15 user 2 critic

Thalapathi (1991)

Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama | 25 November 1991 (India)
An orphan named Surya raised in a slum befriends a good crime boss named Devaraj and works for him. Their existence is threatened when a new honest district collector arrives.


Mani Ratnam


Mani Ratnam (screenplay), Mani Ratnam (story) | 1 more credit »
Top Rated Indian Movies #16 | 3 wins. See more awards »

Best of 2018: Top 10 Indian Movies

From Stree to Padman, we celebrate the top Indian movies of 2018, as rated by IMDb users. These movies range across Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu cinema.

See the full list


Learn more

More Like This 

Nayakan (1987)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A common man's struggles against a corrupt police force put him on the wrong side of the law. He becomes a don, who is loved and respected by many, but his growing power and influence exact a heavy toll.

Director: Mani Ratnam
Stars: Kamal Haasan, Saranya Ponvannan, Delhi Ganesh
Baasha (1995)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An auto driver, Manikam, desperately tries to hide his dark underworld side to keep his promise to his father.

Director: Suresh Krishna
Stars: Rajinikanth, Nagma, Raghuvaran
Anbe Sivam (2003)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Two men, one young and arrogant, the other damaged - physically but not spiritually - by life, are thrown together by circumstances, and find that they are in some ways bound together by fate.

Director: Sundar C.
Stars: Kamal Haasan, Madhavan, Kiran Rathod
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A little girl is told by her parents that she is adopted. Determined to find her birth mother, she begs to be taken to Sri Lanka, where her mother works with a militant group of activists.

Director: Mani Ratnam
Stars: Madhavan, Simran, Keerthana Parthiepan
Thani Oruvan (2015)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Siddharth Abimanyu, an influential scientist, is involved in various illegal medical practices. Mithran, an efficient IPS officer, decides to expose him.

Director: Mohan Raja
Stars: Jayam Ravi, Arvind Swamy, Nayanthara
Roja (1992)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A woman from a village in Tamil Nadu marries a sophisticated city dweller and moves with him to Kashmir, where all is rosy - until he gets kidnapped by militants.

Director: Mani Ratnam
Stars: Arvind Swamy, Madhoo, Pankaj Kapur
Jigarthanda (2014)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An aspiring director targets a ruthless gangster because he wants to make a violent gangster film. His discreet attempts to research the gangster fail miserably. Finally when he gets caught snooping, things hit the fan.

Director: Karthik Subbaraj
Stars: Siddharth, Bobby Simha, Lakshmi Menon
Bombay (1995)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A Hindu man and a Muslim woman fall in love in a small village and move to Mumbai, where they have two children. However, growing religious tensions and erupting riots threaten to tear the family apart.

Director: Mani Ratnam
Stars: Arvind Swamy, Manisha Koirala, Nassar
Soodhu Kavvum (2013)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Das, with his team, kidnap Arumai, son of a politician, who has been planning his own kidnapping to extract money from his father. Problems arise, when an insane cop is brought to handle the case.

Director: Nalan Kumarasamy
Stars: Vijay Sethupathi, Sanchita Shetty, Radha Ravi
Alai Payuthey (2000)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After a difficult romance in a class-divided society, the love birds find out marriage is not what they thought it would be.

Director: Mani Ratnam
Stars: Madhavan, Shalini, Swarnamalya
Mouna Ragam (1986)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Divya, a woman grieving over the death of her lover, is convinced into an arranged marriage with Chandra Kumar. Over a year the couple attempt to adjust to each other's presence and live with each other.

Director: Mani Ratnam
Stars: Karthik, Mohan, V.K. Ramasamy
Padaiyappa (1999)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The death of Padaiyappa's father destroys his family. But his luck changes, and he is able to lead a prosperous life, until his nemesis plots to ruin his happiness once more.

Director: K.S. Ravikumar
Stars: Shivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth, Ramya Krishnan


Credited cast:
Rajinikanth ... Surya
Mammootty ... Devaraj
Shobana ... Subbulaxmi
Arvind Swamy ... Arjun
Srividya ... Kalyani, Surya's mom
Bhanupriya ... Padma
Amrish Puri ... Kalivardhan
Jai Sankar Jai Sankar ... Arjun's Dad
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Geetha ... Devaraj's Wife
Charu Haasan Charu Haasan ... Subbulaxmi's Father
Manoj K. Jayan ... Manoharan
Sonu Walia ... Dancer (special appearance)


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


Action | Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

25 November 1991 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Commander See more »

Filming Locations:

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie is based on Mahabharata, with Rajinikanth representing Karnna, Mammootty playing Duryodhana and Arvind swamy playing Arjuna, all in contemporary world. The characters are brilliantly written to fit into modern day life, yet retaining the original traits. See more »


Featured in Jigarthanda (2014) See more »


Chinna Thayaval
Written by: Vaali
Produced by: Ilaiyaraaja
Performed by: S. Janaki
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Rajnikanth's best and by a mile
13 March 2017 | by ragingbull_2005See 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.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Top Rated and Trending Indian Movies

Check out the Indian movies with the highest ratings from IMDb users, as well as the movies that are trending in real time.

Recently Viewed