Pandiya Naadu (English: Land of the Pandyans) is a 2013 Indian Tamil action-drama-thriller film written and directed by Suseenthiran and produced by Vishal. The film features Vishal, Vikranth and Lakshmi Menon in the lead roles, while Bharathiraja and Soori play other pivotal roles. The film has music composed by D. Imman. The film received positive reviews and was successful at the box office. It was dubbed in Hindi as Shiva Ka Badla and in Telugu as Palnadu. The film is being remade in Kannada as Rudra Tandava with Chiranjeevi Sarja.
Sivakumar (Vishal), a meek person who owns a mobile sales and service center in Madurai, falls for a schoolteacher Malar (Lakshmi Menon). His father Kalyanasundaram (Bharathiraja), a retired government employee, shows much care on Sivakumar's elder brother Nagaraj (Guru Somasundaram). Meanwhile, there is a big mafia gang led by Simmakkal Ravi (Sharath Lohitashwa), who rules Madurai with an iron fist. Sethu (Vikranth), a friend of Siva, helps him woo Malar. Sethu helps his ex-lover Amudha (Krithi Shetty) escape from Ravi's chief henchman, Bharani (Harish Uthaman). Nagaraj, an honest government officer, gets into Ravi's bad books and is killed by Ravi. Siva learns that Sethu is also killed by Ravi and is infuriated. Now, the helpless father and the meek son draw up separate plans to eliminate Ravi. Kalyanasundaram hires a hit-squad to do his bidding while Sivakumar monitors Ravi's activities closely, biding his time for the right moment. The hit squad makes a failed attempt at Ravi and he in turn tracks the source down to an 'old man' (Kalyanasundaram). Just as Kalyanasundaram is about to be 'found out' in a trap set by Ravi, Sivakumar interferes and manages to secure his father out without his knowledge. Sivakumar continues to be on Ravi's heels but he too gets exposed and the story culminates with Sivakumar mustering up all his courage strength out of his survival instinct and kills all of Ravi's associates and Ravi himself. Sivakumar also manages to retrieve the cash his father had paid to the hit-squad, and this lets Kalyanasundaram know that Sivakumar was the one responsible for Ravi's death.
Vishal as Sivakumar Kalyanasundaram
Bharathiraja as Kalyanasundaram
Lakshmi Menon as Malarvizhi Chidambaram
Soori as Ganesan/Doubt
Vikranth as Sethu (Guest appearance)
Sharath Lohitashwa as Simmakkal Ravi
Harish Uthaman as Bharani
Guru Somasundaram as Nagaraj (Sivakumar's brother)
V. I. S. Jayapalan
Muthuraman as Raasu
Tulasi as Sivagami Chidambaram
Krithi Shetty as Amudha
Soumya Satish as Amudha Kalyanasundaram
Baby Rakshana as Pooja
Krishna Priya (Cameo Appearance)
In March, 2013 Vishal Krishna announced that he is going work with Suseenthiran in a film, tipped to be a commercial action entertainer and the crew will be more or less the same that worked in Suseenthiran’s Naan Mahaan Alla, which was of the same genre. After that Suseenthiran confirmed that Vishal will act and also produce this movie under his home banner Vishal Film Factory. After some days they announced the title as Pandianadu and the cast and crew. Lakshmi Menon was selected to play love interest of Vishal and D. Imman was signed to score the music. Vikranth was cast in a pivotal role along with Soori and Aaranya Kaandam Soma Sundaram. Bharathiraja was signed to play Vishal's father in the film. Shooting started on 15 May 2013 in parts of Madurai, Virudhunagar, Coonoor, Pollachi and Tiruchirappalli. The major shooting took place in Virudhunagar for nearly 20 days. Further action plots were taken in the town. It was the third film to be shot in Virudhunagar, after Veyil and Renigunta. The film was said to be shot in 4K resolution making it the second Tamil film after Sivaji.
The satellite rights of the film were secured by Raj TV for ₹10 crore, though Vishal's films were generally brought for ₹6–7 crore as an average. The film was initially given a "U/A" certificate by the Indian Censor Board, but later it was given a "U" certificate. Pandiya Naadu released on 2 November alongside All in All Azhagu Raja. It released in 350+ screens in Tamil Nadu and its Telugu Dubbed version (Palnadu) released in 450 screens, while overseas it released in 70 screens adding up to 1000+ screens worldwide. The film was released in 80 screens in Kerala on 8 November 2013.
The film received positive reviews. Rediff gave 3.5 stars out of 5 and said "What makes Pandianadu remarkable is the director’s realistic approach and the right amount of commercialism supported by a well-written script, good dialogues, great music and excellent all–round performances". Sify wrote, "The jaded revenge formula in commercial cinema is reinvented by Suseenthiran with Pandiya Nadu. The story is the tried and tested revenge theme, but the impact it is able to create is terrific. The film keeps you hooked till the end due to Suseenthiran’s script, fabulous performances from the lead actors and believability factor". IANS wrote, "Pandiya Naadu unarguably is a better film compared to other two Diwali releases. It's a quintessential revenge drama supported by taut narration and wonderful performances. The film is a winner because of Suseenthiran, who knows exactly how to use his craft and never let goes off an opportunity to pleasantly surprise the audience". Indiaglitz rated 3/5. Behindwoods gave 3.25 out of 5 stars and wrote, "Pandianadu is a well written commercial film backed by remarkable performances and lives up to its dark-horse label prior to its release". Cinemaead gave 3.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, " Pandianadu is the perfect diwali outing and it is an edge of the seat entertainer which engages you from the start till the end.".
Times of AP rated 3.5/5 and stated "Edge of the seat revenge action thriller". Rohit Penumatsa rated 3.5/5 and stated "tightly scripted and has some of the best action sequences in recent times". Sulekha.com rates 3/5 and states "Suseenthiran has played it to Vishal's strength. Pandiyaa Naadu makes it big thanks to the package".
The film also received positive feedback from fans as well.
On first day, the film opened to packed house and grossed ₹7.14 crore in its first day.The film collected ₹38.12 lakh from 156 shows in its opening weekend in Chennai and opened behind the other releases Arrambam and All in All Azhagu Raja. After seven weeks, the total collections at the Chennai box office were estimated at ₹3.81 crores and the film was termed a Super hit by Behindwoods.com. The film collected ₹52.35 crore in its full run at the box office.The film grossed ₹50 crore at the box office in its final run.
The soundtrack was composed by D. Imman collaborating with Suseenthiran for the first time. It was also the first Vishal film he worked on. The audio release function was held on 13 October at Chennai's Satyam Cinemas. The single Track "Othakkada Machaan" was released in September. Behindwoods wrote:"Trademark Imman sounds packed with some amount of punch". Indiaglitz wrote:"Imman score again".
Awards and nominations
Best Supporting Actor - P. Bharathiraja, Won
Best Editor - Anthony, Won
Best Stunt Director - Anal Arasu, Won
Best Actor - Vishal, Nominated
Best Director - Suseenthiran, Nominated
Best Villain - Sharath Lohitashwa, Nominated
Best Art Director - Rajeevan, Nominated
Best Dialogue Writer - Suseenthiran and Baskar Shakthi, Nominated
Best Debutant Producer - Vishal, Won
Best Fight Choreographer - Anal Arasu, Won
Best Actor - Vishal, Nominated
Best Director - Suseenthiran, Nominated
Best Supporting Actor - P. Bharathiraja, Nominated
Best Actor in a Negative Role - Sharath Lohitashwa, Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer - Remya Nambeesan For Fy Fy Fy, Nominated