Raja Rani (English: King, Queen) is a 2013 Tamil romantic comedy movie directed by debutant Atlee, who previously worked with Shankar as an assistant in Enthiran (2010) and Nanban (2012). Produced by AR Murugadoss and Fox Star Studios, Raja Rani features Arya, Jai, Nayantara and Nazriya Nazim in the lead roles while Sathyaraj, Santhanam and Sathyan appear in supporting roles. The film released worldwide on 27 September 2013, to generally positive reviews from critics. The Telugu dubbed version is also titled as Raja Rani and was released on March 14, 2014.
Raja Rani begins with the marriage of John (Arya) and Regina (Nayantara) at a church. The marriage is an arranged one, to which both have consented reluctantly to make their parents happy. After the marriage, they live together as strangers in their apartment, where the neighbours are upset with John who comes home drunk every night, which he does deliberately to annoy Regina. Eventually, Regina applies for a transfer to Australia to stay away from John.
One night, Regina falls down with fits. John calls an ambulance and takes Regina to the hospital, where he is unable to respond to the doctor’s queries about Regina’s age and medical history. When he goes to apologise to the doctor later on, he is told that it is important to know about his wife’s health, even if he dislikes her. John then asks Regina about her health issues, and she reveals that she had fits twice in the past. The movie now goes into flashback mode as she explains her past and the love of her life, Surya (Jai).
While in college, she falls in love with Surya, who works in the call center of a mobile company. Surya gets selected for airline cabin-crew training in the US. They decide to inform their parents about their love but his father objects to their relationship and hence they decide to get married without informing their parents. On the designated day, Surya fails to show up at the register office for the wedding. Regina’s father James (Sathyaraj) feels sorry for his daughter and takes Regina to Surya’s house, where they learn that Surya has already left for the US. A few days later, Regina gets a call from Surya’s friend Aiyappan (Sathyan Sivakumar), saying that Surya had committed suicide in the US. In her shock, she suffers fits for the first time.
Upon hearing this story, John begins to like Regina and now has immense respect for her. Regina, however, continues to treat John with scant respect, until one day, when Sarathy (Santhanam) comes to their flat and reveals John’s past in the second major flashback of the movie. John had fallen in love with Keerthana (Nazriya Nazim), and they eventually get married. On the day after their marriage, Keerthana is hit by a car while crossing the road, and she dies in front of John.
Regina now begins to like John. Though they like each other, they never reveal it to each other. Finally, on John’s birthday, Regina gives John a gift and insists that he open it alone, but John never opens the gift as he thinks that Regina is only pretending to be affectionate in front of her father.
Regina’s request for the transfer to Australia is approved. When she tells John, while he was having a beer that she bought for him, he asks her to go ahead with her plans, as he thinks that she was trying to bribe him with the beer to get him to agree to a divorce, while she actually wanted him to express his love for her.
John drops off Regina at the airport. When he is about to leave the airport, he gets a call from Regina, who tells him that she saw Surya at the emigration counter. John rushes off to meet Surya and tries to get him to accept Regina. Surya says that he was forced to leave by his father and that he faked his suicide so that Regina would get over him. Surya says that he is now happily married and tells John that one cannot always marry the girl he loves, but should always love the girl he marries. As he leaves, he glances at the ring in his hand, which was gifted to him by Regina, showing that Surya will always live with the memories of their relationship.
Regina, who is terribly angry, slaps John as she never wanted to get back with Surya, as that was the past. Regina throws the gift that John never opened. When he opens it he finds the words “Let us begin our life”. John and Regina realise their love for each other and begin their life together.
Directed by Atlee
Produced by AR Murugadoss & S. Shanmugam
Written by Atlee
Starring Arya, Nayantara, Jai, Nazriya Nazim, Sathyaraj, Santhanam, Sathyan
Music by G. V. Prakash Kumar
Cinematography George C. Williams
Edited by Anthony L. Ruben
Production A.R Murugadoss Productions & The Next Big Film
Distributed by Fox Star Studios
Release dates 27 September 2013
Running time 160 minutes