Pudhupettai (transl. New Hood/Area) is a 2006 Indian Tamil-language 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.
|Produced by||K Muralidharan|
|Screenplay by||Selvaraghavan, Balakumaran (Dialogue)|
|Music by||Yuvan Shankar Raja|
|Edited by||Kola Bhaskar|
Lakshmi Movie Makers
|Budget||₹10 crore (equivalent to ₹24 crore or US$3.4 million in 2018)|
|Box office||₹15 crore (equivalent to ₹36 crore or US$5.0 million in 2018)|
The story is narrated by the main character 'Kokki' Kumar in a jail cell, telling the sequence of actions that led him here. 'Kokki' Kumar is a high school kid who lives in the slums of Pudhupettai, Chennai. One day he sees his mother's dead body after he comes back from watching a film. Kumar's father killed his mother and he realises that he 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 police arresting goons on the street. After being released on bail, he befriends Mani and other accused, all of who work for Anbu. Anbu works for the opposition party's leader Thamizhselvan, who is a goon cum local politician. They take Kumar under their wing and give him petty jobs. During a confrontation with rival gangsters headed by the ruling party's politician Murthy, Kumar kills Murthy's brother single-handedly amidst 100 goons, thus earning the respect of his gang.
Anbu helps Kumar by making him join a gang consisting of professional killers. There Kumar learns the way of being a killer and while surviving from Murthy's men. The gang refuses to help Kumar from being killed by Murthy's men since it is Kumar's problem and if they intervene it would erupt as a gang war. So, Kumar survives multiple henchmen of Murthy and murders them singlehandedly. This spread throughout the city earning Kumar respect and reputation of the underworld and giving Kumar much confidence.
Krishnaveni is a prostitute who works under Anbu. Kumar likes 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 approaches Thamizhselvan to allow him to keep Anbu's hood. Thamizhselvan says if he could survive the night from Anbu's men, he would be allowed to take over Anbu's hood and illegal business. Kumar survives and Thamizhselvan makes good on his word.
The local goons who worked under Anbu refuse to obey Kumar since he is young and inexperienced. But Kumar kills the opposing people, kills his father for retribution and exponentially grows to be a dreaded don in the North Madras. Also, Murthy is stabbed and paralysed by Kumar's men, since he refused a truce with Kumar. He then meets Selvi, sister of his aide Mani on the eve of her wedding and marries her forcibly. Mani tries to kill Kumar unsuccessfully, and ends up joining Murthy's gang. Meanwhile, Krishnaveni reveals that she is pregnant with Kumar's child and Kumar ends up marrying her as well.
Mani becomes an approver and confesses all the killings done by Kumar. But during the trial, Kumar manages to intimidate Mani using the threat of killing Selvi and her mother within the court premises. Kumar is given a post in the party by Thamizhselvan to not let Kumar go to opposing parties. Due to his increasing crime record and fear of being killed, Kumar asks for MLA seat but he is ridiculed by everyone including Thamizhselvan, in spite of all the work Kumar has done for him. Kumar flashes his sword in front of the party cadre, infuriating them; since many among the cadre are men who have far more kill count to their name than Kumar. Due to this Kumar is dismissed from the party and earns the wrath of all the goons and party cadre.
Murthy learns about this and plans to assassinate Kumar and his family. Fearing for the safety of his family, Kumar sends Krishnaveni and his child to a safe location, but Murthy's men intercept them and fatally injures her and kidnapped Kumar's child. 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 fiancé 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 leave his child in a garbage bin for its safety. Kumar manages to make a kind-hearted woman adopt his child but doesn't manage to learn her name. Since Murthy killed his wife and made him give up his child to a stranger, Kumar went to Murthy's house for retribution. There he kills multiple henchmen of Murthy but suffers major injury to his forearm. Kumar tries to kill Murthy but he kills himself to die quickly. Kumar is arrested and confined to jail where Kumar started to narrate the story.
Now in the present day, the police come to retrieve Kumar from his cell. Kumar thinks that they're here to kill him.
During the closing credits it revealed that surprisingly, the incumbent CM brings Kumar out of prison and gives Kumar MLA candidacy in the election. Kumar praised Murthy and ironically announces that he would've killed the people responsible for Murthy's death if India wasn't the place where Gandhi was born.
Then it is told that Kumar served three times as an MLA and two terms as the Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu and he runs many educational institutions. But he couldn't find his son. Tamizhselvan retired from politics at the age of 75 and is currently residing with his family abroad. Selvi's second marriage ended within two months as her husband went missing and she is currently 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.(Voice dubbed by Devi Priya)
- Sonia Agarwal as Selvi, Kumar's best friend Mani's sister. Kumar marries her without any purpose or permissions.(Voice dubbed by Priya Anand)
- Azhagam Perumal as Thamizhselvan, a politician who runs the rowdyism by Anbu later Kumar.
- Bala Singh as Anbu, Tamizhselvan's main hood.
- Prudhvi Raj as Murthy, Tamizhselvan's and Anbu's rival later Kumar's enemy. (Voice dubbed by Kathiravan)
- Thennavan as Selvam
- Munnar Ramesh as Sekhar, Kokki Kumar's father
- Vijay Sethupathi as Anbu's henchman
- Murugadoss as Anbu's henchman
- Bharathi Mani as Politician
- Nitish Veera as Mani, Anbu's henchman
- Pudhupettai Suresh as Ravi, Anbu's henchman
- Puthupettai Jai as Anbu's henchman
- Sai 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 positive reviews from the audience although received from the critics 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". A few months after its theatrical run, the movie became popular among youth audiences after its television and DVD release and attained the status of 'cult classic' 
Pudhupettai took the best ever opening for a Selvaraghan film, netting nearly ₹27.55 lakh (US$39,000) 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.