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A Look At Director Selvamani’s Career, The Man Whose Film Made Vijayakanth “Captain”

After making his directorial debut with the 1990 thriller film Pulan Visaranai, Tamil director R K Selvamani helmed other hits in the 90s like Kanmani and Chembaruthi among others. Pulan Visaranai revolved around an auto driver named Dharma who worked for RR, an influential politician, and kidnapped young women at his behest. Investigating officer DCP Raj then sets out to bring him to justice.

Despite being his first film, Pulan Visaranai had turned out to be one of the biggest hits in the 90s. It starred Vijayakanth and Sarath Kumar among others. Later, Selvamani delivered many other films and explored the whodunit genre with his work.

Selvamani directed another super hit film in 1991 titled Captain Prabhakaran. The was Vijayakanth’s 100th where played the role of an honest forest officer. The film was loosely based on the life of the infamous bandit Veerappan.

With over 150 films under his belt, where he mostly played an action hero, Captain Prabhakaran is considered among Vijaykanth’s best films. Such was the impact of the film that even years after its release, the title of ‘Captain’ got stuck to Vijayakanth.

Selvamani also directed a romantic drama in 1992 titled Chembaruthi. The story revolved around a rich man Raja who falls in love with a maid named Chembaruthi. However, Raja’s family opposes his love for Chembaruthi considering the social differences. The film also marked the debut of actress Roja Selvamani who later tied the knot with R K Selvamani in 2001.

R K Selvamani also made two films based on the assassination of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. With the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and the Sri Lankan civil war as its backdrop, his film Kuttrapathirikai sparked controversy during its release.

It could also not get through the censor board initially and was released 14 years after its completion. Some other films that helped R K Selvamani earn a name in the film industry were Rajasthan, Arasiyal, and Makkal Aatchi.

Selvamani took retirement from films in 1999 but came back to direct his wife’s 100th film Durga in 2001.

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