Asuravadham (Eng: Killing Demons) is a 2018 Indian Tamil action drama thriller film based on rural areas written and directed by Maruthupandian and produced by Leela Lalitkumar. Govind Menon scored the music to the film and cinematography is handled by S.R Kathiir. The film was earlier scheduled to have its theatrical release on 13 April 2018 coinciding the Puthandu but was postponed to 29 June 2018 due to Kollywood strike which resulted in a standoff between Nadigar Sangam and Digital Service Providers on the increase of VPF charges. The film had its theatrical release on 29 June and received mixed reviews from critics and audience and emerged as an average hit.
Asuravadham begins with a phone call. We see Samayan (Vasumitra) trying to convince his irate father-in-law that he doesn’t cheat on his wife. He ends the call and moves away to the adjacent room when the phone rings. He goes to pick it up, but the call ends. He sees the number. An unknown number. He ignores it and turns back, but the phone rings again! And the call ends before he can attend it. This happens a few times, infuriating the man. He tries to call back, but the person on the other end cuts the call without answering. Finally, the call is answered and the voice on the other end threatens him saying that he will fear for his life in the next few days and after a week, he will not be alive, and then tells him to button up his shirt. A panic-stricken Samayan rushes out of his house to see if he is being spied upon, but there is no one — apart from a few familiar faces who are doing their job.
Right in this brief opening stretch, Marudhupandian, who had previously directed Chennai Ungalai Anbudan Varaverkirathu, a film that showcased potential, sets up the eerie tone of Asuravadham and hooks us in. In the next few scenes, we learn that Samayan has a weakness for women, and see the face of the caller who threatened him. This bearded man (Sasikumar), whose name and back story we learn only in the pre-climax portion, keeps turning up everywhere Samayan goes to (even to his house), and tries to scare him off. Samayan ropes in a bunch of men to protect him, but the sickle-wielding group is no match for the gun-toting stranger. After a point, the former badly needs to know who his tormentor is.
And like him, throughout its first half, Asuravadham keeps us guessing about who this guy is and why he is so determined to finish Samayan off. For a while, the doggedness of this guy reminds you of the protagonist of Badlapur, who was also hell-bent on seeking revenge. But that film gave us the reason in its very first minutes. And unlike its multi-layered antagonist, Samayan, here, is a little one-note. Right from the first scene till the last, we mainly see him exclaiming, ‘Dei! Yaaru daa nee?’ Even his accomplices, like his friend (Rajasimman) and a cop (Srijith Ravi) are written the same way.
Directed by Maruthupandian
Produced by Leela Lalitkumar
Screenplay by Maruthupandian
Starring M. Sasikumar, Nandita Swetha
Music by Govind Menon
Cinematography S. R. Kathir
Edited by R. Govindaraj
Production Seven Screen Studios
Release date 29 June 2018
Running time 122 minutes