Apoorva Sagodharargal (Eng: Rare Brothers) is a 1989 Indian Tamil-language comedy-drama film directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao. The film stars Kamal Haasan in three roles, as a mechanic, a circus clown who is a dwarf and a police officer, along with Gautami and Rupini playing lead roles with Srividya, Manorama, Nagesh, Jaishankar, Nassar and Delhi Ganesh playing supporting roles. The music for the Apoorva Sagodharargal was composed by Ilaiyaraaja with lyrics written by Vaali. The film was produced by Kamal Haasan and his brother Chandra Haasan under the production company Raajkamal Films International. Some part of the movie is based on 1928 Hollywood movie Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus.
Sethupathi (Kamal Haasan) is an honest and upright police officer. When he arrests four bigwigs Dharmaraj (Nagesh), Francis Anbarasu (Delhi Ganesh), Nallasivam (Nassar) and Satyamoorthy (Jaishankar), they escape justice easily and return to take revenge. They kill him and poison his wife Kaveri (Srividya). She escapes and gives birth to twins with the help of another woman Muniyamma (Manorama), but the babies are separated and each woman believes that the other is dead because of the events happening next to birth. One of the twins, Raja (Kamal Haasan) grows up as a mechanic with Muniyamma, while the other twin, Appu (Kamal Haasan), a dwarf, grows up in the circus with his mother.
Appu falls in love with the daughter (Rupini) of the circus owner (T. S. B. K. Moulee), mistakenly thinking that she was asking him to elope with her. But she actually had asked him to be witness to her marriage with her fiancé (Anand), which was not approved by her father. Heartbroken over this and insecurity over his height, he tries to commit suicide but is prevented by his mother, who then reveals the reason that his dwarfism might have been because of the poison force-fed to her when she was pregnant with the twins. This leads Appu to learn about his father’s murder and decides to avenge him.
Meanwhile, Raja falls in love with Janaki (Gouthami), who happens to be Satyamoorthy’s daughter. As Raja resembles Sethupathi, Sathyamoorthy and his 3 friends gain interest in Raja.
Francis is fishing in a lake. Appu uses one of his well trained circus Indian Spitz puppy to lure Francis to an abandoned building, and reveals his identity to him. Francis smirks when he sees that Appu is a dwarf and cannot hurt him due to his bigger size. But Appu uses a Rube Goldbergian contraption to kill him, and the dead body falls in a lorry covered with hay. Raja and Janaki have car trouble and hitchhike a ride in the same lorry, but are oblivious to the dead body. The lorry driver (Kavithalaya Krishnan) discovers the body when he reaches his destination and calls the police. The inspector (Janagaraj) in charge of the case suspects Raja by tracing the car number given by the lorry driver.
Appu kills Nallasivam in a golf course using a tiger from his circus, but Nallasivam’s caddy sees Appu’s face and the tigers tail from afar. This leads the inspector to Raja again, who, coincidentally, is wearing a tiger costume while performing a song at a festival in his street. Janaki becomes enraged when she learns that Raja has killed his father’s friends and breaks up with him.
Raja is released from custody as the postmortem examination has revealed real tiger wounds that could not be inflicted by Raja’s costume. He goes over to Janaki’s house to smooth things over with the inspector following him covertly. When he is talking to her, Appu tricks Sathyamoorthy into killing himself with a circus handgun that shoots backwards. Appu escapes, but Raja and Janaki enter Sathyamoorthy’s room, hearing the gunshot a few moments before the inspector arrives. Janaki faints when she sees her dad dead, and the inspector now believes that Raja shot Sathyamoorthy. Raja too escapes and is on the run while the police had released a sketch of his face to the public. An exhausted Raja is spotted by some people in a market, and they try to catch him. Raja, in an attempt to evade capture, threatens to kill the nearest woman he gets hold of. When the crowd backs down, he releases the woman and escapes. The woman, who incidentally happens to be Kaveri, realizes that Raja is the other twin and seeks out Muniyamma. They both realize that the murders are committed by Appu, and Raja is mistaken as Appu, who overhears this. Dharmaraj believes that it is Raja avenging his father’s death and that he is the next target, and decides to seek out Raja’s mother, and is shocked to see Kaveri, whom he believed to be dead, also present there. Nonetheless, he kidnaps both women and threatens to kill them unless Raja surrenders to him. Appu escapes, helps Raja evade the police, and tells him everything. They both collaborate and go to the circus where their mothers are held captive. With the help of well-trained circus animals, Appu and Raja overpower the goons. Ignoring his mothers call to stop, Appu shoots Dharmaraj, who he falls down and gets eaten by circus lions. Appu surrenders to the police, and Raja is set free and unites with Janaki.
Directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
Produced by Kamal Haasan
Screenplay by Kamal Haasan
Story by Panchu Arunachalam
Starring Kamal Haasan, Gouthami, Rupini, Srividya, Nagesh, Jaishankar, Nassar, Delhi Ganesh, Manorama
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography P. C. Sriram
Edited by B. Lenin & V. T. Vijayan
Production Raaj Kamal Films International
Distributed by Raaj Kamal Films International
Release date 14 April 1989
Running time 150 minutes