Vazhakku Enn 18/9 (Eng: Case No. 18/9) is a 2012 Tamil crime thriller film written and directed by Balaji Sakthivel, starring newcomers Mithun Murali, Sri, Urmila Mahanta and Manisha Yadav in the lead roles. Pre-production of the film began in 2008, with the filming commencing in 2010 only, following several delays. Cinematography was handled by Vijay Milton, while guitarist R. Prasanna had scored the music.
The film released on 4 May 2012 to high critical acclaim. Its dubbed Telugu version Premalo Padithe was released on the same day in Andhra Pradesh. The film has received numerous awards and nominations and has spawned several remakes in other Indian languages: Black Butterfly in Malayalam, Case No. 18/9 in Kannada and Chirodini Tumi Je Amar 2 in Bengali. It was also among the films shortlisted by the FFI to become India’s submission for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for the year 2012.
The story is narrated through flashbacks. Velu (Sri), a teenager, works in a roadside shop. He meets Jyothi (Urmila Mahanta), who is a maidservant at a few of the nearby apartments. Velu falls in love with Jyothi. Aarthy (Manisha Yadav) lives in one of the apartment buildings. Dinesh (Mithun Murali) is a student who resides in the same building. Dinesh is a spoilt brat. As luck would have it, Aarthy falls for him without knowing his true intentions. Dinesh too is attracted to Aarthy. He seizes the opportunity and shoots video clips of her private moments on his mobile phone and even circulates them among his friends via MMS. When Aarthy finds out, she is aghast and threatens to approach the police. An angry Dinesh tries to murder Aarthy, but Jyothi intervenes accidentally and saves her. She sustains serious injuries in the process. The movie picks up speed as the corrupt Police Inspector Kumaravel (Muthuraman) begins investigations. Kumaravel negotiates with Dinesh’s mother, who is a school correspondent but refuses to later due to her stubborn character and completes the investigation with Dinesh as the culprit of the murder attempt. But Dinesh’s mother approaches a minister with whom she has an affair with and he intervenes with Kumaravel for a negotiation between them. They agree on for an amount of ten lakh rupees. Kumaravel then talks with Velu to stand in the shoes of Dhinesh, if he wants to cure Jyothi. Velu accepts and is sentenced for several years in prison. Kumaravel with the money he got completes the construction of his house and gives nothing to Jyothi. Later it is informed to Jyothi that Velu did not commit the crime and is falsely accused in order that she must be cured. She realises that Kumaravel has cheated her and Velu, she gets to the court and throws acid on Kumaravel. Jyothi is arrested and as enquiries run course the judiciary finds Velu as innocent and releases him. Dinesh is arrested and Jyothi is sentenced for years in prison. In the final scene Velu meets Jyothi in prison and proposes his love and tells he will be waiting for her and leaves the cell as the door closes with the disfigured face of Jyothi is shown on screen.
Directed by Balaji Sakthivel
Produced by N. Subash Chandrabose & Ronnie Screwvala
Written by Balaji Shakthivel
Starring Sri, Mithun Murali, Urmila Mahanta, Manisha Yadav
Music by R. Prasanna
Cinematography Vijay Milton
Edited by Gopi Krishna
Production Thirupathi Brothers & UTV Motion Pictures
Release dates 4 May 2012
Running time 115 minutes