‘Aayirathil Oruvan’ is a 2010 Tamil film based on the history of Southern India. This movie counters the rivalry of the two kingdoms of the southern part which are Chola dynasty and Pandya dynasty. It revolves around three main characters Muthu, Lavanya and Anitha who are set out on a voyage to find the recently missing archeologist Chandramouli by Union Minister Virapandiyan. A lot of archeologists have already disappeared before Chandramouli while trying to find the long lost Chola Empire. This underrated classic of the Tamil cinema was criticized for a lot of points, whether it be the skin color of the people of Chola empire or the Tamil language they spoke which was said to be quite hard to understand. But I personally believe that to have a taste of a meal, you have to savor each and every flavor patiently.
This movie budgeted around 35 crores and earned around 85 crores in box office. It was released in Hindi under the name ‘Kaashmora 2’ and also in Telugu by the name ‘Yuganiki Okkadu’
‘Aayirathil Oruvan’ has recently started being considered as the pride to the southern part of India or we can also say Tamil people. This movie is considered to be a timeless classic by the director Selvaraghavan. To completely understand this movie, it is highly recommended to know the history and the context of this cult classic.
History of Two major kingdoms: Chola and Pandya
Let’s take a dive into 910 A.D.
In an attempt to expand his empire, the Chola king Paraanthaka Chola I invaded Madhurai. He won the battle of Vellore, defeating the Pandyan King and also the Ceylonese army which came to his aid.
The defeated king of the Pandyas fled to Kerala which is said to be his mother’s place. He requested protection of his crown and jewels before fleeing to Kerala to the King of Ceylon, Dappula IV.
Almost a hundred years later, Rajendra I of the Chola dynasty invaded Ceylon and captured the crown and jewels which were being protected by the King. This capture was symbolized as the ultimate victory of the Cholas over Pandyas.
But in 1279 A.D. Around two centuries later the Pandyans avenged Cholans by defeating Rajendra III and basically wiped out the very last people of the Chola empire. The Pandyas then rule over Madurai.
Although, there is not much information about the crown and the jewels.
Cast & Crew of ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’
- Karthi (Karthik Sivakumar) as Muthu
- Reema Sen as Anitha Pandiyan
- Andrea Jeremiah as Lavanya Chandramouli
- R. Parthiban as Chola King
- Pratap K. Pothen as Chandramouli
- Azhagam Perumal as Major Ravisekhara Pandiyan
Direction: K. Selvaraghavan (Director)
Writing: K. Selvaraghavan (Screenwriter)
Production: R. Ravindran (Producer)
Synopsis of the ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’
The storyline is prominent in the very first scene of the film. It started off with the king of the Chola dynasty trying to save his son, the only successor of the king when he saw the downfall of his kingdom back in 1279 A.D. The Pandya invaded the Chola kingdom. The king gave the people of his kingdom his son and asked them to hide in a secret place until and unless their true messenger comes in future. The Chola people hid themselves and were protected by the powers of their ancestors as they left seven traps to protect the people of their dynasty from their enemies. One more thing which they kept with themselves was a ‘Sacred Idol’ to the Pandya kingdom.
Many archeologists tried to find the secret place of the Chola people and disappeared. The most recent archeologist which got lost was Chandramouli and a team of three distinct personalities with an army was set out to find him. They went to an island called Min-Gua somewhere near the Vietnam border and as already mentioned above they faced seven traps which included: Jellyfish-like creatures in the sea, cannibals, warriors, snakes, quicksand and at last the most difficult of it was hunger. Many of the army personnel also lost their lives in the traps. Lavanya, the lost archeologist’s daughter, remembered some of her father’s teachings in a form of poem and was able to cross the traps with the help of them. On their way, Lavanya also found his father’s bag. After successfully passing the traps, the team reached the island through some black magic gateway.
After this the scene shows the secret place of the Chola people and there were many people and their last successor (Parthipan). A hope for the hunger stricken and pitiful people was seen in the eyes of their eyes for their future messenger. There was a very disturbing scene where a poor mother comes forward and shows her blood pouring breasts that there is no milk left in them for her child. The performance of the people and mainly their expressions in the secret place were so remarkable that their misery was portrayed as a piece of art.
Anitha tells the king of the place that she’s their fabled messenger and with her fake performance she was able to convince the king. The priest among the Chola people however was not convinced with her as she doesn’t resemble any of the traits of being a messenger which were told by the ancestors. The ancestors of the Chola kingdom wrote that the messenger will be ill-treated and despite that he will continue to serve the people of his kingdom. It was also mentioned that the rain will pour.
The false messenger, Anitha ordered to put Muthu and Lavanya in a prison. Later, the prisoners were put up for a game of death and life where Muthu felt some strange powers within himself and was able to kill the big guy who was set out to kill him with an iron ball. The king then got to know that Anitha is not the messenger to the people. Infact, it is Muthu who is the messenger to the people of Chola kingdom. Meanwhile, Anitha and Ravisekaran who are now confirmed to belong to the Pandya’s dynasty poisoned the water sources. Many of the Chola people were killed by drinking the contaminated water. An army was led by Anitha to kill every last bit of Chola people. The Pandya’s won and took the king, his wife and Muthu. Pandyans tortured and raped the king’s wife. Many of the women of the Chola empire were molested under the custody of Pandya’s. The king sees this as the end of his empire and dies. His people drank the poisoned water and also died. Muthu was transferred to some magical powers by the priest which can make him disappear. He used his power to disappear and took the king’s son with him. The movie ended with a note of “Chozhan payanam thodarum” which means that This journey will continue…
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