2008 film directed by Dharani

Theatrical poster
Directed byDharani
Screenplay byDharani
Dialogues by
  • B. Babusivan
Story byDharani
Produced byUdhayanidhi Stalin
CinematographyS. Gopinath
Edited byV. T. Vijayan
Music byVidyasagar
Red Giant Movies
Distributed byRed Giant Movies
Release date
  • 3 May 2008 (2008-05-03)
Running time
170 minutes

Kuruvi (transl. Sparrow / Birdman)[a] is a 2008 Indian Tamil-language action comedy film written and directed by Dharani, and produced by Udhayanidhi Stalin. The film stars Vijay in the title role with Trisha and Suman in other prominent roles. Vivek, Ashish Vidyarthi and Manivannan play supporting roles.

Kuruvi released on 3 May 2008. It received mixed reviews from critics, but overall was a commercial success and completed a 150-day theatrical run.[2][3] It also marked Nivetha Thomas's Tamil debut as a child artist. It was the last film Vijay and Trisha were seen paired together until Leo, 15 years later.

The film collected $1,018,120 or 8 crore and was successful at the overseas box office.[4][5] It was one of the highest grossing Tamil films of 2008 in the United Kingdom alone, collecting £263,919 or 3 crore.[6] In 2021, The film was re-released in Kerala.[7]


Vetrivel alias Velu, a car racer lives with his large family in Chennai. His father Singamuthu had gone to Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh to work at a colliery and never returned, prompting Velu and his family to think that he is dead. Velu learns that a Malaysia-based crime boss named Koccha owed his father a huge sum of money. Velu and his friend Ops travel to Malaysia as Kuruvi, the trade jargon for low-level contraband carriers. They come to Malaysia at a time when internal rivalry and problems are surfacing in Koccha's family.

Koccha's younger sister Radhadevi alias Devi has refused to marry Soori, the brother of Konda Reddy, Koccha's Kadapa-based business associate. Irritated and preoccupied, Koccha doesn't devote any time or attention to resolve Velu's problem. Velu is ill-treated and thrown out of Koccha's place without any help. Determined to return to India only after his father's issue is solved to his satisfaction, Velu conceals himself in Koccha's residence and steals a large diamond owned by Koccha, feeling that it would pay off his father's debt, and returns to India with Ops. Devi also follows Velu to India, having fallen in love with him, when he saves her from falling from a tall building during New Year's Eve.

Knowing that Velu has stolen his diamond, Koccha and his gang visit Velu's house and threaten his family with dire consequences unless Velu returns the diamond. After confronting Koccha, Velu learns that his father is alive and is being held as bonded labour along with many innocent people at Kadapa. Singamuthu had discovered diamonds at the colliery, but refused to allow Koccha and Konda Reddy to illegally mine the diamonds for their own benefit. He had been held prisoner in Kadapa ever since. Velu immediately leaves for Kadapa, where he encounters Koccha again. He throws him onto a moving train thereby paralysing him.

Velu soon discovers a slave camp run by Koccha and Konda Reddy at the colliery, where a womanising goon named Kadapa Raja is torturing the inmates, including Singamuthu. Velu sneaks into Koccha's mansion on the eve of Devi's wedding with Konda Reddy's younger brother Soori. With the help of Devi who reveals that Koccha's own fingerprint is his laptop's password, he unlocks Koccha's laptop. On seeing Koccha's laptop, Velu and Devi learn that Koccha and his associates have been cheating the government by illegally mining diamonds against the law and also have secret government documents in their possession.

Velu also paralyses Soori by getting him stung by bees on the wedding day thereby stopping the wedding. He single-handedly takes on Konda Reddy, Kadapa Raja and their henchmen, killing them all. He drags Konda Reddy's dead body to Koccha's mansion. Koccha, who now uses a wheelchair, recovers on seeing the dead body of his associate and attempts to shoot Velu. He is arrested at that moment by a STF officer Raj, who reveals that Velu had forwarded all the information to them from Koccha's laptop. Singamuthu and the others are reunited with their families, and Velu reunites with Devi.


  • Vijay as Velu/Vetrivel (Kuruvi)
  • Trisha as Devi/Radhadevi
  • Vivek as Ops, Velu's friend
  • Suman as Kocha, Kadappa Diamond quarry's illegal business owner, Devi's brother
  • Ashish Vidyarthi as Konda Reddy, Kocha's Diamond quarry illegal business partner
  • Manivannan as Singamuthu, Kocha's Diamond quarry worker, Velu's father
  • Saranya Ponvannan as Kocha's wife and Devi's sister-in-law
  • T. K. Kala as Parvathi, Velu's mother
  • Nivetha Thomas as Velu's sister[8]
  • Ilavarasu as Elango, Velu's uncle (Diamond quarry workers)
  • Sujatha Sivakumar as (Singamuthu Second Wife, Velu's aunt)
  • S. N. Lakshmi as (Singamuthu's mother, Velu's grandmother)
  • Chitti Babu as Kocha's assistant P/A
  • Aarthi as Constable
  • Pawan as Soori, Konda Reddy's brother
  • G. V. Sudhakar Naidu as Kadappa Raja, Kocha's diamond quarry workers' head supervisor
  • Narsing Yadav as moneylender
  • G. M. Kumar as Abdul Razak aka Bhai
  • Lollu Sabha Jeeva as Bujjibabu
  • Kalpana Shree as Vetrivel's sister
  • Birla Bose as Hotel Manager
  • Chaplin Balu as Slave
  • Cell Murugan as Malaysian Tamil
  • Nassar as Raj, the director general of the police encounter squad targeting business mafia
  • Sravan as Sravan, Rival Racer
  • Kottachi as Kottangachi
  • Vimal as Slave (uncredited)
  • Vidharth as Slave (uncredited)
  • Yogi B, Dr. Burn and Emcee Jesz in a cameo appearance in the song "Happy New Year"
  • Malavika in a cameo appearance in the song "Dandaana Darna"
  • Japan Kumar in a cameo appearance in the song "Dandaana Darna"


It was announced in June 2007 that Udhayanidhi Stalin, son of M. K. Stalin and grandson of the then Tamil Nadu Chief minister M. Karunanidhi would produce films under his production banner Red Giant Movies.[9] The film marked the comeback of Dharani and announced the project titled Kuruvi featuring most of the cast and crew of director's previous film Ghilli. It was rumoured that Kuruvi was titled because the lead hero was named as Guru V which proved false. Filming began in July 2007, after Vijay completed the shooting for his previous film Azhagiya Tamil Magan (2007), and ended in March 2008.[10] Kuruvi or Pura is term used by Tamil people in the southeast Asia towards illegal immigrants.[11]

Vidya Balan and Nayanthara were first approached to be heroines of the film,[12] but Trisha was later selected to be paired with Vijay for the fourth time after Ghilli (2004), Thirupaachi (2005) and Aathi (2006).[13] Vadivelu was initially approached for the film but he was replaced by Vivek.[14]

A stunt scene was picturised with Vijay taking on few men who belong to the African mafia in a huge bar-cum-disco set erected for this purpose. In Kuruvi, the director used a chopper to shoot an entire song sequence to give it a feel of grandeur which was shot in Kuala Lumpur.[15] Another song was shot in New Zealand.[16]

A huge set was erected at the MGR film city for major portion of the film. The team had even erected another set nearby in Sriperumbudur for shooting a song sequence, which featured some models from Bangalore and Mumbai. Sadly, rains held up the shooting for two days – by the time the call sheet of the models ended.[17] Another fight scene was picturised at AVM Studios with a grand set resembling a bar.[18]


The soundtrack is composed by Vidyasagar.[19] The film's audio launch was held at the Little Flower Convent on 16 April 2008 in Chennai.[20] Behindwoods wrote, "Vidyasagar seems to have reinvented himself as a fairly noisy composer here! The metallic twang that accompanies the songs is not too pleasant. Maybe the plot calls for such treatment, but you come away wondering whether Vidyasagar heartily relished doing this".[21] Rediff wrote:"Vidyasagar's music has only sheen, no soul".[22] Karthik Srinivasan of Millblog wrote, "Kuruvi is no Gilli, but does have its own quirky charm".[23]

The song "Mozha Mozhannu" created controversy because the name of freedom fighter Thillaiaadi Valliammai was mentioned in the song.[24] Shreya Ghoshal was nominated for Filmfare Awards South for Best Female Playback Singer – Tamil

Song Singers Lyricist Length
"Happy New Year" Yogi B, Dr. Burn, Emcee Jesz, Sunidhi Chauhan Na. Muthukumar 04:05
"Dandaana Darna" Sangeeth Haldhipur Kabilan 03:40
"Thaen Thaen Thaen" Udit Narayan, Shreya Ghoshal Yugabharathi 03:38
"Palaanadhu Palaanadhu" Vidyasagar, S. Rajalakshmi Pa. Vijay 04:05
"Kuruvi Kuruvi" Benny Dayal, Praveen Mani, Dr. Burn, Vetri Boys, SuVi Na. Muthukumar 02:00
"Mozha Mozhannu" Kay Kay, Anuradha Sriram Pa. Vijay 03:55


Critical reception

Kuruvi received mixed reviews from critics.[25]

Rediff wrote "Kuruvi's got everything to appeal to Vijay fans – but Dharani the director is lost in this melee of fist-fights and elementary comedy".[26] Behindwoods rated the movie at 2.5 out of 5 stars and stated "If you go to see Kuruvi with lowered expectations, you may end up liking it. But those who are looking for big build-up sequences and large Ghilli-like payoffs – stay away".[27]

Sify wrote, "To give Dharani his due, Kuruvi is watchable in parts, for die-hard fans of Vijay. For ordinary viewers, the film lacks a basic story and stretches ones patience for nearly three hours".[28] Ananda Vikatan rated the film 39 out of 100.[29]

Indiaglitz wrote that the film, a "racy thriller loaded with romance and action, is a sure treat for Vijay fans".[30] The Hindu wrote that the film "tries its best to fly high, only that the effort isn’t enough because earlier his eagle (Ghilli) had soared much higher. Of course, Dharani keeps up the momentum and things move fast to the midway point".[31]

See also


  1. ^ In Tamil, "Kuruvi" correctly means "sparrow", but it is also trade jargon for low-level contraband carriers, and also refers to Vijay's superhero identity character in the film.[1]


  1. ^ Srinivasan, Sudhir (18 January 2015). "Going wild over titles". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2 July 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Vijay's 'Kavalkaran' rolling fast on floors". The New Indian Express. 23 April 2010. Archived from the original on 1 January 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  3. ^ "'Kuruvi' and its 150 day grand success". IndiaGlitz.com. 1 October 2008. Archived from the original on 15 January 2024. Retrieved 15 January 2024.
  4. ^ "Kuruvi". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Kuruvi- 150 days". Sify. Archived from the original on 27 August 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Kuruvi". Box Office Mojo. 19 May 2021. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  7. ^ KERALA VIJAY FANS CLUB [@KVFC_Official] (31 October 2021). "Kuruvi and Vettaikaran Movie Re-released today in Kollam as a part of kerala theatre reopenings 🔥💥 More celebrations videos soon 💥" (Tweet). Retrieved 24 January 2024 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "Nivetha Thomas made her Tamil debut in "Kuruvi'". The Times of India. 25 January 2018. Archived from the original on 17 July 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Gilli's magic triumvirate returns!". Rediff.com. 18 April 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Mystery behind Kuruvi's title". Behindwoods.com. 29 March 2008. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Storyline of Vijay-Dharani's Kuruvi". Behindwoods. 22 August 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  12. ^ "The story behind Nayan's oust from Kuruvi". Behindwoods. 5 September 2007. Archived from the original on 10 March 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  13. ^ "It is only Trisha for Vijay". Behindwoods. 31 August 2007. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Comedian confirmed in Kuruvi". Behindwoods.com. 3 October 2007. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  15. ^ "Kuruvi on a Chopper". Behindwoods. 14 January 2008. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Kuruvi". Sify. Archived from the original on 14 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  17. ^ "Kuruvi drenched". Behindwoods.com. 14 November 2007. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Kuruvi in Bar". Behindwoods.com. 23 November 2007. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Kuruvi". JioSaavn. 16 April 2008. Archived from the original on 23 October 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  20. ^ "Kuruvi's low profile launch!". Behindwoods. 16 April 2008. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  21. ^ Sunderam, Malathy (5 December 2007). "Kuruvi". Behindwoods. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  22. ^ Srinivas, Saraswathy (22 April 2008). "Kuruvi's music is a letdown". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 22 December 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  23. ^ Karthik (16 April 2008). "Kuruvi (Tamil, Vidyasagar)". Milliblog. Archived from the original on 10 August 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  24. ^ "Controversy over Kuruvi lyrics!". Behindwoods. 24 April 2008. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  25. ^ "'KURUVI' FLIES HIGH". IndiaGlitz. 6 May 2008. Archived from the original on 23 January 2024. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  26. ^ Srinivasan, Pavithra (3 May 2008). "Vijay fans will love Kuruvi". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 9 March 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  27. ^ "Kuruvi Review". Behindwoods. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  28. ^ "Kuruvi". Sify. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  29. ^ சார்லஸ், தேவன் (22 June 2021). "பீஸ்ட் : 'நாளைய தீர்ப்பு' டு 'மாஸ்டர்'... விஜய்க்கு விகடனின் மார்க்கும், விமர்சனமும் என்ன? #Beast". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 8 October 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  30. ^ "Kuruvi Movie Review". IndiaGlitz. 5 May 2008. Archived from the original on 17 July 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  31. ^ "What happened Dharani? – Kuruvi". The Hindu. 9 May 2008. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2014.

External links

  • Kuruvi at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
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Films directed by Dharani