|Directed by||Gautham Menon|
|Produced by||Kalaipuli S. Dhanu|
|Written by||Gautham Menon|
|Music by||Harris Jayaraj|
|Cinematography||R. D. Rajasekhar|
|Release dates||1 August 2003|
|Running time||153 minutes|
|Budget||3 crore (US$490,000)|
Kaakha Kaakha (English: To Protect) is a 2003 Tamil crime thriller film written and directed by Gautham Menon. Starring Suriya, Jyothika and Jeevan, the film featured music composed by Harris Jayaraj and cinematography by R. D. Rajasekhar. The film released to positive review in August 2003 an went on to become the first "Block buster " in Suriya's career, and was considered a comeback film for producer Kalaipuli S. Dhanu. Owing to the success, the film has been remade in several languages. The film grossed around 40 crore (US$6.6 million) at box office and broke several records.
A badly injured Anbuchelvan (Suriya) is lying on the bank of a stream, thinking about his wife Maya and how he needs to rescue her. The story moves quickly from this opening scene to a flashback of Anbuchelvan’s time as a young policeman.
Anbuchelvan and his friends, Shrikanth, Arul and Illamaran, have been recruited for part of a special unit of police officers who are battling organized crime in Chennai. Violent and laconic, Anbuchelvan finds little patience for a personal life. The unit is ruthless in its confrontation with criminals, going as far as assassinating gang members; the unit is finally disbanded by senior authorities. Anbuchelvan is posted to traffic duties.
One day a schoolteacher named Maya (played by Jyothika) rebuffs Anbuchelvan's routine questions regarding safety, not knowing that he is a police officer. He meets her again when she and her friend are questioned for driving without a license. However, Anbuchelvan lets them off with a warning. When one of Maya’s students has a problem with local kids, she asks Anbuchelvan for help. Anbuchelvan resolves this problem, a mutual respect grows between them and they begin seeing one another. When Maya gets into a road accident, Anbuchelvan helps her to recover and they fall in love. Shrikanth and his wife, Swathi, become good friends with Anbuchelvan and Maya.
In response to rising levels of crime in the city, when the son of an influential movie producer is kidnapped and killed, the special unit is reassembled. The unit tracks down and kills the head of the gang that was responsible. The brother of the gang leader, Pandya (played by Jeevan), returns from Mumbai and takes over the gang, promising revenge over his brother’s death. Pandya and his gang members target the families of the men in the special unit, but the police close in and a badly injured Pandya barely escapes Anbuchelvan.
Maya and Anbuchelvan get married and leave for Pondicherry. But the next day, Pandya and his thugs enter the cottage the honeymoon couple are staying in and torture Anbuchhelvan, leaving him for dead. They kidnap Maya. This brings the viewer back to the opening scene of the movie, in which Anbuchelvan is battling for life but thinking only about rescuing Maya.
Shrikanth and Arul arrive at the cottage, discover Anbuchelvan and take him to the hospital. Shrikanth reveals that his wife Swathi was kidnapped earlier and confesses that it was he who gave away Anbuchelvan’s location to Pandya, for the safe return of Swathi. Shrikanth feels extreme remorse over what has happened. Whilst in the hospital, they receive a message from Pandya to meet him at a particular location. When they go there, they find a package containing the severed head of Swathi. Shrikanth is distraught at seeing his wife's head and in an agony of grief and guilt at being responsible, he commits suicide by shooting himself. Anbuchelvan tracks down Pandya before he can escape from Tamil Nadu and fights with the gang. Pandya stabs Maya to distract her husband and she dies in Anbuchelvan’s arms. An enraged Anbuchelvan tracks down Pandya and, in a final encounter, kills him.
An epilogue shows that Anbuchelvan, after the death of Maya, continues his job as an IPS officer some weeks later. An alternative ending was shot and placed in the DVD version with a running commentary by Gautham Menon, in which Maya comes alive and he explains why this ending was not used in the version for cinema release.
- Suriya as Anbuchelvan
- Jyothika as Maya
- Jeevan as Pandian
- Daniel Balaji as Shrikanth
- Devadarshini as Swathi
- Yog Japee as Sethu
- Vivek Anand as Arul
- Rajan as Ilamaran
- Gautham Menon as Vasudeva Nair
- Ramya Krishnan in a special appearance for "Thoodhu Varumaa" song
Character map and remakes
|Kaakha Kaakha (2003)
|Dandam Dashagunam (2011)
|Suriya||Venkatesh||John Abraham||Chiranjeevi Sarja|
|Jyothika||Asin||Genelia D'Souza||Divya Spandana|
|Jeevan||Salim Baig||Vidyut Jamwal||P. Ravi Shankar|
The film was initially tiled as Paathi (Half), before the team opted to change the title to Kaakha Kaakha. Menon revealed that he was inspired to make the film after reading of articles on how encounter specialists shoot gangsters and how their families get threatening calls in return, and initially approached Ajith Kumar and Vikram for the role without success. The lead actress Jyothika asked Menon to consider Suriya for the role, and he was subsequently selected after Menon saw his portrayal in Nandha. He did a rehearsal of the script with the actors, a costume trial with Jyothika and then enrolled Suriya in a commando training school before beginning production, which he described as a "very planned shoot".
The film consequently opened to very positive reviews from critics on the way to becoming another success for Menon, with critics labeling it as a "career high film". Furthermore, the film was described as for "action lovers who believe in logical storylines and deft treatment" with Menon being praised for his linear narrative screenplay.
Gautham Menon subsequently remade the film in the Telugu language for producer Venkata Raju and went on to claim that the new version was better than the previous version and that his new lead actor Venkatesh was more convincing that Surya in the role. In July 2004, Menon also agreed terms to direct and produce another version of Kaakha Kaakha in Hindi with Sunny Deol in the lead role and revealed that the script was written five years ago with Deol in mind, but the film eventually failed to take off. Producer Vipul Shah approached him to direct the Hindi version of the film in 2010 as Force with John Abraham and Genelia D'Souza, and Menon initially agreed before pulling out again. The film was also made in Kannada in 2011 as Dandam Dashagunam with Chiranjeevi Sarja and Divya Spandana in the title roles. Menon and the original producer, Dhanu, also floated an idea of an English version with a Chechnyan backdrop, though talks with a potential collaboration with Ashok Amritraj collapsed.
Awards and nominations
In addition to the following list of awards and nominations, prominent Indian film websites named Kaakha Kaakha one of the 10 best Tamil films of 2003, with Rediff, Sify and Behindwoods all doing so. The film was, before release, in "most awaited" lists from film websites.
|2003 Filmfare Awards South||Best Actor||Suriya||Nominated|
|Best Director||Gautham Menon||Nominated|
|Best Film||Kalaipuli S. Dhanu||Nominated|
(Thoodu Varuma & Uyirin Uyire)
|Best Music Director||Harris Jayaraj||Won|
|Best Cinematographer||R. D. Rajasekhar||Won|
|Best Editor Award||Anthony||Won|
|2003 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards||Best Music Director||Harris Jayaraj||Won|
|ITFA Awards||Best Actor||Suriya||Won|
|ITFA Awards||Best Music Director||Harris Jayaraj||Won|
|Soundtrack album by Harris Jayaraj|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Harris Jayaraj chronology|
The film's music was composed by Harris Jayaraj, who reunited with Menon after the successful soundtrack of Minnale. All lyrics written by Thamarai.Upon release,the soundtrack received acclaim from critics and became the most commercially successful soundtrack of 2003. Due to its popularity ,Harris Jayaraj earned his second Filmfare Award for Best Music Director and his first Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director and ITFA Award for Best Music Director.
|Ennai Konjam||Timmy, Tippu, Pop Shalini||The song begans when Jo asks Suriya to take her to Pondicherry.|
|Ondra Renda||Bombay Jayashri||A beautiful song after the marriage of Suriya & Jo.|
|Oru Ooril||Karthik||Intro song for Jo, which renders her beauty.|
|Thoodhu Varuma||Sunitha Sarathy||An item number by Ramya Krishnan.|
|Uyirin Uyirae||KK, Suchitra||The song takes place when Suriya thinks about his wife Jo.|
- "Suriya: Bollywood’s hottest six-pack". Mint. October 2, 2009.
- "Reel of fortune". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2003-12-29. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
- "The many faces of success". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2005-09-03.
- "A Tamil entertainment ezine presenting interesting contents and useful services". Nilacharal. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- "The story of a cop". The Hindu. 2003-07-18. Retrieved 2014-01-20.
- Rangan, Baradwaj (2006). "Interview: Gautham Menon". Baradwaj Rangan. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- Subramaniam, Guru (2003). "A career high film for Surya'". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- Rangarajan, Malathi (2003). "Kaakha Kaakha". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- "Suriya: Bollywood’s hottest six-pack". Mint (newspaper). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- "'Gharshanaa' is far superior to 'Kaakha Kaakha': Gautham". Sify. 2004. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- "Gharshana - Flying colors in khaki". Indiaglitz.com. 2004. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- Adarsh, Taran (2004). "Sunny in `Kaakha Kaakha` remake". Sify. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- Daithota, Madhu (2010). "John Abraham loved 'Kaakha Kaakha'". Times of India. Retrieved 2011-04-28.