Thiruda Thiruda (transl. Thief! Thief!) is a 1993 Indian Tamil language caper film directed by Mani Ratnam written along with Ram Gopal Varma. The film features Prashanth, Anand, Anu Aggarwal and Heera Rajgopal in the lead roles while S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and Salim Ghouse play supporting roles. The film's soundtrack and background score were composed by A. R. Rahman while the cinematography was handled by P. C. Sriram. In 1994, the film premièred at the Toronto International Film Festival. It also won the National Film Award for Best Special Effects.
|Directed by||Mani Ratnam|
|Produced by||S. Sriram|
Mani Ratnam (Uncredited)
|Screenplay by||Mani Ratnam|
|Story by||Mani Ratnam|
Ram Gopal Varma
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
|Cinematography||P. C. Sriram|
|Edited by||Suresh Urs|
|Distributed by||Aalayam Productions|
|13 November 1993|
Printed Indian currency from the Reserve Bank of India security press at Nasik with an estimated value of ₹ 10 billion, is stolen by Vikram (Salim Ghouse), a gangster and drug dealer living in London. The container is shipped off from a goods carrier en route to New Delhi through Vikram's henchman. The access card of the container is in the possession of pop star Chandralekha (Anu Aggarwal). CBI SP Laxminarayanan IPS (S. P. Balasubramaniam) is assigned to track down the stolen currency, which had already been attested by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
On her way to Vikram, Chandralekha comes across two burglars – Kadhir (Anand) and Azhagu (Prashanth) – who are on the run from the police, having in tow country girl Rasathi (Heera Rajagopal), whom they kept from committing suicide and who then ran away from her ruthless uncle.
Laxminarayan's assignment will lead him to Ashok Tejani (Ajay Rathnam), then Kadhir and Azhagu. His efforts will be frustrated even more after Ashok is killed and his girlfriend Chandralekha is absconding; and the entry of Vikram, who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the loot.
After some attempts of cheating each other, Chandralekha makes friends with the thieves. When she discovers that Vikram is stopping at nothing, especially not at dead bodies on his hunt after the loot, she informs the three others about the real value of the code card.
In the following pursuit between Vikram, the four heroes, and a special police brigade which has to get back the money before a state crisis comes about, there is not only fierce action, but also love comes to its own.
- Prashanth as Azhagu
- Anand as Kadhir
- Anu Aggarwal as Chandralekha
- Heera Rajagopal as Rasathi (Voice-over by actress Suhasini Maniratnam)
- S. P. Balasubramaniam as Lakshmi Narayanan
- Salim Ghouse as T. T. Vikram
- Malaysia Vasudevan as Inspector Santhosham
- S. S. Chandran as Lorry driver
- Shanmugasundaram as Chengalvarayan
- P. C. Ramakrishna as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India
- Oru Viral Krishna Rao as Tollgate employee
- Vijay as Vijay
- Ajay Rathnam as Ashok Chellaiya
- Kavithalaya Krishnan as Constable Kaliyaperumal
- Madhan Bob as K. B. S.
- Crazy Venkatesh as Horseman
- Pravin as Pravin
- Dhamu as Doss
- Vaani as Pushpavalli
- Renuka as Seethalakshmi
In late 1992, Mani Ratnam chose to make the caper film Thiruda Thiruda as his first directorial venture under his newly set-up production studio, Aalayam Productions, alongside his co-producer Sriram. When writing the script of the film, Mani Ratnam went on a recce with Ram Gopal Varma and both film-makers spent a few days each fine-tuning each other's scripts. While Varma worked on parts of Thiruda Thiruda, Mani Ratnam helped script Varma's political thriller film, Gaayam (1993). With the script of Thiruda Thiruda, he wanted to attempt the caper film genre for the first time and took Rajasekhar's Vikram (1986) and Varma's Kshana Kshanam (1991) as his initial inspirations. He was also inspired by the ongoing financial scandal involving stockbroker Harshad Mehta, which had made Indian national news during early 1992 and chose to adapt his script accordingly. The American film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) was another influence on Thiruda Thiruda.
J. D. Chakravarthy was initially meant to play the role of Kadhir, and actress Kushboo's brother, Abdullah, had also taken a screen test for the role, before Anand was selected. Salim Ghouse, a renowned theatre artist, was roped into play an antagonist. Before finalising Anu Aggarwal for a role, Mani Ratnam considered Dimple Kapadia but opted against signing her as he wanted to select an actress new to Tamil cinema. Aishwarya, daughter of actress Lakshmi, was also approached for a role in the film but refused the opportunity. K. V. Anand was among P. C. Sriram's assistant cinematographers in the film.
Malini Mannath wrote for The Indian Express on 19 November 1993, "Thiruda Thiruda is a technique conscious film that may seem sparkling and wondrous to the technique crazy cine-goer though it never really takes off after the interval." The film won the National Film Award for Best Special Effects and National Film Award for Best Choreography for Sundaram.
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
|Soundtrack album by|
|Recorded||Panchathan Record Inn|
|Producer||A. R. Rahman|
|A. R. Rahman chronology|
The soundtrack features 8 songs composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Vairamuthu. The film's songs are notable for two reasons—the introduction of relatively unknown vocalists into mainstream Tamil playback singing and the extensive use of experimental sounds, including (Western) orchestral elements and techno instrumental music in familiar Indian cinematic music settings. While vocalist Annupamaa in the technopop song Chandralekha and the Chinese singer Caroline in Thee Thee sang their first mainstream songs, the late singer Shahul Hameed was roped in to sing Raasathi. Major innovations in Indian film music include a cappella in Raasathi and the incorporation of operatic and techno elements in the main theme and in Chandralekha, highly unpredictable rhythm and melodic pattern in Thee Thee. The song Veerapandi Kottayile became a big hit across South India, inspiring the tune for a popular Malayalam slogan, "Thekku Thekkoru Deshathu".
The lyrics for Tamil version was penned by Vairamuthu while Rajashri and PK Mishra penned lyrics for Telugu and Hindi versions.
- Tamil version
|1||"Kannum Kannum"||Mano, Chorus||04:09|
|2||"Chandralekha"||Annupamaa, Suresh Peters||05:45|
|3||"Veerapandi Kotayyile"||K. S. Chithra, Mano, Unni Menon||06:31|
|6||"Thee Thee"||Caroline, Noel James, A. R. Rahman||04:57|
|5||"Raasathi"||Shahul Hameed, Sujatha Mohan, Ganga Sitharasu, Minmini||04:17|
|4||"Putham Pudhu Bhoomi"||K. S. Chithra, Mano||04:28|
|8||"Aathukulla Ayira Meenu"||Srinivas, Suresh Peters||01:26|
- Telugu version
|4||"Kotha Bangaru Lokam"||K. S. Chithra, Mano||04:23|
|2||"Aakatayi"||G. V. Prakash Kumar||00:23|
|1||"Veerabobbili"||K. S. Chithra, Unni Menon, Mano||06:27|
|6||"Ettilona"||Srinivas, Suresh Peters||01:22|
|8||"Thee Theeyani"||Sujatha Mohan||04:56|
- Hindi version
|2||"Chor Chor"||G. V. Prakash Kumar||00:24|
|3||"Dil Hi Sanam Dil"||Sujatha Mohan||04:55|
|5||"Hum Bhi Tum Bhi"||Udit Narayan, Mano||04:05|
|4||"Jhoom Jhoom"||SPB, Chitra||04:33|
|6||"Joor Laga"||Srinivas, Suresh Peters||01:28|
|7||"Pyaar Kabhi"||K. S. Chithra, Udit Narayan, Mano||06:33|
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