Bommalattam (Eng: Puppet Show) is a 2008 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film written and directed by Bharathiraja. The film stars Arjun Sarja and Nana Patekar, while Kajal Aggarwal, Rukmini Vijayakumar, Vivek, and Manivannan play supporting roles. The music was composed by Himesh Reshammiya with cinematography by B. Kannan. The film released on 12 December 2008.
Originally filmed in Hindi under the title Cinema, the film was released first in Tamil. The Hindi version retitled Final Cut of Director had a limited release in 2016.
The opening scene shows director Rana shooting a scene in his upcoming film with his film’s heroine. As he is unhappy with the way the heroine behaves, he decides to find another heroine. He finally finds Trishna suited as his heroine but never discloses her identity to the media, and the film’s wallpapers also do not show the hero or the heroine. Finally, the film gets completed, and Rana needs to attend a press meet regarding his film’s release, but he does not go the press meet and is shown to have had an illegal relationship with Trishna. At this instant, the film producer calls him, and the media discovers where he is and with whom. The media people gather at the hotel where Rana stays, and he manages to escape from them and get into a car. They start chasing him, and Rana kills Trishna by creating an accident-like situation.
In this situation, SP Vivek Verma, a CBI officer, takes charge for this murder case along with two previous murder cases which were also suspected to be done by Rana. As a suspicion, Rana is arrested and taken into CBI custody. There, Vivek starts his interrogation. In between this, a poet named Anitha, who is also a crazy fan of Rana, is shown as Vivek’s lover, and she was also an assistant to Rana during his film shooting. Finally during interrogation, Rana reveals of how he found Trishna and their relationship.
Trishna was a dancer who used to dance in temples and small-time shows across Andhra Pradesh. Rana hires her as his new muse, and they are shown to share a very intimate relationship. When a hairdresser is left without a place to sleep, Rana offers her a place in his room, and another unit member informs Rana’s wife. The next morning, as Rana is once again shown to share a very close rapport with Trishna, his wife arrives, beats up the hairdresser, and accuses Rana of being a womanizer. Rana still continues shooting, appearing to be unperturbed by the incident but cries lightly while instructing his actors. He and his assistant are also shown to share a special and close relationship, as she comforts him later on. However, at the same village in which they are shooting, they face troubles in the form of the village chief, who is notorious and constantly lusts over Trishna. Rana states at one point that he would kill the chief should he cause more inconvenience. The next day, the chief is murdered. Vivek recalls this and states that Rana committed this murder, but Rana neither agrees or denies this statement.
Rana is later admitted to the hospital as he faints shortly after the interrogation, but Vivek pursues him there and recollects the incident of the second murder. After finishing their schedule at the village, the unit heads to Malaysia to continue the film shooting. There, Rana has to meet another nuisance in terms of the financier’s son, who is also the film’s second hero. He flirts around with Trishna and constantly tries to approach her, which she is uncomfortable with. Shortly afterwards, he is found murdered as well. Once again, Rana neither agrees or denies doing this murder. Anitha, upon witnessing what Vivek is doing, confronts him and accuses him of trying to pin down Rana. She offers her body in exchange of Rana being left alone, but Vivek reveals to her the complications that exist in the investigation. The badly burnt body in the car which fell from the cliff belongs to a man and not a woman, and all the evidence that exists at the crime scene are all fake, which are used for cinema.
With the mystery lingering, Rana is released due to the absence of strong evidence to convict him. He goes off to live in a secluded bungalow with his assistant. Vivek too arrives there and finally uncovers the mystery. Trishna is revealed to be a boy and not a girl. Babu, being his real name, comes from a very poor background, and his mother raised him as a woman since childhood; thus, his demeanor has become womanly since small. Rana sees an opportunity to take up a unique challenge by introducing him as a heroine and at the same time provide financial aid to his struggling family. Babu had killed the village chief after the latter discovered Babu’s gender identity and demanded that Babu sleep with him in return of the truth not being revealed. When the financier’s son tells him that he has taken his picture while he is bathing (which he did not), Babu killed him too. Rana asks Vivek to give the boy the least available sentence, but Vivek decides to let the boy go. Rana thanks Vivek, but Vivek says that Rana is a greater human being than he is a director.
Directed by Bharathiraja
Written by Bharathiraja
Produced by Pandiyan & Dr. Raj T. Rajan
Starring Arjun Sarja, Nana Patekar, Kajal Aggarwal, Rukmini Vijayakumar, Vivek
Narrated by Bharathiraja
Cinematography B. Kannan
Edited by K. M. K. Palanivel
Music by Songs: Himesh Reshammiya Background Score: Monty Sharma
Production Therkathi Kalaikoodam
Release date 12 December 2008