Sarvam (Tamil: சர்வம்; English: Everything) is a 2009 Indian Tamil romantic thriller film co written and directed by Vishnuvardhan. It stars Arya and Trisha Krishnan in the lead roles, while J. D. Chakravarthy, Prathap Pothan, and Indrajith play other prominent supporting roles. The film, which had been under production since late 2006, was produced and distributed by K. Karunamoorthy and C. Arunpandian under the banner of Ayngaran International Films. It was filmed by Nirav Shah and edited by Sreekar Prasad. The film score was composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja, who composed the soundtrack as well, which was released on 14 February 2009, coinciding with Valentine's Day.
|Produced by||K. Karunamoorthy|
|Screenplay by||Vishnuvardhan |
A. Gokul Krishna
J. D. Chakravarthy
|Music by||Yuvan Shankar Raja|
|Edited by||Sreekar Prasad|
Ayngaran International Films
|Distributed by||Ayngaran International Films|
|Box office||₹15 crore (equivalent to ₹28 crore or US$4.1 million in 2018)|
The film revolves around five individual characters and the events that, on the one hand, changes everything in their respective lives, which the film's title refers to, and, on the other hand, also brings together these people. It is an anthology film, that contains two parallel moving stories, which are connected by a freak accident in Chennai. A young architect falls in love with a young beautiful pediatric doctor, runs after her and tries to convince her to marry her. Simultaneously, a morose ex-football coach troubles a software engineer by vowing to kill his eight-year-old son. How these characters get connected and confronted through the accident forms the crux of the story.
After several postponements due to various reasons, the film was finally released worldwide on 15 May 2009 to mixed reviews. Nearly one year later, the film was dubbed to be released in Telugu under the same title and was also dubbed in Hindi as Wardaat – The Revenge.
The film opens with a bully fight between two individuals on a rainy night in a deep, dark forest. In the opening scene, a title card is presented with a Upanishad quote: "Death is just the beginning of another life".
Karthik (Arya) is a young happy-go-lucky carefree architect, who, one day, comes across a young beautiful girl, Sandhya (Trisha Krishnan) in a go-karting race. Karthik immediately falls in love with Sandhya and wants to convince her to marry him. Sandhya is a pediatric doctor due to her love for children. Karthik finds out several pieces of information about her, and arranges a meeting by pretending that she had caused a car accident and damaged his car. When that approach fails, he goes to the hospital, where Sandhya works, becoming a regular visitor there and making efforts to woo her. Sandhya, however, has other interests and shows no signs of reciprocating his love. She believes Karthik is too carefree and not serious about life. He keeps following her and trying to convince her. One day, Sandhya's parents tell her about her to-be-fixed marriage. She finally recognizes that Karthik is apparently the right match, and slowly develops a deep love for him. She wholeheartedly agrees with the marriage.
Sid, that he was undergoing, and threatens him, that he will feel the same pain only, when his own son dies. When a workmate of Naushad informs him that Eashwar had visited him and requested information about Naushad, and tells him to be aware, he and his son escape to a place of his friend, which is located at the Elliots beach in Chennai.
Meanwhile, Karthik and Sandhya, who spend time together, happily enjoying life, are ready for the marriage and make plans for the future. Karthik then suddenly asks Sandhya to postpone their marriage for a year. However, Sandhya persists on marrying at the earliest possible date. To solve this problem, they decide to hold a cycling race across the Elliots beach road, so that the winner may make the decision, which has to be accepted by the other person. At the same time, Imaan and his friend fly a kite on the terrace of Naushad’s friend. Suddenly Imaan faints and falls, which distracts the boys, who were around him, and they let the kite slip and fly away, the thread cuts loose. Sandhya, who is ahead of Karthik and leading the race, rides straight into the kite thread, which cuts her neck, injuring her fatally. She eventually dies in the hospital because of severe blood loss.
Six months later, Sandhya's father visits Karthik, who is devastated, grief-stricken, trying to convince himself in vain. Sandhya’s father then informs Karthik that even after death Sandhya has saved the life of a child, since her heart has been transplanted into a boy, who happens to be Naushad’s son Imaan. Karthik becomes emotional and is overjoyed that at least one part of his love is alive and goes to meet Naushad and Imman. He finds out that they’ve left their home in Chennai and moved to Munnar in Kerala. He travels to Munnar to see them, and feels happy again.
Meanwhile, Eashwar, who had followed Karthik, arrives in Munnar as well, where he meets a car mechanic Sajid, who played professionally football with Eashwar a few years ago and who allows Eashwar to stay at his home.
Karthik a last time goes to see father and son, before he wants to leave for Chennai, when then suddenly a car tries to hit Imman to death. Karthik, who was just readying to go home, comes back and is able to save Imman. Shocked by that incident, Karthik doesn’t believe that it was merely an accident and wants Naushad to tell the truth, who has been admitted to hospital after having been injured in the accident. Karthik then gets to know about Eashwar, who was the man in the car, and his intentions. Eashwar has bought the same car, which "killed" his family members and seeks revenge for their death by killing Naushad’s son Imaan in return to "equal it". Karthik then decides to take Imaan along him to a nearby place, where he had stayed before, promising Naushad, that he will protect and look after Imaan.
Subsequently, Karthik tries to befriend Imaan, who dislikes Karthik, doesn’t want to stay with him, but rather with his father and doesn’t obey him. When they, later, go by car, Karthik and Eashwar encounter themselves and Karthik, somehow, finds himself threatened by Eashwar. It follows a cat and mouse chase, whereas Eashwar wants to dispose of Karthik to get to Imaan and to kill him. Sajid sees, Eashwar chasing Karthik and offers to help by hiring people, who will kill both silently without mentioning Eashwar’s and Sajid’s names.
How Karthik protects Imaan and saves him from Eashwar as a tribute to Sandhya and his love forms the crux of the story.
- Arya as Karthik, a young happy-go-lucky architect who falls in love with Sandhya and tries to convince her to marry him. Through Sandhya, he gets confronted with Naushad and Imaan and later with Eashwar. Sarvam was Arya's first film after Naan Kadavul, with which he was engaged for more than two years and for which he had grown a long, thick beard. In contrary to that, Sarvam features him as a romantic lover hero, whereby he had to remove the beard and hence, the "Old Arya returned". Actually, Vishnuvardhan said, Arya's transition from Naan Kadavul to Sarvam was very difficult, since Naan Kadavul was a "lengthy process", where Arya had "forgotten the real in him". This happens to be the third film in which Vishnuvardhan and Arya worked together after Arinthum Ariyamalum and Pattiyal with Arya citing, that Vishnuvardhan knows him "in and out" and that he was able to bring out the "best and finer aspects" of him, knowing his strengths and weaknesses, while Vishnuvardhan confessed, that working with Arya was comfortable. Arya later also mentioned, that the role of Karthik was the best role he had ever played in his film career, since the character had "many shades" as romantic, serious and emotional and there was "so much of variation".
- Trisha Krishnan as Sandhya, a pediatric doctor who is approached by Karthik. She is one main person who indirectly and unwittingly coalesces together the characters of Karthik, Eashwar, Naushad and Imman. Trisha eventually got the role of Sandhya after several actresses, including Hansika Motwani, Anushka Shetty, Nila, and Ileana were considered and opted out. According to Vishnuvardhan, Trisha, though she is not a new entrant, looks "very fresh" in the film, which, he believes, is because of her co-star Arya. Besides, she has an "interesting quality" which is her "innocent smile irrespective of her mischievousness", Vishnuvardhan states, which was "very essential" for the character and the reason for giving her the role.
- J. D. Chakravarthy as Eashwar, a mentally imbalanced ex-football coach, who lost his wife Gheetha and son Naveen in a car accident and seeks revenge, since he believes it was a planned murder by Naushad. Through an accident, Eashwar gets confronted with Karthik. He keeps moving around with a Rottweiler dog Bruce that troubles Karthik later and that is introduced as the 'Black Prince'. Through Sarvam, Chakravarthy came back to the Tamil film industry after nearly 7 years after having starred in Mani Ratnam's 2002 film Kannathil Muthamittal. He got the role of Eashwar, replacing Upendra, who again was signed after Arjun, Mohanlal, and Nana Patekar had refused the offer. Vishnuvardhan once mentioned that Chakravarthy has a "spaced out look about him", which was needed for his character in the film and which made him to rope him in.
- Indrajith as Naushad, a software engineer who had hit Eashwar's wife Gheetha and son Naveen to death in a road accident and is therefore threatened by Eashwar, who wants to kill Naushad's son Imaan in the same way in return.
- 'Master' Rohan Shiva as Imaan, Naushad's 8-year-old son and the target of Eashwar, who wants to kill him. Imaan is actually the person who "causes" the accident, which eventually brings together Karthik, Naushad, and himself, and hence causes, indirectly, the conflict between Karthik and Eashwar. Rohan Shiva was signed for the role of Imaan, after 100-150 boys were tested for eight months. Vishnuvardhan finally chose Imaan, citing, that "he is not handsome, but there is something very cute about him".
- Krishna as Krishna, a friend of Karthik who works with him. He provides the comic relief in the first half of the film. Krishna has become a regular in Vishnuvardhan's film, having acted already in Arinthum Ariyamalum and Pattiyal. As in the earlier films, Krishna's character in this film is again named Krishna.
- Wasim as Sajid, a car mechanic and Eashwar's friend and ex-football teammate who meets him in Munnar, Kerala, where he has moved and lives with his family. When finding out about Eashwar's intentions, he decides to help him. Wasim is another boy who was introduced by Vishnuvardhan in this film, who, he cites is "so natural" as the other actors as well that you "tend to forget that it is cinema".
- Anu Hasan as Gheetha in a cameo role. Gheetha is Eashwar's wife, who, along with her son Naveen, dies in a car accident.
- Prathap Pothan as a psychiatrist in a cameo role. His advice is sought by Karthik, who himself is advised to do so after behaving "strangely".
Other supporting artists in cameo roles include Raviprakash and Sriranjani as Trisha's father and mother respectively, Geetha Agarwal, 'Minnale' Ravi and Utthara Krishna Dass among others.
In June 2006, B Studios and Studio Green announced that they would co-produce the production of Vishnuvardhan's Sarvam, which would have Suriya and Ileana D'Cruz in the lead roles. After the film was supposedly dropped, though it was already started in October 2006 with having finished the photo shoot for the film, the project was revived just one week later. The restarted film was first to be produced by Surya's cousin, K. E. Gnanavelraja, who earlier produced the Surya-starrer Sillunu Oru Kaadhal and was producing the award-winning film Paruthiveeran, starring Surya's brother, Karthi, at that time. However, he suddenly backed out of the project for unknown reasons and Vishnuvardhan was looking out for another producer, approaching 'Aascar' Ravichandran as well as the Malaysian RJ, 'Punnagai Poo' Gheetha, who produced Vishnuvardhan's Arinthum Ariyamalum and Pattiyal as well, and director Saran to produce the film, who all opted out, though. Later, Surya opted out of the project, too, and after Vishnuvardhan tried to cast R. Madhavan in his film, which also failed for unknown reasons, the film was finally shelved in December 2006 and Vishnuvardhan instead started to film the remake of the 1980 Rajinikanth-starrer Billa, titled Billa as well, starring Ajith Kumar in the lead role.
In August 2007, when Vishnuvardhan was still working on Billa, it was reported, that he hasn't given up Sarvam yet and wants to restart the film, once Billa is finished and released, with Arya in the lead role. It was also rumored, that music composer Yuvan Shankar Raja would produce the film, which turned out be wrong with K. Karunamoorthy and C. Arunpandian taking over the project and producing it under the banner of Ayngaran International. The film was finally kicked off in May 2008 with Arya, Trisha Krishnan and J. D. Chakravarthy in the lead roles.
Initially, when Vishnuvardhan started the project in September 2006, he had signed up Surya to play the lead role, pairing up with the Mumbai model and former child actress Hansika Motwani, who was to make her debut in the Tamil film industry. Hansika Motwani was chosen after Vishnuvardhan had approached several actresses for that role, who ultimately refused to accept the offer for various reasons. First he tried to rope in Telugu actress Ileana, who reportedly demanded a remuneration of Rs 1 crore 75 lakhs and hence, she was dropped and Nila and Anushka were approached and the latter got the role, since Nila demanded too much as well. The project started and even a photo shooting featuring both the actors was held, before Surya had to opt out of the project, because he had earlier signed to star in Gautham Menon's Vaaranam Aayiram. By November 2006, R. Madhavan was announced as the hero of the film, before the film was finally shelved in December 2006.
In November 2007, after Vishnuvardhan had finished his Billa, which was due to release, he restarted his shelved project Sarvam and started to scout his cast for the film again and reports say, that again Surya was considered for the role, before supposedly Arjun was confirmed for the leading role with Arya playing the second lead. Eventually the lead couple was replaced by Arya and Trisha Krishnan, who were teaming up for the first time. Reports indicated that the script has been changed several times, to suit the lead actors respectively, Vishnuvardhan, however, confirmed, that the script did not change, stating that there are similarities between Surya and Arya and the script suited both and therefore a change was not necessary.
The antagonist role was first offered to Arjun, who, fearing of his image, rejected the role, as later did "two leading actors" as well as Malayalam actor Mohanlal. Popular Hindi actor Nana Patekar was also considered for the role, who, however, rejected as well, after which the role went to Kannada actor Upendra, who did a negative role in the Tamil film Sathyam at the same time. Eventually Vishnuvardhan roped in Telugu actor J. D. Chakravarthy for the same role replacing Upendra.
Apart from these three actors, it is said, that Malayalam actor Indrajith Sukumaran, brother of well-known actor Prithviraj Sukumaran, who acts in his second direct Tamil film after En Mana Vaanil, a child actor, named Rohan Shiva, playing the 8-year-old Imaan, and a Rottweiler dog play important roles in the film.
For the technical crew, Vishnuvardhan roped in mostly "his usual members", who had worked with the director on his earlier projects, too, including Yuvan Shankar Raja as the music director, Nirav Shah as the cinematographer, Sreekar Prasad as the editor, Pa. Vijay as the lyricist, Thiyagarajan as the stunt co-ordinator and Vishnuvardhan's wife, Anu Vardhan as the costume designer. For Sarvam, Dinesh and Geetha joined Kalyan as the choreographer and Manu Jagadh replaced as Remiyan as the art director.
Shooting for Sarvam was held for nearly nine months in various locations, including exotic places, where never before a film was shot. It started finally in June 2008, after Vishnuvardhan returned from the Cannes Film Festival 2008, where his film Billa was screened, and after Arya had completed Naan Kadavul, for which filming was held for nearly one and a half year. The first half of the film was shot in and around Chennai, while the second half was shot in Kerala, mostly in deep forests, hence, the first half will be very "colourful", while the mood in the second half completely changes, getting "rainy, misty and completely green and dark".
Before Vishnuvardhan left for Cannes, he had already shot a few scenes at Marina Beach in Chennai, that did not involve Arya, who was still busy with Naan Kadavul. Afterwards, shooting was held at various places in and around the city, including the "Gemini Parsn Apartment" near the Gemini flyover, the Elliot's beach in Besant Nagar, the flyover at Kathipara Junction and at the San Thome Basilica in Santhome in Chennai, where scenes for the first half of the film as well as some song sequences were filmed.
In August 2008 then, the crew shifted its bases to Kerala, where major parts of the second half were filmed. In Munnar a romantic duet between Arya and Trisha was shot, for which grand sets had been erected by art director Manu Jagadh. The team then moved to the "Dhoni forest" in Palakkad district in Kerala, where several important and crucial scenes, including the climax were shot. For the climax scene, a 90-feet-tall dilapidated church was built up and was made to look like 150 years old, while the remaining part of the climax was shot back in Chennai at Prasad Studio, where again a huge set was erected by Manu Jagadh. Other filming locations in Kerala include Cochin, Kannoor and Chalakudy.
In June 2008, two people were killed in an accident at the shooting spot, which was located at an under-construction building near the Gemini flyover in Chennai. A lift, which was installed to carry materials to the eighth floor of the building, where filming was to be held, collapsed suddenly, killing two technicians, who were working on the lift. After actor J. D. Chakravarthy, too, was injured in a stunt sequence, it was reported, that Vishnuvardhan had decided to change the film title, which, however, didn't happen.
The songs were filmed at several places across India, like in Tamil Nadu, Goa, Kerala and Gujarat. A folk song ("Sutta Suriyana") was shot in a Chennai studio, choreographed by Dinesh and picturized on the lead couple, Arya and Trisha. Another song ("Neethane"), which was choreographed by Kalyan, was filmed on the new bridge at the Kathipara Junction, Chennai and the Indian Air Force base at Cholavaram. A fourth song ("Kaatrukulle"), picturized again on Arya and Trisha, was shot in late September and October at the beaches in Goa and a lake in Ladakh, that was choreographed by Geetha, a student of the renowned choreographer Farah Khan. In the first weeks of February, the last song, a romantic duet, choreographed by Dinesh, involving the lead couple once more ("Siragugal"), was shot at the Rann of Kutch, a saline clay desert in Gujarat, close to the Pakistan border, according to Vishnuvardhan, a location that was never before used or seen in a Tamil film.
With this song, the shooting was eventually wrapped up in February 2009 and post-production works began.
|Soundtrack album by|
14 February 2009 (India)
|Recorded||2006 / 2008|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
An Ak Audio
|Producer||Yuvan Shankar Raja|
|Yuvan Shankar Raja chronology|
The film score and the soundtrack were composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja, who renewed his previous association with director Vishnuvardhan, who have earlier created very successful musical albums in Arinthum Ariyamalum, Pattiyal and Billa. The soundtrack was formally released on 14 February 2009, coinciding with Valentine's Day at the Inox Complex in Chennai.
The album comprises five tracks, lyrics for which were written by Vishnuvardhan's "usual lyricist", Pa. Vijay. Out of the five tracks, two were sung by composer Yuvan Shankar Raja himself and one song by his father Ilaiyaraaja. According to the director, two of the songs ("Neethane" and "Sutta Suriyana") were composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja even before Vishnuvardhan's previous venture Billa had started, when Sarvam was first announced in October 2006, nearly two years earlier. The song "Adada Vaa" was originally composed for the film Aayirathil Oruvan, for which Yuvan Shankar Raja was first signed to score the music, but which he left in the midst, after he had a fall out with director Selvaraghavan.
The album received very positive reviews. Behindwoods.com reviewer Malathy Sundaram gave three stars out of five and wrote: "For the second time (after Aegan,) Yuvan has attempted to break free of the general norms of music here and the result is rather pleasing. The album feels fresh and breezy. With relevant picturization, the songs could make an impact". Rediff.com reviewer Pavithra Srinivasan too gave three stars out of five and wrote: "Sarvam is appealing" and "It looks like Yuvan, after a couple of not-so-memorable efforts, is on his way to finding his groove again. Sarvam manages to snag your attention, in a good way". Indiaglitz.com reviewer wrote: "On the whole, Yuvan's melodies would turn to be the chartbusters of the season and any guesses about best picks. Adada Vaa Asathala would go straight onto everyone's music library on their I-pods and mobiles. Sutta Suriyana is one more song that enlivens the feel while Signature Music would rock on the air", giving verdict as "effectually brilliant". Milliblog.com reviewer Karthik wrote: "After two average soundtracks, Yuvan gets his groove back"  and later listed the album as the Top Tamil OST of 2009 and the song Neethane as the Top Tamil song of 2009 in his annual music round-up.
|1||'Adada Vaa'||Ilayaraaja, Andrea Jeremiah, SuVi||4:31|
|2||'Neethane'||Yuvan Shankar Raja||5:12|
|3||'Sutta Suriyanae'||Vijay Yesudas||4:32|
|4||'Kaatrukulle'||Yuvan Shankar Raja||4:23|
|5||'Siragugal'||Javed Ali, Madhushree||5:22|
After a nearly muted publicity campaign, Ayngaran International Films finally released a first teaser poster in January 2009, that showed the five main characters of the film, Karthik, Sandhya, Imaan, Naushad and Eashwar, on their website along with some other images. The trailer of the film was finally screened during the interval of the Vijay-starrer Villu, which was released during Pongal 2009 on 12 January 2009 and was an Ayngaran International production as well. Afterwards, on 19 January Ayngaran released the trailer exclusively on their website, after which the trailer was screened on various Tamil television channels. In February 2009, an official website was launched by Ayngaran International and later Sify launched a special site about the film on their respective website. Just before the Sarvam soundtrack was launched, Ayngaran released promotional audio clips of the songs of a duration of nearly 4 minutes overall, following which another one-minute teaser trailer, that features video clippings of three of the songs ("Adada Vaa", "Siragugal" & "Sutta Suriyana"), was released by Ayngaran one month after the audio launch. Few days before the film was released, the Galatta Cinema Magazine delivered a "Sarvam special edition", dedicating its cover story to Sarvam.
The film's release had been postponed several times due to various reasons, before it was eventually released on 15 May 2009 worldwide by Ayngaran International Films along with Raghava Lawrence's Rajadhi Raja, another Ayngaran production, following the 2009 Indian election, though it was reported, that the film will not release until June 2009, following the 2009 IPL Cricket season, which would end on 24 May 2009. The Indian censor board had certified the film on 21 April 2009, giving it a "U" certificate without any cuts. The film had an average grosser in the box office but praised by critics.
Upon release, Sarvam gained mixed reviews by critics, with the majority claiming, that the film failed to live up to the expectations. Generally, the film was described as "stylish" and visually attractive" and its (snail-paced) screenplay as the sore point. Sify labelled the film as a "visual treat", stating that the film is good in parts, has a "wafer thin storyline" and "banks heavily on style and gloss". Praise was addressed to director Vishnuvardhan for trying to make a "different film" and for reworking the "Kollywood commercial formula". Technical aspects of the film were immensely lauded, especially Nirav Shah's cinematography, which "works big-time for the film", as well as Yuvan Shankar Raja's music and background score, Manu Jagadh's art work, while Thyagaran's "close combat action scenes" were cited as "spellbinding". Overall, the film was described as a "decent thriller".
Malathi Rangarajan from The Hindu gave the film an average review, citing, that "the recipe is perfect but the dish isn’t wholly delicious" and that the film has "the ingredients of a potential hit except the most essential, a gripping screenplay". Like Sify, Rangarajan, too, praised the technicians, describing Nirav Shah's camera works as "excellent" and Yuvan Shankar Raja's melodies as "lilting" and score as "foot-tapping", while the lead pair, consisting of Arya and Trisha Krishnan, was cited as "attractive". Pavithra Srinivasan from Rediff gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, citing Sarvam to be "lacklustre" and that "it does not stand up to the hype". According to Srinivasan, the first half of the film is the "best part", criticizing the screenplay, which takes a "nosedive post the intermission", and claiming, that the second half has "lacklustre performances" and "logicless scenes". She, too, praised the technical crew of the film, labelling Yuvan Shankar Raja's background score as "marvellous", which "just proves how good he can be", Nirav Shah's cinematography as "scintillating", the visuals as "astonishing" and Anu Vardhan's costumes as "excellent", while Manu Jagadh has done "wonders with his sets" and Sreekar Prasad's editing "fits the bill". Overall, she cites, that the film is worth a watch for the "stunning visuals", "musical score" and "Trisha's sequence", who, she claims, to be "perhaps the only shining part of the movie itself".
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