Southern Trailers! Mani Ratnam Completes His Crime Trilogy, and Nani and Nagarjuna Unite

I almost never cover southern trailers, because I am never sure what is a big deal and what is a small deal and what I should say about things.  But in this case, I KNOW these two are big deals and I know what I want to say about them, so I am just going for it.

Mani Ratnam is always always a big deal.  And the first thing to say is, this is really really fast!  His movies tend to come two or three years apart, this one is only a year after his last, and it is a complicated film.  I’m a little nervous about his ability to pull the whole thing together in just a year, but then it’s Mani, he can do anything.  Except make Gautham Karthik into a good actor (Kadal. Such a nightmare).

Also a bit odd, there is no music in this trailer.  Kaatru Velidiyai, his last film, was promoted primarily through the music.  Not that he was leaning on Rahman to carry the film, but that the songs so perfectly evoked the mood he wanted, it was better to simply use them to promote the film rather than anything else.  In this trailer, no songs.  Perhaps a personal choice, wanting to evoke a gritty feel without music.  But still odd, Rahman is listed as the composer so I know the songs are brilliant.  Or maybe it’s just one song, one big one off song number that will get its own trailer?

Moving on from there, let’s talk content!  There are 4 heroes and 3 heroines, plus Prakash Raj.  It looks like a Godfather treatment, but then spins off in another direction.  Prakash Raj is the gangster, Arvind Swamy is his violent older son and presumed heir.  Arun Vijay is the educated younger son who hides ambitions to take over.  So far, total Godfather.  But where it takes a twist is the introduction of the 3rd son, the forgotten one living overseas, Silambarasan.  And then the real shocker, a 4th hero!  Vijay Sethupathi, the unconventional cop who is going after them.

And then there’s the heroines.  Jyothika, Aishwarya Rajesh, and Aditi Rao Hydari.  Jyothika, seemingly, is the usual strong supportive wife, while Aishwarya is the nagging angry fiery one.  And Aditi is the crusading news reporter. So, wife, nag, and saint.  Except it’s Mani Ratnam, so I expect him to break out of those stereotypes.

I expect him to break out of all the stereotypes!  I expect all of these characters to interact in ways you wouldn’t expect from their basic introductions in the trailer.  And I expect him to break our expectations of these actors as well.

It’s an interesting cast in that way.  Arvind Swamy and Mani Ratnam have worked together a lot, but this looks to be a very different kind of performance than Ratnam has ever asked for from him.  Arun Vijay has played villains and done his own stunts and has been working for almost two decades without always being noticed.  And now Ratnam is having him play the educated middle son, the “Michael” character.  Silambarasan is the real surprise to me, he has had such consistent stories of unprofessional onset behavior, being just impossible to work with, and this is a complicated multi-starrer that was filmed in no time flat.  Either the stories are exaggerated, or he put all of that aside for the chance to work with Ratnam.  And I wonder why he was cast?  What is it about him as an actor that made Ratnam think it would be worth risking all the stories of his bad behavior to have him in this role?

Oh, and then the obvious comment I am sure everyone will make-Mani Ratnam returns to crime!  I wonder if this will end up closing a trilogy?  Nayakan, Thalapathi, and now Chekka Chivantha Vaanam.



I have much less to say about the other trailer.  Devadas, Nani and Nagarjuna are united.  Mostly all I have to say is that this trailer makes me think they will have great chemistry.  Nani is so perfectly odd in an almost Chaplinesque way.  And Nagarjuna is such a perfect straight man.  I have no idea what this movie is about or anything else, but I am excited to see the two of them work together.


15 thoughts on “Southern Trailers! Mani Ratnam Completes His Crime Trilogy, and Nani and Nagarjuna Unite

  1. Strange you thought Arun Vijay is Michael. To me he seemed like someone who wishes to enjoy his father’s power without putting in too much effort himself. Wanting to be his father, but scared of him (and Aravind) at the same time. (At lease that’s what the scene with him in his father’s seat with Jyothika felt like.) Someone who resents his family underneath. Typical middle child thing. Very Fredo.
    If anything Silambasaran (he goes by Simbu, so that we don’t have to type the long name again) seems like Michael minus the educated facade. He’s the outsider, been abroad for most of his adult life, a wife whom his family doesn’t approve of. He’s the one featured more heavily over Arun Vijay.
    I guess Mani Ratnam is already mixing and matching the tropes. Arun while still being the black sheep of the family, is dignified unlike Fredo. And Simbu is wild unlike Michael.
    Jyothika doesn’t seem very interesting in the trailer. Aditi on the other hand isn’t a complete saint, is she while getting too cozy with Aravind? Aishwarya didn’t appear much. I was wondering where you picked the part about her being a nag?


    • I have to assume Jyothika will have a bigger part, because she’s a big name, right? Not just a famous name, but respected as an actress with her own following? Or am I wrong? (I am still so lost in the non-Hindi industries!)

      I picked Aishwarya as the nag because there is a flash of a scene where she is yelling at and, I think, slapping Arun. I am looking forward to Ratnam setting up the standard dynamic of the saintly wise patient older daughter-in-law, and the sexy emotional passionate younger daughter-in-law and then flipping them around, making us see that they are more than that. Like, I don’t know, Jyothika and Sethupathi falling in love and her turning informer against the family. I don’t think that will actually happen, but I am looking forward to something along those lines.

      Was that Aditi and Aravind? I wasn’t sure in the brief glimpse so I didn’t want to risk mentioning it. If she is his mistress and Jyothika is his wife, that opens up a whole new set of plot possibilities. Not to mention literal metaphors of the “pure” media in bed with the powerful crime syndicates.

      Sethupathi’s character is the one I am most interested in because, both as a character and an actor, he is a bit of a wild card. He is the biggest name in the cast, yes? More or less? And the most powerful actor? (I still haven’t recovered from my surprise at seeing his entrance get hoots and whistles in a sold out theater for Vikram-Vedha, while Maddy was hardly noticed by the audience) Throwing an undercover cop into this story of family strife, it could go anywhere. And with Vijay Sethupathi playing the role, he’s not going to be a forgotten victim of their crimes, he could be the one who ends up the winner in the end.

      On Sat, Aug 25, 2018 at 9:00 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • As of now Vijay Sethupathi is the biggest star & the one I assume audience look forward to seeing what MR would do with him. He also is mentioned as the elder brother’s vest friend. So some betrayal, friendship theme going on there. Agree with you that Jyothika wdnt have agreed for this typical elder daughter in law role if it didn’t have some hidden shades. She just came off playing a very complex , harsh police officer role. So she could be the ultimate antagonist too. Trivia-Fahadh Fazil was approached for Arun Vijay’s role & he refused. He was asked abt in an interview & gave a very diplomatic answer but what I got was that it was a role or film he didn’t believe in fully. So I don’t think Arun’s role will have much meat. Simbu, for all his tantrums comes off with a very raw, intense energy onscreen & I suppose that’s why he was cast. I was surprised to see Arvind & Aditi getting cosy-definitely some interesting characters to look out for. Also the actress playing Prakash Raj’s wife is Jayasudha -a very veteran actress from Telugu. I’m hoping she will have something to do too.


        • Oh good, I wasn’t wrong about Jyothika and Vijay’s status! I’m finally learning something. I’m very curious to see what Ratnam does with them, because he is holding his cards close to his chest. If I didn’t know the actors at all, I would have watched this trailer and thought the movie would be about the three brothers and maybe a little bit about the cop and how he drives a further wedge between them (or brings them back together). But since I do know the actors, I am assuming that Ratnam is purposefully keeping anything more out of the trailer because he wants to surprise us. Same with Aditi, we see a flash of her talking to the camera and a flash of her in bed with Aravind, but if I didn’t know it was Aditi and Ratnam JUST did a movie with her as the star, I would assume that she was some light weight meaningless mistress character. But as it is, I am assuming she will have much more to do.

          On Sat, Aug 25, 2018 at 11:16 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • Yes! Delightful! That’s exactly what it was. It just made you smile and happy and want to watch it again.

      On Sat, Aug 25, 2018 at 9:06 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Me too – Nagarjuna is cast as a mafia don Deva and Nani as a doctor – Dasu. Also, this movie is by Sriram – whose first movie Samantakamani (4 young heroes – Nara Rohith, Aadi, Sudheer, Sundeep) was an interesting one and Nagarjuna has this unique knack of identifying directorial talent, right from Siva (RGV) times.


        • Samanthakamani wasn’t Sriram Adittya’s first movie, it was his second. His first movie was Bhale Manchi Roju starring Sudheer Babu and I actually thought it was better than Samanthakamani.


    • No! I wonder what will happen to it? If it will be torn down for apartments or if another company will buy it and modernize the studio facilities? That’s also going to cut out the one consistent source of income for the family. They still have rights to a lot of the old films, but they were getting rental income from the studio too.

      On Sun, Aug 26, 2018 at 9:44 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • You’d think it would be a better plan to buy it and modernize the studio facilities.

        Maybe the family will get good value for the studios since it has historical significance?


        • The problem is, the fire a few months back gutted the historical section. Besides the gates, I’m not sure what is left of the classic studio. They also lost old props and costumes and other elements from film history. I would say a really savvy developer would build an apartment complex, but label it “RK Apartments”, keep the gate, and slap the iconic studio logo on everything. Maybe even make the lobby decor based on RK studio movies, framed posters and stuff. And offer free units for their life time to the Kapoors.

          On Sun, Aug 26, 2018 at 11:08 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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