Rearing roosters, maintaining them and using them for fights is a way of life in certain areas of Tamil Nadu, and is considered a matter of honor and pride to many people. In such a tenement, Pettaikaaran (Jayabalan) leads a very respectable life with his key aides Durai (Kishore) and Karuppu (Dhanush), along with others.
His main adversary in hen fights is Rathinam, the police inspector. Pettaikaarar is known to have an impeccable track record of successes when it comes to fowl fights, especially with Rathinam's. In an unexpected situation, Pettaikaaran challenges Rathinam to a fowl contest which witnesses Karuppu violating his mentor Pettaikaarar's word but emerging successfully with enviable proceeds. This results in the swelling of his status among his folks, which plants the seeds of animosity in the minds of Pettaikaaran. What follows is an interesting and unexpected path, that with many twists and turns goes on to highlight multiple layers of human emotions, with sense playing truant.
Dhanush considered this venture his "dream project", and worked extremely hard to perfect the local accent and demeanour. His performance in the movie was lauded and acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.
In June 2009, Trisha Krishnan was forced to opt out of the role of Irene, after the Madurai schedule overran into her allotted dates for her other films, 'Namo Venkatesa' and 'Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa'. Eventually, newcomer Taapsee Pannu was named as her replacement, with Vetrimaran claiming he wanted a fresh face for the role.
Vetrimaran spent almost a year on completing the screenplay, script and dialogues for the film and held a bound script for the venture, which is considered rare in Tamil films.
Based on an online poll by The Times Of India, Vetri Maaran was chosen as the best director for 'Aadukalam' for 2012.
The film won six awards at the 58th National Film Awards, including the awards for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor.
Samuthirakani, Andrea Jeremiah and Radha Ravi rendered their voices for Kishore, Taapsee and Jayabalan, respectively.
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