Son of the soil

By Monisha Mohandas

Some years ago, a class X student from Sethur village in Rajapalayam, Virudhunagar ran away from home with dreams of making big in tinsel town, only to return empty handed. But he was not a quitter.

Samuthirakani, actor-director, is one of the many youths in Tamil Nadu who stepped out of his village in search of the tinsel dream in Kodambakkam. But he is also one of the few to be dogged enough to make that dream come true.

“Try, try till you succeed,” is his mantra. We caught up with him at the AVM studio, where he was completing the post-production work on his upcoming flick Naadodigal, which is slated for a June release.

First Movie Experience

Samuthirakani, who is from an orthodox agricultural family, had never watched movies until he was 12 years of age. Compelled to watch Alaigal Oivadillai by his friends, the director admits that from that day on he had never slept without watching second shows.

“I was drawn by the sound effects and acting styles of various heroes and decided that one day I should direct a movie,” he remembers. Finishing intermediate exams he left for Chennai with Rs. 120 in his pockets and eyes full of dreams. Since the bus fare from his hometown to Chennai was Rs.70, he knew it was a one-way ticket and was not keen to return till he succeeded.

“New to Chennai and nowhere to go, I remember sleeping under the Anna flyover. I was woken up by a police constable who took me to the station, offered me food and also advised to go back home.”

But Samuthirakani followed what seemed logical: getting the addresses of directors T.Rajendar and K. Balachander. But the stalwarts could not meet him. And he was left with no other option but to head back home. “As I was short of money to return, I had to work in a hotel for seven days and got my first salary of Rs. 35.”

He went back home and stayed there till his graduation. “During each semester vacation, I came to Chennai only to develop contacts. After graduation, I was back in Chennai to join Ambedkar Law College”. But his search for entering the industry never stopped.

Turning Point

In 1997, he joined as an assistant director under K.Vijayan. Samuthirakani who always used to keep himself busy with work was noticed by Iyakkunar Sigaram K.Balachander and was roped in as assistant director for his 100th movie Parthaale Paravasam.

He also got the chance to work as Balachander’s assistant in mega serial Anni telecasted by Jaya TV. The director recalls that the work experience he gained under his mentor Balachander helped him in many ways while shooting Arasi and Selvi, the mega serial telecasted in Sun TV, which were massive hits among house wives.

The director made his debut in Kollywood with Unnai Saranadainthen, with S.P.B Charan in the lead. It was followed by Vijayakanth starrer Niranja Manasu. Though both the movies didn’t do well at the box office Unnai Saranadainthen managed to bag four state awards.

Meanwhile he continued working as co-director for movies Paruthiveeran and Poi. His game show Thangavettai and mega serials gave him huge recognition among Tamil audience. He also won best small screen director awards for his serial Selvi in the year 2006.

The director recently donned grease paint in Subramaniyapuram directed by Sasi Kumar. He played the scheming Kanagu (the heroine’s uncle) in the movie.


Naadodigal is Samuthirakani’s self-confessed magnum opus. The trio Samuthirakani, Sasi Kumar and Kathir are happy be together again after Subramaniyapuram.. “Naadodigal is my dream project. I am eagerly waiting for the movie’s release. I had to drop this project twice due to unavoidable reasons.

But finally it’s on the verge of hitting the big screens and I am happy that Sasi Kumar is doing the lead role. The movie is named Naadodigal because, the story moves from Rajapalayam, Nammakal, Erode, Sivanmalai, again to Rajapalayam, then to Kanyakumari, Nagercoil and finally to Thiruchendur where the climax takes place,” he adds.

While the theme ‘En Nanbanin Nanban Enakum Nanbane’ (my friend’s friend is also my friend) is not something new, the director promises that his treatment would be. He has not started any new project as he wants to see the audiences’ reaction towards Naadodigal.


Samuthirakani dedicates his success to his mother though he wonders if she will ever see his movie. “My mother P.Kamalammal is everything for me after the sudden demise of my father when I was 15 years of age.

We don’t even have a television at home and my mom has not seen a movie so far,” says the director who feels that his mom won’t be interested even if he shows his movies. “She might search for me on screen as she doesn’t know as my job is behind the camera.”


13 Responses to “Son of the soil”

  1. salai udhaya on September 1st, 2009 11:03 pm

    hai sir
    nadodigal very very difficult but same time interest and thinking for all persion life friends
    thank u sir
    udhaya computer science 3,year
    s.s.s college

  2. Vishnu Shnker on December 14th, 2009 3:26 pm

    Its really very proud!!
    Hard work never fails anywhere !! by seen above great sucess is very near to you..
    thats u have shown to everyone…


  3. vaitheeswaran on June 16th, 2011 12:45 am

    Dear sir, My native place solaiseri ( near seithur) krishnapuram OP bus stop. Krishnapuram Kamaraj Hr.Sec.Schoola +2 muduchen i am rajapalayam rajus college B.Com student in 2004-2005 year. Nadodigal Movie very super hits. Mr. muthukrishnan sir ( Rajus collecge )my 2 year subject . iam ungalidam new cinema story solla muyachi panni kondu irukiren pls help me nan eppa Tirupur Garments export companyla Accont incharge. ungalidam nan job pannanum nagodigal movie partha bin aasai. But iam a Handicap Deafness, But +2 iam school first mark. dinamalar papaerla my kavithai 12 murai vanthulathu, and Mr. Umasankar, seithu (Cinema Studio photo shop propriter) my elder father friend .pls sir Help my Email id: manithanai padikamal yarum padaipali aaka mudiyathu enpathu enakum theriyeum. pls sir

  4. vaitheeswaran on June 16th, 2011 12:58 am

    Dear sir, Iam a handicap deafness , iam handicap enpathal en ethirkaalam patri kavalai paden, But seithur Earth-than en valkail thirupumunai koduthathu, nan 10th padikum pothu Seithur-il unamutror maruvalvu mugam nadanthathu , anku pona place-l sumar 1000 person handicap vantharkal. avankalai partha pinbuthan ennal seika mudiymnu nanbikai vanthathu. antha nanbikai than ennai +2 public examla first mark pera vichathu. Unnai saranathainthen Movie mulam unkalai kelvi paden. But Nadodigal Movie ennaku puthu thempu thanthathu… neenkathan therimai erunthal vaipu nan tharukiren endur sonninka. en therimaiya edai pottu appram sollunka pls sir.. My Cell No : 8489727754 thanking u very much sir….. thanduvadathai ellanthalum valnthu viduven But thannampikai illamal ennal vaala muduyathiu sir…

  5. Banu on November 4th, 2011 10:49 pm

    Hi Samuthirakani Sir!!
    I’m not aware that even you look into this review!! But I like you lot!! I like your acting that you get involved in your role!! If you look into this reveiw really i’m so lucky!! Plz can you send mail to my id!!! Waiting for reply!! Plz I like you very much!!

  6. Banu on November 4th, 2011 10:55 pm

    Please try to contact me sir!! Like you a lot!! I cant give my mobile number here!! So plz try to send mail to my mail address!! I’ll be waiting for your reply!! Plz I like you a lot!! Really your acting was extraordinary, Superb!! I’m not like all oother girls. Plz try to understand me!!

  7. G.karathikeyan on January 11th, 2012 12:58 pm

    My address vanigavaisiyar st,mettuppatti-seithur.rjpm.en fri Aravinthukumar china vayasula irunthu cine field ku pokanum nu asai avan ethu vara 20 story vara yeluthi irukan.nega oru time seithur la unga fri Ramar BABL Avangala paka avanga vtuku vanthu irunthinga apo ungada aravinth oru nal joance kudunga mama nu ketan nega oru nal joance pothumanu ketinga aprm nega poitinga.avanuku oru nal joance kodunga mbl number 9944106003 pls conduct panuga.

  8. apsra on October 21st, 2012 1:50 pm

    dear banu,
    are u fall in love with samuthrakani !!!

  9. hema(mettur on December 29th, 2012 6:58 pm

    Sir I like u verymuch sir ur acting is very nice and your voice is very sweet. En nanbanin nanban enakum nanban very nice plz sir only one time
    u can cal me plz sir my mobile number 9842529664 plz sir cal me

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