Tamil film ‘Doctor’ is first post-pandemic hit, nets ₹60 crore worldwide in first week

Tamil film 'Doctor' directed by Nelson Dilipkumar is a deliciously dark comedy and Kollywood's big guns are praising it on Twitter as the best laughter medicine in these COVID times

Actor Sivakarthikeyan plays a stoic army doctor who comes up with innovative ideas to hunt down his ex-fiancee’s kidnapped niece

Director Nelson Dilipkumar, who is currently working on superstar Vijay’s film ‘Beast’, is basking in the success of his new film, ‘Doctor’, which hit theatres more than a week ago. The film, which is being hailed by critics as a “deliciously, dark comedy” and Kollywood’s big guns are praising it on Twitter, has grossed 60 crore worldwide in its first week in theatres, according to trade analysts, said media reports.

The industry has dubbed the film as the “first big post-pandemic Indian hit” in theatres.

Even Telugu hits like Sekhar Kammula’s ‘Love Story’ has not cut it this big, said reports. The film had grossed nearly 8 crore on its opening day in Tamil Nadu amid the pandemic. A Hindustan Times report quoting a trade analyst Trinath said the film is having a phenomenal run in Tamil Nadu collecting 41 crore only from this southern state. The rest reportedly came from other states in India and overseas markets, and the film has gone on to collect 60 crores from the box office.

‘Doctor’, is meant to be a masala entertainer full of comedy with actors like Yogi Babu and Redin Kingsley. The lead role has been essayed by Sivakarthikeyan, who plays a stoic army doctor who comes up with innovative ideas to hunt down his ex-fiancee’s kidnapped niece. Vinay Rai plays the suave and slimy head of the human trafficking ring, and his villainy coupled with the humour and Anirudh’s music has reportedly given the industry a much-needed theatrical hit.


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Though ‘Doctor’ tackles a serious theme like human trafficking, Nelson’s screenplay makes  it a commercial, fun film at the same time.

Yogi Babu with the hero of “Doctor”, Sivakarthikeyan. Babu brings in a lot of the laughs in the film

Reviewers are raving about a brilliantly executed fight scene on a Chennai metro train and another sequence where Siva goes into the villain’s den in the climactic portions. The Business Standard review which called ‘Doctor’ a “solid, gold hoot of a movie” said: “The Tarantino-esque absurdity that Nelson brings to the table is sans pareil in Indian cinema at the moment. It remains to be seen what kind of fireworks he gins up for his next directorial venture ‘Beast’, which has Vijay in the lead role”.

No other Tamil film apart from Nelson’s first film ‘Kolamavu Kokila’ has used dark comedy so effectively in recent years, said reports.

The Tamil film industry was quick to jump in to appreciate the movie. Director  Shankar and actor Khushboo Sundar tweeted about the film. Shankar called the movie “best laughter medicine” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“#Doctor gave us the best laughter medicine in these covid-times. Hats off to Director @Nelsondilpkumar for making everyone ROFL. Thanks to @Siva_Kartikeyan, @anirudhofficial and the whole team for this family entertainer! Happy to see the theatrical experience is back,” Shankar tweeted.

After much delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘Doctor’ was released in theatres on October 9. The movie, which has been titled ‘Varun Doctor’ in Telugu, features Priyanka Mohan too as the female lead in the film.