8.6/10
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12 user 2 critic

Thalapathi (1991)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 25 November 1991 (India)
Surya (Rajnikanth) is an orphan raised in a slum. He finds a friend in the local Godfather (Mamooty). They rule the town and forms a parallel government. Things are well until new district ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Indian Movies #15 | 3 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Arjun
...
Kalyani, Surya's mom
...
Padma
...
Kalivardhan
Jai Sankar ...
Arjun's Dad
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Devaraj's Wife
Charu Haasan ...
Subbulaxmi's Father
...
Manoharan
...
Dancer (special appearance)
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Storyline

Surya (Rajnikanth) is an orphan raised in a slum. He finds a friend in the local Godfather (Mamooty). They rule the town and forms a parallel government. Things are well until new district collect(Aravind Swami), step -brother of Surya takes charge. Surya finds his mom (Sreevidya) and decides to surrender. Written by Edward <ed_stal@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

25 November 1991 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Commander  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the only movie where Rajnikanth and Mani Ratnam worked together. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ko 2 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Margazhithan
Written by: Vaali
Produced by: Ilaiyaraaja
Performed by: Balasubramaniam S.P., Swarnalatha and Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rajnikanth's best and by a mile
13 March 2017 | by (India) – See all my reviews

This sets the relationship between Karan and Duryodhana in modern times, in criminal setting and tries to answer the age old question, "Why was a supposedly good person like Karan adamant on his friendship with Duryodhana? What bonded the two for life?"

Maniratnam's story, screenplay, dialogues and direction are meant to make you invest in and care for the protagonists, to pray for them, to be fascinated by them and also to be repelled by their actions and intrigued by their motivations. And he succeeds spectacularly. The drama is of the highest notch, with many a scene guaranteed to make you reach out for your nearest handkerchief or shoulder.

The action sequences are particularly intense, with no background score, the only sounds being of fists crashing against different body parts. I haven't experienced such visceral thrills in a long time.

Illyaraaja's music and the background score are beautiful. I had to look at the subtitles to understand the words and hence, I was a bit behind the curve on occasion. But, the music has been masterfully created to make you feel pathos and pathos you feel, upon hearing it. However, one of the few grouses with the movie that I had was the frequent song and dance sequences. I understand that this was a commercial potboiler, but, these broke the tension created by the proceedings. And the songs were longer than 5 minutes on most occasions.

The acting is, almost surreally, exceptional.

Like Kamal Haasan after him, the Hindi movie writers have tried to "Bollywoodize" Mr. Kanth rather than letting him be. Those who get surprised by the frenzy and emotions that surround his every release should watch him in this. They would come away enlightened.

I have seen only bits and pieces of Rajnikanth's acting prowess, in roles that were under cooked, such as those in "Hum" and "Andha Kanoon". The intensity of his performance, here, is like a physical thing, which crashed into me and left a mark on my psyche. It is breathtaking and barely believable. It must be easily one of his finest acts. This is all the more appreciable as there was ample opportunity for hamming it up. But, you only have to stare into the depth of his eyes to believe in the credibility of his threat.

Mamooty is excellent as the benevolent don. However, Rajnikanth is in such exquisite form, that he outshines Mamooty in almost all the scenes that they have together. Srividya shines in the role of Kunti. Arvind Swamy doesn't have much to do, in terms of acting. Amrish Puri is wasted. The film would not have been poorer, if his role had been completely edited out. The origin or the reason for his animosity with Mamooty is never revealed and that takes away some of the sheen of believability from his actions.

The editing could have tighter. Also, there were perhaps too many coincidences that served to drive the story forward. I didn't find a fault in them, as they helped to ratchet up the tension and the drama. But, perhaps, this could have been minimized.

Also, the production house / Amazon Prime Videos would do well to upload a better copy of the movie. The video often became pixellated, which wasn't expected. There are many scenes wherein the background score is missing. Thankfully, none of the dialogues have been affected.


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