G. V. Prakash Kumar
|Edited by||Sathish Suriya|
|Distributed by||Madhumathii Films|
|16 February 2018|
Naachiyaar is a 2018 Indian Tamil-language crime film written, produced and directed by Bala. The film featured Jyothika in the titular role, with G. V. Prakash Kumar and Ivana in other leading roles. The film tells the tale of the police working to uncover the truth after a young man is accused of sexually assaulting his minor girlfriend. Featuring music composed by Ilaiyaraaja and cinematography by Eashwar, the film began production during March 2017 and was released on 16 February 2018.
Naachiyaar (Jyothika) is a tough policewoman in Chennai who is put in charge of solving an underage rape case. She tracks down a pregnant Arasi (Ivana), the victim, from her uncle and his goons who plan to get her an abortion. Although Naachiyaar saves Arasi, her uncle and his friends escape and go into hiding. Meanwhile, Naachiyaar's partner, Feroz arrests the suspect, Kaathu (G.V. Prakash Kumar). He is then sent to a juvenile home, where he tells his story to one of the wardens, who is soft-hearted towards him.
Through flashbacks, we see how Kaathu and Arasi first met. Both are still teenagers from the slums but they do not go to school but are forced to work to help support their respective families. Arasi works as a maid at wealthy families' homes while Kaathu does odd jobs for a living. One day, while her employers are away, Arasi invites Kaathu into the house where they (impulsively) make love. However, Arasi quickly regrets and pushes Kaathu away, who leaves upset.
Back in present day, Arasi gives birth to a healthy baby boy and Naachiyaar lets Arasi stay with her until the local government can ensure the mother and baby have a safe place to stay. However, DNA results show that Kaathu is not the father of Arasi's child. Naachiyaar decides to keep this a secret from Arasi until they can investigate this case even further.
Feroz arrests Arasi's uncle and manipulates him into leading them to a fake doctor who conducts illegal abortions. After Naachiyaar threatens him, the fake doctor reveals that one of his most powerful clients, a wealthy moneylender is the one who raped Arasi. One day, when he and Arasi was alone at home, the moneylender took advantage of her unconsciousness as a result of slipping and falling in kitchen, raped her. The old moneylender, who holds a powerful position in the society immediately calls the fake doctor once he sexually assaulted Arasi, but the fake doctor knowingly lies about it being safe despite not using condom, planning to blackmail the moneylender once Arasi becomes pregnant.
Naachiyaar and Feroz go to the moneylender to arrest him but are summoned back to their superior's office since the culprit is very well connected. After getting an information as to proposed suspension, Naachiyaar abducts the moneylender and castrates him. She then faces enquiry and gets transferred, because the board is afraid of facing bad press if an action is taken against Naachiyaar, who gained immense popularity due to the case. She took initiative to reunite Kaathu with Arasi. Her husband tells Kaathu the truth but Naachiyaar refrains from telling the truth to Arasi to keep her safe.
Kaathu requests Naachiyaar not to reveal the truth to Arasi. As far as Kaathu is concerned, the baby boy is his and he plans to make sure Arasi never knows the truth. The couple with the baby happily board a bus.
- Jyothika as P. Naachiyaar Kumari IPS
- G. V. Prakash Kumar as Kaathavarayan (Kaathu)
- Ivana as Kottaiarasi (Arasi)
- Rockline Venkatesh as Feroz Khan
- Dr. Gurushankar as Naachiyaar's husband
In February 2017, Bala confirmed that his next project would be a crime thriller starring Jyothika in the lead role, and chose to postpone the shoot of a proposed film featuring Yuvan and Pragathi Guruprasad. To accommodate dates for the film, Jyothika opted out of her commitments to play a role alongside Vijay in Mersal (2017). The film was reported to be set in the slums, with actor Sri signed to portray another leading character. Bala later replaced Sri with G. V. Prakash Kumar, who agreed to work on the film simultaneously with several other projects. Film producer Rockline Venkatesh also joined the cast to play a supporting role, after Bala spontaneously enquired about his interest in working as an actor. Malayalam actress Ivana was cast in a role after Bala had spotted a news article about her work in the film, Anuraga Karikkin Vellam (2016). He requested her to find a new stage name rather than use her original name of Aleena Shaji, prompting her to use Ivana. Prior to release, the media reported that the story was based on the life of psycho killer Jayaprakash, who killed nine of his relatives in the 1980s at Valasaravakkam, Chennai.
The principal shoot of the film began in March 2017, with a first look poster released featuring Jyothika and G. V. Prakash Kumar. As Prakash Kumar was working simultaneously on four other projects, he requested some time before starting the shoot. Instead of delaying the project, Bala worked solely on Jyothika's scenes to ensure the film was shot within the projected time of forty days. By the time he joined the set, Prakash Kumar reported to sets by 6 am every day, took an hour to put three layers of dark make-up and coloured his hair to a brownish-orange colour. Unlike several of Bala's previous films, Naachiyar completed production quickly and by early July 2017, "ninety percent" of the shoot was revealed to be over, with most scenes filmed in North Chennai and studios in the city. The shoot of the film was completed in mid-July 2017 in the Cuddalore district. Jyothika dubbed for the role herself and Bala wanted a base voice from the actress, so sat throughout the dubbing to get the desired output. Jyothika had earlier changed her diet plans by avoiding rice, wheat and bread to reduce nearly 10 kilograms for her work in Naachiyaar.
Following the release of a teaser trailer, a man named Rajan from Mettupalayam filed legal case over the use of vulgar language in the teaser, but the case was quickly dismissed. Jyothika later stated that such outrage was only registered because a woman had spoken the dialogue and that the dialogue was a necessity in the film. As the album featured only one song, Bala opted against releasing the soundtrack of the film prior to its release.
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