Priya is a 1978 Tamil movie directed by SP. Muthuraman, starring Rajinikanth, Sridevi, Major Sundarrajan and Ambarish. The story is an adaptation from writer Sujatha’s Ganesh – Vasanth novels. The film was a blockbuster and completed a 175-day run at the box office. The soundtrack features five songs composed by Ilayaraja, with lyrics by Panju Arunachalam.
Priya (Sridevi) is a movie star, who is exploited by her producer Janardhan (Major Sundarrajan). Janardhan has such a tight control over Priya’s financial and personal affairs that he refuses to let her get married to her boyfriend Bharat (Ambarish).
Before she flies off to Singapore for a film shoot, Priya seeks the help of Lawyer Ganesh (Rajnikant) to get rid of Janardhan. How Ganesh helps Priya overcome her problems accounts for the rest of this movie, which includes a side story of Ganesh falling in love with a Malay-Indian girl. The original story written by Sujatha was based in London setting with the Scotland Yard playing a central role. But the film adaptation chose a Singapore backdrop and no role for the police force.
Entertaining as it is, the movie is not without its irritating moments. The fight scenes are so crude that they are beyond belief. As for Ambarish, his acting in Priya must surely rank as the nadir in the annals of the motion picture industry. He’s just plain awful. Mercifully for Tamil film viewers, Ambarish focused his energies almost exclusively on Kannada films after Priya. The songs in Priya add to the appeal of this movie. Our favorites were Enn Uir Neethane and Darling Darling.
Directed by SP. Muthuraman
Produced by S. P. Thamizharasi
Written by Sujatha & Panchu Arunachalam
Starring Rajinikanth, Sridevi, Ambarish, Singapore Asha, Major Sundarrajan
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Edited by R. Vittal
Release dates 22 December 1978 (Tamil) 12 January 1979 (Kannada)
Running time 192 mins
Language Tamil / Kannada