Chandramukhi

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For the fictional character in Devdas, see Chandramukhi (character).
Chandramukhi
Chandramukhi1.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by P. Vasu
Produced by Ramkumar Ganesan
Prabhu
Screenplay by P. Vasu
Based on Manichitrathazhu 
by Madhu Muttam
Starring Rajinikanth
Prabhu
Jyothika
Nayantara
Music by Vidyasagar
Cinematography Sekhar V. Joseph
Edited by Suresh Urs
Production
company
Release dates
  • 14 April 2005 (2005-04-14)
Running time 164–167 minutes[a]
Country India
Language Tamil
Budget INR190 million[3]

Chandramukhi (English: Moon-faced beauty) is a 2005 Indian comedy-horror film written and directed by P. Vasu, and was produced and distributed by Ramkumar Ganesan of Sivaji Productions. It is a remake of Vasu's Kannada film Apthamitra (2004), which itself is a remake of the Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu (1993). The soundtrack album and background score were composed by Vidyasagar. The film features Rajinikanth, Prabhu, Jyothika and Nayantara leading an ensemble cast that includes Vadivelu, Nassar, Sheela, Vijayakumar, Vinaya Prasad, Sonu Sood, Vineeth, Malavika and K. R. Vijaya. Cinematography was handled by Sekhar V. Joseph and editing was done by Suresh Urs. Chandramukhi's plot revolves around a woman who suffers from dissociative identity disorder that affects a family, and a psychiatrist who intends to solve the case while risking his life.

The film was made on a budget of INR 190 million. Principal photography began on 24 October 2004 and was completed in March 2005. It was released on 14 April 2005 on the eve of the Tamil New Year. The film received positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing INR 650-750 million worldwide. It was the longest running South Indian film, with a theatrical run of 890 days, until its record was overtaken by the Telugu film Magadheera (2009) which completed a theatrical run of 1000 days. The film won five Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, four Film Fans' Association Awards and two Filmfare Awards. Jyothika and Vadivelu were each awarded a Kalaimamani Award for their work on the film.

Chandramukhi was dubbed in Telugu and was simultaneously released with the same title as the Tamil version. It was also dubbed and released in Bhojpuri under the title Chandramukhi Ke Hunkaar. It became the first Tamil film to be dubbed into German. It was released in Germany under the title Der Geisterjäger (English: The Ghost Hunters). The film was also dubbed into Turkish. Chandramukhi was dubbed in Hindi and released on 29 February 2008 by Dilip Dhanwani, owner of the production house Royal Film Company. The Hindi version was released in collaboration with producer A. M. Rathnam. The other language versions of the film were also successful.

Plot[edit]

Saravanan (Rajinikanth), a psychiatrist, visits India on vacation. He meets up with his foster brother Senthilnathan, alias Senthil (Prabhu), and his wife Ganga (Jyothika). Senthil's mother Kasthuri (K. R. Vijaya) wanted Senthil to marry Priya (Malavika), daughter of his father's cousin Kandaswamy (Nassar), to reunite the two branches of the family after 30 years of separation because Senthil's father (Sivaji Ganesan) chose to marry Kasthuri instead of Akhilandeshwari (Sheela), Kandaswamy's sister. Saravanan learns that Senthil had bought the Vettaiyapuram mansion, despite attempts by the local village elders to dissuade them, and moves in with them. Akhilandeshwari is jealous of Saravanan and plots to kill him with the help of her assistant Oomaiyan (Sonu Sood).

When the family visits a temple, the chief priest reveals the reason everyone fears the Vettaiyapuram mansion. A hundred-and-fifty years before, a king named Vettaiyan travelled to Vijayanagaram in Andhra Pradesh, where he met and fell in love with a dancer named Chandramukhi. However, she did not reciprocate his feelings as she was already in love with a dancer named Gunashekaran. As a result, Vettaiyan took her back to his palace by force. Unknown to him, Chandramukhi made Gunashekaran stay in a house nearby and had meetings with him secretly. When Vettaiyan discovered this, he beheaded Gunashekaran on Durgashtami and burnt Chandramukhi alive. As a result, Chandramukhi's ghost haunts the south-west room of the palace to take revenge on the king. Later, Vishwanathan (Vineeth), a dance professor, and Priya's love is supported by Saravanan, who asks Kandaswamy to arrange their marriage.

After hearing Chandramukhi's story, Ganga, who thinks that the story was fabricated to scare thieves from stealing treasures in the room, wants to go there. She gets the room key from the gardener's granddaughter Durga (Nayantara) and opens the door. Subsequently, strange things begin to happen in the household; a ghost frightens the people in the house, things inexplicably break, and Ganga's sari catches fire. Suspicion turns towards Durga. Senthil calls Saravanan to solve the case. As soon as Saravanan returns, a mysterious being tries to kill Priya. Attempts to kill Senthil are made with poison and by pushing a fish tank. A mysterious voice sings during the night. Saravanan investigates these incidents.

Ganga mysteriously disappears during Priya and Viswanathan's wedding reception. Saravanan notices her absence and searches for her, but he is almost killed by Oomaiyan—who has been sent by Akhilandeshwari. Saravanan subdues Oomaiyan and with Senthil's help finds Ganga, who is supposedly being sexually harassed by Viswanathan. Saravanan reveals to Senthil and Viswanathan that Ganga suffers from split personality, how she became affected by it and how she took up Chandramukhi's identity. He tells them Ganga tried to kill Priya and Senthil, and to frame Viswanathan for sexual harassment because from Chandramukhi's view, Viswanathan is her lover Gunashekaran because he stays in the same home as Gunashekaran. The only way to stop this from happening is to make Ganga believe Saravanan is dead because Saravanan acted like Vettaiyan and disrupted one of the pujas conducted by the exorcist Ramachandra Acharya (Avinash) by conversing with the ghost in order to know its wish.

Akhilandeshwari overhears Saravanan's idea of self-sacrifice and apologises to him. Later, in the dance hall, the family and Ramachandra Acharya allow Chandramukhi to burn Saravanan alive. Ramachandra Acharya blows smoke and ash on Ganga's face when she is given a torch to burn Saravanan. Senthil then opens a trapdoor to let Saravanan escape, and an effigy of Vettaiyan gets burnt instead. Convinced that Vettaiyan is dead, Chandramukhi leaves Ganga's body, curing her. The two families are reunited after 30 years; Saravanan and Durga fall in love, and Swarna (Suvarna Mathew) and Murugesan (Vadivelu) become parents after eight years of marriage.

Cast[edit]

Director P. Vasu, producer Ramkumar Ganesan and Raj Bahaddur make guest appearances in the song "Devuda Devuda".[4][5]

Production[edit]

"Four weeks ago, he [Rajinikanth] called me on a Sunday afternoon, and asked what I was doing. I told him I had had a lot of biryani and was spending time with my sons! He laughed in his stylish way, and then asked if I was doing any new production. I told him we are thinking of doing a Hindi film with Rajkumar Santoshi in March. We are also doing a Telugu serial which my cousins are looking after. I was quite free at the time. That's when he asked me, 'Shall we do a film, Ramu?' It came as a pleasant surprise. On a Sunday afternoon, after a heavy lunch, this suggestion from Rajnikanth was like superb dessert! I said, 'I am very happy sir.' He told me he had heard a subject, and we would make a film on that."

 — Ramkumar Ganesan on how Chandramukhi developed[6]

Development[edit]

Chandramukhi was the 50th film produced by Sivaji Productions.[7] In September 2004, Rajinikanth congratulated P. Vasu on the success of Apthamitra (2004) and was impressed with the film's screenplay. Vasu narrated a story of the film to Rajinikanth. Rajinikanth later called Ramkumar Ganesan and asked him to do the film in Tamil under Ramkumar's home production banner, Sivaji Productions.[8]

Ramkumar Ganesan telephoned Vasu, who was offering worship in a temple in Guruvayoor at that time, informing him of Rajinikanth's wish to do Apthamitra in Tamil under his direction.[8] Vasu reworked the script he wrote for Apthamitra to suit Rajinikanth's style of acting.[9] The film dealt mainly with the concept of dissociative identity disorder, commonly known as "multiple personality disorder" (MPD) or "split personality syndrome". Another film titled Anniyan (2005), which featured Vikram in the lead role, and was released two months after Chandramukhi, was also based on the same disorder.[10]

Thota Tharani was the film's art director,[8] and also designed the costumes used in the film.[11] Regarding the designing of the Vettaiyapuram palace, he watched both Manichitrathazhu and Apthamitra to get the basic idea of the film's plot. Manichitrathazhu was shot in a palace in Kochi. Vasu wanted Tharani to make the sets more colourful and grand and did not want the realistic look of the original film. Tharani designed Chandramukhi's room and placed a corridor in it, which was quite different from the original and its Kannada remake. The corridor resembled those commonly seen in palaces in Kerala.[11] Sidney Sladen did additional costume designing in the film.[12]

Casting[edit]

Rajinikanth played the roles of Dr. Saravanan and King Vettaiyan. He sported a wig for his role. Both Rajinikanth and P. Vasu discussed every scene featuring the former and added necessary inputs before they were shot.[13] Rajinikanth appears in the beginning of the film unlike Manichitrathazhu, where Mohanlal appears in the middle of the film.[14] Prabhu Ganesan played Senthilnathan, a civil engineer and owner of Ganesh Constructions. Prabhu co-produced the film with his brother, Ramkumar Ganesan.[15]

For the roles of Ganga and Chandramukhi, Soundarya was initially selected to reprise her role from Apthamithra, but her death led the director to choose Simran and he shaped the character to suit her. In November 2004, Simran refused to do the project, as her role required a lot of dancing and cited her pregnancy at that time as another main reason for her refusal.[16] Aishwarya Rai was offered the role but she declined the offer due to date problems.[17] Sadha and Reemma Sen were also considered as replacements. The role finally went to Jyothika, who gave 50 days of her schedule for the film.[18] Jyothika was paid INR 5 million,[b] for her participation in the film.[20] Vasu wanted Jyothika to perform her scenes in a manner different from that of Shobana's role in Manichitrathazhu, enacting the scenes himself before they were shot featuring Jyothika.[21] Nayantara was selected to portray Rajinikanth's love interest, Durga, after Vasu was impressed with her performance in her debut film Manassinakkare (2003).[14]

Vadivelu portrayed the comic role of Murugesan, Akhilandeswari's and Kandaswamy's younger brother. Rajinikanth, at the film's 200th day theatrical run celebration function, said that it was he who recommended Vadivelu to Vasu for the role and had asked Ramkumar Ganesan to get Vadivelu's dates before planning the filming schedules.[22] Nasser played Kandaswamy, Murugesan's older brother. Sheela, who was known for her role in the Malayalam film, Chemmeen (1965), played Akhilandeswari, the intimidating older sister of Kandaswamy and Murugesan. When Sheela was signed on for the role, she was requested by the producers not to divulge details about her role to the media.[23]

Filming[edit]

The amphitheatre in Hierapolis where "Konjam Neram" was shot.

Principal photography commenced on 24 October 2004 with a puja ceremony for the muhurat shot at Annai Illam, the residence of Sivaji Ganesan. Ramkumar Ganesan said the filming would be finished by 15 February 2005, giving the crew two months to complete the post-production work, including visual effects.[24] The first shooting schedule began two days later with a fight scene choreographed by Thalapathy Dinesh and filmed at Ramavaram in Chennai. More than 25 Toyota Qualis and 30 stunt artists were involved in the fight sequence that featured Rajinikanth.[25] The Vettaiyapuram mansion was erected in Hyderabad.[11] The song sequences, one picturised on Rajini alone, two songs in which he appears with the other principal cast members, and the climax song, which was picturised on Jyothika, were filmed in Ramoji Film City. Vasu said the film had taken only 78 days to be completed instead of the planned 120 days.[26]

The picturisation of the song "Devuda Devuda" focused on a variety of professions, especially janitors, sewage cleaners, farmers and washer folk.[27] According to Ramji, the location designer for the song "Konjam Neram", Australia and Russia were the initial choices for filming locations for the song sequence, but Ramkumar Ganesan and Vasu chose Turkey, making Chandramukhi the first Tamil film to be shot there.[28] The production unit flew to Istanbul from Chennai via Dubai on 25 February 2005.[28] The filming of the song was completed after the audio launch.[29] "Konjam Neram" was shot in segments in Ephesus and Pamukkale. Shooting in Ephesus took six hours. The segment in Pamukkale was filmed in an amphitheatre in the ancient city of Hierapolis, which is located close to Pamukkale. The last segment was shot in the Cappadoccia region, a 10-hour drive by bus from Istanbul.[29] Rajinikanth stood in the middle of the vehicle during the journey to the shooting location.[30] "Athinthom" was filmed in Mysore Palace.[31] "Raa Raa" was choreographed by Kala and took four days to be completed instead of the planned seven days.[32]

Music[edit]

Chandramukhi
Soundtrack album cover
Soundtrack album by Vidyasagar
Released 5 March 2005
Recorded 2004 - 2005
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label AnAK audio
Producer Vidyasagar
Vidyasagar chronology
Ji
(2005)
Chandramukhi
(2005)
Kana Kandaen
(2005)

Vidyasagar composed the soundtrack album and the background score of Chandramukhi. The soundtrack album consists of six tracks. Vaali, Yugabharathi, Pa. Vijay, Na. Muthukumar and Bhuvanachandra wrote the lyrics for the Tamil version.[33] Bhuvanachandra, Suddala Ashok Teja, Vennelakanti and Vaali wrote the lyrics for the dubbed Telugu version. The track "Raa Raa" was based on the Surya raaga, which is also known as the Sallabham raaga.[34] Veteran singer Asha Bhosle was engaged to sing a song for the film and to attend the film's audio launch.[35] The audio rights for the film were sold to Sanjay Wadhwa of AnAK audio for INR 11 million.[36][b] Tata Indicom and Sunfeast Biscuits were the sponsors for the audio launch and marketing.[37] The album cover depicts Rajinikanth in the song "Devuda Devuda".

The album was released on 5 March 2005 at the Taj Connemara hotel in Chennai.[38] An overseas audio launch took place the next day in Malaysia.[36] At the Music World shop in Chennai, 437 cassettes and 227 compact discs were sold on the first day of its stock release.[39] The cassettes were priced at INR 45 each and CD's at INR 99 each.[37][b] The original soundtrack of the film and a video CD titled "The making of Chandramukhi", were released on 27 September 2005 in Chennai.[40] The film's background score was released as a separate album.[41]

The album received positive reviews from critics. Siddhu Warrier of Rediff.com said that "Devuda Devuda" "finds S. P. Balasubramanian in top form". He called "Konjam Neram" "melodious in a forgettable kind of way", "Athinthom" a "soft, melodious song", "Kokku Para Para" as "insipid", "Raa Raa" "a rather listenable track", and said "Annonda Pattu" is "vintage Rajni, and gets your feet tapping. One can almost picture Rajni brandishing his trademark cigarette and sunglasses as he gyrates to the beat. If one is a die-hard Rajni fan, then one is likely to go beserk dancing to this."[42] IndiaGlitz wrote, "A good mixture of melody, mass and foot-tapping numbers. Chandramukhi is sure to be another hit of Vidyasagar's and will join the list of his recent Dhool, Ghilli and Madurey."[43] G. Dhananjayan, in his book The Best of Tamil Cinema, said all of the songs became popular and contributed to the success of the film, and also said "Raa Raa" became an evergreen number among music lovers.[7] Singer Charulatha Mani, writing for The Hindu called the song "Konjam Neram", which was based on the Sriranjani raga, "[a]n attractive take on the raga" and said the song "is contemporary in feel and traditional at the roots".[44]

Tracklist[edit]

Original Tracklist[45]
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "Devuda Devuda"   Vaali S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 05:16
2. "Konjam Neram"   Yugabharathi Asha Bhonsle, Madhu Balakrishnan 04:29
3. "Athinthom"   Pa. Vijay S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Vaishali 04:34
4. "Kokku Para Para"   Na. Muthukumar Tippu, Manicka Vinayagam, Rajalakshmi 04:52
5. "Annanoda Pattu"   Kabilan KK, Karthik, Sujatha Mohan, Chinnaponnu 05:25
6. "Raa Raa"   Bhuvanachandra Binny Krishnakumar, Tippu 05:15
Total length:
29:51
Telugu Version[46]
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "Devuda Devuda"   Bhuvanachandra S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 05:12
2. "Chiluka Pada Pada"   Suddala Ashok Teja Tippu, Manicka Vinayagam, Rajalakshmi, Ganga 04:46
3. "Andala Aakasamantha"   Suddala Ashok Teja S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 04:30
4. "Konta Kalam"   Vennelakanti Sujatha Mohan, Madhu Balakrishnan 04:25
5. "Annagari Mata"   Bhuvanachandra Anuradha Sriram, Karthik 05:15
6. "Vaarai Naan Unnai Thedi"   Vaali Nithyashree Mahadevan 05:19
Total length:
29:37

Release[edit]

The length of the film was 4,575 metres (15,010 ft).[2] The film was released on 14 April 2005—Tamil New Year's Day—alongside Kamal Haasan's Mumbai Express and Vijay's Sachein. Chandramukhi was released in 37 theatres in Malaysia, 15 in Europe, 9 in Sri Lanka, 7 in the United States, 4 each in Canada and the Gulf countries and 2 each in Australia and Singapore.[47] The film was released with 23 prints in Coimbatore, 12 more than Rajinikanth's Padayappa (1999).[48]

The producers entered into a business dealing with Tata Indicom to promote the film; ringtones of the songs from the film's soundtrack and special screensavers were issued.[49] Giant cutouts of Rajinikanth and movie release posters were posted all over the state as a run-up for the release.[50] The promotional campaign started in early March 2005 and continued mid-May that year.[49] The movie was screened in eight city theatres in Chennai.[51] The theatrical rights of the film in the Coimbatore and Nilgiris districts combined were sold to local theatre owners Tirupur Balu and Seenu for INR 22.5 million.[52][b]

Chandramukhi was screened at the 18th Tokyo International Film Festival in Japan on 23 October 2005 and 28 October 2005 as part of the 'Winds of Asia' section. It was the first public screening of the film in Japan.[53] It was met with positive response from audiences there.[54] The film opened the 7th IIFA Awards Film Festival held at the Dubai International Convention Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, becoming the first South Indian film to open the Film Festival.[55] In November 2011, it was screened at the International Tamil Film Festival held in Uglich, Russia alongside Thillana Mohanambal (1968), Sivaji (2007), Angadi Theru (2010), Boss Engira Bhaskaran (2010), Thenmerku Paruvakaatru (2010) and Ko (2011).[56]

Though the film was a remake, Madhu Muttam, who wrote the story for Manichithrathazhu, was not mentioned in either the opening or closing credits. Instead, the story was credited to the director P. Vasu.[57] The same thing happened in Vasu's Apthamitra. Vasu said the script was revised and was slightly different from the original.[58]

Home media[edit]

The television rights were sold to Sun TV.[59]

The film's original negative was damaged because of poor care and ill treatment. AP International 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.[60] This restored version was released on 2 August 2012 on Blu-ray format.[1]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film received positive reviews from critics. Writing for The Hindu, Malathi Rangarajan said, "As you watch the film you cannot but admire the ingenuity of writer-director P. Vasu in choosing a story that is bound to sell and at the same time helping Rajini maintain his image of an invincible hero". He also wrote, "The 'Mannan' team proves a winner again".[61] Another critic from The Hindu, Sudhish Kamath, said Rajinikanth is "at his vintage best".[62]

A reviewer from The Times of India called the film "Entertaining, stylish, respectful of ritual, and always massively larger than life".[63] Arun Ram of India Today said, "With Chandramukhi, Rajnikant revives his fading career and fortunes of Tamil cinema".[3] G. Ulaganathan, writing for the Deccan Herald praised the chemistry between Rajinikanth and Vadivelu, saying "Rajinikanth is back in full form, comedy comes naturally to him and he finds an able ally in Vadivelu. Some of the best scenes in the movie are when both are together. With Vadivelu suspecting his wife to be having an affair with Rajni and the superstar doing everything to keep him on the edge, the exchanges are hilarious."[64]

Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan said in its review, "Rajni's films normally revolve around him but in this case, Rajni is in a script which goes around several people ... Rajni as Vettaiyan is the highlight of the film ... After many years, Rajni has shown that he does not confine to his personality cage through this film." and gave the film 40 marks out of 100.[65] Dhananjayan in his book, The Best of Tamil Cinema: 1977 to 2010, said the film was "a family entertainer".[2] Behindwoods.com said, "Rajini belies his age on the screen and performs his antics with enthusiasm. His comic interludes with Vadivelu are the highlight of the movie. Shankar Josheph’s camera work is impressive. Vidyasagar’s music has enriched the songs which are soothing."[66] IndiaGlitz said, "Chandramukhi, on the whole, will surely the join the long list of Rajni's super hits".[67]

Sify wrote, " ... 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 Apthamitra from Kannada with some additional songs, fights and comedy scenes thrown in to further boost the superstar’s image".[68] A. Ganesh Nadar of Rediff.com said the film would become "a certain hit" and,"[t]he star will be happy, his fans will be happy and producer Prabhu will giggle all the way to the bank".[69]

V. Gangadhar of The Tribune wrote, "As in all Rajni films, Chandramukhi is a one-star attraction and Rajni plays to the gallery, There are no political messages in the film and that should come as some relief. With Nayan Tara and Jyotika in the female leads, there is plenty of glamour in the film. But the message is clear, King Rajni is back. His legion of fans can not ask for more."[70] Karthiga Rukmanykanthan writing for Daily News Sri Lanka said, " ... the long anticipated delight Chandramukhi has made itself the box-office hit of the year".[71]

Box office[edit]

Chandramukhi was a box office success, selling 20 million tickets worldwide and earning INR 150 million[b] in salary and profit share for Rajinikanth. The film's distributors made a 20 per cent profit over the INR 25 million[b] for which they bought the rights to the flm.[3] Its 365th day, 400th day[72] and 550th day[73] were celebrated at Shanthi theatre in Chennai. The 365th day celebrations were organised by Life Insurance Corporation of India.[74]

The film's 804th day celebration function was held at Kamaraj Arangam in Chennai on 25 June 2007. The then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi, director K. Balachander, film producer and owner of AVM Productions M. Saravanan,[75] Kamal Haasan and Sridevi attended the function.[76][77] Karunanidhi presented the "Shivaji" sword to the film's cast and crew, and awards were given to everyone involved in the film.[78]

India[edit]

Chandramukhi grossed INR 8.4 million[b] in 11 days in eight screens in Chennai.[79] In the Santham theatre of Sathyam Cinemas, around 22,000 tickets were sold for the first 10 days of its release.[51] The Telugu-dubbed version topped the box office charts in its first week of release.[80] Chandramukhi grossed INR 30 million[b] in Coimbatore, beating the INR 24.5 million[b] record set there by Padayappa.[81] Chandramukhi received INR 60 million as Minimum Guarantee (MG) from theatres in North Arcot, South Arcot and Chengalpattu districts collectively.[82] It was also a hit in Kerala where it grossed INR 711,545[b] in four days, doing better than the Mohanlal starrer Chandrolsavam, which also released on 14 April 2005, but grossed INR 523,340[b] during the same period of time.[83]

The film's theatrical run lasted 890 days at Sivaji Ganesan's family-owned Shanthi theatre, beating the 62-year record set by the 1944 film Haridas, which ran for 770 days at the Broadway theatre.[84] According to Krishna Gopalan of Business Today, the film grossed INR 750 million (US$16.6 million in 2005)[b] in its lifetime run.[85] The New Indian Express conversely states that it grossed INR 650 million (US$14.3 million in 2005)[b].[86] The Telugu version ran in theatres for 100 days. In the multiplexes of Mumbai and Delhi, the film was screened with subtitles; it had a successful theatrical run and attracted the audience there.[7] This was the first Tamil film to exceed the box office record set by Ghilli (2004), which grossed INR 500 million (US$11.1 million in 2005).[b] The record was beaten two years later by Sivaji (2007). It was the longest running South Indian film, until its record was overtaken the Telugu film Magadheera (2009), which completed a theatrical run of 1000 days in April 2012.[87]

Overseas[edit]

Chandramukhi was screened in Tokyo in October 2005 to packed houses.[88] In the US, it became the highest grossing South Indian film at that time.[7] Chandramukhi completed a 100-day theatrical run in South Africa.[89] It collectively earned INR 43 million[b] in Malaysia, UAE and the US during the first month of its theatrical run.[90] The film collected INR 62.78 million (US$1.4 million in 2005)[b] in Malaysia; it was the only Indian film to feature in that country's top ten grossing films of the year.[91]

Accolades[edit]

The awards for the film mainly went to Vadivelu and Jyothika for their performances. Rajinikanth won a Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor for his dual role. In an interview with The Hindu, Binny Krishnakumar said:

I will forever remain indebted to composer Vidyasagar, who gave me the song when I was a nobody in playback singing. I had given a cassette of my songs to Vidyasagar, who knew Krishnakumar.[c] Then, about six months later, Vidyasagar invited me to record "Ra ra…". The way that song has helped me in my career—both as a playback and classical singer—has been incredible. I was lucky I got a song in a Rajnikanth film so early in my career and the Filmfare award for my very first song."[93]

Award Ceremony Category Nominee(s) Outcome
Filmfare Awards South 53rd Filmfare Awards South[94] Best Female Playback Singer Binny Krishnakumar Won
Best Comedian Vadivelu Won
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Tamil Nadu State Film Award – 2005[95][65] Best Film Chandramukhi Won
Best Actor Rajinikanth Won
Best Actress Jyothika Won
Best Art Director Thota Tharani Won
Best Choreographer Kala Won
Kalaimamani Awards Kalaimamani – 2005[96][97] Honorary Jyothika Won
Vadivelu Won
Film Fans' Association Award 55th Annual Film Fans' Association Award
Cine bests of 2005[98][99]
Best Entertainment Movie Chandramukhi Won
Best Actress Jyothika Won
Best Lyricist Vaali Won
Best Comedian Vadivelu Won

Legacy[edit]

In an interview with film journalist Sreedhar Pillai, Rajinikath attributed the success of the film mainly to Vasu's script and the performance of his co-artistes. He said his comedy track with Vadivelu went a long way in making the film a successful venture and that their perfect timing clicked, bringing audiences to the theatres to watch the film more than once. He also said female viewers loved the portrayal of the female cast.[9] Behindwoods.com rated Chandramukhi as "2005's summer blockbuster of the decade (from 2003 to 2013)".[100]

Split personality syndrome became better known after the release of the film. MIOT hospital, in a blog description of the syndrome, called it The Chandramukhi syndrome.[101] Film artist, trainer and film-maker L. Satyanand said Chandramukhi is a classic example of the subgenre "horror of the demonic" and of "brilliance", ranking it alongside The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Psycho (1960).[102]

In a seminar on revisiting psychiatric disorders which centered around Chandramukhi and Anniyan, psychiatrist Asokan noted that there were many logical faults in both films. Responding to this, Vasu said that he did not know anything about psychiatric disorders: "I never had a brush with a ghost. Anyone watching films could come to a conclusion that ghosts have uniform--white saree and a pale face. My family saw the Malayalam film Manichitrathazu. Next day I saw a shadow moving in front of my bedroom and when I asked who was it, pat came the reply from my 4-year-old daughter that it was 'Nagavalli', the ghostly character in the film."[103]

Some scenes, dialogues and expressions from the film, such as the "Lakka Lakka..." sound that Rajnikanth's character makes, became very popular, especially with children.[9] Vadivelu's expressions and scenes—especially those with Rajinikanth—and dialogues including "Maapu...Vachittandaa Aapu!!!", which means "Son-in-law...he has trapped me!!!", also became popular.[104] A dialogue spoken by Rajinikanth to Prabhu, Naan gunda irundha nalla irukkadhu...nee elachcha nalla irukkadhu, which translates into "I won't look good if I put on weight...but you won't look good if you have reduced weight" evoked a lot of laughter among audiences.[105]

Prabhu's dialogue, "Enna kodumai Saravanan idhu?", which means "What atrocity is this, Saravanan?" became popular. It is usually used to express irony or surprise. The line was often parodied by actor Premgi Amaren, who altered it slightly to "Enna Kodumai, Sir Idhu?". This altered line was frequently used in Chennai 600028 (2007), Goa (2010) and Mankatha (2011).[106][104] Prabhu said in an interview with Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu, "I hope I get to play light roles. Incidentally, I quite like the way in which these young actors have made a joke of my serious line in Chandramukhi— '​Enna Kodumai Saravana Idhu '​ ".[107]

Chandramukhi was parodied in various films. In a comedy scene from Englishkaran (2005), Theeppori Thirumugam (Vadivelu) invents an idea to frighten Thamizharasu (Sathyaraj) but the ruse backfires on him as he witnesses Thamizharasu in the garb similar to Chandramukhi.[108] In a scene from Thalaimagan (2006), Erimalai (Vadivelu), after entering an old abandoned bungalow, gets frightened when he hears the "Lakka Lakka" sound, and says Yaaro Telugula Koopuddrangga! (English: "Someone is calling in Telugu!").[109] In Vallavan (2006), Vallavan (Silambarasan) is seen singing "Konja Neram" to Swapna (Nayantara).[110] In Sivaji (2007), Thamizhselvi (Shriya Saran) would be seen dancing for the song "Raa Raa", Sivaji (Rajinikanth) and Arivu (Vivek) are seen uttering the last lines of the song. Livingston who appears as a police inspector, utters the sound "Lakka Lakka" which Rajinikanth makes in Chandramukhi.[111] Rajinikanth and Nayantara's characters act in a film titled Chandramukhi 2 in a scene from Kuselan (2008), which P. Vasu also directed.[112] Scenes from the film were parodied in the Shiva starrer Thamizh Padam (2010). Shiva (Shiva) would be seen imitating the film's introduction scene by stretching his leg when it is revealed that Siva has a split seam in his pants.[113] Sundar C.'s role in the film Aranmanai (2014) was inspired by Rajinikanth's role in Chandramukhi.[114]

Sivaji Productions joined Gallatta Media and eBay for an online auction of the film's memorabilia, becoming the first South Indian film to auction film merchandise. Ramkumar Ganesan said the proceeds of the auction would be given to the Sivaji Prabhu Charity Trust and that INR 300,000 (US$6,650 in 2005)[b] would be given to Papanchatram Middle School.[115] Sophie Atphthavel from France bought Rajinikanth's sunglasses, which he sported in the film, for INR 25,000 (US$554 in 2005)[b]. According to Girish Ramdas, chief operating officer of Galatta Media, all the items had certificates of authenticity signed by the film's producers. Bidding for the items ranged between INR 10,000 (US$222 in 2005)[b] and INR 20,000 (US$444 in 2005)[b].[116]

In a statement by eBay, the articles made available for bidding were Rajinikanth's blue shirt worn in the song "Devuda Devuda", Jyothika's saree worn for the climax scenes, the peach-coloured saree worn by Nayantara in the song "Konja Neram", and the Vettaiyan Raja costume and ornaments worn on set by Rajinikanth.[117] Rajinikanth's dress, which he wore in "Devuda Devuda", was sold for INR 25,000 (US$554 in 2005).[b] His Vettaiyan costume and ornament set were sold for INR 32,000 (US$709 in 2005).[b] The saree worn by Nayantara in the song "Kokku Para Para" was also auctioned.[118]

Remakes[edit]

Chandramukhi was dubbed in Telugu and was simultaneously released with the same title as the Tamil version. It was also dubbed and released in Bhojpuri under the title Chandramukhi Ke Hunkaar.[119] It is the first Tamil film to be dubbed into German. It was released in Germany under the title, Der Geisterjäger (English: The Ghost Hunters).[120] The film was also dubbed and released in Turkish by the same firm.[121] Despite the release of Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007), Chandramukhi was dubbed in Hindi and released on 29 February 2008 by Dilip Dhanwani, owner of the production house Royal Film Company. The Hindi version was released in collaboration with producer A. M. Rathnam.[122] All the film's language versions were box-office successes.[7]

Below is a character map of the lead characters in the story of Manichithrathazhu and its remakes.

Characters in Manichitrathazhu and its adaptations
Manichitrathazhu (1993) Apthamitra (2004) Chandramukhi (2005) Rajmohol (2005) Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)
Malayalam
Kannada
Tamil
Telugu (Dubbed)
Bengali
Hindi
Dr. Sunny Joseph
(Mohanlal)
Dr. Vijay
(Vishnuvardhan)
Dr. Saravanan
(Rajinikanth)
Dr. Eeswar
(Rajinikanth)
Dr. Agni
(Prosenjit Chatterjee)
Dr. Aditya Shrivastav
(Akshay Kumar)
Nakulan
(Suresh Gopi)
Ramesh
(Ramesh Aravind)
Senthilnathan
(Prabhu Ganesan)
Kailash
(Prabhu Ganesan)
Sumit
(Abhishek Chatterjee)
Siddharth Chaturvedi
(Shiney Ahuja)
Ganga
(Shobana)
Ganga
(Soundarya)
Ganga Senthilnathan
(Jyothika)
Ganga Kailash
(Jyothika)
Deboshree
(Anu Choudhury)
Avni
(Vidya Balan)
Sreedevi
(Vinaya Prasad)
Soumya
(Prema)
Durga
(Nayantara)
Durga
(Nayantara)
Malini
(Rachana Banerjee)
Radha
(Ameesha Patel)
Unnithan
(Innocent Vincent)
Mukunda
(Dwarakish)
Murugesan
(Vadivelu)
Basavaiah
(Vadivelu)
Manik
(Subhasish Mukherjee)
Batukshankar Upadhyay
(Paresh Rawal)

Sequel[edit]

A stand-alone sequel to Chandramukhi titled Nagavalli was made in Telugu. The sequel was also directed by P. Vasu and stars Daggubati Venkatesh as the male lead, and Anushka Shetty, Richa Gangopadhyay, Shraddha Das, Poonam Kaur, and Kamalinee Mukherjee as the female leads. It was released on 16 December 2010.[123]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Blu-ray.com gives the runtime of 167 minutes,[1] whereas the 2011 book The Best of Tamil Cinema by G. Dhananjayan gives the runtime as 164 minutes.[2]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v The exchange rate in 2005 was 45.3 Indian rupees (INR) per 1 US dollar (US$).[19]
  3. ^ Krishnakumar was Binny's husband and also a professional Carnatic musician.[92]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]