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Thug Life: Does Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam's film have a Nayakan connection?

A number of theories have been doing the rounds on Thug Life's connection with Ulaganayagan's previous films

Thug Life: Does Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam's film have a Nayakan connection?
Poster of Thug Life; (right) A still from Nayakan

Last Updated: 11.13 AM, Nov 07, 2023


The team of Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam's upcoming film, which was until now referred to as KH 234, has been titled Thug Life. The makers dropped the title announcement along with a power-packed video in which Kamal Haasan is seen as a Yakuza (gangster in Japanese). The actor reveals his name as Rangaraya Sakthivel Nayakan, who is seen standing in the middle of the vast expanse of barren land during the introduction.

Theories about the film's connection with Nayakan galore
In the meantime, netizens have been fishing out a number of possibilities of the film's connection with the 1987 film. Some have called the film a sequel to Nayakan. It is to be noted that the feared don Velu Naicker's (Kamal Haasan) grandson is named Sakthivel. Charumathi (Karthika), Velu Naicker's daughter, introduces her son to her father minutes before the latter is shot dead in the court premises. The latest theory is that Rangaraya Sakthivel Nayakan in Thug Life is the young boy himself.

However, going by his attire and the way he is taking on his nemesis, hints at the Thug Life being a period film. Many have also pointed at the similarities between The Rise of Skywalker (2019) and Thug Life and fans have questioned if the latest Mani Ratnam film is a rip-off of the Star Wars series.

Does it also have Dasavatharam and Thevar Magan connection?
Yet another theory is that the name is an amalgamation of all the characters played by Kamal Haasan in his previous film. While Kamal Haasan played Rangarajan in Dasavatharam, his character was named Sakthivel in Thevar Magan and Sathi Leelavathi. He played the Robinhood of Mumbai slums Velu Naicker in Nayakan.

Netizens not happy with the title Thug Life?
Fans have also shared their disappointment with the film's title and have stated that considering that the iconic duo were coming back after a long hiatus, they could have opted for a more powerful title. The film stars Jayam Ravi, Trisha and Dulquer Salmaan in the lead.

Music is by AR Rahman, cinematography by Ravi K Chandran and editing by Sreekar Prasad. The film is bankrolled by Raaj Kamal Films International

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