Nayagan – Classic Movie

Watched Nayagan recently on NetFlix – it was wonderful to watch this movie again after a gap of twenty years. What a wonderful feeling it is, when you get to see a classic movie.

Nayagan was one of the movies directed by Mani Ratnam and it was taken at the prime time of Mani Ratnam’s career, when every single movie of his was a success. (Remember Mouna Raagam, Agni Natchatram, Anjali, Thalapathi, Roja, etc)

Nayagan is the story of Velu Nayakkar, a top smuggler based out of Mumbai.

This movie is supposed to be based on the real life of Varadharaja Mudhaliar, who was considered in Mumbai as a underworld don in 1980s.

It starts with a very small role for Kittu, who comes as Velu Nayakkar’s father in the opening scene and gets killed in the same scene. Young Velu kills the police inspector who killed his father and runs away to Bombay (now Mumbai). Velu is adopted by Hussain Bhai who has two memorable dialogues in the movie:
– Hussain Bhai vaakku thavara maattar (meaning Hussain Bhai will never go back on his words) and
– Naalu perukku nallathu nadakkumna ethu senjaalum thappu ille (meaning if it is going to be beneficial to others, nothing is wrong)

Young Velu grows up to be a good looking young man, role played by Kamal Hassan, which got him a National award for the same. Kamal follows Hussain Bhai’s steps, but uses his intelligence to grow to become one of the most admired leader in his area. He continues in this path of extortion, killing and smuggling and rises to become one of the most powerful people in the underworld.

Saranya plays the role of Kamal’s wife in the movie and this movie happens to be the debut movie for Saranya. She plays the role quite well but her acting is overshadowed by Kamal’s acting and experience in all the scenes.

The songs are wonderful and they are a part of the good old days when Mani Ratnam – Ilayaraja combination was quite famous (before Mr.Rahman stepped in with Roja in 1990s.). The tune of ‘Thenpandi Cheemayile’ remains in the lips of everyone watching the movie, long after the movie is completed.

Inspite of the fact that this movie was released almost 25 years ago, the superb direction of Mani Ratnam is evident in every single scene.

If you have not watched this movie before, I highly recommend watching it – please do not miss it. If you have watched it before, it surely doesnt hurt to watch this classic again.

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