Vedalam (English: Phantom) is a 2015 Indian Tamil language actioncomedy film, written and directed by Siva, and produced by Aishwarya. Ajith Kumar, Shruti Haasan and Lakshmi Menon play the lead roles, with Ashwin Kakumanu, and Kabir Duhan Singh in supporting roles. Anirudh Ravichander composed the film’s music and background score, while Vetri was the cinematographer, and Ruben was the editor. The film began production in April 2015 and was released on 10 November 2015, coinciding with Diwali, it was dubbed in Hindi under the same name by Goldmines Telefilms in 2016. It was remade in Bengali in 2018 as Sultan: The Saviour by Raja Chanda starring Jeet and Bidya Sinha Saha Mim.
Ganesh (Ajith Kumar) and his sister Thamizh (Lakshmi Menon) come to settle down in Kolkata where she has enrolled for a course to hone her artistic skills. Ganesh is an extremely peace loving soft-hearted person who makes even rowdies like Kolkata Kaali (Rajendran) like him instantly. Kolkata is the operating base of a high-profile international criminal syndicate run by three brothers Rahul (Rahul Dev), Abhinay (Kabir Duhan Singh) and Aniket (Aniket Chauhan). Ganesh advised by his new house owner (Mayilswamy) starts working under Laxmidas (Soori) who owns a taxi company.
Cops in Kolkata ask taxi and auto drivers for help in nabbing criminal members of Rahul’s gang and prepare a suspect list. Ganesh identifies one of the suspects and informs the police about the whereabouts of the criminals which leads to a large haul of illegal weapons, drugs, and money, and to the arrest of many lower level gang members belonging to Rahul. Frustrated, Aniket finds Ganesh and brings him to his yacht to be killed, but is instead killed by Ganesh who becomes extremely violent during the altercation. Simultaneously Ganesh gets acquainted with Swetha (Shruti Hassan) and Swetha’s brother Arjun (Ashwin) gets acquainted with Thamizh in two separate incidents, they are attracted to each other and Arjun gets his parents to meet and officially ask for Thamizh’s hand in marriage.
Abhinay learns about Aniket’s death, comes to Kolkata and tries to find the murderer using a highly sophisticated technical team who track the GPS of the mobile which were in the area, as the final trace emerges it is revealed that Ganesh has infiltrated the building where Abhinay had set up camp. Ganesh, after a violent fight with the mercenaries and Abhinay, kills everyone in the building, he receives Rahul’s call and informs him about the deaths of Abhinay and Aniket, while all this has been witnessed by Swetha. Swetha rushes to stop the engagement of his brother, but is stopped by Ganesh, who reveals his history of being Vedalam, a notorious goon in Chennai, who was shown affection by Thamizh and her parents even though he evicted them from their own house for money. Thamizh gets entangled in a flesh trade kidnapping scandal under Abhinay and is rescued by Ganesh, but also incurs an injury which affects her memory, her parents are also murdered during this incident. Ganesh brings her to Kolkata to take revenge and to enroll her in arts college.
Rahul, who coincidentally gets help from Thamizh to sketch out the suspect, kidnaps her and thus ensues a final takedown fight with Ganesh. Ganesh is able to hide his true violent self from Thamizh and also kill Rahul thus exacting his revenge and keeping his sister safe.
- Ajith as Ganesh a.k.a ‘Vedalam’ Ganesh
- Shruti Haasan as Swetha, an advocate at Kolkata
- Lakshmi Menon as Thamizh (Trisha in Hindi version), Ganesh’s unbiological sister[clarification needed]
- Rahul Dev as Rahul, main antagonist
- Kabir Duhan Singh as Abhinay, Rahul’s first younger brother
- Aniket Chouhan as Aniket, Rahul’s second younger brother
- Soori as Laxmidas, local taxi cab owner at Kolkata
- Thambi Ramaiah as Thamizh’s father, and blind man
- Ashwin as Arjun, Swetha’s brother (guest appearance)
- Mayilswamy as the house owner
- Appukutty as Kuzhandai, Vedalam’s assistant
- Avinash as Rahul’s assistant
- Mansoor Ali Khan as Inspector Manimaran
- Nagineedu as the Doctor
- Rajendran as “Kolkata” Kaali
- Swaminathan as Swamy, Swetha’s junior
- Bala Saravanan as Swetha’s Junior
- Raviraj as Swetha and Arjun’s father
- Jasper as Manimaran’s brother
- Ramesh Thilak as the phony witness
- Yogi Babu as Chatterjee, “Kolkata” Kaali’s assistant
- Kovai Sarala as Laxmidas’s mother-in-law
- Sudha as Gomathi, Thamizh’s mother
- Sriranjini as Swetha and Arjun’s mother
- Meera Krishnan as the house owner’s wife
- Vidyullekha Raman as Esther, Thamizh’s friend
- Sharmila Thappa as Laxmidas’s wife
- Aryan Ashik as Doctor
- Kalairani as a victim’s mother
- Sreeja Ravi as a nurse
- R. N. R. Manohar as a corrupt police officer
- Sukran as a sub inspector
- Rajkumar as Arjun’s friend
- Ashish Vidyarthi
- Rudranil Ghosh as Ajith, Kaali’s friend
- D. R. K. Kiran as a gangster
- “Nandhini” Sriganesh as part of the doctors team
After the success of their previous collaboration Veeram (2014), Siva announced that he would direct[Ajith Kumar again in May 2014, with the planned venture announced to begin after the completion of Ajith Kumar’s prior commitments with his ongoing film, Yennai Arindhaal (2015). Siva worked on the script in Bangalore and approached corporate companies, including PVP Cinemas, to produce the film, though eventually A. M. Rathnam announced that he would finance the production.
Production was briefly delayed because Ajith Kumar wanted to spend time with his pregnant wife following the completion of his other film.
Anirudh Ravichander was signed to compose the film’s music and background score, while Vetri and Ruben were announced as cinematographer and editor respectively, the film was developed without a title, before it was confirmed that it would be titled as Vedalam in September 2015.
In late 2014, Hansika Motwani denied reports that she had also signed on to appear in the film, the producers entered discussions to finalise the cast and crew of the film during early 2015, with Shruti Haasan and Kabir Duhan Singh signed on in March to portray the leading actress and antagonist, respectively.The role of Ajith’s sister in the film took considerably longer to finalise, with several actresses approached to portray the character. Actresses Sri Divya, Nithya Menen and Bindu Madhavi all turned down the opportunity, with the latter saying she was only interested in playing the lead actress opposite Ajith.After further unsuccessful negotiations with Parvathy Nair, actress Lakshmi Menon was signed on to play the role of Ajith’s sister in the film in April 2015.Soori joined the cast soon after production began, after replacing Santhanam in the film who became busy with his own productions. Ashwin was also added to the cast to portray a supporting role in late May 2015.
An official launch was held on 9 April 2015, with scenes intermittently shot for the rest of the month, the first official schedule began shooting in Navalur, Chennaiwith scenes featuring Ajith and Lakshmi Menon entering a college. Subsequent scenes were shot around sets in Chennai throughout June 2015, with Kabir Duhan Singh joining the shoot, while a song resembling a ‘pooja bhajan’ was shot featuring Ajith, Lakshmi and actor Mayilswamy, the team then moved to Kolkata and scenes were shot featuring Shruti Haasan as a lawyer and Ajith as a taxi driver, with images from the shoot being leaked on social networking sites.The unit then moved to shoot a song sequence in Milan, Italy featuring Ajith and Shruti Haasan.
The team returned to Chennai in August 2015 to film night scenes and action sequences, with actor Rahul Dev joining the team for the shoot, while scenes were also shot at Ramee Mall. A final schedule was held at Mohan Studios in Chennai, with Ajith Kumar with cropped hair, resembling his look from his earlier film, Red (2002), the team finished production in mid-October 2015 after completing patch-up work on a song. Ajith was injured during the final day of the shoot, causing a minor delay, despite his injury, Ajith began dubbing for the film immediately, in order to ensure that it would release to coincide with the festival of Diwali in November 2015.