Nayak (2001 film)

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Nayak poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by S. Shankar
Produced by A.M. Rathnam
Written by S. Shankar
Anurag Kashyap (dialogues)
Starring Anil Kapoor
Rani Mukerji
Amrish Puri
Paresh Rawal
Johnny Lever
Saurabh Shukla
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography K. V. Anand
Edited by B. Lenin
V. T. Vijayan
Sri Surya Movies
Release dates
  • September 7, 2001 (2001-09-07)
Running time
187 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget INR25 crore (US$3.9 million)

Nayak: The Real Hero is a 2001 Indian political thriller film directed by S. Shankar, and starring Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Amrish Puri and Paresh Rawal in the main roles.[1][2][3] The film is a remake of S. Shankar's successful Tamil film Mudhalvan (1999). The film's score and soundtrack, composed by A. R. Rahman, were reused from Mudhalvan with Hindi lyrics. It was critically acclaimed and has since developed a mass cult following among audience. But due to poor marketing, it gained Below Average verdict in India. It was one of the most expensive films to be completely shot in India.


The plot focuses on the protagonist, Shivaji Rao (Anil Kapoor). He happens to be an ambitious TV reporter, working for "Q TV" along with his friend Topi (Johnny Lever). While on the job, Rao records a conversation in which the Chief Minister Balraj Chauhan (Amrish Puri), takes an indifferent stand during riots triggered by a fight between some college students and bus drivers, so as not to lose his voter base. Due to police inaction, there is loss of life and damage to property. To explain his actions, Chauhan later agrees to a live interview with Shivaji, during the course of which Rao raises these issues and airs the Chief Minister's stand he had caught on tape.

In response to Shivaji's allegations about the mismanagement by his government, Chauhan redirects the question by instead talking about how difficult his job is due to red tape and bureaucracy, and challenges Shivaji to be the CM for a day and experience those problems himself. Shivaji reluctantly accepts the challenge to prove Chuhan wrong. Educated and vigilant, Shivaji takes care of issues that affect the populace everyday, giving the slum their rightful apartments, getting jobs for the unemployed, suspending inefficient and corrupt government officers. He is assisted by the secretary, Bansal (Paresh Rawal) who serves as a side kick. As the last act of the day, Rao gets Chauhan arrested as he is the root cause of all the corruption. Later, Chauhan bails out, and passes an ordinance to nullify all orders passed by Shivaji when he was the CM. Taking Shivaji's success as an insult, Chauhan sends hitmen to get him killed and destroys his house on false grounds.

Meanwhile Shivaji falls in love with Manjari (Rani Mukerji), a naive and carefree villager. When Rao asks her father (Shivaji Satam) her hand in marriage, he refuses on grounds that Rao is not employed by the government. After his tenure as a one-day CM he starts preparing for the Indian Civil Service Examination to win Manjari's hand in marriage. However, Bansal shows up and tells him that Shivaji's popularity has rocketed sky-high and people want him to become the next CM of the state. He is reluctant at first, but when Chauhan's henchmen vandalise Q TV premises to intimidate him, and the people show their support by thronging to his place in huge numbers, he agrees to take part in the elections.

In the ensuing state elections, he wins by a vast majority. But Manjari’s father, angered by Shivaji's decision, refuses to let his daughter marry him. Here, Chauhan’s political allies desert him causing his defeat. On becoming the chief minister, Shivaji brings about lots of improvements and quickly becomes an idol in the people’s eyes. However his growing popularity is threatened continuously by Chauhan who uses his henchmen to kill him or at least tarnish is image as a public hero. But Shivaji promptly answers by digging out all accusations against Chauhan and his allies. This, however, causes a reunion of Chauhan and his allies. After a failed attempt on Shivaji's life by hiring an assassin, a bomb is detonated at his home killing his parents.

In the final attempt Chauhan orders pandurung to destroy law and order and cause bomb explosions in various parts of the city. But a priest is able to overhear a few men planning to detonate bombs. He immediately notifies Shivaji's office via the "Complaint Box" department. Pandurung is arrested and under tactical inquiry by Shivaji and his secretary, he discloses the location of the 4 bombs. A Bomb Squad is able to defuse 3 bombs, but the 4th one explodes before they could reach to it. Chauhan, however, uses this success against Shivaji by blaming the young CM for the bomb. Seeing no way out, Shivaji summons Chauhan to the secretariat and creates a situation such that it would seem as if Chauhan was there to shoot Shivaji but failed. Shivaji takes up a gun, but pointing it to his arm shoots himself, and then hands over the gun to Chauhan. Now getting to know that Shivaji had set a trap, an enraged Chauhan attempts to shoot Shivaji, but his shot misses. The security guards then shoot down Chauhan killing him. Shivaji, secretly tells Bansal the truth and says that "finally they have turned me into a politician too" but Bansal believes that Chauhan deserved death saying "he instituted politics for a long time for corruption and evil; you did it only once for good" . Manjari's father also comes to realise that Shivaji is in fact a great man who sees duty before everything else and allows Manjari to marry him.

In the end, the city develops under the governance of Shivaji Rao and his colleagues. The complaint box, where people were supposed to fill in their complaints and information about various threats anonymously, is shown to be empty, signifying that the reasons to be afraid have been taken care of.



  • Director – S. Shankar
  • Producer – A.M. Rathnam
  • Dialogues – Anurag Kashyap
  • Story & Screenplay – S. Shankar
  • Music – A.R. Rahman
  • Cinematography – K.V. Anand
  • Editor – B. LeninV. T. Vijayan
  • Art – Thotta Tharani
  • Lyrics – Anand Bakshi
  • Choreographer – Raju Sundaram, Ahmed Khan
  • Stunts – Kanal Kannan
  • Co-Director – Vijayakumar Raichurs
  • Associate Directors – B. Chintu Mohapatra, Raj Acharya
  • Assistant Directors – Muthu Vadugu, G. Anandha Narayanan, K.R.Mathivanan, K. Balachery
  • Visual Effects – Pentamedia Graphics (P) Ltd., Cytura (Florida, USA)
  • Costumes – Manish Malhotra, Nalini Sriram, Shefali (Sushmita Sen), Rohit Bal (Saiyaan Song)
  • Hair Designer - Chandra, Bhavna Shah (Rani Mukherjee)
  • Make-up – K.M.Sarathkumar, Deepak Chauhan (Anil Kapoor), Rajesh (Rani Mukherjee), Govinda Mehta (Amrish Puri)
  • Sound Design – H. Sridhar
  • Sound Effects – C. Sethu, Balu
  • Songs Recording – H. Sridhar, A. Sivakumar
  • Processing – Prasad Colour Lab
  • Banner – Sri Surya Movies


The protagonist's character name "Shivaji Rao" was specially named after Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth's real name. This was because the lead role was initially written with Rajinikanth in mind for the original Tamil version, however, his refusal led to Shankar later signing on Arjun and he had interestingly retained the character's name in the Hindi version.[4] Originally the first and original choice of the role of Manjari was Manisha Koirala was going to reprise her earlier role from Mudhalvan but she was busy with huge and multi-starrer films like Grahan and Lajja therefore she refused. Later on the role played by Rani Mukerji went to Karisma Kapoor, Tabu, Raveena Tandon and Preity Zinta but all of them had date troubles and therefore Mukerji came on board.

Box office[edit]

Nayak was declared an average performer by Box Office India and IBOS Network due to its high budget and distribution price. In UK, Nayak grossed £83,496 during its theatrical run.[5]


Nayak: The Real Hero
Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 4 July 2001
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre Film soundtrack
Length 38:32
Label T-Series
Producer A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
One 2 Ka 4
"Nayak: The Real Hero"
Love You Hamesha

The soundtrack for the film was composed by A.R.Rahman. He reused all the songs except "Mudhalvane" song, from the original film Mudhalvan. A new track "Saiyyan" was added. The track "Shakalaka Baby" was reused in the musical Bombay Dreams also. The lyrics for the pretuned songs were written by veteran poet Anand Bakshi and this was one of his last films before he died in 2002.

The audio rights were bought by T-Series for INR6 crore and released on 4 July 2001. Comparing with the Tamil version which was a massive success, the album did only an average business.[6]

# Song Singer(s)
1 "Chalo Chale Mitwa" Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Swarnalatha
2 "Saiyyan" Sunidhi Chauhan, Hans Raj Hans
3 "Chalo Chale Purva" Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy
4 "Ruki Sukhi Roti" Shankar Mahadevan, Alka Yagnik
5 "Shakalaka Baby" Vasundhara Das, Praveen Mani, Shiraz Uppal
6 "Tu Accha Lagta Hain" Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy
7 "Chidiya Tu Hoti Toh" Abhijeet, Harini

In Real Life[edit]

Former Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal is often compared to the protagonist of Nayak,[7][8] due to the former's similarities to the crusade against corruption and defeating the incumbent government coming as a rookie in politics.[9][10]


In September 2013, Anil Kapoor revealed that he was signed to reprise his role in Nayak Returns. He also added that the film would not be a sequel to Nayak, and would have a "completely fresh subject".[11] Production on the film will begin in early 2015.[12]


External links[edit]