Varalaru (Eng: Biography), is a 2006 Indian Tamil-language action drama film written and directed by K. S. Ravikumar, and produced by S. S. Chakravarthy under their production house NIC Arts. The film stars Ajith Kumar in a triple role as a father and his two sons, alongside Asin and Kanika as the female leads; whilst Ramesh Khanna, Suman Setty, Sujatha and M. S. Baskar play other supporting roles. The film’s soundtrack and background score were composed by A. R. Rahman. It ran for 175 days.
Prior to release, Varalaru was known by its original title Godfather, but following the Government of Tamil Nadu’s motion to exempt tax on films titled in Tamil in 2006, the film’s title was changed. After two years of production, the film released on 20 October 2006 during the eve of Diwali, and emerged as the biggest grosser of the year.
Shivashankar, a wheelchair-using multi-millionaire, sends his spoilt son Vishnu to Thottapuram to help the poor. Vishnu does not want to go, but a local pizza restaurateur convinces Vishnu and his friends that the village is one big brothel. Thottapuram is actually a sacred village and the restaurateur had purposefully deceived Vishnu and his friends. Also visiting the village are Divya and her college classmates. They come for their social activity course to improve the village’s health and hygiene. A large building is reserved for him and the girls are asked to stay in the poor families’ houses. Vishnu and his friends arrive and start to woo the girls, whom they mistake for Thottapuram’s prostitutes. When Divya discovers their plan, she and her friends decide to teach Vishnu and his friends a lesson.
Vishnu and his friends are wooed by Divya and the other girls. They are led to separate rooms where the girls inject a serum that makes them itch all over. They leave, screaming and scratching. Vishnu tells Divya to leave her profession and offers to save her honour by marrying her in the village temple the next day. Divya does not come, but Vishnu and his friends happen to see her leaving on a bus bearing the name of the girls’ college, revealing that they have been duped. But, Divya got guilt ridden when she watches him carrying mangala sutra and really got ready to marry her. Depressed and feeling cheated, Vishnu returns home, Shivshankar discovers that his son has fallen in love. With his influence, Vishnu and Divya get engaged. Everything goes well until one night, Vishnu goes to Divya’s house in a drunken state. Her family prevent him from talking to her. This eventually leads to a fight. Vishnu then goes to Divya’s cousin’s house to meet Divya and apologise for his behaviour, but suddenly attempts to rape Divya’s cousin which Divya got horrified when noticing. Then on the same day at night, Vishnu tries to kill Shivashankar, but is stopped by Ko Thandam, Sivashankar’s P.A., who got stabbed by Vishnu. Disappointed with Vishnu’s behaviour, Shivashankar sends Vishnu to a psychiatrist .
It is then revealed that Jeeva, Vishnu’s twin, had assumed Vishnu’s identity, took money from the bank, got drunk and went to Divya’s place and attempted to rape Divya’s cousin. Jeeva hates Shivashankar for abandoning him and his mentally-challenged mother Gayathri. Later, Divya manages to sneak into Vishnu’s room in the hospital and believes his explanation that he is innocent. She leaves and shortly afterwards, Jeeva appears, smuggles and dumps Vishnu out of the hospital, takes over his identity and goes to kill Shivashankar. The father notices that it is not his son and gets out of his wheelchair to defend himself, much to Jeeva’s surprise. Vishnu arrives at the scene, surprised that his father is able to walk and demands an explanation.
Shivashankar tells him that he was a Bharatanatyam dancer who behaved effeminately due to dancing. His mother had arranged for Shivashankar to marry her friend’s daughter Gayathri (Jeeva’s mother). He agreed but the girl rejected Shivashankar for being too effeminate and insulted him in front of the wedding crowd. Unable to bear the embarrassment, Shivashankar’s mother died on the spot. Enraged, Shivashankar raped and impregnated Gayathri. The doctor refused to give her an abortion, leading to Vishnu’s birth. Shivashankar took his child from her mother saying the child would be the only hope of his life. But, unknown to Sivashankar, right after he left Gayathri gave birth to another son, whom we later get to know as Jeeva(Vishnu’s Twin).
Jeeva escapes and threatens Vishnu and Divya’s wedding. Shivashankar attempts to stop him when Jeeva’s grandmother arrives and explains that Jeeva is also Shivashankar’s son and Vishnu’s twin, and that Jeeva’s mother went insane when Jeeva was about to get hit by a lorry. Jeeva realises his mistake. He wants Shivashankar to shoot him, but a police officer mistakenly thinks that Jeeva is pointing a gun at Shivashankar. He fires at Jeeva, but Shivashankar intervenes and is shot dead instead. Jeeva accepts Shivashankar’s apology and is then arrested and jailed for a long term.
Weeks later, Jeeva’s mother does not accept food from anyone, until Vishnu comes dressed up as Jeeva and feeds her. The film ends with Vishnu telling her that Shivashankar is the godfather of the family.
Directed by K. S. Ravikumar
Produced by S. S. Chakravarthy
Written by K. S. Ravikumar
Screenplay by K. S. Ravikumar
Story by RK Celluloids Story Unit & Ravi Chakravarthi (Original Story)
Starring Ajith Kumar, Asin, Kanika
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography P.C. Sreeram, Priyan, Arthur A. Wilson, S. Murthy & K. Prasad
Edited by K. Thanigachalam
Production NIC Arts
Distributed by Film Fabricators
Release date 20 October 2006
Running time 166 minutes