24 October 2003
Villu (film), Thirupaachi, Thirumalai
Thirumalai is an Indian 2003 Tamil-language romantic action film directed by Ramana. This film has Vijay and Jyothika in the lead roles, while Lawrence Raghavendra and Kiran Rathod make special appearances in the film. Produced by Kavithalayaa Productions banner. In which Vijay plays a bike mechanic of the Pudupet area in Chennai. This film was a turning point in actor Vijay's career as he transitioned himself into a leading action hero, with a new characteristic look. The new formula of action along with Punch dialogues suited well for Vijay. Filming of Thirumalai began in March 2002 and the film was finally released on 24 October 2003, on the occasion of Deepavali.
The film was dubbed in Hindi as Dum 2. The success of the film lead to be remade in Telugu as Gowri in late 2004. This movie also remade in Bangladesh as Kotha Dao Sathi Hobe starring Shakib Khan, Apu Bishwash, Sadek Bacchu, directed by Sohanur Rahman Sohan in the year 2009.
Thirumalai (Vijay) is a mechanic who lives with his friends and parents in Puthupet, Chennai. On the occasion of 2002 New Year's eve, he meets Swetha and falls in love with her. But, due to her arrogant behaviour, Thirumalai is beat up by her goons. After realizing his good nature, she reciprocates his feelings. This is opposed by her father Avinash, who calls a thug called Arasu, who has a reputaion of being a big mafia in Chennai. Hence, Thirumalai fights with them and this makes Arasu realize all of his misbehaviour. In the end, Arasu changes his mind about the match and Swetha's father also realizes his mistakes. He accepts their love finally and both reunite with each other.
Thirumalai had its threatical release in Diwali 2003 and was declared as the Super-Hit at the Box Office. The film was awarded with an 'U' certificate by the CBFC. The Satellite Rights of the film were purchased by Sun TV.
The filming began in March 2002, when Vijay was simultaneously shooting for his another Masala Films, Youth and Bagavathi. Directing the film is debutant Ramana who had apprenticed with director R. K. Selvamani. Filming was finally ended in May 2003, when Vijay's another Action Flick named Pudhiya Geethai got released. On 15 April 2003, Vijay stated that he had started dubbing for the film.
Namrata Shirodkar was chosen to play the female lead. But the director not satisfied with her screen presence and she was replaced by Jyothika.
A set resembling a market place with a mechanic shop in it was erected at Mohan Studios at a cost of about Rs. 50 lakh. Designed by art director Kathir, shooting took place there for 30 days. The film's shooting occurred in Chennai, Tirupati, Nellore and Vishakhapatnam, while the songs would be filmed overseas.
The film opened to positive reviews. Thirumalai has been touted as Vijay’s comeback vehicle. Now running gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and stated "There's nothing fresh here that we haven't seen in an earlier Vijay film". Mouthshut.com described as "Same masala with different perspective".
Music is composed by Vidyasagar. The audio's album consisting of five songs, was released on 8 April 2003. The audio was also well received among the audience. The recording of the songs took place in 2002.