Thegidi

Thegidi (English: Dice / Deception) is a 2014 Tamil crime thriller film directed by P. Ramesh and produced by C. V. Kumar under his banner Thirukumaran Entertainment. The film features Ashok Selvan and Janani Iyer in the leading roles, while Nivas Prasanna composes the film’s music. The film released on February 28, 2014, and opened to generally positive reviews from critics. A Telugu dubbed version Bhadram was thereafter released on March 21, 2014
Plot

Vetri (Ashok Selvan) studies criminology course and possesses great observation skills, and this makes his professor Govardhan (Rajan Iyer) to insist him taking up a detective job. Vetri gets a job in a private detective agency and leaves to Chennai to meet his professor and get blessings. He joins the detective agency and his bosses are Sadagoppan (Pradeep Nair) and Sailesh (Jayakumar). Vetri stays with his close friend Nambi (Kaali Venkat).

Vetri is given a task of collecting information about a few people by following them secretly. He does his job with great passion and loves it to the maximum. Meanwhile, he meets Madhusree (Janani Iyer) and develops an attraction towards her immediately. Vetri gets all the information about the three guys assigned to him and submits the reports to his bosses.

Vetri’s next assignment is to gather information about Madhu. Vetri is excited on this and starts following her. Despite a rule that detectives are not allowed to get in touch with the persons they follow, Vetri is tempted to get introduced to Madhu. Vetri introduces himself as a jobseeker to Madhu and they become good friends. Slowly love blossoms between the two.

Suddenly, one of the guys, about whom Vetri has gathered some information, is killed mysteriously. Vetri meets his bosses and request the client details of those who requested to follow him but they convince him giving some reasons. Similarly one more guy is also killed. Now Vetri’ doubts increase seeing the sequence of murders. Vetri calls up the third person he has followed before and wants to meet him. But the third person is also killed while he is on the way to meet Vetri.

Vetri worries fearing Madhu’s death as she was his next assignment and decides to protect her. Police while investigating finds that Vetri was the last person who called the third person before death and comes for investigation. Madhu gets shocked knowing that Vetri is a detective and thinks that he pretended as loving her to get some info.

Vetri meets inspector Raghuram (Jayaprakash) and informs all the happenings. Raghuram and Vetri try to visit the detective agency but are surprised to see that there is no such agency existing in the address. No one knows about the whereabouts of the detective agency and its founders.

Vetri thinks of any clue and remembers his bosses’ frequenly mentioning a name. He finds out that it is a hotel located in the outskirts of Chennai and decides to go there believing he could get some info. To his surprise, Sailesh comes to the hotel. Once Sailesh goes into the hotel, Vetri tries searching for any clues in the car and finds out a courier. Vetri notes down the address mentioned in the courier and runs away before Shailesh comes back.

Meanwhile, Sailesh understands that Vetri has searched his car and he rushes to his home to destroy all the evidences. Sailesh shreds many papers in his home. Vetri comes to the place and fights with Sailesh. When Sailesh is about to kill Vetri, Raghuraman comes to the spot and shoots Sailesh. Raghuraman and Vetri conduct search in Sailesh’s home and a finds a number. They believe it to be an insurance policy and begin investigation. Raghuraman tracks down the insurance company that has issued the policy and both visit the company with hope of finding some truth.

On enquring with the clerk (Kavithalaya Krishnan), they find that the number is a life insurance policy taken by one of the persons who got killed and the sum insured is Rs.1 Crore. They are shocked to know that the insurance money was collected the person’s father as all the three people who got killed had no parents or relatives.

Suddenly Vetri sees that the insurance company branch manager is none other than Sadagopan. Vetri and Raghuram traps Sadagopan and understands the truth. Sadagopan’s real name is Poornachandran and is the manager of the insurance company. He goes through the details of all the policy holders (insured by the employers) and targets people who have no parents or relatives.

Poornachandran uses his power to forge a policy taken in favour of those people. Sailesh, his friend kills the insured person and they collect the money from the insurance agency. To Vetri’s shock, his professor Govardhan is also a part of the crime and he goes to collect the money as the insured’s father. Above all, it was Govardhan who has informed about Vetri’s observation skills to Poornachandran and asking him to recruit as a detective and use for their needs.

Vetri feels bad thinking about his professor as he had respected him a lot before. But Govardhan says that he and his ailing mother have suffered a lot and the society didn’t help which made him to choose this path. Govardhan apologizes to Vetri and commits suicide. Vetri and Raghuram believe that the professor’s actual name in Vallabha (as Poornachandran and Sailesh keep referring to this name often).
Life is smooth for Vetri as he has united with Madhu and lives with his family. But one day, he receives a phone call from Vallabha suddenly and Vetri gets shocked knowing that there is someone above his professor Govardhan who is behind all the crimes. The movie ends here setting a path for a sequel.

Cast

• Ashok Selvan as Vetri
• Janani Iyer as Madhusree
• Jayaprakash as Raghuram
• Kaali Venkat as Nambi
• Jayakumar as Sailesh
• Pradeep Nair as Poornachandran (Sadagoppan)
• Rajan Iyer[3] as Govardhan
• Sai Prashanth as Kamalakannan
• Kavithalaya Krishnan as Ranganathan
• Rekha Suresh as Rukmani
• Shalu as Aparna
• Asritha as Vidya

Production

The film was announced in June 2013 as a joint venture between Thirukumaran Entertainment and Vel Media. Along with C. V. Kumar, the film reunited several of the crew from Soodhu Kavvum (2013) with cinematographer Dinesh, editor Leo John Paul and actor Ashok Selvan all from that unit. The film’s director was revealed to be P. Ramesh and Nivas K. Prasanna would compose music. Janani Iyer, seen before in Avan Ivan (2011) and Paagan (2012), was signed on to depict the role of a college girl.

The film, described as a “murder mystery”, was wrapped up within 45 days and in November 2013, post-production works were ongoing. It was reported that all the songs were set to be montages and further filming was not required, even though the songs were incomplete during production.

Soundtrack

The film’s soundtrack and score were composed by newcomer Nivas K. Prasanna. Prasanna received praise for both the songs and the score. IANS wrote, “If Thegidi turns out to be a hit, debutant music composer Nivas Prasanna deserves huge credit for the success. He carries the tension of the film right till the end with his background score and songs that are placed in the narrative at right junctures”. Sify wrote, “[a] highlight of the film is Nivas Prasanna’s music and extraordinary BGM. The romantic melody Yaar Ezhuthiatho… is very soothing and BGM goes with the narration”. Rediff wrote, “The music by Nivas is an absolute joy. All the songs, as well as the background score are perfect”.

Release

The satellite rights of the film were sold to STAR Vijay. After the censor process, the team announced the release date as February 28.

Critical reception

Baradwaj Rangan of The Hindu wrote “there are plenty of tense moments, thanks to the deliberate pacing (that steers clear of cheap, amped-up thrills) and the fact that the film keeps zooming in on a small cast of characters. Thegidi is proof that if the small things are worked out well, the bigger ones will take care of themselves”. Sify called the film “a well-made, edge-of- the-seat thriller with enough twists and turns. It keeps the deception game going till the last scene, with a taut script and outstanding BGM by Nivas Prasanna”. Indiaglitz gave it a 3.5/5 rating and stated, “Thegidi is one such brilliant movie flaunted by beaming background score grips your adrenaline rush through the movie”. Rediff gave it a 2.5 star rating and called it “a great effort by debutant director P Ramesh, who seems to have extracted the best from his team, be it the actors or the technicians”.

The Times of India gave the film 3 stars out of 5 and said “What’s refreshing about Thegidi is how director Ramesh manages to keep things understated even when the situations seem to turn overwhelming. Barring a couple of scenes, there is a matter-of-factness in the approach that keeps the movie from turning into a bombastic thriller in which everything is at stake. This is the film’s plus and also its weakness”. Oneindia in its review said “The film leaves an impact from the word go, the film attracts you. The first fifteen minutes should not be missed by audience and the opening credits is impressive”.[18]IANS gave it 3.5 stars and wrote, “With its share of ups and downs, Thegidi is a taut film executed in style.

Box office

The film had a slow start at the box office, but improved later due to positive reviews from critics and word of mouth. According to Behindwoods.com, the film’s shows increased in its 4th week. At the Chennai box office, the film had collected ₹96,62,193 after 8 weeks. In March 2014, Producers Council’s President Keyaar said that Thegidi was one of the two Tamil films that turned out to be profitable ventures for all sections in 2014 till then.[ Sify later reported that the film was profitable if the collections from the theatrical run and the dubbing and satellite rights were added together. Producer C. V. Kumar in late March informed that the rights for music and overseas were sold for ₹7 lacs and ₹24 lacs respectively and that the film had collected a theatrical share of ₹2.2 crores till then.

Sequel

In April 2014, director Ramesh stated that he would make a sequel to Thegidi in future. He said, “Thegidi 2 is definitely on the cards, but it won’t happen immediately. I have started working on a new project which I intend to work on before the sequel”. He had planned a sequel even before the release of Thegidi. “I didn’t have a bound script ready for the sequel, but I had decided to continue the sequel with Vallaba’s character that you see in Thegidi. I decided this while working on the [first film]”.