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Directed bySaran
Produced byV. Satya Narayana
V. Sudhir Kumar
V. Sumanth Kumar
Written bySaran
StarringAjith Kumar
Music byBharadwaj
CinematographyA. Venkatesh
Edited bySuresh Urs
Release date
  • 13 August 1999 (1999-08-13)
Running time
155 minutes

Amarkalam (About this soundpronunciation ) (First Class[1]) is a 1999 Tamil romantic action film written and directed by Saran and produced by V. Sudhir Kumar for the banner Venkateswaralayam. The film featured Ajith Kumar, making it his 25th film and Shalini in the lead roles with Raghuvaran, Raadhika and Nassar in other pivotal roles. The film opened in August 1999 to positive reviews from critics and became a blockbuster.[2] The film was dubbed in Telugu as Adbutham. It was also remade in Telugu as Leela Mahal Center.


Vasu (Ajith) is a ruthless rowdy who lives in a cinema theater owned by Vinu Chakravarthy. He had a tortured childhood and wastes his days by drinking, fighting, and sleeping. It all starts when Vasu's friend Dhamu loses an Annamalai movie reel to Mohana (Shalini). Vasu and Mohana clash when he attempts to retrieve the reel. Mohana's family are members of the police, headed by Birla Bose (Nasser), Mohana's father. At this point, Tulasi Das (Raghuvaran), an ex-mafia "dada" who spent many years in jail because of Bose, comes to the theater. He does not like Bose and hires Vasu to kidnap Mohana. He cries out his woes in the song "Satham Illatha." Mohana falls in love with him after hearing his pain. When Tulasi realizes Mohana loves Vasu, he hires Vasu to pretend he loves her back. At first it is just pretend, but then he too begins to love her. Tulasi visits Bose to inform him of his daughter's love for a gangster and realizes Mohana is indeed his daughter. A flashback showing the parted friendship between the two men, and Ganga (Raadhika), Tulasi's wife, abandons him and their child when she comes to know her husband is a don. Knowing Mohana is his daughter, Tulasi instructs Vasu to give up his love. When Vasu refuses, Tulasi visits Mohana and tells her about his ploy and that Vasu's love for her was fake. Eventually, Vasu proves to Mohana his love was true and unites with her after a clash between the cops and some goons of the locality.



The producers of the previous collaboration of Ajith Kumar and Saran during Kadhal Mannan, Venkateswaralayam had lost a lot of money on that film so Ajith insisted on doing another film for the studio. Saran initially approached Shalini, who was studying at the time and she refused but after a three-month pursuit, he finally got her to sign on as well.[1] The role of Tulasi Das was initially offered to Amitabh Bachchan who accepted before later pulling out of the film.[3]

The film began production in January 1999 and during the production of the film, the lead pair Ajith Kumar and Shalini fell in love and eventually got married in April 2000.[4][5][6]


The film won predominantly positive reviews upon release with a reviewer describing the film as having an "okay storyline made very good because of its brilliant execution" whilst stating that the "climax is also very well-developed" and praising the performance of Ajith Kumar.[7]

The film went on to become a large commercial success at the box office, extending the lead actor Ajith Kumar's success after his previous film Vaali.[8][9] Ajith went on to purchase Saran a car as a token of gratitude for the success.[10] Due to the success of the film, it was subsequently dubbed into the Telugu language with title Adbhutam and produced by V. Sathyanarayana.[11] It was later remade in Kannada as Asura starring Shiv Rajkumar and Raghuvaran, who reprised his role, before there was also a 2004 version in Telugu titled Leela Mahal Center with Aryan Rajesh. A remake in Hindi featuring Vivek Oberoi was also reported by the director in 2002, however the project failed to materialize.[12]


A digitally restored version of Amarkalam was released in May 2014 celebrating the 43rd birthday of actor Ajith Kumar.[13]


Soundtrack album by Bharathwaj
LabelThe Best Audio
Bharathwaj chronology
Kadhal Mannan

The film's score and soundtrack was composed by Bharathwaj, with lyrics written by Vairamuthu.

1."Kaalam Kalikalam"Srinivas4:40
2."Sontha Kuralil Paada"Shalini4:59
3."Satham Illatha"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Sujatha Mohan4:19
4."Unnodu Vaazha"K. S. Chithra5:18
5."Megangal Ennai Thottu"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam5:44
6."En Seidhaayo"Bharathwaj2:19
Total length:27:19


  1. ^ a b "Rediff On The NeT, Movies: Director Saran on matters close to his heart". 2000-02-10. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  2. ^ "The age of rage". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2002-05-31. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  3. ^ "Rediff On The Net, Movies: Where is Karisma?". 1998-04-30. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  4. ^ "Tamil Nadu / Tiruchi News : From a child artiste to badminton player". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2006-09-15. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  5. ^ "Talk of the Town". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2000-04-26. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  6. ^ "Rediff On The NeT, Movies: The Ajit-Shalini romance". 1999-09-15. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  7. ^ "Amarkalam - Tamil Movie Review". Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  8. ^ ", Movies: Gossip from the southern film industry". 2000-06-14. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  9. ^ "Filmfare - Print Edition". Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  10. ^ ", Movies: Gossip from the Southern film industry". 2000-08-11. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  11. ^ "Rediff On The NeT, Movies: Gossip from the southern film industry". 1999-12-08. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  12. ^ "Mean Street mogul". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2002-05-28.
  13. ^ Mrinalini Sundar (8 August 2014). "Mapping the city". Indulge. The New Indian Express. Missing or empty |url= (help)

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