Dharma Durai was directed by Rajini's favourite director Rajasekar and produced by S. Ramanathan and S. Sivaraman under the banner of Rasi Kalamandhir. S. Ramanthan is the producer of Rajini's Hindi film "Geraftar".
Dharma Durai was remade from Kannada hit film Deva and the hero of that film was Vishnuvardhan. In Telugu version, Mohan Babu was the hero and titled as Ma Inti Katha (Our House Story) which didn't do well as expected . Later Dharmadurai was produced in Tamil and it was superhit. Following this success, it was produced in Hindi by new producer Dilip Kankariya and directed by KC Bokadia. Our Superstar is the hero and it was titled as Tyagi.
Dharma Durai first paper advertisement was given on 14.4.1990 and it was titled as "Kaalam Maaripochu". They started the shooting with our Superstar, Manjula, Ramesh Aravind and Senthil etc. But later, they dropped the movie and started to shoot the Deva story as Dharma Durai.
Superstar was fully involved in the movie and they made several changes to improve the movie quality even after the shooting. Here is an example whereby you will not have seen the scene in Dharma Durai movie. Dharma Duria team decided to release this movie for 1991 Pongal but it was delayed due to unavoidable circumstances. Our Superstar was very keen to release the movie for Pongal and therefore Superstar promised to give whatever supports they needed. Director took as a challenge and worked continuously (non-stop) for 4 days which include shooting, dubbing and re-cording. This was a real achievement and commitment by the whole team.
As planned, Dharma Durai was released on Pongal (14.01.1991). At Chennai, it was released at Albert, Annai Abirami, Crown, Kamala and Sri Brinda.
Other films released together with Dharma Dorai as follows:
Eeramana Rojave - Siva - KR
Thayilkaran - Parthiban - SP Muthuraman
Sigaram - SPB - Ananthu (11.01.1991)
Kumbakarai Thangaya -Prabu - Gangai Amaran
Gnanaparavai - Sivaji Ganesan - Vietnam Veedu Sundaram (11.01.1991)
Theechetti Govindan - Thiyagarajan - New Director
Nadu Athai Naadu - Ramarajan - Rama Thilaka Rajan
Va Arugil Va - Raja - Kalaivanan
The opening day at Tanjore theater was glorious and police could not able to control the crowd and there was big fight between police and fans. Thalapathy Sathyanarayanan traveled to Tanjore and solved the issue.
All most every reviews were positive and except some of the routine magazines who prefers to show their nasty side.
Kumudam: old wine in new glass and it looks like a 20 years back Bheem Singh movie.
Hindu: This is another Aarilirundu Arubadhuvarai. At the end of the year, The Hindu pointed out that Dharma Dorai was one of the highest ran movie of the year 1991.
Makkal Kural : They mentioned about Superstar's expression without any speech when he meet his brothers after coming out of the jail.
"ORU KATCHIYIL ANDA NAAL SIVAJI (NADIGAL THILAGAM) DARISANAM"
Also Makkal kural had chosen Rajini as a Best actor of 1991 for Dharma Dorai
No doubt Dharma Dorai was a clean winner in Pongal releases. This was only one film which celebrated silver jubilee among all above releases. It is a family entertainer and the ladies crowd at all theaters are unimaginable.
Chennai area was distributed by HONDA release and they have given good publicity by posters, papers ads etc. The wall poster advertisement was better than paper ad. The wall posters displayed ad for 25, 50, 65, 85, 100 and 175 days. In the papers, they have given for 33 days, 50 days and 100 days only.
All Rajini fans know that we lost director Rajasekar on the 100th day of Dharma Durai and his sudden demise news was readied as major news in DD-1. Definitely we have to accept that Rajini had lost one of the good directors in his careers. If he is alive, definitely Rajini may have 3 or 4 more Silver Jubilee Movies through him.
Dharma Dorai did record business in all major cities, towns and rural areas. Dharma Dorai ran 50 days at 43 centers at Tamil Nadu and ran more than 100 days in many centers like:-
Chennai – Albert 89 days + Baby Albert 91 days = 180 Days (Regular Shows)
Chennai - Kamala – 102 days
Chennai - Crown – 102 days
Chennai - Annai Abirami – 96 days
(Due to problem between theaters and distributors, film was removed in Annai Abirami on 96th day, otherwise it would have touched 100th day and even silver jubilee)
Madurai - Cine Priya 77 days + Mini Priya 67 days = 144 days
Salem - Kailash – 137 days
Kovai - Ganga 67 days + Royal 88 days = 155 days
Tanjaore - Arul – 102 days
Nagercoil – Karthikai – 125 days
Trichy – Kalaiarangam 67 days + Shifted to Kohinoor 35 days = 102 days
75 Days Centers
Erode – Abirami – 88 days
Kovilpatti - AKS - 83 days
Chengalpet – Selvi – 81 days
Thirivetiyur - Odeon Mani - 80 days
Tutucorin – Raj Cine – 72 days
Kumbakonam – Lena – 75 days
Tirupur – Sangeetha – 76 days
Nellai – Poornakala – 75 days
“C” Centers – Box Office Record
Just see below the list of C centers theaters Dharma Dorai released during it second releases like 91 Diwali and 92 Pongal. Totally it was released in 61 Theaters and did roaring collections.
Trichy – Ramakrishna (again released apart from First Release)
Andimadam – Aruna
Nannilam – Odeyan
Pettavaithala – Mahalakshmi
Ullikottai – Lakshmi
Kattuputhur – Senthil (All the above theaters it ran again more than 3 weeks)
Thuvarankurichi – Barani (More than 2 Weeks)
Thiruvennainallur – Raja
Valavanur – Anna
Sethiyathopu – Vasavi
Sathirampati – Srimurugan
KK patti – Surulinathan
Ilayankudi – Central
Avaniyapuram – Venkateswara
Reserveline – Rasi
Pallathur – Chithra
Thiruvadanai – Mallika
Poovathur – Kaveri
Keeranur – Lakshmi
Kuruvikarambai – Pazanimurugan
Vayampati – Velmurugan
Puliyur – Srimurugan
Annachathiram – Sriram
Akkur – Kanchi
Viralimalai – Eswari
M.K. Kottai – Shanmuga (All the above theaters it ran more than 2 weeks)
Palakodu – Saravana (More than 4 weeks)
Ka. Patinam – Ravi (More than 3 weeks)
Thiruchengodu – Jothi (More than 2 weeks)
Thuthikulam – Chelliamman
Mallasamudhram – MRK
Veerakanur – RK
Puthumariammankoil – RK ganesh
Ozur – Srinivasa
Nammakal – Ramesh
Kovai – Anupallavi (again released apart from First Release)
Karaikudi – Natraja
Thirupathur – Thangamani
Pattiveeranpatti – Arumuga
Kadamalaikundu – Srimathisolairam
Anumanthapati – Poomalai
Emakallapuram – Rasi
Kanchurampettai – Thavam
Ayyalur – Omsakthi
Kadayampatti – Srivenkateswara
Sivathapuram – Krishnappa
Nallampalli – Mahalakshmi
Kolakatuputhur – K.S.
Chinnapampatti – Thirumurugan
Samalpatti – Srikarpagam
Andimadam – Shanmuga
Ullikottai – Lakshmi
Tharangambadi – Ganapathy
Musiri – Abirami
Sankaranpandal – Odeyan
Sundaraperumal koil – Girija
Neithalurcoloney – Srikamatchi
Thandalai – Srivinayaka
Samayapuram – Venus
Melaulur – Parthiyappa
Irumpulikurichi – Anbunathan
DharmaDurai Special by LIC Rajini Fan Club
(There are some errors in this paper but we have already updated in our article)
Kaalam Maaripochu is renamed as Dharmadurai
-T. Ve. Rajesh