GenreDrama, Family Music directorD. Imman LanguageTamil
Release date21 September 2012 (2012-09-21) CastP. Samuthirakani (Dayalan), Thambi Ramaiah (Singam Perumal), Swasika, Ajmal Khan, Pandi (Student) Similar moviesBlue Is the Warmest Color, Sexual Chronicles of a French Family, It Follows, The Voyeur, Paper Towns, Forrest Gump
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Saattai (English : Whip) is a 2012 Indian Tamil drama film written and directed by M. Anbazhagan. The film features Samuthirakani and Thambi Ramaiah in pivotal roles. The film's soundtrack and background score were composed by D. Imman. The film received positive reviews from critics.The shooting took place in NLC and Thiruvannamalai. The film was followed by a sequel 4 years later, titled Appa.
Dayalan (Samuthirakani) is a newly appointed teacher of a government school in Vanthaarangudi village near Thiruvannamalai city. He is unhappy with the education system and is also worried about the pitiable condition of education of government schools. After joining the school, he tries to change the environment of the school. This is not welcome by Singaperumal (Thambi Ramaiah) who is Assistant Head Master (AHM). Dayalan's decision for the change does not go well with other teachers and students as well. But Dayalan's good moves were slowly noticed by Pandian (Junior Balaiah). Slowly Dayalan gets popular among the class students. In between, there is love between Pazhani (Yuvan) and Arivazhagi (Mahima Nambiar). Pazhani's Father is also a teacher in the same school. Singaperumal was waiting for a turn to take revenge on Dayalan. In these situation, Arivazhagi was sexually abused by somebody. Singaperumal files a case against Dayalan as a culprit. After Arivazhagi opens the statement to the police that another teacher is her abuser, Dayalan was released. Dayalan organizes an inter school competition between schools. Dayalan's school gets first place because of Arivazhagi's and Pazhani's hard work. After that, Dayalan gets attacked by mobs who were arranged by Singaperumal. Dayalan gets admitted in the hospital. All the students, teachers go to the hospital to see Dayalan and they were denied to see him by the hospital authorities as Dayalan is in very critical condition. Then arrives his wife and inspires the students to study for the coming exams. Students study well and they top their district and the movie ends with Dayalan giving the responsibility of HM to Singaperumal. So he reforms and apologizes to Dayalan. Then Dayalan goes to the next village to reform another government school.
Samuthirakani as Dayalan
Thambi Ramaiah as Singam Perumal
Yuvan as Pazhanimuthu
Mahima Nambiar as Arivazhagi
Junior Balaiah as Pandian
Swasika as Mrs. Dayalan
The music for the film is by D. Imman. Yugabharathi has penned the lyrics.
The satellite rights of the film were sold to STAR Vijay.
Saattai opened to positive reviews from critics. Sify's critic described the film as a "decent entertainer which harps loudly on the message it wants to convey", noting that director M Anbazhgan "has neatly worked the film around [Samuthira]kani’s character but at times it becomes too preachy and sentimental". M. Suganth from The Times of India gave it 4 out of 5 and claimed that Saattai was a "commercial potboiler dressed up as arty fare". The reviewer further wrote: "Anbazhagan's intentions are quite commendable [...] but the sad thing is that he goes about this task with less subtlety and more sermonizing, with the result that the scenes where he wishes to make a point come across as totally preachy". Similarly, Malathi Rangarajan from The Hindu wrote: "The aim is lofty, the theme, noble. It is in execution that director Anbazhagan falters a little". She concluded that the film was "at times obviously sermonising" but "still [...] worthy of notice". Behindwoods's reviewer gave it 2 out of 5 and noted: "The preachy dialogues in the film are what students listen to in real life. This is probably why the film fails to make the intended impact as there is nothing out of the box".
In September 2015, Samuthirakani chose to postpone the production of his Kitna, after the lead actress Dhansika got an offer to appear in Pa. Ranjith's Kabali (2016). He chose instead to use his time directing and producing a sequel to his earlier film, Saattai (2012), and revealed that the film would be titled Appa. He revealed that the film would bear no resemblance to the first film, but would be a spiritual sequel and would revolve around the education system like the previous film. He initially approached Anbazhagan to direct the film, but the director's commitments to making Rupai produced by Prabhu Solomon, meant that Samuthirakani directed the film himself. Samuthirakani also revealed that the film's plot line had been taken from a real life incident, which happened when choosing a school for his son.
The film was shot in 34 days, with Samuthirakani expressing his interest in remaking the film in 12 different Indian languages and revealed that he had begun talking to Telugu actors Nagarjuna and Venkatesh about reprising the lead roles. A teaser for the film was released during December 2015. Apparently, the Malayalam remake of this movie has begun on 25 March 2017 and it's going to be directed by Samuthirakani himself. This marks his debut in Malayalam film industry as director.