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Directed by Suresh Krishna
Produced by Kalaipuli S. Thanu
Jaya Krishna
Written by Kamal Haasan
Based on Dayam by
Kamal Haasan
Starring Kamal Haasan
Raveena Tandon
Manisha Koirala
Music by Songs:
Background Score:
Mahesh Mahadevan
Cinematography Tirru
Edited by M. Kasi Vishwanathan
K. S. Raghunath
V. Creations
Distributed by Vedar movies
Release dates
14 November 2001
Running time
178 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil

Aalavandhan (English: Ruler to-be) is a 2001 Indian Tamil psychological thriller film directed by Suresh Krishna, starring Kamal Haasan in dual roles, with Raveena Tandon, Manisha Koirala, Vallabh Vyas, and Milind Gunaji in supporting roles.

The film's soundtrack was composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and the background score by late Mahesh Mahadevan.

The film was simultaneously shot in Hindi as Abhay and was dubbed in Telugu under the same name. The film is an adaptation of the novel Dayam that was written by Kamal Haasan in 1984.[1][2] In an interview, Quentin Tarantino stated that this movie was an inspiration for his movie Kill Bill.[3] At the 49th National Film Awards, the film won the award for Best Special Effects.


Nandu (Kamal Hassan) is a psychopathic, animalistic man, whose past has wronged him and embedded its mark deep into his soul, creating a personal hell inside Nandu; A hell in which Nandu is living; A hell that haunts him every passing second and with every breath he takes. While Nandu spent most of his life in a mental asylum, his other twin Vijay (Kamal Hassan) was separated from him from childhood. Vijay is the daring commando who is due to marry his girlfriend, Tejaswini (Raveena Tandon), a news presenter for STAR TV, who is pregnant with his child. Wanting Nandu to share in with their celebrations, Vijay and Tejaswini decide to pay Nandu a visit at the asylum. However the happy events take a dark turn when the dangerous Nandu sees the reflection of his evil step mother in Tejaswini, a person who he truly hated and blames for his life's ruin. Nandu's mission begins with Tejaswini, who he sees as an evil witch who is going to destroy Vijay's life, just like his step mother spoiled his father's life. Nandu eventually manages to cunningly escape from the mental asylum and is now walking around free searching for the "witch" that his brother has just wed.

Nandu later comes across popular singer Sharmilee (Manisha Koirala), and both of them fall for each other. When she drugs him, he accidentally goes savage and begins to see Sharmilee as his stepmother, soon he brutally murders her. Later, he becomes heartbroken over his doing and realises that Sharmilee was not his stepmother's re-incarnation. Nandu leaves the room, but leaves behind strong evidence, through which Vijay deduces him as the murderer. Both Vijay and Teju are advised to leave their city to keep safe from Nandu, and they go to Vijay's ancestral home in Ooty. Nandu however overhears this, and secretly follows them. Vijay and Teju finds Nandu's diary in the old house, which explains all of Vijay and Nandu's miserable childhood days with their stepmother, which led to the death of their biological parents, and also causing Nandu to become an emotionally disturbed criminal who killed his stepmother and resulting in him going to the asylum. They later find out about Nandu's existence in Ooty through the local police and start to flee, but Nandu follows them. When Nandu finally corners Teju, she begins whacking him with a belt, mirroring the stepmother's usual way of punishing Nandu, convincing him that Teju is indeed his stepmother's re-incarnation. After a series of events in which Vijay manages to defeat Nandu, the latter sees his stepmother's spirit in a long set of gas tanks and in order to kill her, he lights up a match that causes the tanks to explode, killing him in the process.Next Scene tells that Tejaswini is pregenant with twins and Vijay tells her that they would have good parents.



Movie first announced with Kamal Hassan and Simran in lead roles with Bollywood actress Rani Mukherji in a special appearance. But later Simran and Rani decided to leave the project for its delay in start.[4] Then eventually Manisha Koirala got the chance to do the lead pair with kamal. But due to some unknown reasons she only gave 5 days to act in the film and kamal decided to cast her to the role initially approached for Rani. And after long time Raveena agreed to do the lead lady of the film as her comeback to Tamil cinema.The film featured Kamal Haasan in two distinct roles, for one of which he had his head shaved bald and gained ten kilograms. To play the other army major in the film, he went to the NDA for a crash course.[5][6] The film's Hindi version Abhay was distributed by reputed Shringar Films.[7][8] Iconic Hollywood Director Quentin Tarantino acknowledged that the animation violence shown in the movie inspired the Manga scenes in his "Kill Bill" films.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16] Actor Jayam Ravi worked as an assistant director for this film.

This was Thanu's first production with Kamal Haasan, incidentally Dhanu played a small role in Kamal's production Magalir Mattum. Dhanu decided to produce a film for Kamal Haasan, he rejected the storylines of Pammal K. Sambandam and Nala Damayanthi.[17] Dhanu accepted to produce the story based on Kamal's novel Daayam. After Indrudu Chandrudu, it was Suresh Krishna's third collaboration with Kamal.

Stunt Choreographer Grant Page who worked in Hollywood film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was assigned to compose stunt sequences in Kashmir. Another fight sequence was shot in Delhi for 15 days using 39 cars with 3 cameras. Machine called Airramp was brought from abroad for jumping scenes, it was the first Indian film to use Motion Control Camera and Edit cutprow.[18]


Studio album by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
24 August 2001 (India)
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Magna Sound
Universal Music
Producer Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy chronology
Mission Kashmir
Dil Chahta Hai

The soundtrack was composed by music trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Hindi lyrics was penned by Javed Akhtar and Tamil by Vairamuthu. The album created record by selling over 2,00,000 copies in less than eight hours of its release.[19]

Original Soundtrack (Tamil)
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Aalavandhan"   Shankar Mahadevan 3:21
2. "Africa Kaattu Puli"   Nandini 5:00
3. "Kadavul Paadhi"   Kamal Hassan 3:17
4. "Nee Yaaro! Who Are You?"   Kamal Hassan & Manisha Koirala 2:44
5. "Siri Siri"   Kamal Hassan & Mahalaxmi Iyer 6:25
6. "Un Azhagukku"   Shankar Mahadevan & Sujatha 6:48
Hindi Tracklist
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Dekho Abhay"   Shankar Mahadevan 3:22
2. "Zingoria"   Nandini 4:59
3. "Kal Tak Mujhko Gaurav Tha"   Kamal Hassan 3:17
4. "Hey! Who Are you"   Kamal Hassan & Manisha Koirala 2:43
5. "Hasde Hasde"   Shankar Mahadevan, Kamal Hassan & Mahalaxmi Iyer 6:23
6. "Koyal Se Mili"   Shankar Mahadevan & Sujatha 6:48
Telugu Tracklist
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Aggipidugai"   S.P Balasubramanyam 3:22
2. "Andamaina Aadapuli"   Swarnalatha 4:59
3. "Dhaivam Sagamai"   S.P Balasubramanyam 3:17
4. "Nuvvu Evaro ! What are you !"   S.P Balasubramanyam & Harini 2:43
5. "Navu Navu"   S.P Balasubramanyam & Harini 6:23
6. "Kannulalo Merupu"   S.P Balasubramanyam & Sujatha 6:48


Hindi version Abhay was bought over in Maharashtra by the reputed Shringar Films who were very excited about its November release. The number of prints in Tamil Nadu had been increased by almost five times the normal number of prints. Also on the anvil was a rise in the ticket rates especially for Aalavandhan.[20] The film was a commercial failure but continued to top the year’s charts grossing '20' crores at the box office.[21] Kalaipuli Thanu suffered financial losses of 12 crores[22][23][24][25]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewer Prabhu of the Lollu Express said, "The movie is below average and violent movie, which is good for few "A" center moviegoers and it, gets 40/100 only for "KAMAL's" Good acting in few places".[26] Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu said, "Too much publicity can sometimes affect a film adversely, because of the great expectations triggered. In the case of 'Aalavandhan,' the hype and hoopla built up for months seems justified — to a certain extent".[27] The film won the National Film Award for Best Special Effects at the 49th National Film Awards in 2002.[28]


  1. ^ Fernandes, Vivek (25 August 2001). "Abhay sings a fearless tune". rediff.com. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  2. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20100129163420/http://archives.chennaionline.com/interviews/kamal.asp
  3. ^ "Around the world in 80 minutes". Open Magazine. 4 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Did you Know?". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Kamal I know – Panicker". Rediff.com. 2003. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  6. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20010303073925/http://www.chennaionline.com/location/alavanthaan.asp
  7. ^ Subhash K Jha (2001). "Fear becomes him! Getting under Kamal's skin". Rediff.com. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  8. ^ Vivek Fernandes (2001). "Abhay sings a fearless tune". Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  9. ^ Jha, Subhash K (15 July 2012). "Quentin Tarantino inspired by Abhay". www.mid-day.com. 
  10. ^ Jha, Subhash K (16 July 2012). "Kamal Haasan's film Abhay inspired a sequence in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill". www.ndtv.com. 
  11. ^ southdreamz, Editor (21 July 2012). "Kamal Hassan inspires Quentin Tarantino". www.southdreamz.com. 
  12. ^ telugunow, Editor (15 July 2012). "Kamal Hassan inspires Hollywood Top Director". www.telugunow.com. 
  13. ^ realbollywood, Leon David (19 July 2012). "Quentin Tarantino inspired by Kamal Hassan". www.realbollywood.com. 
  14. ^ Srinivasan, Lata (16 July 2012). "Kamal inspires Quentin Tarantino!". www.timesofindia.com. 
  15. ^ indiaglitz, Editor (19 July 2012). "Kamal Haasan's Aalavandhan strategy used by international director". www.indiaglitz.com. 
  16. ^ ibnlive.in, Editor (19 July 2012). "Kamal Haasan inspired director Quentin Tarantino". www.ibnlive.in.com. 
  17. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20150206182018/http://cinema.maalaimalar.com/2013/10/17224553/Kamal-Hassan-starring-Aalavand.html
  18. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20131021035011/http://cinema.maalaimalar.com/2013/10/18210008/aalavandhan-film-fight-views-f.html
  19. ^ Fernandez, Vivek. "Abhay sings a fearless tune". Rediff.com. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  20. ^ K Jha, Subhash (10 November 2002). "Fear becomes Kamal". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  21. ^ "Aalavandhan". Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  22. ^ http://cinema.maalaimalar.com/2013/10/20223142/Aalavandhan-film-disappointed.html
  23. ^ "As star power wanes". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 8 November 2002. 
  24. ^ http://forumhub.com/tfilms/24015.11.36.43.html
  25. ^ http://www.behindwoods.com/tamil-movies-slide-shows/movie-3/kollywoods-face-off/kamal-thanu.html
  26. ^ http://www.lolluexpress.com/alavandhan.html
  27. ^ "Aalavandhaan". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 16 November 2001. 
  28. ^ "49th National Film Awards". Directorate of Film Festivals. pp. 62–63. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 

External links[edit]