Pulan Visaranai (English: Investigation) is a 1990 Tamil language film directed by R. K. Selvamani. The film features Vijayakanth in lead role. The film, produced by R. Sundar Raj and S. Raveendran, had musical score by Illayaraja and was released on 14 January 1990. The film was a blockbuster and was considered to be one of the best crime thrillers of its time. It was remade in Hindi as Ravan Raaj: A True Story. The character of the antagonist Dharma (played by Anandaraj) is loosely based on the serial killer Auto Shankar. Telugu dubbed version Police Adhikari was also successful.
Dharma (Anandaraj) is an auto driver who kidnaps young women and is on the payroll of a powerful politician R.R (Radha Ravi). "Honest" Raj (Vijayakanth), a DCP investigating the murder of an MLA, zeroes in on R.R but is suspended by his higher-ups due to political pressure.
Few years later, he is brought back when Governor's rule is established and given charge of the investigation into the disappearance of a man whose sister had earlier disappeared. His investigation leads him to Dharma and R.R and then to a private hospital in Bombay.
R. K. Selvamani, an erstwhile assistant of Manivannan decided to make a film with Sathyaraj. But Sathyaraj was not interested to act under the direction of a newcomer but he promised that he would act only if Selvamani establishes himself as a director. Selvamani decided to narrate a storyline to Vijayakanth. Vijayakanth insisted to narrate the story to his friend Producer Ibrahim Rowther, but Rowther said that Vijayakanth was booked for 2 years. Selvamani with the help of his friend Jothi decided to narrate the story through drawn pictures by having Hollywood films as reference. Selvamani led many rules and conditions which led to the cancellment of shooting for 6 months, with the help of Manivannan shooting was continued. Sarathkumar portrayed the antagonist character after he was recommended to the film's team by Vijayakanth's personal make-up man Raju.
The film was released on 14 January 1990 and became one of the successful films at box-office. Success of the film led G. Venkateswaran to give chance to Selvamani for another project. Selvamani rejected the project as he expressed his gratitude to Rowther to make another film with him. The team again collaborated with Captain Prabhakaran which also became successful.
The film score and the Soundtrack were composed by film composer Illayaraja. The soundtrack, released in 1990, features 3 tracks with lyrics written by Gangai Amaran.
Selvamani began working on Pulan Visaranai 2 in November 2005, a sequel to his 1990 film, and cast Prashanth in the leading role of the investigative cop. He revealed that the idea had come to him in the early 2000s and Vijayakanth's unavailability had meant the film only materialised after a delay. Prashanth underwent strength training for the venture, while beauty pageant winner Medha Raghunathan was briefly signed on to play the lead female role, before opting out again. The film progressed slowly, also a result of Prashanth's marital problems, and reports in May 2007 suggested that Rowther was unhappy with the film's content and felt the film lacked a proper storyline unlike the previous version. The film ran into problems during its censor in April 2008, with the committee highlighting twenty six objectionable scenes. Selvamani subsequently appealed and compromised by agreeing to remove controversial dialogues and a sequence which involved an actress depicting Indian tennis player Sania Mirza. The producer subsequently accepted an "A" certificate for the film, with the soundtrack releasing the following week. The team also revealed that the film would be released the following month, though this proved to be untrue. The film has since remained unreleased, with little news regarding its chances of having a theatrical release, Prashanth indicated that the film was still delayed due to producer's financial problems. The sequel was released in 2015.