Lakshmi is a 2018 Indian Tamil-language musical dance film written and directed by A. L. Vijay. The film stars Prabhu Deva, Ditya Bhande and Aishwarya Rajesh in the lead roles, with a supporting cast including Salman Yusuff Khan and Karunakaran. Produced by Prateek Chakravorty, Shruti Nallappa and R. Ravindran under the banner of Pramod Films and Trident Arts, the film features music composed by Sam C. S. and cinematography by Nirav Shah. The film released on 24 August 2018 on the eve of Varalakshmi Vratam and based on the theme of goddess Lakshmi.
10-year-old Lakshmi lives and breathes ‘Dance’ and dreams of winning the ‘Pride of India Jr.’ title in the national level dance competition. However, her single mother Nandini detests music and dance. Soon, she forms an unlikely bond with the people in a cafe near her school. Though Lakshmi approaches it for the music played in the store, she soon becomes a regular. Vijay Krishna welcomes her when he becomes impressed by her moves, followed reluctantly by waiter Azhagu. Lakshmi gains VK’s sympathy, and he accepts her request for him to help her to achieve her dreams with VK posing as her father. Lakshmi arranges to join the Chennai Dance Academy to be able to participate in the competition without Nandini’s knowledge. Lakshmi enthralls everyone at the academy with her moves and manages to impress dancers Arjun and Arnul into developing small crushes on her.
On the day of selections, she has cold feet and fails to perform due to stage fright, leading to the disqualification of her team. In anger, her dance master Sophia (Arjun’s mother) asks her to leave and never return. When VK learns of this, he comes to the selection arena and requests to give Lakshmi another chance. It is revealed that VK was a dancer who had participated in Pride of India in 2005 but could not make up to the finals due to an accident, which led him to a coma. The selections chief, Yusuf Khan, on seeing VK, accepts and makes him an offer that Lakshmi and her team could come on board the competition if he agrees to be the coach for the team with Sofia. Yusuf was often irritated with VK’s popularity back in the Pride of India 2005 and his jealousy upon him may have been why he came up with this suggestion, as it gives him a chance to beat VK this time with his own dance team. Krishna agrees to be the coach and is able to help the team. In one of the rounds, the kids in Yusuf’s team scatter the stage with pins before VK’s team performs. Lakshmi and Arjun star together in the romantic dance but struggle greatly with the rest of their team, due to the pain from the sharp pins. They all manage to complete the dance but have blood stains all over by the end of it. VK and Sophia seem to be the only ones who notice. They manage to make it to the final round, though in immense pain from the pins.
Nandini gets to know about Lakshmi’s whereabouts and attempts to leaves with her the day before the finals. It is revealed that VK and Nandini were in a relationship but were separated by circumstances and misunderstandings, which was where her dislike for dance may have manifested. When Lakshmi refuses to go with Nandini and goes back to VK, a car accident occurs in which Lakshmi loses her hearing ability. She is not allowed to perform but asks VK why she cannot as it was her hearing she lost and not her legs. She surprises everybody by still arriving on the stage fully in costume, ready to dance and the audience is shocked at how she is able to dance without hearing the music. VK is seen standing in the middle, among the audience, mimicking the dance for her. When VK is held back and unable to mimic the dance movements for Lakshmi, he is surprised to see Lakshmi still dancing. He then notices Yusuf counting the beats for her so she can still dance in time without the music, and the kids in him team assisting the kids in VK’s team in holding back the men trying to stop VK from assisting Lakshmi in her dance. Lakshmi wins in the end.
Directed by A. L. Vijay
Produced by Prateek Chakravorty, Shruti Nallappa & R. Ravindran
Written by A. L. Vijay & Ajayan Bala
Screenplay by A. L. Vijay
Story by A. L. Vijay & Nirav Shah
Starring Prabhu Deva, Ditya Bhande, Aishwarya Rajesh, Salman Yusuff Khan
Music by Sam C. S.
Cinematography Nirav Shah
Edited by Anthony
Production Pramod Films & Trident Arts
Release date 24 August 2018
Running time 130 minutes