 March 2005, with Aravind Krishna as cinematographer. Selva first approached Harris Jayaraj for the movie's music, but he refused as it is not his type of genre.  After his refusal, Selva finalised Yuvan Shankar Raja as the composer.
Selvaraghavan called the film "an experiment" and stated it had "one of the most complicated screenplays", while revealing he was more nervous about the final product than his previous ventures.
After the release of Pattiyal whose theme was the same as Pudupettai (dwelling on gangsters in Chennai), Selvaraghavan wanted to re-do many of the scenes to make them look fresh and new, hence the delay. The re-recording was done in Bangkok, with everyone involved working overtime.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||December 16, 2005|
|Recorded||Kalasa Studio (Chennai) & Chapraya Symphony Orchestra (Bangkok)|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Producer||Yuvan Shankar Raja|
|Yuvan Shankar Raja chronology|
Yuvan Shankar Raja and Selvaraghavan renewed their association with this film, who had earlier teamed up to create highly successful and critically acclaimed music for the films Thulluvadho Ilamai (2001), Kaadhal Kondein (2004) and 7G Rainbow Colony (2005). All of the music, including the soundtrack and score, was composed in Thailand, where Yuvan Shankar Raja worked with the Chao Phraya Symphony Orchestra of Bangkok, which featured for the first time in a Tamil film. Several Traditional Thai musical instruments, including khim and southuu, were used for the orchestration.
The soundtrack was composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja and released on 15 December 2005. It features 10 tracks, of which six are songs and the remaining four are instrumental pieces which belong to the film score. The lyrics were written by Na Muthukumar, who had written the lyrics for Selvaraghavan's earlier film as well. However, this film remains to be the most recent collaboration of Muthukumar and Selvaraghavan as the latter had replaced Muthukumar with Vairamuthu for his future projects.
Actor Kamal Haasan sang a song, although he didn't act in the film. The film's lead actor Dhanush rendered a rap song as well.
Every track's title reflects its theme.
Yuvan Shankar Raja received rave reviews for both the songs and the film score, which is considered to be one of his best works. The songs were hailed as "brilliant", "innovative", and even "a musical milestone". The music gained immense popularity among the masses, especially among the youth, topping the Tamil music charts in the following weeks.
|1||Pudhupettai Main Theme: "Survival Of The Fittest"||Instrumental||2:51|
|2||Peek Into Assassin's Life: "Neruppu Vaayinil"||Kamal Haasan||5:01|
|3||Our Story: "Enga Yeriya"||Dhanush, Premji Amaran, Yuvan Shankar Raja||5:19||Incorporates elements of the songs "Kunguma Pottin Mangalam" from the 1968 film Kudiyiruntha Kovil, composed by M S Viswanathan and "Tharaimel Pirakka" from the 1964 film Padagotti, composed by Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy|
|4||Selling Dope: "The Beginning"||Instrumental||2:52|
|5||It All Comes Down To this!: "Oru Naalil"||Yuvan Shankar Raja||6:25||Written by Dr.Na.MuthuKumar; not featured in the film|
|6||Going Thru Emotions!: "Prelude"||Instrumental||3:17|
|7||Gangster's Marriage Party: "Pul Pesum Poo Pesum"||Vijay Yesudas, Tanvi Shah, Premji Amaran, Yuvan Shankar Raja||5:26|
|8||Night Life: "Varriyaa"||Narayan, Naveen Mathav, Ranjith, Vasu||3:28|
|9||Clash Of The Titans: "The War Cry"||Instrumental||3:44|
|10||"Oru Naalil": Composer's Dream Mix||Yuvan Shankar Raja||5:23||Remixed by DJ Rafiq;Written by a PHD Degree Holder Tamil Lyricist Dr.Na.MuthuKumar||but not featured in the film|
The film opened to negative reviews in May 2006, with a reviewer from Sify.com saying it was "heartbreakingly disappointing and is nowhere in the league of his earlier films", and that it "doesn’t unfold quickly and moves at snail pace, puffs and pants with too many characters, subplots and quite long for a gangster genre film". A reviewer from The Hindu wrote, "Selvaraghavan dishes out a protracted bloodbath and somehow you feel he has let you down", while the critic at Rediff.com stated that "coming from a director like Selvaraghavan, Puthupettai is unbelievable. He loses grip over the plot and the narration goes haywire".
Pudhupettai took the best ever opening for a Selvaraghan film, netting nearly ₹27.55 lakh (US$40,000) from five Chennai screens in three days including ₹9.8 lakh (US$14,000) from Sathyam Cinemas. It went on to have an average run at the box office despite taking a grand opening, with Selvaraghavan suggesting the excessive bloodshed scenes might have kept family audiences away.
Dhanush made a cameo appearance in 2015 film Vai Raja Vai directed by his wife Aishwarya, reprising the role of Kokki Kumar. The dialogues "Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru" (You have to work like fire, Kumar) and "Kadavul Irukaan Kumaru" (God is there, Kumar) inspired the 2013 and 2016 film of the same name.
- Rangan, Baradwaj (25 June 2016). "Crime does pay". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- http://ssmusictheblog.blogspot.in/2013/08/harris-jayaraj-says-he-thought.html?m=1 Harris Jayaraj Says He thought Selvaraghavan would be Angry at Him
- "Selva — In a fix?". Sify. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
- ""Pudupettai" has many firsts to its credit". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
- "Will Puduppettai resurrect Dhanush's market?". Behindwoods. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
- "Pudhupettai — Brilliant attempt". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
- "Pudhupettai". milliblog.com. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
- "Music Review: PUDUPETTAI". Behindwoods. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
- "A haunting dirge of savagery — Pudhupettai". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
- "Yuvan Shankar Raja rocks". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
- "Chennai Box Office (May 26 - May 28)". Retrieved 15 July 2011.