Thalapathi (1991) Poster

(1991)

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10/10
Best of Rajnikanth
GoodFella198027 February 2003
A fight between two brothers (Rajnikanth and Arvindswamy) is a classy version on Modern Mahabbaratha, is truly unique. Maniratnam has adapted the screenplay to the modern version and it's really awesome. Mammootty as Rajnikanth's friend Deva is amazing. Music and cinematography by Illayaraja and Santosh Sivan (The terrorist) commend each other. For me it's the best gangster movie made in India. Just loved the movie from beginning till end.
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10/10
My favorite movie of all time!
rathnam199223 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Overall, its no secret that the plot is influenced by Mahabharat, especially the relationship between Karna and Duryodhan, and Karna and Arjun. Mani Rathnam once again proved his brilliance by incorporating a great epic to a real life situation. My favorite scene from this movie are two scenes that is the climax of the movie. The first scene is when Kalyani's husband after realizing Surya was the lost son, was the third person witnessing them at a temple, praying. The most moving moment, was when they both hear the train behind them, and they look back and gets emotional by the significance of the train. The acting done by Rajnikanth and Srividya was excellent in this scene. My second favorite scene, was when Arjun confronts Surya and Deva and asks them to stop. To which Surya replies "Have you ever been poor? Have you ever been hungry? Without food in the stomach, have you ever tried to make money?...They don't have the money and time to file petitions to get justice, that is why they come to us". Another good scene is also the confrontation is when Kalyani finally meets with Surya, and apologizes for her mistakes as a child, and asks him to stop being with Deva, to which Surya refuses. This is very reminiscent of Kunti, coming to Karna in the Mahabharat, and asking him to come to the side of Pandavas to which he refuses, since Duryodhan is a friend.

The similarities between this movie and Karna's life, is strikingly similar.

-Karna being thrown away since Kunti was a teenager, when she had him, which is similar to what happened to Deva.

-Deva's stepbrother is Arjun, who is on the side of righteousness and is against Deva for using violence and fear to bring justice, is similar to Karna's stepbrother, Arjun, who was a Pandava, that was against Duryodhan for not giving them what they deserve for being the sons of Pandu.

-Surya pledges his life to Deva, for treating him above his status as an orphan which is similar to Karna and Duryodhan, when Duryodhan offers one of his kingdoms to Karna.

-Kalyani's husband confronts Surya, and tells him that Kalyani is her mother and Arjun is his stepbrother, and tells him to give up the life of violence and join them, is similar to Krishna approaching Karna and tells him that he is a Pandava, since he is the son of Kunti, and asks him to join the Pandavas, to which he says that he vowed to Duryodhan that he will be with him till death, to which Krishna respects Karna for.

-Surya is known for not refusing anyone's demand, which is reminiscent of Karna, not refusing anyone's requests, when he is worshiping the Sun.

The greatness of this movie also dwells on certain subtle elements added by Mani Rathnam, like the Sun, that can be seen behind Surya at all times, emphasizing the similarity between him and Karna, son of the Son god. The music by Ilaiyaraaja, was the best music produced by him for any movie. The acting done by Mamooty and Rajnikanth is unparalleled. I think Rajnikanth's acting in this film was superior to Kamal Hassan in Nayagan. This is probably the best acting by Rajnikanth in any of the movies acted by him. Overall this is a great movie and I would recommend this movie highly.
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8/10
Ommala Moovie!!
prasivenk18 September 2008
The movie with the combo of Mani and Thala's of neighboring states and with splendid tunes from Illayaraja ,a certain delight is a sure bet !! Trite , crisp dialogues are characteristics of this movie just as any mani ratnam flick is. The scene which stands out for its 'crispness' comes the intensely set one in which Rajni after being imprisoned in the initial scenes is released as somebody else turns in as approval for the crime which he created. Surya,(Rajni) unaware of who has sent him, walks across to him n asks him, " YYYYEN?" After a few pauses he gets the reply," DEVA!! ". He comes out of the room and walks in the corridor just to witness Deva (Mamooty) and there begins the friendship between Surya and Deva which is so deep, committed and brilliant. The tone of most of the scenes keeps one gripping and with its melodramatic ingredients and songs, contributes to a bit of dilution of its intensity though. The storyline, a slight adaptation of mahabarata with superstar playin the Karna character to finesse is simply awesome.

A sure must watch flick !!
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10/10
Timeless Masterpiece from Mani!
saivenkat0210 March 2010
For this movie, 10 out of 10 is probably too low. That's how good this movie is. Among Tamil cinema's timeless classics, it came in the late 80's and now its 2010 but still I watch it with the same enthusiasm and clap/whistle at some of the dialogues from this film. Maniratnam had a hard time directing Rajnikanth and Mammootty but if he can give a product like this through such hardships, I pray he goes through such hardships again (Sorry Mani Sir!). Ilayaraja is the life and soul of this film. Rajni's best ever performance along with Mammooty. There were the few Nayagan inspirations (Doing good for 4 people cannot be wrong, the inspector beating the hero and then the inspector getting killed by the same hero, etc). Who else can take the Karna-Duryodhana friendship from the Mahabharatha and weave such a magical story in accordance to today's times? Mani is magic!
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10/10
One of the best Indian movies ever
Poetic_Ammo17 April 2005
This film is about 15 years old. i watched it quite a few times and it never fails to impress me. As said earlier it is a modern version of the Mahabharata, with Rajni as Karna.

Its starts with a 14 year old mother forced to abandon her son and the son grows up in the city slums far away..he befriends a underworld don and swears loyalty to death for him Meanwhile the mother gets married and has a son who becomes a top government official. Nobody knows of her earlier son except for her husband. Thing come to head as her younger son is posted to where the elder(who the mother doesn't know is her son) is dominating.

Watch the movie to see what happens. The mother-son scenes are amazingly touching
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9/10
superb till climax!!!!!!!!!!!
faukka16 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
first of all, let me remind u the climax of this film is not the one you've actually seen. In the original climax it was Deva who avenges the death of his 'Thalapathi'. It would be a far better film if it had stayed that way, unfortunately it was not meant to be.....

apart from these, it is a real classic....

hats of to some brilliant technical and acting performances!!!! Santosh Sivan proves why he is considered among the top class cinematographer with every frame..

melody king Ilayaraja is as usual excellent!! the theme music he created was awesome!!! from the acting point of view, undoubtedly this is Rajnikanth's best performance..

Mammootty is brilliant as usual. If it had been the original climax, he would have scored more...

Arvindswamy, Banupriya and shobana are good too.

But the standout performance for me in this film is Srividhya...

Maniratnam is the best director in India...
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10/10
One of the best
shanvi15 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Another great movie from the superstar, with this movie he established himself as the greatest crowd puller in southern India. No actor can command respect like what he has done on his homeland. The closest could be Amithab in Hindi & Siranjeevi in Telugu.

Regarrding the movie, its another master piece from mani rathnam, he made a similar movie with Kamal Hassan in Nayakan which was a big hit and now with super star even bigger hit.Both the movies are awesome.

Blending the friendship between Mamooty & Rajini Kanth touches the heart.Everybody in the world should see the movie as the movie is a tribute to friendship.Its sad that his acting days are counted and tamil audience gonna miss their biggest entertainer.
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10/10
The Best Of The Best
aglingam_1816 January 2006
The opening scene in black and white, prove Maniratnam as a director who emphasize color as emotions in movie.When it combines with Ilayaraja's Chinna Thaiyaval tune will made anyone's heart melt.Superstar's entry scene is really exciting.No doubt Maniratnam can make fight sequence as real as possible.Superstar had brought up his acting talents for a new level in this movie.Although gangsterism is should be the main theme, friendship tend to overtake it.But in some ways it might be a plus point too.For Arvindsamy, he do his best for a first movie.With Mani anyone will do best for the first movie it self.Action,Drama,Real Tamil Cinema defines Talapathi. I'm not sure how many times i watch this movie.But i want to watch it again and again.Best combination of Tamil cinema:Manirathnam, Ilayaraaja and Superstar.I wonder if this team would meet up again.If does, it will be another milestone in Tamil Cinema.Although I had watched Talapathi years ago, i choose today to write here because i had a dream today; I dream of watching Talapathi show on first day of its release(which i missed).The feeling was REALLY amazing.Although this dream will never come true,I like the dream.
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10/10
An evergreen classic
aravindia7523 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw this movie during Diwali in 1991. I used to be a school student then. This movie got rave reviews during its release and with great difficulty I got tickets to watch this fi;m! At first viewing I just loved it though I had a tough time listening to the dialogues as theatre was packed with Rajni fans who would shout and whistle at almost every dialogue of Thalaivar! I then watched it many years later on TV and then got to watch a very good print on DVD.

This is one of the most technically well made Tamil films till date. Mani Ratnam and his team made an all time classic! Wish more of such movies were made these days! The story, direction, screenplay, acting, music, cinematography are all spot on! I especially love this movie's cinematography and background music! I think this is on of the best photographed Tamil movies ever! Every cinematography student should study the photographic style of this movie! The lighting, camera angles, shot composition are just superb! And Then Ilaiyaraja's background music is just awesome! The story of this movie is inspired from Karna's character in Mahabharata. Karna was Kunti's illegitimate son (given to her womb as a boon by the sun god Surya) and had to let go of him as she was unmarried, She later married Pandu and gave birth to the Pandavas while Karna grew up on his own and later became a very good friend of Duryodhana who was a cousin and sworn enemy of the Pandavas. Rajnikanth's character is based on Karna while Mammooty's based on Duryodhana and Aravindswamy character is based on Arjuna.

This movie has loose parallels with Mani Ratnam's Nayagan which was about a Don and one of his friends from young age became his main henchman. Thalapathi's story is about the main henchman of a don. Both movies have similar patterns such as the main character getting bruttally hit in the police station and later the police trying to destroy the entire gang of the main character.

Like Nayagan Thalapathi is a violent film, In fact more violent. I remember when watching it first in theatre (had an U/A cert) this movie had lots of gory scene. I recollect with horror the scene where Rajni shoots of the fingers of Manoj K Jayan or the climax scene where Amrish Puri's head is blown of by Rajni's gun. THis and many gory moments were later removed for broadcast on TV and surprisingly even the DVD didn't have it! I doubt there any original unrated prints of this today.

This movie isn't without its flaws. To start with I wasn't convinced over the way Rajni and Mammooty became friends whereby Rajni swears to give his life for Mammooty. It takes years of understanding and loyalty to develop between friends to get to point where they are ready to give life for each other! Its true in Mahabharata Karna swore life long loyalty the minute Duryodhana saved his honor but over here it just doesn't make sense. Then in the end the Rajni's character is let to go scot free after like killing so many people and his family have no issues with it either, even his mom wants to stay with him in the end! I personally feel this is the best performance ever by Rajni in his entire career. His acting is very convincing and in many scenes he plays the part in an understated manner! I guess it takes a director like Mani Ratnam to bring out the best from a superstar like Rajni! A sad thing associated with this movie was the parting of Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraja, as for his next movie he launched AR Rahman who has remained his composer till date! Although Mani and Rahman have given lots of hits together its the combo of Mani and Ilaiyaraja which I cherish and remember even today! Wish they both come together again to weave another magical movie!
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8/10
Best of Rajini's
kpshakthy-117 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Contains Spoilers! This is one movie that makes me miss Rajini as an actor every time i watch it. Being a die hard fan of Manirathnam its no surprise that this is one of the best all time movies for me, and not to mention Illayaraja's music its just awesome. All said there is one-thing that i couldn't get over with in this movie. The base of the movie is in itself on the friendship between these characters Surya and Devaraj and i felt the formation of this friendship is not solid enough to make it stick i felt. Afterall the only reason Surya says that he would even given his life for Deva is because, Deva has mistakenly made Surya arrested and put in jail for killing one of his men and later realizes that and brings him out of jail (only that Surya did kill Deva's man and Deva only realizes that Surya has killed him for the right reason). Now this is supposed to be the only reason why Surya does anything and everything for Deva is a bit unfair at least to me considering the rest of the movie falls with this friendship as backdrop. Does anyone else felt that way ? Now barring that one-thing i still think this is one of manirathnam's finest.
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9/10
Superb
sreedharpta1117 January 2019
Good..mustwatch..modern mahabharatha..career besst performance by rajnikanth..great acting by mammokka
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9/10
Modern mahabharata
pavankalyanannaparthi19 July 2018
Can easily rate as rajnikanth's best performance. Cinematography, background score is excellent.
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9/10
A tour de force performance from Rajinikanth
geomundackal15 May 2019
Thalapathi is by far one of the best Tamil, Indian, and dare I say all time great movies. The film has great performances from the aforementioned Rajinkanth, Arvind Swamy, Mammootty, Amrish Puri and more. Fantastic direction from Mani Ratnam, and cinematography from Santhosh Sivan. Minor nitpicks include weak songs and a meandering pacing in the second act but the acting, directing, and writing more than make up for it. Thalapathi is 28 years old but still is and will always be relevant.
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7/10
Thalapathi
santhosh-1029012 May 2019
Good Movie. Rajinikanth, Mammootty and everybody acted very well in the movie. Songs and BGM in the movie were good. The combination scenes of Rajinikanth and Mammootty were excellent. The movie was not so interesting. The movie dragged a lot. Fight scenes in the movie were good. Good Movie.
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9/10
High drama high on adrenaline!
avisheksahu16 February 2019
Masala movies are beautiful; no explicit message, just a trip down the lanes of diurnal fantasy. This is not a fantasy movie though; it is just pure drama on the lines Goodfellas; it is far more sombre and intense, but the stuff to excite you about the troubles and predicaments that beset the world of gangsters, is all there in an intense packaging. Indian actors are rarely method-actors but they usually have the ability to incite great passion and great empathy in their audience and with good reason: when they get the right directors, you can usually see clearly then that for them, it was never about the money, but about the pleasure that comes from realising the deepest recesses of their craft.
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10/10
THALAPATHI a serious crime drama
arjunflamingfeather25 November 2018
THALAPATHI the movie with both cinematic icons of subcontinent cinema RAJNIKANT and MAHMOOTY. The film THALAPATHI though old and rekindled in our memory because of stills from the imdb page for 'jogging' the memory because of previous encounter with the substance.
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10/10
Cult Classic!
saisandeep-701941 August 2018
Back in the days when Maniratnam's direction and story telling was at his best,delivering back to back classics. Thalapathi was one among them.Star cast like Superstar Rajnikanth,Mammootty,Arvind Swamy makes this movie an unforgettable experience.What can a mere mortal like me describe the tunes of the god,the Isaignani and the maestro Illayraja but to melt in his music in a bliss.

I love those movies which puts me in a moral dilemma have answers that satisfies me like this movie does. Do you choose a friend who defies law and stand with people who are deprived or your family which is lawful and good?This movies asks and answers it with perfection.It has lot of scenes to talk and learn from for the generations to come.That famous temple scene gives me chills everytime I watch it. Take a bow Maniratnam,Ilayraja and Rajni sir
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8/10
A movie that transcends time with its awesomeness
vishhin1 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Great movie! Explains well the difference between being moral and being constitutional. This movie also explain the extends of relationship we share everyday. There is one "WTF" moment, I felt, when Mammootty TELLS Rajinikanth to marry Bhanupriya, with out even having a discussion as to what he(Rajini) feels, but I think this movie transcends time with its awesomeness.
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7/10
Rajnikanth's best and by a mile
ragingbull_200513 March 2017
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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