Autograph (2004 film)
|Editing by||S. Sathesh
J. N. Harsha
|Running time||168 minutes|
Autograph is a 2004 Tamil film directed by Cheran. The film's soundtrack is composed by Bharathwaj. Cheran also plays the lead role in the film, and other cast members include Sneha, Gopika, Kanika and Mallika.
The film was remade into Telugu as Naa Autograph (2004) with Ravi Teja and in Kannada as My Autograph (2006) with Sudeep directing himself as a lead actor. The film was released in India in February 2004, and was screened at the Lyon Asian Film Festival in France and at the Montreal World Film Festival in Canada. Upon release, the film met with critical acclaim and commercial success. Although a sequel to the film titled Autograph 2 was announced, it never materialized.
This Indian romance begins with the character Senthil (Cheran) setting off on a journey, distributing wedding invitations for his forthcoming wedding. Along the way, he encounters various individuals from his past, who bring back memories of three women that have had an impact on his love life.
"It is quite natural for students to get autographs on the last day of their school and college life. But how many of them flip through the autograph book and rewind their memories in the later stages of their life. Autograph, a film, is one such attempt made by director Cheran to rewind the memories of his early childhood and youthful days with spotlight on his romantic escapades. Interestingly with no cinematic touches, Autograph is sure to delight one and all to recall their memories and enjoy the past."
The movie begins with Senthil, who runs an advertising agency, boarding a train to visit his native village to invite all his friends for his wedding.
The journey to his childhood days begins there. The happenings in the school, his tussle with his friends and his first love with his classmate, Kamala (Mallika), are all pictured realistically. Senthil reaches the village and invites all including Kamala, who promises to come to the wedding, with her husband and three children.
Then, he goes to Kerala where he had his college education. His major crush at that time was Lathika (Gopika), a Malayalee girl, with whom he falls in love but later the affair proves to be short- lived as her parents marry her off to her cousin, Madhavan. On reaching Kerala to invite her, Cheran is shattered to see his lover as a widow.
Meanwhile, he is dejected at the failure of his love affair then and he comes across a trusted friend Divya (Sneha), who instils confidence, unearths his hidden talents and teaches him the lesson that one has to go ahead in life without looking back. However, she does not reveal the tragedy that occurred in her past. But as time passes by, she reveals that her mother is a paralytic patient and that she now has to work for survival. While she and Senthil travel on a bus, she reveals that she was in love with someone and believed that he was a good man but got cheated. A poetic narration on the need for a good friend has been stressed.
Towards the end, Senthil gets married to a girl of his parents choice, Thenmozhi (Kanika), and all the three girls, who had played a part in his life, and many college friends attend the wedding.Also he sets a terry nice ending to the main story.
- Cheran as Senthil Kumar
- Sivaprakasam as Senthil Kumar, young age
- Sneha as Divya
- Gopika as Lathika
- Mallika as Kamala
- Kanika as Thenmozhi
- Ilavarasu as Narayanan Teacher
- Karuppiah Bharathi as Narayanan Teacher, old age
- Krishna as Kamalakannan
- Benjamin as Oolamookkan Subramani
- Lingeswaran as Oolamookkan Subramani, young age
- Rajesh as Senthil's father
- Vijaya Singh as Senthil's mother
In an interview in June 2001, Vikram revealed he had signed on to portray the lead role in the project; however, he later opted out as a result of scheduling problems. Cheran said that the film was partly autobiographical. Four different cinematographers worked on the film; Ravi Varman had shot the school episode in Senthil’s early life with a 35 mm lens, Vijay Milton shot the Kerala scenes, Dwaraknath shot the Chennai episode with a steady cam and Shanky Mahendran shot the "'live' part" of the film when the camera uses the point of view of Senthil's character.
The film has won the following awards since its release:
52nd National Film Awards (India)
- Won - Golden Lotus Award - Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment - Cheran
- Won - Silver Lotus Award - Best Female Playback Singer - K. S. Chithra
- Won - Silver Lotus Award - Best Lyrics - Pa. Vijay
- Won - Best Film – Tamil
- Won - Best Director – Tamil - Cheran
- Won - Best Supporting Actress – Tamil - Mallika
- Won - Best Music Director – Tamil - Bharathwaj
- Gnyabagam Varudae - Bharathwaj
- Kizhakke Paarthen - Yugendran, Foni
- Maname Nalama - Bharathwaj
- Manasukkulle Dhagam - Harish Ragavendra, Reshmi
- Meesa Vecha Perandi - Kovai Kamala, Karthik
- Ninaivugal Nenjinil - Unni Menon
- Ovvoru Pookalume - K. S. Chithra
The film's background was scored by the famous duo Sabesh-Murali.
Box office 
The film was a sensation and emerged as the second highest grosser of the year, earning over US$7 million at the box office and finished behind the Vijay starrer Ghilli that released a few months later. The film has been remade in Telugu as Naa Autograph with Ravi Teja in the lead, in 2004. The story and plot captivated the viewers and critics. Language proved to be no bar, it still managed to become a commercial success. In Kannada also, the film has been remade as My Autograph with Sudeep taking up the roles of director and lead actor, and Meena as the heroine, in 2006. This was also a huge hit and Sudeep was widely acclaimed for his work.
- "Arts & Culture". Tamilguardian.com. 2001-06-20. Retrieved 2012-08-05.