|Directed by||S. P. Muthuraman|
|Produced by||C. Dhandayuthapani|
|Screenplay by||Panju Arunachalam|
|Story by||Mirza Brothers|
|Cinematography||T. S. Vinayagam|
S. B. Mohan
|Distributed by||Viswadarshan Distributors|
|24 September 1988|
Dharmathin Thalaivan is a 1988 Indian Tamil action-drama film directed by S. P. Muthuraman, starring Rajinikanth, Prabhu Ganesan, Charlie, Nassar, Captain Raju, Kushboo and Suhasini. The film marked the debut of Kushboo in Tamil cinema. It was declared superhit at the box office and completed a 100-day run in many centres. This movie is a remake of Kasme Vaade.
Balu (Rajinikanth), an absent-minded lecturer in a college, and Sumathi (Suhasini Maniratnam) love each other and plan to marry soon. Balu lives with his younger brother Raju (Prabhu), and Raju already calls Sumathi "Anni" (sister-in-law). Raju is a bad student and somewhat a rowdy, spoiled by Balu and Sumathi's pamperings. Raju keeps getting into fights with a fellow student Raghupathy (Nassar), and as a result, keeps getting into trouble. When Balu comes to help Raju during one of those fights, he is killed by Raghupathy. Sumathi goes into a trance, dons the garb of a widow and does not plan to marry again. Both Raju and Sumathi move to Bangalore. Then one day a look-alike of Balu, named Shankar (also Rajinikanth) enters Sumathi and Raju's life. Guilt-ridden Raju thinks that he has gotten his brother back, and tries to make amends by hiring Shankar, not knowing that Shankar is a wanted criminal, and is looking for an escape route from the authorities, but the electric attraction between Shankar and Sumathi eventually wins Shankar over from his past evil ways. Nevertheless, Shankar cannot so easily escape his past. Sumathi is kidnapped in order to force Shankar to aid a kingpin Bhaskar (Captain Raju) by using an international car rally championship as cover to smuggle diamonds. With Raju's help, of course, good prevails over evil and symbolically. Shankar is wounded protecting Sumathi and as they role free of the shooting and explosions and come to rest, it is seen that Sumathi's forehead has been marked crimson by the blood of her soulmate. Raju has learnt a heart-crushing lesson in the dangers or excess and frivolity but in the end, there is hope and greater wisdom. In the midst of all this, he also falls in love with and marries Devi (Kushboo).
- Rajinikanth as Balu(lecturer) and Shankar
- Suhasini as Sumathi
- Prabhu as Raju
- Kushboo as Devi
- Nassar as Raghupathy
- Captain Raju as Bhaskar
- V. K. Ramasamy
- V. Gopalakrishnan
After Thai Veedu, Devar Films parted ways with Rajini. All the subsequent films they produced were flops which resulted in heavy losses. Director R. Thyagarajan openly accepted that they had a very good rapport with Rajini for sometime but due to unavoidable circumstances they lost their friendship with Rajini. They accepted that they are responsible for the issue and there's no mistake on Rajini side. Rajini wished to help them and did Dharmathin Thalaivan under Dandayudhapani Films banner. Dharmathin Thalaivan was the 21st collaboration between Rajinikanth and SP Muthuraman. The film saw Prabhu and Rajini pairing for second time after Guru Sishyan (1988). The film marked the debut of actress Kushboo in Tamil films. Kushboo revealed that the film happened "after I met Prabhu at a studio and he recommended my name to the producer" and she also recalled an instance when she struggled to learn and understand Tamil during the shoot.
The music composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The song "Thenmadurai" remains one of the famous songs from the film. The song "Muthamizh Kaviye" is based on Gaurimanohari Raga.
|1||Muthamizh Kaviyae||K. J. Yesudas, K. S. Chithra||Panju Arunachalam||04:34|
|2||Othadi Othadi||Malaysia Vasudevan, Sunandha||Vaali||05:45|
|3||Thenmadurai Vaigai Nadhi||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Malaysia Vasudevan, P. Susheela||05:10|
|4||Thenmadurai Vaigai (Sad)||Malaysia Vasudevan , P. Susheela||04:10|
|6||Yaaru Yaaru Indha Kizhavan||Malaysia Vasudevan, Mano||07:04|
|5||Velli Mani Kinnathiley||Malaysia Vasudevan, Mano, K. S. Chithra||Gangai Amaran||04:34|
Dharmathin Thalaivan became a super hit and paid off all the losses of Devar. However it became the final production of Devar films and after that they left the industry. Indiaglitz wrote: "There was another side to our own Superstar and Dharmathin Thalaivan was a fine example for the same. He did the role of a passionate Tamil teacher with his usual swag".
- "Dharmathin Thalaivan Songs". raaga. Retrieved 2013-01-07.