One of the most critically acclaimed directors and screenwriters in the Tamil film industry, Selvaraghavan is known for making films across different genres. Be it romantic-drama, sci-fi fantasy or coming-of-age films, he has done it all and with great success. After making his debut on the silver screen as a screenwriter for Thulluvadho Illamai (2002), a directorial venture of his father Kasthuri Raja, Selvaraghavan made his directorial debut with Kaadhal Kondein (2003). The two-time Filmfare Awards nominee for Best Director, Selvaraghvan has worked with several big stars and has established himself as one of the most accomplished and successful directors in the Tamil film industry.
Born in a typical Tamil family, Selvaraghavan is the son of renowned Tamil film director Kasthuri Raja
and Vijayalakshmi. He has three siblings, a brother named Dhanush who is a popular actor and two sisters who are doctors. Despite coming from a family that had a deep connection in the film industry, Selvaraghavan`s parents and his sisters insisted him to focus on first completing his education before starting a career in the film industry. He obtained his degree in BE (Bachelors of Engineering) in Mechanical Engineering. While in college, Selvaraghavan pursued various part-time jobs and try to work in different sectors before eventually finding satisfaction as a writer.
Selvaraghavan married actress Sonia Agarwal
in December 2006; the two had met for the first time on the sets of Kaadhal Kondein, which was also his directorial debut. The two subsequently worked together on two more films before tying the knot. The marriage, however, did not last long and the duo filed for divorce at the Chennai family court with mutual consent. Two years later, the director married Gitanjali Raman, the daughter of former Advocate General of Tamil Nadu P.S. Raman in June 2011. Selvaraghavan met Gitanjali
when she was hired to work as an assistant director in Mayakkam Enna. The couple has two children together, a daughter named Leelavathi who was born on 19th January 2012 and a son named Omkar who was born on 7th October 2013.
As a director/screenwriter
After completing his graduation in 1997, Selvaraghavan approached several producers to fund his screenplay writing but he could not find a single investor. It was in the early 2000s when his family faced financial crunch that his father decided to put all his savings into a venture titled Thulluvadho Illamai (2002), for which Selvaraghavan had written the screenplay for. The film starring Dhanush, Sherin, and Abhinaya in the lead roles was a coming-of-age story of six high school students. The film initially had a small opening but eventually, it became a big hit among the teenage audiences and it went on to become a sleeper hit.
Following the huge success of his debut film as a writer, Selvaraghavan made his directorial debut with Kaadhal Kondein (2003), a romantic thriller. The film starring Dhanush
, Sonia Agarwal and the veteran comedian Nagesh
was much appreciated by the critics and it performed fairly well at the box office. It was later remade in Telugu as Nenu with Allari Naresh
and Veda in the lead roles and in Kannada as Ravana with Yogesh Hunsoor and Sanchita Padukone
replacing Dhanush and Sonai Agarwal.
In 2004, the director once again teamed up with Sonia Agarwal and cast her alongside Ravi Krishna
and Suman Shetty
for the romantic drama 7G Rainbow Colony
. The film, upon its release, got wide critical acclaim and was a commercial hit. After his back-to-back success with romantic films, Selvaraghavan moved away from romance and directed a gangster film Pudhupettai. The film starring Dhanush, Sneha
, and Sonia Agarwal received universal critical acclaim and later gained a cult status. The following year, Selvaraghavan made his directorial debut in the Telugu film industry with Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule (2007). The film starring the Telugu superstar Venkatesh Dagubatti
and Trisha Krishnan
was a big commercial success and was highly critically acclaimed. It won three Nandi Awards and one Filmfare Award. Following the success of the film, it was later remade in Tamil as Yaradi Nee Mohini
(2008) starring Dhanush and Nayanthara
. The film directed by Mithran Jawahar, just like the Telugu version was a commercial and critical hit.
Selvaraghavan after experimenting with different genres of films returned to make a romantic film titled Irandaam Ulagam
(2013) starring Arya
and Anushka Shetty
. The movie, which concurrently unfolds in two different planets, the Earth and an unnamed exoplanet, upon release, received mixed critical reviews but it went to be a commercial hit. After Irandaam Ulagam, the director took a sabbatical for three years, before making his comeback as the writer for Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam
(2016), a romantic drama directed by Gitanjali Selvaraghavan. His 2017 releases include Nenjam Marappathillai
and Mannavan Vanthandai. His other releases include NGK (2019) and Nenjam Marappathillai (2021).
As a Producer
The established director has also produced several films, most of which are his own directorial ventures. He made his production debut with Mayakkam Enna (2011) and subsequently produced Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam (2016).
As a Lyricist
Apart from direction and producing films, Selvaraghavan has also worked as a lyricist; he has written several songs. The first song that he wrote was Kann Munnae Eththanai Nilavu from his debut film Thulluvadho Ilamai. He has also written for films like Aayirathil Oruvan (2010) and Mayakkam Enna (2011).