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This article is about a Tamil film. For the inventor and entrepreneur, see Arunachalam Muruganantham.
Arunachalam poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Sundar C
Produced by
  • K. S. Nagarajan Raja
  • K. Muraliprasad Rao
Written by
Screenplay by Sundar C
Music by Deva
Cinematography U. K. Senthil Kumar
Edited by P. Saisuresh
Annamalai Cine Combines
Release dates
  • 10 April 1997 (1997-04-10)
Running time
153 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil

Arunachalam is a 1997 Tamil drama film directed by Sundar C and written by Crazy Mohan. The film features Rajinikanth, Soundarya and Rambha in the lead roles, with Jaishankar and Ravichandran in other pivotal roles. The soundtrack and background score for the film was composed by Deva, while U. K. Senthil Kumar handled the cinematography.

The film opened in April 1997 to positive reviews from film critics and went on to win three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, including an award for Best Film.[1]


Arunachalam (Rajinikanth) is a simple man who is the son of one the reputed people from respectable family in their village. He is very famous for his simplicity, honesty and helping tendency. Vedhavalli, a city girl and also cousin of Arunachalam comes to the her cousin's (Arunachalam's sister's) wedding. Initially she misunderstands Arunachalam's friend Arivazhagan to be Arunachalam and is shocked to know that how a man who is not more than a joker is respected by whole village. Arunchalam once slips and falls on her due to spilt oil and he accidentally kisses her triggering a romance between them not knowing how they are related to each other. Vedhavalli finally understands about who is the real Arunachalam and his soft, innocent yet daring nature. Both of them express their feelings towards each other and their wedding proposal is happily accepted by the elders in their family except the senior most person of the family, Arunchalam-Vedhavalli's grand mother, Senior Vedhavalli. She never likes him and always shows hatred. She says something to Vedhavalli's family which makes them to reconsider the marriage of Vedhavalli with Arunachalam. The family leaves without informing Arunachalam which shocks him.

Arunachalam finds that his younger brother is trying to ditch his lover and he comes to her rescue. His brother refuses to marry her stating that she does not match his status and money. Arunachalam owes to bequeath his inheritance to her so that she will become equal to him which angers senior Vedhavalli. She tells everyone that he has no right over anything he possess except the rudraksha which he is wearing in his neck as he is an orphan who was found in Arunachaleshwar temple and taken from his mother during her last breath who also named him Arunachalam. She also insults him and indirectly insists him to leave their house. Arunachalam is broken and hurt by the insult of Sr.Vedhavalli and leaves the house.

Arunachalam comes to Chennai city and befriends Beeda Kathavarayan (Janagaraj), a beeda seller who gives him a job. He meets Vedhavalli one day and goes to her home only to get insulted by Vedhavalli's father. Arunachalam meets a young girl Nandhini (Rambha) when a thief snatches her bag full of diamonds. Arunachalam gets the bag after repeated begging by Nandhini as she made fun of him previously for saving an empty handbag. Nandhini thanks him and in return she promises job in her dad's company. Next day Arunachalam goes to the office and he misses his rudraksh there. He chases the rolling rudraksh creating trouble to everyone in the office and finally his rudraksh lands in the table of Rangachari (Visu) who was discussing about transferring of some property belonging to some Vedhachalam to trust along with his colleagues. Arunachalam enters the meeting room and Rangachari is shocked to see the man standing in front of him. He enquire what is his name to which Arunachalam replies. Rangachari tells him that he is actually son of his boss Vedhachalam, the heir of his entire property. Arunachalam and Rangachari's colleagues Kalaiperumal (V. K. Ramasamy), Prathap (Nizhalgal Ravi), Kurain (Kitty) and Vishwanath (Raghuvaran) are shocked.

Rangachari explains that Arunachalam was lost when he was so young and he recognized him with the name mentioned by his father and resemblance of his father Vedhachalam. He told that Vedhachalam instructed him to play a video tape when Arunachalam is found. In that tape, an elderly man Mr.Vedhachalam speaks about how he married Arunachalam's mother Meenakshi against his father's wish, how he got lost in a cruise accident and was misunderstood to be dead, how his mother committed suicide broken by her husband's demise. He got a letter of her which stated that they have a son named Arunachalam. He tells that he has two choices of bequeathing his legacy. Either by accepting a challenge of spending Rs.30 Crore (Rs. 300 million) in 30 days and take away 3000 Crore (Rs.30 billion) fulfilling the rules or take away just Rs.30 Crore. The reason of this challenge is to make him get allergic to money and the comforts of it, so that he would spend wisely 30 billion for the poor and needy people.The rules for this challenge are no contributions to charities, not to own any assets at the end of the month, and, above all, no one else must know that he would bequeath 30 billion if he completes the challenge.

Arunachalam initially refuses to take up the challenge and says the videotape is enough for him and he does not want either 300 million or 30 billion and leaves. However he overhears Vishwanath, Kurain, Prathap and Kalaiperumal talking about killing Rangachari and take away all the 30 billion. Arunachalam finally accepts the challenge to spend Rs.30 Crore in 30 days following the rules much to the foursome's shock. Arunachalam challenges them that he would win the challenge and expose them to the world. Nandhini is appointed as his assistant to take care of expenses.

From Day 1, Arunachalam starts to implement different tactics and spends lavishly, but the foursome group create all obstacles so that he does not win the challenge. Arunachalam invests the money in horse race which is a way to loose money easily in minutes. He deliberately bets on a weakest horse but due to foursome's plan, the weak horse wins earning him lot of money. Next he buys bumper prize lotteries which also gets him to win ample amount of money, He then produces a movie with his friend Arivazhagan hoping it will fail commercially. However his plan backfires due to the foursome who make him to earn more money from the selling rights. Finally he jumps into politics starting a party, nominating his friend Kattavarayan for upcoming election. He vigorously campaigns for him and lavishly spends all the money so fast. During a meeting, Katavaraayan's speech makes people angry on him and Arunachalam declares that he is apologizing them for nominating a wrong person and asks them not to vote for him. However the foursome group make the other nominees of election to withdraw and Katavarayan is elected as MP. Arunachalam is shocked now, as MP post and the party are both assets as per the challenge. But he makes Kathavarayan to resign the post and he dissolves his party destroying both assets. Finally he is about to win and he spends final left overs in farewell party. Meanwhile Vedhavalli gets angry on Arunachalam for not helping her and her family during their financial crisis and she doubts that he has affair with Nandhini. She consents to wedding with her father's choice. On the last day of handover, during final minutes, Arunachalam's friend comes to him with Rs.20000 as per plan of foursome so that he cannot spend it at last minute. Nandhini arrives in nick of moment to inform the foursome plan and Arunachalam spends the money in last 30 seconds by paying the money to her as salary thus winning the challenge. Nandhini and Arunchalam explain Rangachari about the evil doings of foursome. Rangachari gets angry and warns to complaint against them in police but they threaten to kill them. After series of struggles and fights Arunachalam hands them over to police. Rangachari hands over the 30 billion property to him but he refuses to take it and asks him to spend to poor and needy as per his father's wish.

Arunachalam returns to village with his adopted father who surprise him with Vedhavalli on the wedding stage waiting for him. Vedhavalli understood why Arunachalam refused to help her and reconciles with him. Senior Vedhavalli realizes her mistake and consents for their wedding. Arunachalam and Vedhavalli unite finally.

The story shares similarity with the english language film, 'Brewster's Millions'(1985).


Tamil Version

Telugu Version


Soundtrack album to Arunachalam by Deva
Recorded 1996-1997
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length Star Music
Language Tamil
Label Big B
Vega Music
Producer Deva
Deva chronology
Bharathi Kannamma

The music was Composed by Deva. The song "Nagumo" had two versions, Hariharan version was included in soundtrack only, while another version with vocals of Krishnaraj was included in the film only. Audio was released under the music label "ABCL Music" of Amitabh Bachchan.

Song Title Singers Lyricist
Alli Alli Anarkili Mano, Swarnalatha Palani Bharathi
Athanda Ethanda S. P. Balasubrahmanyam Vairamuthu
Mathadu Mathadu S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Chitra Palani Bharathi
Nagumo Hariharan, Chitra Vairamuthu
Singam Ondru Malaysia Vasudevan Vairamuthu
Thalai Maganae S. P. Balasubrahmanyam Kalidasan


The song "Athanda Ithanda" was shot at Keshava Temple of Hoysala Architecture at Somanathapura, Karnataka

After the success of Muthu in 1995, Rajinikanth took a year out dabbling in politics and taking a sabbatical before announcing that his next film would be Arunachalam written by Crazy Mohan. It was announced that the film would be produced to help eight of his struggling film industry colleagues and it was incorrectly earlier reported that the film would be produced under his newly floated Rajini Arts banner. It was indicated that some of the people who the film would go on to cause benefits for included Kalakendra Govindharajan who introduced Rajinikanth in his production Apoorva Raagangal (1975), Kalaignyanam who featured Rajinikanth in the lead role for the first time with his production Bairavi (1978) and brothers Ramji and Babji who produced some of the actor's early hits, Kaali (1980) and Garjanai (1980). Furthermore collections would also be shared between the family of Sathya Studio Padmanabhan, actress Pandari Bai, actor V. K. Ramasamy and producer Madurai Nagaraja.[2][3] Initial reports had also titled the film as Kuberan and Meshtri, but Arunachalam was eventually retained.[4] The plot of the film was inspired by George Barr McCutcheon's novel Brewster's Millions.

Initially the lead heroine of the film was expected to be either Manisha Koirala, who had appeared in successive blockbusters in Bombay and Indian, or Meena who had featured in Rajinikanth's previous film, Muthu. Simran[5] and Shalini was also linked to the role, before Soundarya and Rambha were signed on as heroines.[2] The initial cast list released to the media also had Jayaram in the cast of the film as well as Vignesh, who was later replaced by Raja.[4] Manorama was also surprisingly added to the cast after causing controversy the previous year by lashing out at Rajinikanth's political motives.[3][6]

Rajinikanth lost his sentimental Rudraksh bead during the shooting of the film and was shocked and upset to note that his Rudraksh was missing. He ordered a search at the shooting spot at midnight and with the help of the giant lights used for shooting, he later found the divine bead after a while.[7]

Release[edit] gave the film a positive review citing that "the saving grace of the film is Rajini himself. He has the exceptional ability to convincingly portray the same utopian role of anger and love, innocence and impetuousness...and whats more...he does it with remarkable freshness time and again".[8]

The film was declared a commercial success at the box office, although not as big as Rajinikanth's previous blockbusters Baasha and Muthu (both 1995).[3][9] Arunachalam went on to win three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, including an award for Best Film. Super Subbarayan and Gopi Kanth also respectively won awards for Best Stunt Coordinator and Best Art Director. The film was later dubbed and released in Telugu under the same name. Rajini's dance with Rambha was a highlight in this movie.


  1. ^ "Filmography of arunachalam". Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  2. ^ a b "Tamil Movie News-Pudhu Edition 2 - soc.culture.tamil | Google Groups". 1996-10-22. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Journey of living legend Rajinikanth Part 6 - The Journey Of Living Legend Rajinikanth Part 6- Amar Reddy- Rajinikamth - - -". Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Tamil Movie News-Pudhu Edition 2 - soc.culture.tamil | Google Groups". 1997-01-17. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  5. ^ "1997-98 Kodambakkam babies Page". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  6. ^ 25 June 2011 By Anupama Subramanian DC chennai (2011-06-26). "Rajinikanth is Kaliyug Vaali". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  7. ^ "Rajini and the Rudraksh - Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  8. ^ "INDOlink Film Review: Arunachalam". Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  9. ^ "Rediff On The Net, Movies:". 1997-06-30. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 

External links[edit]