Subramaniyapuram: The Tamil Film in English Translation

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by M. Sasikumar.

translated by Kausalya Hart, Constantine Nakassis, and Anand Pandian
edited by Anand Pandian

"My favourite film of the last decade"

—Anurag Kashyap

When Subramaniyapuram was released in 2008, it cut through the ostentatious glitz of mainstream Indian cinema like a machete. A tale of friendship, betrayal, love and revenge set in Madurai in the early 1980s, the film pioneered a new, gritty aesthetic in Tamil movies that caught the attention of film lovers around the world. Made on a tiny budget by a first-time director and a cast of newcomers, Subramaniyapuram was a smash hit with audiences all over South India—from the big cities to the villages—and has been cited as a major influence by some of India’s most respected filmmakers.

This edition includes: 

    • A gripping English translation of the screenplay
    • Galleries of full-colour film stills and posters
    • Never-before-seen photos from the shooting of the film
    • Essays by Preminda Jacob, Constantine Nakassis, Anand Pandian, and Baradwaj Rangan on the film’s cinematic context and social impact
    • A wide-ranging interview with director M. Sasikumar on the process of making the film and its historical and cultural significance

About the Authors

Anand Pandian is an associate professor of anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. He has authored multiple books, and is currently completing an ethnographic study of filmmaking practices in Tamil cinema. 

Mahalingam Sasikumar (born 28 September 1974) is an Indian film director, actor, singer and producer. The 2008 release, Subramaniapuram, was his debut in the Tamil film industry, and went on to become a blockbuster. 


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