Maniratnam is one of those directors every actor would want to work with. And Rajni's the one actor who every director wants to direct. So, what Sivaji is now, Thalapathi was then: It brought the biggest tamil
star and director together. The expectations were high. And boy, did the duo deliver!
For many an old timer, this movie rekindled fond memories of Rajni, the actor. A twitch of the face here, and a subtle variation there, Rajni coasted through this tale of two friends.
This movie was also important in the sense that it clearly understood that Rajni's fans can never accept him dying. But one of the protagonists (Mammooty was the other) had to die And trust Mani to come up with a solution. It is said that the makers had shot two versions for different states. Rajni lives to tell the tale in the Tamil version, but is killed off in the Malayalam version.