Kaithi (Eng: Prisoner) is a 2019 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film written and directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. The film stars Karthi in the main lead role with Narain and Dheena in pivotal roles. It is produced by S. R. Prakashbabu and S. R. Prabhu under the banner Dream Warrior Pictures and co-produced by Tiruppur Vivek under the banner Vivekananda Pictures. The film score and soundtrack was composed by Sam C. S. The cinematography was handled by Sathyan Sooryan, and edited by Philomin Raj. The film was released on 25 October 2019, coinciding with Diwali. Kaithi received largely positive reviews from critics.
At a children’s hostel for orphaned girls, a 10 year old girl named Amudha is told by the carers that someone important is going to meet her at 10:00 AM, the next morning. She waits, wondering who it may be.
A smuggling van carrying a ton of drugs and a group of smugglers are captured by Inspector Bejoy and his team. The drugs belong to Adaikalam, who none of the police officers have seen nor know how he looks. Adaikalam’s brother Anbu plans to capture the five police officials, kill them, and take their drugs back from them. According to Anbu’s plan, all of the police officials in the city get high and unconscious after consuming poisoned drinks at a higher official’s retirement party. Bejoy, who avoided the drinks as he was under medication, escapes from the plan and tries to save the lives of all the unconscious officials without letting the media or anyone else from the outside finding out. He convinces Dilli, an ex-prisoner who happened to be there with him as he was detained for looking suspicious (and being the only one who can drive the lorry) to help him save the officers’ lives by promising him that he will help him meet his daughter Amudha for the first time the next morning with the help of a lorry borrowed from Kamatchi, a caterer at the Inspector General of Police’s mansion. As Kamatchi has good knowledge of routes and roads, Dilli tells him to come with them as well. Dilli, Bejoy, and Kamatchi together load the unconscious bodies of the officials onto the lorry and get them to the hospital as soon as possible without letting the gangsters get their bodies.
As Anbu enlists money as the reward for catching the policemen, gangsters from Anbu’s gangs try to hunt down where the policemen and Bejoy are. They are guided by Paalpandi, a corrupt cop (recruited by Stephen Raj, Zonal Head of Narcotics Division working for Anbu) who is acting unconscious while giving information about the location of the lorry to the gangs.
Meanwhile, at commissioner’s office, the drugs are hidden along with Adaikalam’s men who are under custody. As Anbu and his gang would take the drugs and free Adaikalam’s men, Bejoy orders constable Napoleon and a group of college students detained due to drunken driving, to close all the possible exits and to try and keep the gangsters outside the commisoner’s office at the cost of their own lives while they wait for higher officials.
Dilli, Bejoy and Kamatchi come across the various gangs, who are fighting for who will capture the five policemen, only to be killed by Dilli. Back at the building Napoleon is told by Bejoy to negotiate a deal with the captured men of Adaikalam to call Anbu, and inform him that Napoleon will release the men in return they go away and leave him and the students unharmed. But it is then revealed that Adaikalam is among those who are captured, so they don’t release them. Adaikalam tries to guide Anbu into the commissioner’s office, but one of the students purposely blasts loud music to keep him from hearing Adaikalam. Anbu manages to climb up to the roof and break into the building, but he is subdued by the students and tied up.
Dilli and Kamatchi manage to transfer the unconscious officers to a school bus from the hospital, so that they can continue to the commissoner’s office. Paalpandi then convinces them that he is alright, so they take him with them. However, they come across another gang who beats up Bejoy and Paalpandi stabs Dilli twice in the back. Dilli still manages to kill Paalpandi and the gangsters, while rescuing Bejoy and proceeding to the building. Anbu’s gang outside the building manage to catch a student, and under the order of Anbu, they kill him. Napoleon bludgeons and kills Anbu with a fire extinguisher, to which Adaikalam swears he will kill all of them and their families. Dilli, Bejoy and Kamatchi make it to the building. Dilli alone enters the building through a secret underground passage and sends the students out through the secret passage, while he and Napoleon go to burn up all the drugs, but they instead find a confiscated Gatling gun and Dilli uses it to kill Anbu’s gang outside the building. Bejoy thanks Dilli, and lets him meet his daughter Amudha.
One of the captured men tells Adaikalam that Dilli, who had no connection with the gangs, was the reason for all of this, to which Adaikalam responds by saying that he does, leaving open the possibility for a sequel.
Directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj
Produced by S. R. Prakashbabu, S. R. Prabhu & Thiruppur Vivek
Starring Karthi, Narain, Dheena
Music by Sam C. S.
Cinematography Sathyan Sooryan
Edited by Philomin Raj
Production Dream Warrior Pictures & Vivekananda Pictures
Release date 25 October 2019
Running time 144 minutes