Pokkiri (Eng: Rogue) is a 2007 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film directed by Prabhu Deva. An official remake of the 2006 Telugu-language film Pokiri, it stars Vijay and Asin in the lead roles with Prakash Raj, Nassar, Vadivelu, Sriman and Napoleon playing supporting roles. Mumaith Khan and Prabhu Deva make guest appearances. Nirav Shah handled cinematography while Kola Bhaskar was Pokkiri’s editor. Filming took place in India and Australia.
Set in Chennai, Pokkiri revolves around a thug prepared to do anything for the sake of money, even if that means killing. His killer instincts help him win the attention of two rival gangs, out of which he joins one and helps its members finish off their rivals. On the other hand, he also attempts to save his girlfriend, who disapproves of his violent behavior, from a corrupt cop hellbent on marrying her against her will.
Pokkiri was released theatrically on 12 January 2007 and received praise for its action sequences, humor and songs. It became a commercial success, running for more than 200 days at the box office. The film also had a Blu-ray release in United Kingdom on 21 June 2009. In 2019, the film also had a limited re-release on the occasion of Vijay’s birthday.
The city of Chennai is rife with the nefarious activities of land mafia. There are two rival gangs: one under Ali Bhai (Prakash Raj), who resides in Dubai and controls his India operations through his brothers Guru (Vincent Asokan) and Korattur Logu (Subbaraju) as well as his girlfriend Mona (Brinda Parekh); and another operated by a local goon named Narasimhan (Anandaraj). They threaten builders and landowners into giving them protection money or property through force, extortion, or murder. Mohammed Maideen Khan (Napoleon) takes charge as the new Police Commissioner of Chennai and starts cracking down on crime.
Tamizh (Vijay), a thug, is abducted by Logu and his henchmen. Tamizh has taken a contract from Narasimhan to beat up Logu, which he does. However, Guru and Mona invite Tamizh to join their gang. Tamizh declines stating that he does not work for any gang, but is ready to do anything for money. Meanwhile, Tamizh falls in love with Shruthi (Asin), when he visits his friend Saravanan’s (Sriman) aerobics class, but she mistakes him for a thug. Shruthi, a college student, lives with her widowed mother Lakshmi (Sriranjani) and younger brother Pappu (Master Bharath). Body Soda (Vadivelu), a bogus kung fu master, lives above Shruthi’s house and frequently, albeit comically and unsuccessfully, tries to convince her to marry him. Inspector Govindan (Mukesh Tiwari) is a corrupt police inspector in the colony where Tamizh and Shruthi live and is on Ali Bhai’s payroll. He lusts for Shruthi and decides to make her his mistress, even after she rejects him multiple times.
Tamizh’s first assignment with Ali Bhai’s gang is to kill a member of Narasimhan’s gang. However, police show up at the spot where Tamizh and the other gangsters are waiting. Tamizh engages the cops long enough for the others to finish the task and flee. He also helps Shruthi escape from Govindan. She is impressed by his kindness, and a friendship soon blossoms between the two, leading to the development of unspoken romantic feelings for each other. When Shruthi tries to express her feelings to Tamizh, they are attacked by members of Narasimhan’s gang, whom Tamizh finishes off. Shruthi is shocked to learn that Tamizh is a gangster with no qualms about killing people. Later, Govindan arranges for some thugs to pretend to rape Shruthi so that no decent family will want to take her as their daughter-in-law, as a result of which with no other option, Shruthi and Lakshmi will accept his demands. Tamizh learns of this and thrashes Govindan incognito. After much ado and mental anguish, Shruthi accepts Tamizh’s love.
Soon, Guru is found dead, presumably killed by Narasimhan in retaliation against the death of his gang members at the hands of Tamizh earlier, which forces Ali Bhai to come to Chennai from Dubai and kill Narasimhan. He also meets Tamizh to discuss the killing of a minister by blowing up a school. Tamizh disagrees with Ali Bhai’s method as it would involve killing innocents including women and children. In the middle of their argument, the police raids the club and arrests Ali Bhai. His gang members retaliate by kidnapping Mohammed’s daughter, drugging her, and creating a lewd video of her which they threaten to release to the media if Ali Bhai is not released, forcing the embattled commissioner to release Ali Bhai. However, in her drugged state, Mohammed’s daughter reveals that her father had placed a mole in Ali Bhai’s gang.
The gang members find out that an IPS police officer by the name of Satyamoorthy, the son of a retired police inspector Shanmugavel (Nassar), has gone undercover to finish off the underworld mafia gangs and is now a part of their gang. Ali Bhai kills Satyamoorthy in front of Shanmugavel. However, it is revealed that the person who died was actually Saravanan, who was Shanmugavel’s adopted son. Ali Bhai then kills Shanmugavel, hoping that the real Satyamoorthy would come to see his father’s body and avenge his death. When the real Satyamoorthy actually turns up, everyone, especially Shruthi and Govindan, are shocked to see that he is none other than Tamizh. Satyamoorthy (Tamizh) had gone undercover by posing himself as a criminal. It is further revealed that Satyamoorthy was the one who killed Guru and not Narasimhan. He killed Guru under the Commissioner’s direction.
After Shanmugavel and Saravanan’s funerals, Satyamoorthy forces Govindan to call Ali Bhai to find out his location, which is Binny Mills. He goes there and starts to eliminate Ali Bhai’s gang members one by one, rescuing the commissioner’s daughter in the process. In a final confrontation, Satyamoorthy kills Ali Bhai by slashing his throat with a broken glass window, following which he kills Govindan as well.
Directed by Prabhu Deva
Produced by S.Sathyaramamoorthy
Written by V. Prabhakar
Screenplay by Prabhu Deva
Story by Puri Jagannadh
Based on Pokiri by Jagannadh
Starring Vijay, Asin, Prakash Raj, Napoleon, Mukesh Tiwari, Vadivelu, Nassar
Music by Mani Sharma
Cinematography Nirav Shah
Edited by Kola Bhaskar
Production Kanagarathna Movies
Distributed by Aascar Films
Release date 12 January 2007
Running time 165 minutes