|Directed by||Suresh Krissna|
|Produced by||Puspha Kandasamy|
|Screenplay by||Suresh Krissna|
|Story by||Rakesh Roshan|
|Cinematography||P. S. Prakash|
|Edited by||Ganesh Kumar|
|Distributed by||Kavithalayaa Productions|
|27 June 1992|
Annamalai is a 1992 Indian Tamil-language action drama film directed by Suresh Krissna and produced by Rajam Balachander and Pushpa Kandasamy under Kavithalaya Productions. A loose remake of the 1987 the Hindi film Khudgarz, it stars Rajinikanth, Kushboo and Sarath Babu in the lead roles with Radha Ravi, Nizhalgal Ravi and Manorama playing supporting roles. The film revolves around a poor milkman who befriends the son of the businessman. The latter's father who hates their friendship drives a wedge between them by bulldozing the house. Annamalai challenges his friend that he will become a successful businessman. Rest of the film shows whether they are united or not.
The production began with Vasanth being selected as director who later opted out due to personal reasons. Suresh Krissna replaced him to direct thus marked his first collaboration with Rajinikanth. Principal photography of the film began at AVM Studios and the filming held at various places. The score and soundtrack was composed by Deva and lyrics for all songs were written by Vairamuthu. The cinematography was handled by P. S. Prakash and editing was handled by the duo Ganesh Kumar. The dialogues for the film were written by Shanmugasundaram.
Annamalai was released on 27 June 1992 became a blockbuster at box-office and was the highest-grossing film in Rajinikanth's career until 1995 when the record was broken by Baashha. It was remade into Telugu in 1993 as Kondapalli Raja, and into Kannada in 2003 as Gokarna.
Annamalai is a milkman, while Ashok is the owner of a five-star hotel in Chennai. They have been very close friends since their childhood. Ashok's father Gangadharan never liked his son's friendship with a poor milkman. Annamalai is kind-hearted and innocent, and falls in love with Subbulakshmi, a college girl. Ashok too falls in love with a poor girl, Shanthi. Annamalai arranges Ashok and Shanthi's wedding which angers Gangadharan as he thinks Shanthi does not have the status to become his daughter-in-law.
Annamalai encounters a problem with a politician named Ekambaram following which Ekambaram understands Annamalai's good nature. Annamalai's small home along with a few cents of empty land is located in prime location, to which Annamalai held sentimental values to, made Gangadharan pressurise Ashok to buy so that they can construct a more star hotel. Ashok is initially hesitant as he does not want to mix business and friendship, but later agrees. Annamalai happily accepts and also agrees to give the land for free of cost emulating pure friendship. Ashok feels proud of Annamalai and informs his father that Annamalai has to be made a shareholder in the new hotel. Gangadharan agrees but decides to cheat Annamalai and gets signature in empty papers.
The star hotel is constructed and Gangadharan plans to demolish Annamalai's home which is located next to the hotel. Also, Gangadharan and Ashok's cousin Sarkunam forge documents and take control of Annamalai's empty land. Annamalai learns of this plan and picks up quarrel with Gangadharan. Ashok interrupts and he misunderstands Annamalai without knowing the truth for fighting with Ashok's father. Ashok gets angry and demolishes Annamalai's home which is in the remembrance of Annamalai's father. Annamalai gets shocked seeing Ashok's activities and challenges that he will also become rich and take revenge on Ashok.
Ekambaram helps Annamalai to secure funds and he starts a small sweet business and, over the course of some years, he becomes so rich and he also builds a star hotel in Chennai which becomes more popular than Ashok's hotel. Sarkunam steals money from Ashok and knowing this, Ashok asks him to leave. Sarkunam joins Annamalai's hotel and also gets married to Annamalai's sister, Vaishnavi. Annamalai wins Ashok and become the president of hotels association and Ashok also faces financial troubles. Annamalai and Subbulakshmi's daughter and Ashok's son are college-mates and love each other, much to Annamalai's anger. Ashok and Annamalai appear for a public auction and the auction price keeps increasing. Ashok wins the auction for Rs. 120 million despite Gangadharan asking him not to quote such a huge amount as this was a trick played by Annamalai to increase the price.
Ashok has no money to pay for the auction and is forced to sell his bungalow to get money. Annamalai purchases Ashok's bungalow thereby winning the challenge made years ago. But Annamalai gives the registration document to his mother Sivagami and asks her to handover to Ashok itself as he does not want to punish his friend. Ashok and Gangadharan realise their mistake and apologise to Sivagami knowing Annamalai's kind heart. Annamalai also gets to know that it was only Gangadharan and Sarkunam who forged the documents and Ashok was unaware of his father's plans. In the meantime Sarkunam tries to kill both Ashok and Annamalai and try to take Annamalai's properties. But Ashok and Annamalai fight together and Sarkunam realises his mistake. Annamalai and Ashok finally join together and become best friends again.
- Rajinikanth as Annamalai
- Kushboo as Subbalakshmi
- Sarath Babu as Ashok
- Janagaraj as Panchachari (Panchu)
- Radha Ravi as Gangadharan
- Nizhalgal Ravi as Sarkunam
- Tiger Prabhakar as Don
- Vinu Chakravarthy as S. Ekambaram (MLA and minister)
- Manorama as Sivagami
- Vaishnavi as Annamalai's sister
- Rekha as Shanthi
- Karan as Ashok's son
- V. Subramanian as The Minister
- Vishnukanth as Junior Ashok
- Dakshayini as Annamalai's daughter
Originally, Kavithalayaa Productions had chosen Visu as the director of the film that would later become Annamalai. But due to some contradiction with lead actor Rajinikanth, he opted out and they hired Vasanth. Due to "personal reasons", Vasanth too left, and Suresh Krissna was later finalised for the director's part, after K. Balachander had requested him to do so.
When Suresh Krissna came on board the script was not complete and the shooting started in a hurry as the film release date had already been fixed as on 27 June 1992. Suresh recalled that Shanmugasundaram, the film's dialogue writer narrated him the one liner of the plot, Suresh felt that detailing should be done to the script to which Shanmugasundaram assured that it can be done during the shoot. Radha Ravi revealed that he was not interested to play elderly characters but agreed to appear in Annamalai after Rajini requested him to act.
When the title of the film was announced as Annamalai, few people has misgivings about the title as it would create a negative connation. Balachander and Rajinikanth had decided on the title and refused to change it.
Annamalai was launched at AVM Studios at the venue of Pillaiyar temple. Principal photography began on 11 March 1992. The film's muhurat shot was held in a set of a court room, it was a comedy scene where Rajini would save Sarathbabu from a criminal offence. Suresh removed the scene from the film as he felt that it had no bearing on the script.
The scene where Rajini enters into a ladies hostel and gets terrified by a snake was shot at Chakra House, Alwarpet. A snake was brought specially for the scene. Owner of the snake earlier worked in previous films of Rajini. Suresh asked his assistants Nagappan and K. Natraj to check the details about snake charmer. Suresh recalled that he covered his nervousness with his smile. Suresh told Prakash, the film's cinematographer to use zoom lens so that he could adjust a camera according to the situation. After the scene was finished, the members of the crew enjoyed the shot. Suresh congratulated Rajini and asked him how "did he performed so well and was it planned ?", For which Rajini answered it was not planned and expressions in the scene were a result of his fear. In the same scene, Shanmugasundaram came with initial dialogues to convey the fear of Rajini. Suresh felt that dialogues were redundant in such situation. Rajini insisted to keep Kadavule Kadavule (Oh God! Oh God!) as the dialogue. Suresh agreed to keep the dialogue as it went well into the situation of the scene. Several years later, Suresh Krissna revealed that nobody on set realised that the snake's mouth was not stitched. It was only after filming ended for that day that the director came to realise that Rajinikanth's life was at risk the entire time.
Suresh wanted the picturisation of "Vanthenda Paalkaaran" to be vibrant and colourful stating that he got inspired from the Hindi songs of Amitabh Bachchan. The scene where Rajini shows his face to the camera was extended in slowmotion by Suresh as fans will feel as if he looks towards the audience. The song was choreographed by Prabhu Deva. The title song "Annamalai" where Rajini and Kushboo appeared in periodic costumes was shot at Fern Hill Palace Hotel while the matching shots were shot at Sivaji Gardens. Suresh shot the song sequence in a technique where the lip sync is perfect while the dance movements being fast revealing that he got inspired from the song "Mamavukku Koduma" from Punnagai Mannan (1986).
Suresh Krissna was responsible for the words 'SUPER' and 'STAR' forming in blue dots on the screen followed by the words 'RAJNI' in yellow, which became set standard for all future Rajini films. Annamalai set another trend in Tamil cinema: a "mass introduction song for a hero".
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
The music of the film has been composed by Deva, with the lyrics penned by Vairamuthu. Annamalai marked Deva's first collaboration with Rajinikanth. Balachander chose him as composer due to a misunderstanding with Ilaiyaraaja. Rajinikanth and Suresh were initially worried with the choice of Deva. When Suresh met Deva, he had already composed the song "Annamalai Annamalai" when Vasanth was initially the director of the film. The song is based on the carnatic raga known as Mohanam.
The song "Vanthenda Paalkaaran" is said to be inspired from a Kannada poem about cow which Rajini had suggested, the poem talked about the cow which is a deity and useful to the human. Vairamuthu grasped the core of the poem and added the details of cow being helpful and also added image boosting lyrics in the song to cater his fans. The song's tune is based on the Marathi folk song "Mee Dolkar Dolkar Daryacha Raja" (1969).
|1||"Annamalai Annamalai"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K.S. Chitra||03:54|
|2||"Kondayil Thaazham Poo"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K.S. Chitra||04:46|
|3||"Oru Pen Pura"||K.J. Yesudas||04:50|
|4||"Rekkai Katti Parakudhu"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K.S. Chitra||04:53|
|5||"Vanthenda Paalkaran"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam||04:23|
|6||"Vetri Nichayam"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam||01:44|
Annamalai was released on 27 June 1992. Its opening was threatened since the new government of Jayalalithaa implemented a new rule where posters of films were prohibited in the city. Nevertheless, according to Suresh, the lack of promos only increased the hype and worked to the film's advantage. The Indian Express said on 3 July 1992, "Annamalai is enjoyable and touching."
Annamalai completed a 175-day run at the box office. It was the highest-grossing film in Rajinikanth's career until 1995 when the record was broken by Baashha. The collections of Annamalai sent tremors everywhere. Annamalai exceeded normal regional collections making the film producers all over India sit up and take notice. With Annamalai, Rajini's range increased and made him the highest-paid actor in India till now. Tamil Manila Congress and DMK ally prioritised 'Annamalai Cycle', and won the 1996 elections by a huge margin.
Jai stated that his character from Engeyum Eppodhum (2011) "was almost modelled on the lines of Rajini Sir in the first half of Annamalai". Suresh Krishna directed Aarumugam in 2009 which critics compared with Annamalai due to its similar plot and characterisations.
The dialogue "Naan Solradaiyum Seiven, Soladadeiyum Seiven" (lit. I'll do what I say, I'll also do what I don't say) attained popularity.
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