|Starring||Rajinikanth, Soundarya, Ramya Krishnan, Sivaji Ganesan|
|Music By||A R Rahman|
|Singers||S. P. Balasubramanyam, Harini, Savitha Reddy, Mano, Febi Mani, Srinivas, Hariharan, Nithyasree Mahadevan, Palakkad Sreeram|
Padayappa is a 1999 Indian Tamil-language drama film, written and directed by K. S. Ravikumar, and featuring Sivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth, Ramya Krishnan and Soundarya in the lead roles, with Abbas, Lakshmi, Radha Ravi and Nassar in supporting roles. The soundtrack album and background score were composed by A. R. Rahman.
The plot revolves around Padayappa (Rajinikanth), an engineer whose father (Sivaji Ganesan) dies of shock soon after he is defrauded and loses his property to his foster brother (Manivannan). Neelambari (Ramya Krishnan) initially loves Padayappa, but plans to take revenge on him and his love interest Vasundhara (Soundarya) after his family humiliates her father (Radha Ravi). The rest of the story deals with Padayappa climbing back to financial success and arranging his daughters' marriage while overcoming all the obstacles placed by Neelambari.
Principal photography for the film began in October 1998. Padayappa was released on 10 April 1999 on the eve of Tamil New Year's day. This was the first Tamil film to be released worldwide with 210 prints and 700,000 audio cassettes. It became Tamil cinema's highest grossing film at that point. Ramya Krishnan's performance was praised, winning her a Filmfare Award under the Best Actress category. The film also won five Tamil Nadu State Film Awards. Padayappa was dubbed into Telugu under the title Narasimha. The dubbed version was also commercially successful, and had a theatrical run of 50 days at 49 theatres. This film broke "Indian"'s record for highest collection for a Tamil film, and held the record for 5 years, until "Ghillli" broke it.
Padayappa was a box office success; T. R. Vivek of Business Today says that the film was estimated to have earned ₹440 million worldwide, with a total of ₹380 million at the domestic box office, and ₹60 million overseas. According to The Tribune, it was the highest grossing Tamil film at that point of time before being surpassed by another Rajinikanth film, Chandramukhi (2005), although Rediff stated in 2014 that Padayappa's record was surpassed by Ghilli (2004).
The film had a theatrical run of 100 days in 86 theatre centres, and was dubbed into Telugu under the title Narasimha. The dubbed version was also a commercially successful venture, and had a theatrical run of 50 days in 49 theatres.