Seethakaathi is a 2018 Tamil language art drama film written and directed by Balaji Tharaneetharan, starring Vijay Sethupathi in the lead role. The film began production in April 2017. The film marks as Vijay Sethupathi’s 25th film in leading roles. Upon release the film received very positive reviews from critics.
Ayya Aadhimoolam (Vijay Sethupathi) is a famous theatre actor who refuses to act in films because he only wants to act in front of a live audience. In recent years due to films and various other means, Ayya’s plays attract a meager audience which bothers him. During an act, Ayya dies, but Ayya’s assistant Parasuraman (Moulee) continues to stage plays. During a rehearsal, he observes that two actors are very talented. During the play, he observes that Saravanan (Rajkumar), a budding actor bows down to the audience even when the curtains are closed, he affirms that Ayya’s spirit is still acting. Saravanan afterwards acts in a film directed by Thyagu which becomes a success. It is revealed that not Saravanan but Ayya acted in the film because he liked the story of the film. Saravanan signs a film without Parasuraman’s knowledge who selects the script for him. Afterwards, during director Sundar (Bagavathi Perumal)’s shoot, Ayya’s spirit suddenly stops acting after which it is revealed to the media that Ayya acted in the films which featured Saravanan as the lead. Afterwards various producers approach Ayya for their film and Parasumaran selects the scripts of the film on the basis of content. This makes Ayya a huge superstar in Tamil Cinema. A producer Dhanapal (Sunil Reddy) wants Ayya to act in his film but doesn’t reveal that he inserts action and song sequences. When Parasumaran comes to know that Dhanapal is behind this, he is aghast. Afterwards, due to Dhanapal’s deception, Ayya stops acting permanently but Dhanapal who wants to complete his film at any cost pressurizes Parasumaran and Ayya’s family. After lodging a complaint, the Producers council alleges that Ayya didn’t act in the first place and that they are fraudsters. The case goes to court where Ayya’s family gets footage of Dhanapal’s film. Dhanapal alleges that they stole his film but the film is presented as an exhibit for the Judge (J. Mahendran) who observes Dhanapal’s acting and tells him to act in the film but Dhanapal refuses to act which implies that Ayya acted in the film. The Judge concludes that a man cannot be separated from his art and Ayya though not here but somewhere he is there for his art. After the case ends a school play is shown where the lead actor bows down for a long time implying that Ayya’s spirit is still alive.
Directed by Balaji Tharaneetharan
Produced by Sudhan Sundaram, Umesh G., Jayaram & Arun Vaidyanathan
Written by Balaji Tharaneetharan
Starring Vijay Sethupathi, Mouli, Archana
Music by Govind Vasantha
Cinematography Saraskanth T. K.
Edited by R. Govindaraj
Production Passion Studios
Distributed by Trident Arts
Release date 20 December 2018
Running time 173 minutes