Theatrical poster depicting 50 days of run.
|Directed by||P. Vasu|
|Produced by||Ramkumar Ganesan
|Screenplay by||P. Vasu|
|Story by||Madhu Muttam|
|Cinematography||Sekhar V. Joseph|
|Editing by||Suresh Urs|
|Release dates||14 April 2005 (India)
23 June 2006 (Japan)
|Running time||166 minutes|
|Budget||190 million (US$3.2 million)|
|Box office||620 million (US$10 million)|
Chandramukhi is a 2005 Indian comedy-horror film directed by P. Vasu and produced by Ramkumar Ganesan. It's a remake of the Kannada film Apthamitra, which in itself was a remake of the Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu. The soundtrack and background score, which became successful enough to be released as a separate album, was composed by Vidyasagar. The film was distributed by Sivaji Productions.
It starred Rajinikanth, making Chandramukhi his "come back" film after the box office failure of Baba (2002). The title role was played by Jyothika while Prabhu Ganesan and Nayantara played other lead roles roles whilst Vadivelu, Nassar, K. R. Vijaya, Vijayakumar, Vinaya Prasad, Sonu Sood, Vineeth and Malavika played supporting roles. It was released on 14 April 2005, coinciding with Tamil New Year. The film ran for over 700 days at the box office, selling 20 million tickets worldwide. This was the first Tamil film to beat the record set by Padayappa (1999), and in turn beaten two years later by Sivaji (2007); both of them also being Rajinikanth-starrers. The film was awarded Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film for year 2005. Jyothika won positive critical acclaim and awards for her performance, including a Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress and a nomination for a Filmfare Award for Best Actress in Tamil.
The film was simultaneously released in Telugu. The film was also dubbed into German as Der Geisterjäger (English: The Ghost Hunters). Despite the release of Bhool Bhulaiyaa(2007), the Bollywood remake of Manichitrathazhu, the film was dubbed and released in Hindi in 2010.
The movie opens with Saravanan (Rajinikanth), an Indian-American psychiatrist coming to India on vacation. He meets up with his dearest friend and foster brother, Senthilnathan (Prabhu Ganesan), and his wife, Ganga (Jyothika). Senthil's mother (Saravanan's adoptive mother), Kasturi (K. R. Vijaya), had wanted Senthil to get married to Priya (Malavika), daughter of his father's cousin Kandaswamy (Nasser), to reunite the two branches of the family after 30 years of separation. They had separated because Senthilnathan's father chose to marry Kasturi instead of the intimidating Akhilandeshwari (Sheela), Kandaswamy's sister and the bachelorette head of her late parents' family. Saravanan learns that Senthil's family have bought the Vettayyapuram Palace, despite a fear of the place and attempts by the elders to dissuade them. Saravanan moves in with them. Akhilandeshwari is jealous of Saravanan and tries to destroy him, with the help of her assistant (Sonu Sood).
When they go to a temple, a priest reveals why everyone is frightened. When King Vettayan lived in the palace, he took a trip to Vijayanagaram in Andhra Pradesh and met the dancer Chandramukhi, instantly falling in love with her beauty. However, she would not return his love because her heart was already set on the dancer Gunasekaran. Vettayan kidnapped her and brought her back to his palace. Chandramukhi, without letting the king know, had Gunasekaran stay in a nearby house. When the king found out, he killed Gunasekaran on Durgashtami and burned Chandramukhi alive. Chandramukhi's spirit continued to remain in the palace to take revenge on the king. Legend had it that her soul was locked up in the southern room with a king cobra. Shortly after this revelation, Saravanan helps Priya in her love affair with their neighbour, dance professor Viswanathan (Vineeth), and persuades her parents and aunt to arrange their marriage.
When Ganga learns of Chandramukhi's story, she wants to go to her room because she thinks that this story was made up to scare thieves from stealing costly treasures which she believes are in the room. She gets the key and opens the door. Subsequently, strange things begin happening in the household: a ghost is scaring the people in the house, things are inexplicably breaking, and Ganga's sari catches fire. Suspicion turns towards Durga (Nayantara), the gardener's granddaughter. Senthil calls Saravanan for help with the mysterious events. The night Saravanan returns, a mysterious being makes an attempt to kill Priya. Someone tries to kill Senthil, once with poison, and another time by pushing a fish tank. A mysterious voice sings in the middle of the night, and Saravanan tries to figure out what's happening. The night of Priya and Viswanathan's wedding reception, Ganga mysteriously disappears from the canopy. When Saravanan notices, he goes to look for her. But he ends up almost getting killed by the goon sent by Akhilandeshwari. He knocks the goon out and, with Senthil's help, finds Ganga, supposedly being sexually harassed by Viswanathan. Saravanan informs Senthil and Viswanathan that Ganga has a split personality of Ganga and Chandramukhi. The reason she tried to kill Priya and Senthil, and frame Viswanathan for sexual harassment, was because in Chandramukhi's eyes, Viswanathan is her lover Gunasekaran. The only way to stop it is to make her believe Saravanan is dead. This is because Chandramukhi was killed by King Vettayan, who looked just like Saravanan.
Saravanan says that he will act as the king and let Chandramukhi kill him and get the dancer's spirit out of Ganga's body, with the help of world-renown exorcist Ramachandra Acharya. He will sacrifice his life because he looks just like the king, and he went up to Chandramukhi's room and she saw him. Akhilandeshwari hears his idea, realising that she was wrong to try to destroy Saravanan, and begs him for forgiveness. Later, in the dance hall, the family and Ramachandra Acharya do what Saravanan has asked them to do. They let Chandramukhi pour oil on him so she can burn him alive. When she lights the match, Ramachandra Acharya blows the smoke and ash in her face. Then Senthil opens a trapdoor to let Saravanan fall down and a cardboard figure of him gets burnt. Chandramukhi thinks that the king is dead and leaves Ganga's body. Ganga is cured using a scientific concept called hypnotherapy. After 30 years of separation, the two families are reunited. Saravanan and Durga fall in love and are united. And finally, Swarna and Murugesh (Vadivelu), become parents after 8 years of marriage.
Cast and characters
- Rajinikanth as the Dr. Saravanan and King Vettaiyan. The role of Dr. Saravanan is a charismatic and highly social psychiatrist who goes about discovering the problems happening at the mansion and curing Ganga from her mental illness. He later disguises himself as Vettaiyan to trick Chandramukhi and curing Ganga. Rajinikanth's dual role and performance was well acclaimed in the film; it lacked his usual mass appearance as a hero and this time acted very versatile.
- Prabhu Ganesan as Senthilnathan. Senthilnathan is a road contractor who moves to the town of Vettaiyapuram with his wife, Ganga, to buy the Vettaiyapuram Mansion. He married his love interest Ganga abruptly without letting his mother know, when he was already proposed to his cousin, Priya. In fright of Akhilandeswari, they decide to live at the Vettaiyapuram mansion. He denies rumours that he hears about the haunted household and has no belief in ghosts or other superpowers. To possess Viswanathan, whom she thinks is her lover Gunasekaran, Chandramukhi tries to kill Senthilnathan twice with no success.
- Jyothika as Ganga Senthilnathan and Chandramukhi. Ganga is found suffering from split personality disorder; her second personality is the ghost of Chandramukhi. Ganga has a very curious and mischievous character. Married to Dr. Saravanan's friend Senthilnathan, she unlocks the ancient rooms of Vettaiyan and Chandramukhi, only to cause her family more trouble and having herself turn into the personality of Chandramukhi every so often, causing mysterious havoc in the family.The role initially made for Soundarya.But her death lead director to choose Simran and he shaped the character to suit her.But unfortunately she refused the offer because of her pregnancy and finally Jyothika became the luckiest.
- Vadivelu as Murgesan. The clumsy younger brother of Akhilandeswary and Kandaswamy. He is often irritated by Saravanan who occasionally socialises with his wife, who considers Saravanan as her own brother, which is misinterpreted by Murgesan, who thinks they are in a relationship and tries to safeguard his wife. He provides the comic relief in the film.
- Nayantara as Durga. Durga is the granddaughter of the mansion's gardener, also the love interest of Dr. Saravanan. Her first few encounters with Saravanan went with arguments, as she later had interest in him, also needing his help to prove herself not guilty. She helps out Ganga in her adventure to explore Chandramukhi's room and is later wrongly accused by Senthilnathan and Kandaswamy of causing troubles in the family. When she is informed about Ganga's mental illness by Saravanan, she agrees to take as much blame as possible for Ganga to be cured. The role of Durga was initially given to Malayalam actress Kavya Madhavan.
- Vineeth as Viswanathan and Gunasekaran. Viswanathan is a dance tutor who is the principle love interest of Priya who let him live in another portion of the mansion. When their love was exposed by Saravanan, it was disliked by Akhilandeswari, who initially disliked the doctor. Viswanathan is looked upon by Chandramukhi as her lover Gunasekaran, who was beheaded by Vettaiyan. Viswanathan disguises as Gunasekaran during the climax when curing Ganga.
- Malavika as Priya Kandaswamy. Priya is the daughter of Kandaswamy who was mostly raised by her paternal aunt, Akhilandeswari. She was initially proposed for marrying Senthilnathan but her love for Viswanathan was later found out by Saravanan. Priya is also one of Chandramukhi's targets of killing to have Viswanthan, who she thinks is Gunasekaran, for herself.
- Sheela as Akhilandeswari. The intimidating older sister of Kandaswamy and the bachelorette family head. She is very arrogant who wants things to be done her way. Her characteristics are highlighted when she often shows her dissatisfaction for Saravanan. She initially gets the urge to take revenge on Senthilnathan and Ganga for cheating on Priya and makes everyone live with the couple at the mansion. She tries to get rid of Saravanan through her mute servant whom she refers to as Oomaiyan.
- Nassar as Kandaswamy. The brother of Akilandeswary and Murugesan and father of Priya. He initially thinks that Saravanan is actually Senthilnathan, who was his soon-to-be son-in-law. He was proven wrong when it was clarified by Akhilandeswari. Kandaswamy accuses Durga for causing problems in the family and shows arrogance against Saravanan for socialising with his daughter.
- Vinaya Prasad as Lakshmi Kandaswamy. The obedient wife of Kandaswamy and mother of Priya.
- Vijayakumar as Thottakaarar. The poor gardener of the Vettaiyapuram mansion and grandfather to Durga. He advises Senthilnathan about the mansion before purchasing it, but Senthilnathan refuses to listen.
- K. R. Vijaya as Kasthuri. In a cameo role, veteran actress Vijaya plays Kasthuri, mother of Senthilnathan. She married Akhilandeswari's in-law which caused a family dispute for nearly 30 years. To end the dispute, she planned on proposing her son Senthilnathan to Akhilandeswari's niece Priya, which also didn't happen.
- Sonu Sood as Oomaiyan. The mute servant of Akhilandeswari who is always shown giving cunning smiles to himself. He is sent by Akhilandeswari at one point to kill Saravanan, which turns out to be unsuccessful for her.
- Avinash as Ramachandra Acharya. Ramachandra Acharya is a world reown exorcist, who Kandaswamy calls upon to exorcise Chandramukhi's ghost. He however realises that Ganga sees Saravanan as Vettaiyan and helps them in the exorcism.
- Suvarna Mathew as Swarna. Swarna is Murgesan's wife. She is a very good socialiser and considers Saravanan as her own brother, which is misinterpreted by Murgesan, who thinks they are in a relationship and tries to safeguard his wife.
Yesteryear actress Sheela was signed up for a significant role in the film and was asked by the producers not to divulge the role to the media. In November 2004, Simran left the project as her role required a lot of dancing and it would be risky for the pregnant actress to play it on screen. After reports that Sadha or Reemma Sen were being considered as replacements, Jyothika was signed on and immediately gave 50 days of her schedule for the film.
Filming began on 24 October 2004 at Annai Illam, the residence of late Sivaji Ganesan, like most other films by Sivaji Productions. Producer Ramkumar Ganesan claimed that the film would be entirely wrapped up by 15 February, giving them two months to complete the post-production work, including special effects. The schedules began two days later with a fight scene filmed at Ramavaram in Chennai with over 20 vehicles. Shooting ceased in February 2005 in Hyderabad with a song being shot and Vasu revealing that the film had only taken 78 days to complete instead of the planned 120 days.
|Soundtrack album by Vidyasagar|
The soundtrack consists of six songs composed by Vidyasagar.
|1.||"Devuda Devuda "||S. P. Balasubramaniam|
|2.||"Kokku Para Para"||Tippu, Manicka Vinayagam, Rajalakshmi|
|3.||"Athinthom"||S. P. Balasubramaniam, Vaishali|
|4.||"Konja Neram"||Asha Bhonsle, Madhu Balakrishnan|
|5.||"Annanoda Pattu"||Krishnakumar Kunnath, Karthik, Sujatha|
|6.||"Raa Raa"||Binny Krishnakumar, Tippu|
|1.||"Devuda Devuda "||Bhuvanachandra||S. P. Balasubramaniam||5:12|
|2.||"Chiluka Pada Pada"||Suddala Ashok Teja||Tippu, Manicka Vinayagam, Rajalakshmi, Ganga||4:46|
|3.||"Andala Aakasamantha"||Suddala Ashok Teja||S. P. Balasubramaniam||4:30|
|4.||"Konta Kalam"||Vennelakanti||Sujatha, Madhu Balakrishnan|
|5.||"Annagari Mata"||Bhuvanachandra||Anuradha Sriram, Karthik||5:15|
|6.||"Vaarai Naan Unnai Thedi"||Kavinjarvali||Nithyashree Mahadevan||5:19|
The original Malayalam film Manichithrathazhu was subsequently remade or dubbed in several other languages and found success in the respective regional cinemas. Chandramukhi is the second remake of Manichithrathazhu after the Kannada version, Aaptamitra, which was also directed by P. Vasu. The Tamil version was dubbed intoTelugu with the same title. Rajmohol (2005) in Bengali. Later, it became the first Tamil film to be dubbed into German and it was released in several German-speaking countries as Der Geisterjäger (lit. The Ghost Hunters). On 29 February 2008, producer A. M. Rathnam dubbed and released the film in Hindi, despite Bhool Bhulaiyaa, the Bollywood remake of Manichithrathazhu, having been released on 12 October 2007. The film was also dubbed in Bhojpuri with the title Chandramukhi Ke Hunkaar.
Below is a character map of the lead characters in the story of Manichithrathazhu and its remakes.
|Manichitrathazhu (1993)||Apthamitra (2004)||Chandramukhi (2005)||Rajmohol (2005)||Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2008)|
|Dr. Sunny Joseph
|Dr. Aditya Shrivastav
- Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer – Tamil – Binny Krishnakumar
- Filmfare Award for Best Comedian – Tamil – Vadivelu
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor – Rajinikanth
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress – Jyothika
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film - Chandramukhi
Though the movie was a remake, the story did not credit Madhu Muttam, who wrote the story for Manichithrathazhu. Instead, the story was credited to the director P. Vasu. The same controversy happened in Vasu's Apthamitra. Vasu, however stated that the script was revised and was different from the original, though very slightly. The script was also said to have partially inspired from another Malayalam flick Aaraam Thampuran.
A sequel to Chandramukhi, tentatively titled Chandramukhi 2 in Tamil, is currently being made by P. Vasu, who directed the sequel to Apthamitra, titled Aptharakshaka. In 2008, Vasu proposed the script of the film to Rajinikanth, who initially expressed desire to take up a dual role as Dr. Saravanan and Vettaiyan. In 2010, it was reported that Rajinikanth suggested Ajith Kumar for the dual lead role. Sameera Reddy was also rumoured to have been approached for a role.
A sequel to Chandramukhi in Telugu is made in the same language as Nagavalli by P. Vasu starring Venkatesh Daggubati in the lead along with Anushka Shetty, Richa Gangopadhyay, Shraddha Das, Poonam Kaur, and Kamalinee Mukherjee.
The satellite rights of the film were bagged by Sun TV. The film was a given a "U" certificate by the Indian Censor Board. The film was released on 14 April 2005, on the eve of Tamil New Year, alongside Kamal's Mumbai Xpress.
Sify wrote, "First thing first. Rajnikanth’s Chandramukhi is far better than his last film Baba, yet it leaves you with somewhat mixed feeling. Undoubtedly the plot is nothing but Fazil’s Manichitrathazhu from Malayalam. But Chandramukhi is a remake of P. Vasu’s Apathamitra from Kannada with some additional songs, fights and comedy scenes thrown in to further boost the superstar’s image". Rediff stated that the film would become "a certain blockbuster".
The original negative was damaged due to poor care and ill-treatment. AP International and Shahran Sunny Audit started a restoration project which scanned the film frame-by-frame, in a 2K workflow. They were able to remove all wear and tear, and retain the natural film grain. This version has been released on Blu-ray in July 2012.
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