Puli (lit. ’Tiger’; col: Demon) is a 2015 Indian Tamil-language fantasy adventure action film written and directed by Chimbu Deven. The film stars Vijay in a dual role as demon prince and his son a half-demon alongside Hansika Motwani and Shruti Haasan in the female leads. Sudeep features as the main antagonist of the film along with Prabhu and Nandita Swetha in cameo roles. Sridevi features as the possessed evil Queen.
The film’s original Tamil version was released worldwide on 1 October 2015. The film was dubbed into both Telugu and Hindi, which were released a day later on 2 October 2015. The film performed well overseas, but performed mediocre domestically. The film was released in China and Japan.
The film regained its budget through its film run, but actually earned profit by selling the Tamil, Telugu and Hindi satellite rights, out of which, 20% of only the Hindi and Telugu rights ₹70 lakh was paid as a remuneration to the late actress Sridevi. The Tamil satellite rights sold for ₹22 crore to Sun TV, and the film recovered the ₹100 crore investment, makes the Tamil language only profit margin for the makers of Puli around ₹3-4 crore, a low-profitable venture.
The film was praised for its visual effects, but criticized for its screenplay and editing.
The story revolves around the clash between humans and demons (Vedhalams) ruled by a demon kingdom in a fantasy world, where a human is fighting for justice for the killing of humans by demons, but his ancestry turns out to be a mystery.
Puli film also earned some profits through its franchise. DNA India regarded that the film’s weaponry, armour, costumes and fighting skills were inspired from Game of Thrones, whereas Vijay and Sudeep’s characterisations had resemblances to Jon Snow and Stannis Baratheon.
However, Puli collected ₹150 crore at the box office from both Tamil and Telugu versions in its entire 60-day run, becoming an average venture.
Since the Puli director Deven is a cartoonist, The film’s half-demon theme was loosely based on Japanese hit anime manga series Inuyasha similar to which, Vijay is a “Tiger-demon” with tiger’s teeth and blue eyes.
Directed by Chimbu Deven
Produced by Shibu Thameens
P. T. Selvakumar
Written by Sharma Deven
Narrated by Nizhalgal Ravi
Music by Devi Sri Prasad
Cinematography Natarajan Subramaniam
Edited by A. Sreekar Prasad
Distributed by Sri Thenandal Films (Tamil Nadu)
Ayngaran International (Wide release)
Thameens Films (Kerala)
S. Narayan (Karnataka)
Chiragdeep International (North India)
October 1, 2015 (India)