Eli (2015 film)


Theatrical release poster
Directed by Yuvaraj Dhayalan
Produced by G. Sathis Kumar
S. Amarnath
Written by Yuvaraj Dhayalan
Starring Vadivelu
Music by Vidyasagar
Cinematography Paul Livingstone
Edited by V. T. Vijayan,
T. S. Jay
City Cine Creations
Distributed by City Cine Creations
Release dates
  • 19 June 2015 (2015-06-19)


Running time
154 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Tamil

Eli (English: Rat) is a 2015 Indian Tamil-language spy comedy film written and directed by Yuvaraj Dhayalan. The film features Vadivelu and Sadha in the lead roles. Vidyasagar composed the film's music. Eli was released on 19 June 2015 to negative reviews.


The film is set in 1960s Chennai (Madras then). A police officer and a social worker give speech about ban of cigarettes in All India Radio. Then three men get out from a car . They were thieves and were headed by Eli (Vadivel) a petty thief (who once aspired to become a police officer), who pretends to be a thief who has sold all his robbery items to a jewellery shop owner. The jewellery shop owner had no contact with him and his henchmen dressed as police take all the items pointed out and pretend to arrest Eli and loot the shop. He uses his tricks and loots many other places . One day he enters the house of retired police officer Mr. Rangarajan who had rejected him at the police selection. He loots everything except his photograph. When the current police I.G came there to meet Rangarajan, Eli pretends as though Rangarajan had vacated his house and he is performing rituals and not to disturb him. When the police officer meets Rangarajan on the way he is shocked to find that he had been tricked and Eli had looted the house.

Later when the police officer tells Rangarajan to send a police spy to catch the illegal cigarette cartel leader Nagaraj, Rangarajan recommends Eli to capture him. Eli pretends to be one of Nagaraj's henchmen and with the help of Julie captures Nagaraj red handed and hands him over to the police and also the policeman who had been helping Nagaraj.


  • Vadivelu as Elisamy @ "Eli" / Jolly
  • Sadha as Julie
  • Pradeep Rawat as Nagarajan
  • Adithya as IG Mohanraj
  • Santhana Bharathi as Jail Warden Ezhumalai
  • Raj Kapoor as Police Inspector
  • Rajendran as Kuruvi Manda Kumaru
  • Kitty as Retired IG Rangarajan
  • Mahanadi Shankar as Padagu Babu
  • Bose Venkat as Inspector Karunakaran
  • Shanmugarajan
  • Bava Lakshmanan as Eli's partner
  • Vengal Rao as Eli's partner
  • Nellai Siva
  • King Kong as convict
  • Muthu Kaalai as terrorist
  • Besant Nagar Ravi as Kuruvi Manda Kumaru's brother
  • Boys Rajan as Padmanabhan
  • Krishnamoorthy as Bank clerk
  • Sakthivel as Jail Warden
  • Poochi Murugan as Minister Poochi Muthu
  • Amirtha Lingam
  • Pei Krishnan
  • Kottai Perumal as smuggler
  • Jayakumar as Police officer
  • Aarivaya Shaik as Dumb convict


Eli is the second film of Vadivelu with Yuvaraj Dhayalan after Tenaliraman (2014).[2] In March 2015, Sadha was confirmed to play the female lead in the film.[3] Pradeep Rawat plays the film's antagonist.[4] In an interview with Sudhir Srinivasan of The Hindu, Dhayalan said that the inspiration for the film's title came from the repeated usage of the word "rat", which is a term used to denote a spy, in the Martin Scorsese film The Departed (2006).[5]

Principal photography commenced with the filming of a song sequence on the outskirts of the city,[6] from the same day as the first look poster was released. The shooting is reported to continue for 60 days at a stretch.[7] A stunt sequence was shot at a specially erected set in early April 2015 over a period of eight days. According to Dhayalan, this sequence features Vadivelu evading the villain's henchmen instead of fighting them.[8]


Soundtrack album Eli by Vidyasagar
Released 11 May 2015
Recorded Varsha Vallaki Studios
Genre Feature Film Soundtrack
Length 12:48
Language Tamil
Label Saregama
Producer Vidyasagar
Vidyasagar chronology
Ennum Eppozhum

Vidyasagar composed the film's soundtrack and score while Pulamaipithan and Viveka wrote the lyrics. The music rights were purchased by Saregama.[9] The launch of the soundtrack was held on 11 May 2015.[10] During the audio launch, Vadivelu revealed that the Hindi song "Mere Sapno Ki Rani" from Aradhana (1969) would be reused in the film and that the sequence would feature himself and Sadha.[11]

No. TitleSinger(s) Length
1. "Kollai Azhagu"  Mukesh, Manjari 4:35
2. "Kannameya"  Vadivelu 3:34
3. "Engalukkum"  Hariharasudhan 4:29
Total length:


On 5 February 2015, Eli's first look poster was revealed. The poster featured Vadivelu sporting a red coat and yellow scarf over a black shirt and checked black trousers.[2] The 1st trailer was released on 14 May 2015,[12] while a second trailer was released on 4 June 2015.[13] The satellite rights of the film were sold to Jaya TV.[14] The film was given a "U" certificate by the Indian Censor Board.[15][lower-alpha 1]

Critical reception

Eli received generally negative reviews. Baradwaj Rangan of The Hindu wrote, "There have been films...that have mined comedy from crime, but just about nothing works here. Eli is full of scenes that go on forever — and for no reason....Even Vadivelu is stranded — the gags he's in are shockingly weak."[17] The Times of India's M. Suganth gave the film 1.5 stars out of 5, describing it as "overlong, dull and largely unfunny" and adding, "Yuvaraj Dhayalan, seems to be after a spoof of spy movies but the filmmaking has no comic rhythm and the script, which rehashes elements from movies as varied as Ragasiya Police 115 and The Departed, is too slack that scenes just go on for ever".[18] The New Indian Express wrote, "An insipid screenplay and flat narration ensures that it would be the most tedious and boring 154 minutes one could have spent in a theatre...the film is a test of patience".[19] Behindwoods concluded, "Vadivelu tries hard but Eli doesn’t evoke enough laughter."[20] Sify called Eli an "unmitigated disaster" and "probably the worst movie he (Vadivelu) has ever done as a hero".[21] Raisa Nasreen of Bookmyshow commented positively on Vadivelu's performance but criticised the film's screenplay by stating that the scenes in the film were "too long and too predictable".[22]

Box office

Eli grossed 9,34,054 in Chennai during its opening weekend.[23]


  1. In CFBC terminology, "U" means "unrestricted public exhibition", similar to MPAA's G and PG ratings and BBFC's U and PG ratings.[16]


  1. 1 2 "Eli Movie Release Expectation". Behindwoods. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Vadivelu as Eli". Behindwoods. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  3. "Tough fight for Vadivelu from this actress!". Behindwoods. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  4. "Grand plans for Vadivelu's Eli". Behindwoods. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  5. Srinivasan, Sudhir (13 June 2015). "Manmohan Singh used my line". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  6. Karthik, Janani (6 February 2015). "Vadivelu sports retro look for 'Eli'". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  7. "Why is Vadivelu a rat?". Behindwoods. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  8. "Vadivelu pulls off a tough fight sequence for 'Eli'". Business Standard. IANS. 6 April 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  9. "Eli Audio Jukebox". Saregama. 15 May 2015. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  10. "Vadivelu's 'Eli' audio launch on May 11th". The Times of India. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  11. Naig, Udhav (13 May 2015). "Won't rule out another stint in politics, says Vadivelu". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  12. "Vadivelu's 'Eli' trailer". The Times of India. 14 May 2015. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  13. "Eli: Trailer 2". The Times of India. 4 June 2015. Archived from the original on 6 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  14. "Surprisingly, Vadivelu's "Eli" satellite rights gone to Jaya TV". Kolly Insider. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  15. "Vadivelu's Eli censored, gearing up for release". Sify. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  16. "Central Board of Film Certification". Cbfcindia.gov.in. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  17. Rangan, Baradwaj (19 June 2015). "Eli: Seriously unfunny". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  18. Suganth, M. (20 June 2015). "Eli Movie Review". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  19. Mannath, Malini (21 June 2015). "Insipid Screenplay, Flat Narration Make Eli a Test of One's Patience". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  20. "Eli Movie Review". Behindwoods. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  21. "Review : Eli". Sify. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  22. Nasreen, Raisa (19 June 2015). "Eli: Film Review – A slow paced spy thriller!". Bookmyshow. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  23. "Eli 1st week". Behindwoods. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.

External links

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