Thuppakki (Eng: The Gun) is a 2012 Indian Tamil-language action film written and directed by AR Murugadoss. It features Vijay and Kajal Aggarwal in the lead roles, Vidyut Jammwal as the antagonist, as well as Jayaram and Sathyan in supporting roles. The film, produced by S. Thanu, features background score and soundtrack composed by Harris Jayaraj with cinematography handled by Santhosh Sivan, who with Thuppakki, introduced the Arri Alexa camera to Indian cinema. The story revolves around an Indian army intelligence officer from a Mumbai-based Tamil family on a mission to track down and destroy a terrorist group and deactivate the sleeper cells under its command.
The film, which commenced production in December 2011 in Mumbai, was released on 13 November 2012, coinciding with the festival of Diwali. Upon release, the film became the highest grossing Tamil film of 2012. The film was also released in Telugu under the same title in Andhra Pradesh, where it was also very well received. Thuppakki went on to win six Vijay Awards from sixteen nominations, and was nominated for seven South Filmfare Awards, including Best Film (Tamil), Best Director (Tamil) and Best Actor (Tamil). Murugadoss remade the film in Hindi as Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty in 2014, while Baba Yadav remade it in Bengali as Game in the same year. The film has also been dubbed into Hindi as Indian Soldier Never on Holiday by Goldmines Telefilms.
Jagadish (Vijay), a captain in the Indian Army, returns to Mumbai from Kashmir. On his arrival, his parents and younger sisters force him to see Nisha (Kajal Aggarwal), who they choose for him to be married to. At the bride-viewing ceremony, Jagadish makes up excuses to avoid marrying her, which includes commenting about her being old-fashioned. On the contrary, Nisha is a college-level boxer, who is completely modern in her outlook. Jagadish realises this and proposes to her, which after initial refusal, she reciprocates.
One day, while travelling around the city with his police officer-friend Balaji (Sathyan), Jagadish witnesses the explosion of a bus in which they had travelled. He manages to capture the man (Gautham Kurup) who laid the bomb, but he escapes from the hospital where he was kept under custody. Jagadish kidnaps the bomber again, and also forces the police officer who helped the bomber’s escape, to commit suicide. Jagadish soon learns that the bomber is a mere executor, a sleeper agent, whose only role was to plant the bomb. He also discovers that the Islamic terrorist group Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, which the bomber belongs to, has planned various such attacks in the city in a couple of days. Enlisting the help of his fellow Army men and Balaji, Jagadish manages to thwart these attacks and kill the sleeper cell leader’s brother and eleven other terrorists, including the previously captured sleeper cell agent.
When the leader of the terrorist group (Vidyut Jammwal) learns about the role of Jagdish in the failure of the terrorist attack, he begins to target the families of the army men, except Jagadish, by kidnapping someone close to them. When Jagadish realises the plan, he substitutes one of the people to be kidnapped, with his younger sister Sanjana (Deepthi Nambiar). Using his pet dog and his sister’s dupatta, he manages to reach the terrorists’ hideout, rescuing his sister, who was about to be killed after Jagadish’s bluff was exposed, and the other victims and eliminating the terrorists assembled there. Asif Ali (MD Asif), the second-in-command of the sleeper cells is captured and killed by Jagdish.
When this attack fails, the terrorist leader decides to target Jagadish himself. He asks Jagadish to surrender to him or else there would be more terrorist attacks. Jagadish decides to sacrifice his life and devises a plan with his fellow army men. Jagadish meets the leader in a ship, which has been rigged with a bomb planted by Jagadish’s friend. When he learns about the leader’s plan of infiltrating the Indian Army with sleeper agents with the help of a traitor in the Indian Defense — Kameeruddin (Zakir Hussain), Jagadish decides to abandon his suicidal plan. He mocks the leader and compels him to a fight before escaping in a boat, with the leader as hostage. After the ship explodes, he kills the bewildered leader. Jagadish confronts Kameeruddin and forces him to commit suicide, before returning to Kashmir along with his fellow army men.
Directed by AR Murugadoss
Produced by Kalaipuli S. Dhanu
Written by AR Murugadoss
Starring Vijay, Kajal Aggarwal, Sathyan, Vidyut Jamwal
Music by Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography Santosh Sivan
Edited by A. Sreekar Prasad
Production V Creations
Distributed by Gemini Film Circuit & SVR Media (Telugu)
Release dates 13 November 2012
Running time 174 minutes