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Epidemics that entertained us – F’day Spl. Article by Naveen

While the Coronavirus aka Covid-19, which has been declared as pandemic, is sending shock waves across the world by killing thousands of people, some imaginary epidemics have entertained us in Tamil movies.

This week, as the country is under lockdown to prevent the spread of the pandemic, asks its readers to stay safe and provides them a peek into Tamil films that dealt with deadly diseases


‘Dasavathaaram’ is a 2008 science fiction disaster film directed by K S Ravikumar. It stars Kamal Haasan, who also wrote the screenplay and story of the film, in ten distinct roles, beating the nine-role records made by Sivaji Ganesan in ‘Navarathri’ (Tamil; 1964), Akkineni Nageswara Rao in ‘Navarathri’ (Telugu; 1966) and Sanjeev Kumar in ‘Naya Din Nai Raat’ (Hindi; 1974).

The plot of the film revolves around bringing together the lives of several individuals beginning with the 12th century and ending with the 21st century; the main person being a research scientist who develops a bio-weapon and makes sure that it is not acquired by a terrorist nation.

Several other people also get involved in the process and all their stories connect after the striking of a tsunami, thus bringing in philosophical views into the picture.


‘Miruthan’ is a 2016 action horror film written and directed by Shakti Soundar Rajan, starring Jayam Ravi and Lakshmi Menon in the leading roles. D Imman composed the music, while M Sukumar handled the cinematography.

Shot in Ooty and Coimbatore within 54 days, the film derives its title from a hybrid of two words, Mirugam meaning animal and Manithan meaning man.

The film depicts a zombie apocalypse in the state of Tamil Nadu that starts after a poisonous liquid spills from a container outside a chemical laboratory in Ooty. Karthik is a traffic police officer who learns of the outbreak when his sister goes missing and he finds himself attacked by some zombies. He teams up with some doctors and his girlfriend to escape from Ooty and find a cure for the outbreak, while zombies keep spreading from city to city.


‘7aum Arivu’ is a 2011 science fiction martial arts film written and directed by AR Murugadoss, featuring Suriya and Shruti Haasan in the lead roles and Johnny Tri Nguyen as the main antagonist.

It was also dubbed into Telugu as ‘7th Sense’ which released simultaneously along with the Tamil original. The film was also dubbed in Hindi as ‘Chennai v/s China’ in 2014 as well as in Malayalam with the original title.

Dong Lee (Tri Nguyen) from China arrives in India to start a biological war. People are killed in large numbers as they acquire a deadly disease. However, a genetic engineering student (Shruti Haasan) tries to revive the skills of Bodhidharma (Suriya) with the help of his descendant Aravind (Suriya) to defeat Dong Lee.


‘Vaayai Moodi Pesavum’ is a 2014 satirical romantic comedy film directed by Balaji Mohan starring Dulquer Salman (marking his debut in Tamil), Nazriya Nazim and Madhoo.

Sean Roldan scored the music, while Soundararajan was the cinematographer and Abhinav Sunder Nayak worked as the editor. The film was simultaneously made in Malayalam with the same lead actors and slightly changed supporting actors list, under the title ‘Samsaaram Aarogyathinu Haanikaram’.

The story takes place in Panimalai, a hill city, during a spring season. The film begins with RJ Balaji coming to Panimalai to be a guest of a live radio show. In the middle of the show, he starts coughing severely and suddenly loses his voice. He is diagnosed with a new type of virus called the mute flu that causes sudden muteness and sometimes even death.

The people of the hill station are in trouble as the government has put a ban on speaking to control the spread of the ‘dumb-flu’ that spreads only through talking.

By Naveen


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