Tenaliraman (previously titled Jagajala Pujabala Tenaliraman) is a 2014 Tamil historical fiction comedy movie directed by Yuvaraj Dhayalan of Potta Potti fame. Vadivelu stars in this film in dual roles. Meenakshi Dixit plays the heroine in the film.
The movie opens to a prologue, where King Parasbaram (Radha Ravi), ruler of a small rival kingdom and the nine ministers of the great Empire of Vikata Nagaram are on their way to a Chinese consulate’s mansion. They are warmly welcomed by General Wang (Wilson Ng) and courtesan Hong (Vivienne Tseng) once they reach there. The Chinese consulate, headed by Chao Gong Gong (Nickson Cheng), wishes to engage in trade with the people of the Kingdom of Vikata Nagaram and reap the benefits. Thus, the ministers strike a deal with Parasbaram and the ministers to help them, promising them a huge share of the benefits. One of the ministers, Nandivarma Rayar (Joe Malloori) objects to this, saying that he doesn’t want to betray the King and his people for money. Chao Gong Gong realising that he is of no use to the plan, has courtesan Hong kill him with a poisoned needle from her hair.
The film then introduces Tenaliraman (Vadivelu as the witty common man) who captures a gang of thieves (led by “Besant Nagar” Ravi) and teaches them a lesson. He then takes off for Vikata Nagaram where he meets the feisty Princess Maadhulai (Meenakshi Dixit), daughter of the King of Vikata Nagaram, and defeats her in an arm wrestling competition.
The film’s plot then shifts to the King (Vadivelu again, as the King of Vikata Nagaram), who is ruling over his kingdom along with his nine ministers, whom he claims to be the Navarathnams (nine jewels) of his court. The most interesting aspect is that the King has a rather large family comprising 36 wives and 52 children and is confined mostly to his palace. He believes his people are happy based on the sayings and reports of his ministers. In reality, the people are being robbed and cheated by the corrupt ministers and are living in poverty. During his administration, he realizes the absence of Nandivarma Rayar and asks about it to his ministers, who reply that he had died. The King then declares that a new minister be appointed in Nandivarma Rayar’s stead. The guards then announce the news in public. Tenaliraman overhears the news and goes to the palace as a candidate for Nandivarma Rayar’s post.
Directed by Yuvaraj Dhayalan
Produced by Kalpathi S. Aghoram Kalpathi S. Ganesh Kalpathi S. Suresh
Written by Yuvaraj Dhayalan
Starring Vadivelu, Meenakshi Dixit
Music by D. Imman
Cinematography Ramnath Shetty
Edited by Raja Mohammed
Production AGS Entertainment
Distributed by AGS Entertainment
Release dates 18 April 2014
Running time 146 mins
Language Tamil / Mandarin