The Mahabharata has always been an inspiration for many for writing books, making films and one such project was done by famous director Mani Rathnam who made the superhit film Thalapathi in 1991.

The character of Karna who never says to no to one who asks from him was essayed by Rajinikanth as Surya a modern-day Karna who will be a rebel by birth and speaks against injustice, at the same time ensures the friendship is well balanced between him and his trusted patron Deva, played by Mammootty.

Despite coming to know about his abandoned family and instead of reuniting with them, Surya stays with Deva who goes by violence to get justice for the poor.

In a particular scene, Deva asks his Thalapathi to kill the designated officer taking on people believing in a violent path to get justice, Surya refuses and this sparks doubt in Deva's mind and after repeated confrontation, Surya reveals about the officer as his step-brother.
In tears, Deva then embraces Surya for his sacrifices of staying with him despite coming to know about his family members.

It is this concept the film revolved around and steamrolled at the box office then. The film was also dubbed in Hindi and Telugu and did better.