|Produced by||A. M. Rathnam|
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
|Cinematography||P. C. Sriram|
|Edited by||B. Lenin
V. T. Vijayan
|Sri Suriya Movies|
|Release date(s)||9 July 1999|
|Running time||132 minutes|
Kadhalar Dhinam (English: Valentine's Day) is a 1999 Tamil romantic film directed by Kathir. This film is based on a relationship which begins through an internet chatroom and takes a turn after the protagonist has second thoughts about the relationship. The film featured newcomer Kunal Singh and Sonali Bendre in the lead roles, while Nassar, Manivannan, Goundamani and Chinni Jayanth appeared in supporting roles. The film produced by A.M. Ratnam, had music composed by A. R. Rahman and cinematography by P. C. Sriram. The film was released in April 1999 and became a huge commercial success.
The film was also dubbed in Telugu as Premikula Roju, while the producer reshot a few new scenes and casted regional actors before dubbing it in Hindi as Dil Hi Dil Mein.
Raja (Kunal) is from a poor family. Raja's dad is violent and an alcoholic. He spends the family's income on alcohol. Raja's family struggles to work hard everyday. Raja's mom requests him to move to Mumbai to start a new life. Raja approves his mom's request and moves to Mumbai to attend Ramachandra College.
The movie starts off at a train station on New Year Day. Raja talks with a person (Manivannan) who was well-wishing him. Due to insistence, Raja goes into a flash back. A few years ago, he reaches Mumbai, where he plans to get admitted into the prestigious Ramachandra College. He gains admission for an MBA program at the Ramachandra College in Mumbai with the help of the college chairman, Ramachandra (Nassar), but he doesn't realize this at first. He thought that he managed to get a seat due to his own abilities. Raja meets Roja (Sonali Bendre) through the Internet. After a brief introduction, Raja and Roja started loving each other. They have yet to see each other and thus,they sent their pictures through e-mail to each other. As Roja checks her e-mail and sees Raja's photo, Raja enters the Net Cafe where Roja was. Then, they meet each other. They are initially shocked by seeing each other as Roja told him that she is in America and Raja told her that he is in London, although they were both in India and were studying in the same college.
The very next day, Raja meets Roja again in the train station where he usually comes to board the train. Again they are both surprised and were speechless when they saw each other. However, things take a turn for the bad when they are both unable to express their feelings about each other due to fated accidents. Raja wanted to see if Roja really likes him by asking her to wear a rose on her head. But, as she walks towards the train station, her rose drops off. Unaware of this, Raja believes that Roja really doesn't like him. Ramachandra meets him and tells him to be practical. He suggests that Raja should write her a love letter. As Raja doesn't know how to write one, Ramachandra helps him. Even his daughter, Roja, helps him write a letter for Raja, unaware that it was for Raja that the father was writing it.
The next day, Raja meets her in the train station and gives her his books, with the love letter inside of it. Not knowing why he gave her his books, she just skims through his books, accidentally causing his love letter to fly away. However, Roja does write a love letter to him too. As she returns his books, a long-lost friend of Raja meets him on the train station. Raja writes the address on the first page of the book and tears it off to give to his friend. Unfortunately, he wasn't aware that Roja wrote her love-letter right behind it. He feels disappointed and doesn't show interest to Roja, causing her to think that he doesn't like her. Ramachandra comes to the rescue again and asks Raja to write another love letter and give it to her the next day, which happens to be Valentine's Day. When Raja comes to express his love for Roja, he finds out that Roja is the daughter of Ramachandra, who had decided to marry his daughter with Rajesh Gupta, who is a smart and wealthy man. Roja makes a last attempt to find out if Raja likes her or not. She sends him an e-mail stating that she loves him. On the other hand, Raja doesn't want to hurt the feelings of his beloved guide and teacher, who he respects as his father. Thus, he sends her an e-mail stating that he is unable to return his feelings for Roja. Roja unwillingly accepts to the wedding, as she knew there was no hope that Raja will fall in love with her.
Raja leaves the wedding hall and plans to leave back to his hometown the night itself, which goes back to the beginning of the story. Coincidentally, Ramachandra overhears his conversation between Raja and his friends and realizes that he is in love with his daughter. He goes to the train station to stop Raja, asking him to return and propose to his daughter. Raja and Ramachandra reach the wedding hall just in time to stop the wedding from taking place. Raja and Roja are married on Valentine's Day, and the movie ends with a happy ending.
- Kunal as Raja
- Sonali Bendre as Roja
- Nassar as Ramachandra
- Manivannan as himself
- Goundamani as Romeo
- Chinni Jayanth as Mandi/Madan (Hindi version)
- Raju Shrestha as Raju (Hindi version)
- Johnny Lever as College Professor Jack (Hindi version)
- Anupam Kher as Colonel (Hindi version)
- Rambha in a special appearance
- Lekha Washington in an uncreditted role.
Kathir, being an inveterate surfer of the cybercafes of Chennai and Bangalore, decided to make a film on what he felt the internet could develop and be used for - romance. The film came as a successor to his 1996 blockbuster Kadhal Desam produced by K. T. Kunjumon.
Actor Shaam was amongst the auditionees for the debut lead role, before Kunal Singh was selected after Kathir spotted him outside a Bangalore cybercafe. The North Indian youngster had been in Bangalore only to bulk up his body before joining the army, but with the offer chose to make a career in films. Kathir had scouted for an actress in North India to play the lead role and subsequently Sonali Bendre was signed on to play the lead role in the film, making her debut in South Indian films. Isha Koppikar had also been considered for the film and Kathir then recommended his friend K. S. Ravi to cast her in his En Swasa Kaatre (1999). Reports that Lara Dutta, Laila Rouass and Rani Jeyraj would play cameo roles proved to be untrue. Instead Rambha appeared in an item number in the film.
The film initially featured a different climax where Roja dies after taking tablets, but after release, the ending was altered to give a happy ending. The Times of India gave the film a negative review stating that "Kadhalar Dhinam is typically Kadhir. It's big, it's beautiful and it doesn't work." Indolink.com also gave the film a very negative review, citing that almost nothing works.
The film's success prompted Hindi distributors to dub the film in Hindi as Dil Hi Dil Mein. However, director Kadhir had actually reshot scenes in Hindi featuring actor Kunal and Anupam Kher to replace the Kunal-Manivannan tracks by conversing in Hindi while Johnny Lever's scenes replaced the Goundamani tracks (Even though he appeared briefly for the "Chand Aaya Hai" song) with the same Titanic hairdo. Even the tracks dubbed from the Tamil version were reshot with Hindi synchronization sans for the first line of "Roja Roja". Actor Nasser, though dubbed in Hindi, had given his Hindi synching in the song "Sawar Gayee". Though actors Kunal and Sonali Bendre had synched their dialogues in Hindi, the rest of the film was dubbed and became a failure at box office.
|Kadhalar Dhinam / Dil Hi Dil Mein|
|Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman|
|Recorded||Panchathan Record Inn|
|Producer||A. R. Rahman|
|A. R. Rahman chronology|
Tamil (Kadhalar Dinam)
|1.||"Thandiya"||Unni Menon, M. G. Sreekumar & Kavita Krishnamurthy||7:47|
|2.||"Ennai Vilai Azhagae"||Unni Menon||5:55|
|3.||"Kadhalenum"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam & Swarnalatha||6:43|
|4.||"Nenaichchapadi"||M. G. Sreekumar, Srinivas, Ganga & Kanchana||7:45|
|5.||"Oh Mariya"||Devan Ekambaram, Yugendran & Febi Mani||6:23|
|6.||"Roja Roja"||P. Unnikrishnan||5:48|
Hindi (Dil Hi Dil Mein)
|1.||"Chand Aaya Hai"||Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy|
|2.||"Ae Nazneen Suno Na"||Abhijeet Bhattacharya|
|3.||"Dola Dola"||Srinivas & Swarnalatha|
|4.||"Sawar Gayee"||Udit Narayan, Srinivas|
|5.||"Oh Mariya"||Remo Fernandes,Febi Mani|
Telugu (Premikula Roju)
|1.||"Oh Maria"||Devan, Yugendran, Febi|
|2.||"Prema Ane"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Swarnalatha|
|3.||"Manasu Padi"||Srinivas, Sreekumar|
|5.||"Vaalu Kannuladaana"||Unni Menon|
|6.||"Dhaandiya"||Unni Menon, Sreekumar|