|Directed by||Gautham Menon|
|Produced by||Murali Manohar|
|Written by||"Dhinanthorum" Nagarajan (dialogues)|
|Story by||Gautham Menon
|Music by||Harris Jayaraj|
|Cinematography||R. D. Rajasekhar|
|Edited by||Suresh Urs|
|14 February 2001|
Minnale (Tamil: மின்னலே; English: Lightning) is a 2001 romantic Tamil film written and directed by Gautham Menon. The film featured Madhavan, Abbas and Reemma Sen, with Vivek and Nagesh also appearing in pivotal roles. The film's soundtrack was composed by debutant Harris Jayaraj, which became successful prior to release, helping the film at the box office. The film opened to positive reviews from critics and enjoyed significant commercial success.
The movie opens in an engineering college in Ooty with a narration of the characters. Rajiv Samuel (Abbas) is a computer engineering student and is one of the top students in the college, whereas Rajesh (R. Madhavan) is a mechanical engineering student who is the bad guy of the college. A mutual problem between the two groups led by both Samuel and Rajesh puts both Sam and Rajesh at loggerheads and they pull pranks on each other to get the other in trouble. It culminates into a fist fight but is soon broken up their friends. In the fight, Rajesh punches Sam in the face, which is against the rule, and Sam promises to return the favor in future. They graduate from the college soon and promise to not see each other ever again. Sam goes abroad for job, while Rajesh stays back in India saying that he does not want to leave his motherland.
A few years later, Rajesh becomes responsible and settles in a job by taking classes for mechanical engineering students. Rajesh lives with his librarian grandfather Subbuni (Nagesh), who means the world to him; he even turns down a very lucrative job assignment in Singapore to be with his grandfather. Rajesh, on a trip to a friend’s wedding in Bangalore, comes across Reena (Reema Sen) and is smitten by her beauty but does not get to meet her. To his pleasant surprise he sees her again in Chennai but is again unable to meet her.
A friend of Rajesh, Chockalingam (Vivek), spots Reena’s friend Vasuki in a market one day and recognises her from the wedding pictures. They both extract information about Reena's whereabouts from Vasuki, posing as her family friend. Though they get Reena's phone number, Rajesh is disappointed when he learns that Reena is engaged and is about to marry soon a guy called Rajeev, whom Reena has only talked to on the phone but has yet to meet. Goaded by his grandfather and his friends, Rajesh decides to enter Reena’s life pretending to be Rajiv. Within a few days of hanging out with each other, both fall in love with each other. Before Rajesh could actually tell Reena the truth, the real Rajiv (Abbas) comes to Chennai and both their families gettogether. Reena is shocked to learn that the person she loves is an imposter.
Rajesh comes clean with Reena and pleads to be forgiven but Reena is adamant that she does not want to talk to Rajesh anymore and asks him to forget her. Chockalingam takes his friends and Rajesh to meet Rajiv to force him to break up the engagement with Reena. They are surprised when they learn that Rajiv is actually Rajiv Samuel, Rajesh's foe from his college days. Rajiv becomes enraged when he learns the truth, but believes that Reena was duped and refuses to break up the engagement. After repeated attempts to talk to Reena fail and when Rajiv and Reena’s wedding is fixed, Rajesh sadly accepts the bitter truth.
Heartbroken and unable to live in the city anymore, he plans to leave. Reena finally realises that even though she was duped by Rajesh, she had indeed fallen in love with him. Rajiv senses this on the eve of their wedding. Just before Rajesh boards his flight, Rajiv appears and says that they are still bitter enemies but he does not want to marry a girl who loves his friend. Both Reena and Rajesh embrace other and the movie ends.
- Madhavan as Rajesh Shivakumar
- Abbas as Rajiv Samuel
- Reema Sen as Reena Joseph
- Vivek as Chockalingam
- Nagesh as Subbuni
- Raji Iyer as Vasuki
- Kitty as Reena's father
- Fathima Babu as Reena's mother
- Janaki Sabesh as Rajiv's mother
- Sembi as Ravi
- Krishna as lorry driver
- Gautham Menon in a cameo appearance
- Vidharth as Rajesh's classmate (uncredited)
Gautham Menon launched a Tamil romantic film O Lala in 2000 with the project eventually changing producers and title into Minnale with Madhavan, who was at the beginning of his career, being signed on to portray the lead role. About the making of the film, Menon revealed that he found it difficult as the team was new to the industry with only the editor of the film, Suresh Urs, being a prominent technician in the industry. Menon had come under further pressure when Madhavan had insisted that Menon narrated the story to his mentor, Mani Ratnam, to identify if the film was a positive career move after the success of his Alaipayuthey. Despite initial reservations, Menon did so and Ratnam was unimpressed; however Menon has cited that he thought that Madhavan "felt sorry" and later agreed to continue with the project.
Minnale saw Madhavan collaborating with Abbas for second time after Kannada film Shanti Shanti Shanti. Post-release, Abbas felt that his scenes had been cut from the film and accused Madhavan of playing a role in editing his sequences out from the film.
The film was advertised as a Valentine's Day release in 2001 and upon release it went on to become a large success commercially. Madhavan became extremely popular among the youth after the release of Alaipayuthey, but had a setback as his next film flopped. Minnale made him once again popular among the youth. It won positive reviews from critics with claims that the film had a lot of "lot of verve and vigour" and that it was "technically excellent".
The success of the film led to producer Vashu Bhagnani signing Menon on to direct the Hindi language remake of the film, Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, which also featured Madhavan with Diya Mirza and Saif Ali Khan added to the film. However in comparison, the Hindi film gained poor reviews and subsequently went on to become a below average grosser at the box office.
|Soundtrack album by Harris Jayaraj|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Sa Re Ga Ma|
|Harris Jayaraj chronology|
The music and background score were composed by Harris Jayaraj. Lyrics are written by Vaali and Thamarai. Upon release, the soundtrack received critical acclaim and was a major contributor to the film's commercial success. The audio cassette of the film was released in Chennai at a function in early February 2001, where the songs were also screened. Due to the album's immense popularity, Harris Jayaraj won his first Filmfare Best Music Director award in Tamil.
|"Azhagiya Theeye"||Harish Raghavendra, Timmy|
|"Ore Nyabagam"||Devan Ekambaram|
|"Maddy Maddy"||Timmy, Karthik|
|"Nenjai Poopol"||Harish Raghavendra|
|"Oh Mama Mama"||Shankar Mahadevan, Tippu|
|"Pooppol Poopol"||Tippu, Karthik|
|"Verenna Verenna Vendum"||Unnikrishnan, Harini|
|"Venmathi Venmathiye"||Tippu, Roop Kumar Rathod|
- Kumar, Ashok (2009). "My First Break". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- Rangan, Baradwaj (2011). "Shooting from the Lip". Baradwaj Rangan. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- Padmanabhan, Savitha (2001). "Film Review: Minnale". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- Adarsh, Taran (2001). "Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2011-04-28.