|Produced by||C. Romesh Babu|
|Cinematography||N. K. Ekambaram|
|Editing by||Gowri Shankar|
|Distributed by||Cinema Paradise|
|Running time||152 minutes|
|Budget||30 crore (US$4.6 million)|
|Box office||120 crore (US$18 million)
(worldwide collections) 
Kaavalan (English: Bodyguard) is a 2011 Tamil romantic action drama written and directed by Siddique, starring Vijay and Asin in the lead roles. The film is a remake of Siddique's previous Malayalam film Bodyguard. It features Rajkiran, Mithra Kurian, Roja and Vadivelu in supporting roles with musical score composed by Vidyasagar. The film's principal shoot commenced in April 2010 and was completed by November 2010. Following several hurdles, Kaavalan released on 15 January 2011 to generally positive reviews and was declared as a box-office success. It was selected to be screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival out of many projects submitted by India. The movie was a hit at box office.
Bhoominathan (Vijay) idolises Muthuramalingam (Rajkiran) and at the request of his parents, accepts to work for the latter as his bodyguard. There enters Muthuramalingam's rival, who has lost his daughter since she committed suicide, the reason being rejection by Muthuramalingam's son. While Bhoominathan protects Muthuramalingam, his rival threatens the life of his daughter Meera (Asin). Bhoominathan is sent to college along with Meera and her friend Madhu (Mithra Kurian) to protect them from the threat. Meera tries to distance herself from Bhoominathan by calling him from a private number; Bhoominathan falls in love with the girl without knowing that it is Meera herself. At one point, Meera too feels herself becoming attracted to Bhoominathan and expresses her desire to meet him in person. However due to circumstances they are not able to accomplish this until at the climax when she tells Bhoominathan to run away with her and to meet at a railway station. Bhoominathan agrees, unaware it is Meera. However through certain means,Muthuramalingam comes to think that Bhoominathan and Meera are going to run away. In order to save Bhoominathan's life from the anger of Muthuramalingam, Meera lies that the lover is not her and that Bhoominathan is meeting another girl at the train station. Muthuramalingam lets Bhoominathan leave as he is desperate, but tells his henchmen to kill Bhoominathan if a girl does not come there at the station (which implies that Meera loves Bhoomi). Terrified, Meera sends her friend, Madhu, to the station and tells her to tell Bhoominathan that she is the lover and that she won't be able to make it to the station. Madhu, seeing Bhoominathan, tries to tell him that it was Meera but, Muthuramalingam's henchman arrived there. Madhu sacrifices her life to save Meera's life by claiming, and pretending that she is the lover. Meera calls her, but Madhu throws the cellphone away, hoping to erase Meera out of their life completely so, the henchman does not find out the real girl. Many years later, after Bhoominathan and Madhu's marriage, they have a son. Madhu passes away shortly after however before her death, she leaves a diary for her son that outlines the whole story between the phone calls of Bhoomi and Meera and their love. The son later goes to Meera's house with Bhoominathan to visit an old Muthuramalingam. Bhoominathan is shocked that Meera isn't married. The son asks Meera to come with him and become his mother and Bhoominathan is angry at his son for saying something so blunt and rude. But Muthuramalingam begs Bhoominathan to take Meera as his wife. So they go onto the train together but the son runs away before leaving and throws the diary into a trashcan nearby. Bhoominathan finds the diary and realises soon that his real lover, the girl who had waited for him for so many years faithfully, was Meera. And in the train he shows that he has accepted her full-heartedly.
- Vijay as Bhoominathan (Bhoomi)
- Asin as Meera
- Rajkiran as Muthuramalingam
- Mithra Kurian as Madhu
- Roja as Devika
- Vadivelu as Ammavasai
- Livingston as college principal
- Mahadevan as Devarajan
- Krishna Kumar as Karthik
- Neepa as Poongodi
- Nizhalgal Ravi as Parthasarathy
- Yuvashree as Bhoominathan's mother
- M. S. Bhaskar Maadhu's father
- Madhan Bob as college lecturer
- Guinnes Pakru as Meera's friend and classmate
- Sharmilee as hostel warden
Character map of remakes
The original Malayalam film Bodyguard is being remade in Hindi and Telugu. The Telugu version is being directed by Gopichand Malineli while all the other three versions are directed by Siddique himself. Below is a character map of the lead characters in the story of Bodyguard and its remakes. Along with Remake, this movie was also dubbed in Hindi as Main Hoon Bodyguard.
Siddique had first narrated the script of bodyguard to Vijay,As Vijay had prior commitments then,He suggested him to make this movie first in Malayalam as Bodyguard.Bodyguard became an average grosser in Malayalam.He later announced his decision to remake the film with enhancements in the script to better suite the Tamil audience. The film was initially referred to as Kaavalkaaran, which transliterally means "bodyguard" in Tamil. After rumours of the title being changed to Kaaval Kaadhal,' the film was officially confirmed to be titled as Kaavalan in August 2010. The reason for the name confusion and its eventual permanent change was due to the complications in obtaining the rights to the title of Kavalkaran from M. G. Ramachandran's producers. They refused to sell the title to Vijay, leading to the rechristening of the title to Kaavalan.
With the announcement of the remake, Siddique had finalised Vijay to play the lead role, reminiscent to their previous venture Friends (2001), which was also a remake of Siddique's own Malayalam film. Asin Thottumkal was signed up to pair with Vijay for the third time after their previous pairings in Sivakasi (2005) and Pokkiri (2007), also giving Asin a comeback in Tamil cinema after her last appearance in Dasavathaaram (2008). Vadivelu, Rajkiran, and Roja Selvamani were also signed up for supporting characters. The film's principal shoot began in April at Kumbakonam.
An incident occurred on sets in April, where Asin, her father, and her make up assistants had fainted in their caravan after being exposed to a gas leak. They were treated in hospital the same day and were eventually discharged. The second shoot schedule occurred in Vellore. Vijay and Asin, along with director Siddique and rest of crew had taken part in the shooting at the Vellore Institute of Technology. A song was shot at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
|Soundtrack album by Vidyasagar|
|Released||17 December 2010|
|1.||"Vinnai Kaapan"||Pa. Vijay||Tippu, Shweta Mohan||4:30|
|3.||"Step Step"||Vivega||Benny Dayal, Megha||4:36|
After the failure of Vijay's 2010 film Sura, the TN Film Exhibitors Association (TFEA) distributed a circular advising theatres not to screen the actor's future films until he compensated for the losses his movies had incurred. Vijay was asked to pay 30% of an estimated 9 crore loss suffered by theaters, or about 30 million. Kaavalan ran into turmoil as the Theatre Owners’ Association threatened not to release the film. The film's release was postponed from 17 December to 15 January, citing the lack of theatres available for the release. The actor shelled out his salary and four additional crores to release the movie with the help of producer Aascar Ravichandran. The film released a week later in Canada after initial expectations to have the film released on the same day as its worldwide release.
The trailer was world premiered on 16 December in the Bay Area, California, notably the first time for a Vijay film's trailer was launched outside India. Speaking at the event, Vijay made a request to his USA fans to provide support for the growth of Tamil Nadu.
The film was selected at the 14th Shanghai International Film Festival in the panorama section. SIFF had issued an invitation to actor Vijay as guest of honour. The satellite rights of the film were bagged by Sun TV for a record price. The film was given a clean "U" certificate by the Indian Censor Board. Romesh Babu has filed a police case against Shakti Chidambaram for posing a death threat to him.
Sify.com gave the film a positive verdict, describing the film as "super fun" and a "perfect Pongal family entertainer". The reviewer particularly praised Vijay's performance, observing that the film works "purely on his star charisma and larger-than-life image" and that "he carries the film on his shoulders and is one good reason to watch the film". A critic from Rediff.com, while giving the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, credited Vijay "for shedding his action/political persona and digging his toes in and choosing a script that focuses on comedy and emotions", going on to claim that "it's Vijay [...] who knits together the rather lackluster screenplay and keeps the laughs coming. For a nostalgic return to the Vijay of old, comic interludes and lack of double-edged dialogues and future plans, Kavalan works." Behindwoods rated the film 2.5 out of 5 stars and called it "a relatable love story shot in a cute and simple manner, rich with emotions, but on the slow side of narration". The reviewer noted that Kaavalan "is a throwback to the Thulladha Manamum Thullum days of Vijay" and that he has "lived the character", while Asin "convinces us with her portrayal." Chennai Online stated that the film had" "the potential to be another Kathalukku Mariyathai but it loses its edge thanks to a loose and redundant script", complimeting Vijay's "brave effort to come out of the beaten path of mindless action movies". Oneindia commented, "After years Vijay has come out of his masala formula; Kaavalan is a family entertainer... [It] is not an extraordinary one but is watchable."
Kaavalan was supposed to be released on 12 January 2010, but the actual producer of the Malayalam version "Bodyguard" filed a case on the highcourt that the remake rights were not purchased from him. Following this Vijay was asked to pay a sum of 150 million (US$2.3 million) to the producer. Which made Vijay to shell his entire salary and it was the producer Aascar Ravichandran who helped Vijay to release the film, as he was working under his film Velayudham. Kaavalan also had the trouble in the release with its number of screenings as it coincided with Danush's Aadukalam and Karthi's Siruthai. Kaavalan got only 70 screens across the state and so the producer changed its hands to Cinema Paradise and thereafter the movie was managed to release in 350 screens. Following all the hurdles Kaavalan released to generally positive reviews from critics. Though it was Vijay as the bodyguard of Asin truly it was siddique who was the real bodyguard of Vijay's career. The film collected 8.8 million in Chennai at its opening weekend. By the end of seven weeks it grossed around 43.6 million (US$670,000) at the Chennai box office. And it managed to collect 450 million (US$6.9 million) worldwide. The film had a successful 50-days theatrical run.
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