Vellai Roja is a 1983 Indian Tamil film, directed by A. Jagannathan and produced by V. Viswanathan. The film stars Sivaji Ganesan, Ambika, Prabhu and Radha in lead roles. The film had musical score by Ilayaraja. The film was a remake of Malayalam film Post Mortem. It was remade in Kannada as Dharmathma in 1988 with Tiger Prabhakar reprising the role of Sivaji Ganesan and Shankar Nag reprising the role of Prabhu.
Father James (Sivaji Ganesan) is a Catholic Priest, well-respected by the entire town. Parisutham (Calcutta Viswanathan) is a multimillionaire and head of the town, Peter (Prabhu) who is the son of coffin maker Savaerimuthu (G. Srinivasan) is an angry young man, who always fights for justice and is against rich people. Peter’s sister Mary (Radha) and Parisutham’s son Johnny (Suresh) are in love. Mary becomes pregnant and at that time Johnny has to leave the country for few days on business, so she asks the Father James’ help to arrange her marriage with Johnny because both Parisutham and Peter respect his words. But Peter’s girlfriend Lakshmi (Ambika), overhears part of a conversation between Father James and Mary on her pregnancy and misunderstands that the Father and Mary were involved in a taboo relationship, and she tells Peter. Next day, Mary is found hanging dead from a tree. Peter, in a fit of rage assaults Father James and gets arrested, but he escapes. Everyone thinks that Mary has committed suicide and she is buried without a postmortem. But Father James has a suspicion about Mary’s death, so he asks his twin brother Arul (again Sivaji Ganesan), Superintendent of Police, to have the body exhumed in order to perform a postmortem. The next day when S.P. Arul exhumes Mary’s coffin he finds Father James murdered and his dead body in it, with Mary’s corpse missing. Everyone suspects Peter was the culprit, S.P. Arul immediately begins an investigation to solve the mystery behind Mary’s missing dead body and Father James’ death. Who is the culprit for Father James’ murder, the motive, was Mary killed or did she commit suicide, why was her body missing and where is Johnny, forms the rest of the story.
Directed by A. Jagannathan
Produced by V. Viswanathan
Screenplay by A. L. Narayanan
Story by Dr Pavithran
Starring Sivaji Ganesan, Ambika, Prabhu, Radha
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography P. Ganesapandiyan
Edited by R. Devarajan
Release dates 4 November 1983