Guna (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Guna poster.jpg
Official poster
Directed by Santhana Bharathi
Produced by Alamelu Subramaniam[1]
Written by Sab John
Balakumaran (dialogues)
Story by Sab John
Starring Kamal Haasan
S. Varalakshmi
S.P. Balasubramaniam
Girish Karnad
Ajay Rathnam
Sharat Saxena
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography Venu
Edited by B. Lenin
V. T. Vijayan
Swathi Chithra International
Distributed by Raaj Kamal Films International
Release dates
5 November 1991
Running time
180 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil

Guna is a 1991 Tamil drama film directed by Santhana Bharathi and written by Sab John. The film stars Kamal Haasan, newcomer Roshini in lead roles with Rekha, S. P. Balasubramaniam, Girish Karnad, Ajay Rathnam, Janagaraj, and Sharat Saxena playing supporting roles. The story is about a mentally challenged man who assumes a fictitious character Abhirami to be a angel who is going to marry him which leads him to kidnap a rich girl assuming her to be his angel. The girl initially hates him but later finds herself falling in love with him after understanding his situation.

The film's plot is inspired from Spanish dark romantic film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!. The film was mostly shot around Kodaikanal. The film's original soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The song "Kanmani Anbodu" from this film remains one of the evergreen songs.

The film was released on 5 November 1991; it was critically acclaimed for its unique theme and performances. The film failed at the box office but it later acquired cult status in Tamil cinema. The film was dubbed and released in Telugu with same name.


Guna (Kamal Haasan) is a mentally affected person and receives treatment in a mental asylum in Hyderabad. He does not like his father and his mother is a moll in the house that they live. He assumes a fictitious character named Abirami (also, the name of an Indian goddess) and registers in his mind that she is an angel who is going to marry him on a full-moon day. After coming out of the asylum, he believes the story to be true and believes that his Abirami is somewhere around. Meanwhile, a bunch of hooligans led by Janakaraj force the mentally unstable Guna to rob a temple of Abirami, an Indian goddess. He happens to see a rich girl (Roshini) in that temple, by sheer coincidence. He decides to take her with him to a lonely, damaged house situated at the top of a hill resort called Kodaikanal. Initially, the girl hates him for his weird nature. However, eventually she understands Guna's condition, his deep love and is attracted to him. She accepts his love and marries him, in spite of her terrible physical pain (caused by a broken leg and extreme fever). Meanwhile, the cops and the girl's uncle Sharat Saxena start their search for the missing girl. In the end, Guna and the girl jumps off from a cliff.



Newcomer Roshini was selected to play the main character, this was her only appearance in films and she was not seen in any films after that.[2] The caves which was shot in this film was earlier called as Devil's kitchen. The location became a tourist spot after the film's release and it was named as "Guna Caves". Sathy who worked as Production controller for the film revealed that "the cave was about 500 to 600 deep [..] we tied ropes with pulleys and transferred all the production equipments in and out of the 500 feet cave".[3] Santhana Bharathi said that Kamal was on diet and lost weight for the character and also said that he insisted to have a dummy used for climax portions similar to his face and physique.[4] Kamal said that tracking shots in the early portions of the film was inspired from films directed by Max Ophuls, a german filmmaker.[5]

Kamal Haasan said that he had written a scene where he fights with his cops, his gun goes off which was meant to be a tribute to his favourite actor Dilip Kumar's starrer Ganga Jumna.[6]


The music composed by Ilaiyaraaja while written by Vaali. While releasing the audio cassette of Guna in 1991, Kamal included some audio recording sessions with music director Ilayaraja.[7] The song "Kanmani Anbodu" remains one of the famous songs from the film. Indiaglitz wrote that the song "needs no introduction which is ofcourse a biggest hit of all songs [..] The emotions, the lyrics, the tune - the composition overall stands as an attribute for the movie itself, even today".[8][9]


It was an average performer during its theatrical run and did not do good collections due to the clash with Mani Ratnam's Thalapathi. However it became a cult film over the years.

Lazy Blogger opined that:"the movie is a brave attempt and stays true to its story - about love that is beyond the understanding of mere mortals".[10] Movielane written that it is "one of the best films to have come out of Tamil Cinema in the last decade, [..] it is not a flawless film. But, it is a film of the kind that stays on in your mind".[11] Balaji wrote that:"Gunaa, represents probably his boldest risk yet. Its theme is quite unique and well handled with good performances, breath-taking photography and a perfect soundtrack".[12]


Lead character Guna (Kamal Haasan) of this film is mentally affected who assumes fictional character which would marry him. Behindwoods written that "though it is steeped in madness, obsession and tragedy, there is one fascinating aspect to the love story here, his love is close to worship, as though she were a goddess.[13]

Accoring to Hari Narayan of The Hindu, in both Guna and Moondram Pirai (1982), the protagonist’s image of an ideal dreamgirl animate his antics.[14]


Guna became a failure in the box-office however the film became a cult classic over the following years. The film inspired similar themes about mentally obsessed lovers - Kaadhal Kondein (2003),[15] Chinna (2005),[16] Kadhalil Vizhundhen (2008).[17] Actor Karthik Kumar revealed that he had watched Kamal’s Guna several times.[18] Santhanabharathi who is the director of the film listed as one of the favourite films he has directed.[19] Malayalam director Sathyan Anthikkad said that female character Kanmani from his directorial Rasathanthram (2006) was inspired from the song "Kanmani Anbodu".[20] Siddharth's de-glamorised look from Enakkul Oruvan (2014) is said to be inspired from Kamal's look from Guna.[21] Singer Sikkal Gurucharan called Guna as his favourite film and described that "it is nothing short of a classic".[22] Malathi Rangarajan in her review of Deiva Thirumagal (2011) says that the "film remind you of Kamal's Guna."[23]

Guna was parodied many times in various films. In the comedy scene from Ullam Kollai Poguthae (2001), Vivek imitates Kamal style of rounding from the film revealing the difficulties he faced due to water, he utters "Sivagami" in a same way which Kamal uttered.[24] In Thaamirabharani (2007), Aarthi mistakes Vishal as Kamal's character from the film.[25] In Arul (2004), Vaiyapuri sings "Kanmani Anbodu" which resulting in him getting whacked by Kanmani (Jyothika).[26]


  1. ^ Film details from Cinesouth
  2. ^ "One Film Wonders". Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Production Controller Sathy speaks about his experience working in the production field". Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Zero. "The Movie Lane". Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "From Kollywood, with love". Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Kamal predicts 100 days". Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "This character artist's first love is direction". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  20. ^ Saraswathy Nagarajan. "Hero of the common man". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Ullam Kollai Poguthe (DVD)
  25. ^ Thaamirabahrani DVD
  26. ^ Arul (DVD)

External links[edit]