|Directed by||Suresh Krissna|
|Produced by||R. M. Veerappan
|Written by||Balakumaran (dialogues)|
|Cinematography||P. S. Prakash|
|Edited by||Ganesh Kumar|
|Distributed by||Sathya Movies|
|12 January 1995|
|Box office||₹250 million (equivalent to ₹750 million or US$11 million in 2015)|
Baashha is a 1995 Indian Tamil action film directed by Suresh Krissna. The film was produced by V. Thamilazhagan and V. Rajammal under the production banner Sathya Movies. The film stars Rajinikanth and Nagma in lead roles with Raghuvaran, Janagaraj and Vijayakumar playing supporting roles. The plot revolves around the life of an autodriver Manikkam, who stays from violence but forced to show his violent side after his sister is attacked and his past life as a gangster is revealed.
Principal photography of the film took place at AVM Studios and majority of the film was shot in a set built at Vijaya Vauhini Studios. P. S. Prakash was the film's cinematographer, and it was edited by Ganesh Kumar. The dialogues for the film were written by Balakumaran. The soundtrack and background score were composed by Deva and lyrics were written by Vairamuthu.
The film was released on 12 January 1995 to positive feedback and became one of the highly successful films in the career of Rajinikanth. Rajinikanth won Filmfans Association Award and Cinema Express Award for the Best Actor for his performance in the film. This film was later remade in Kannada as Kotigobba starring Vishnuvardhan and Priyanka Upendra in the lead roles.
Manikkam (Rajinikanth) is a humble auto driver who helps the needy. He also keeps away from unnecessary fights and quarrels. His ambition is to bring up his brother and sisters with flying colours. His brother Shiva (Shashikumar) gets through the police training and waits for posting.
Manikkam meets Priya (Nagma), a rich girl who travels frequently in his auto. She develops a respect and feelings for him due to his nobility.
Shiva attends his interview and he is asked to bring his brother to office by a senior official when he hears the name Manikkam and Shiva's birthplace is Bombay. Hesitating at first, Manikkam goes to commissioner's office. Manikkam's sister who had passed with more marks requests a medical seat to a medical college proprietor. The proprietor demands that she sleep with him and stay in his guest house. Hearing about this Manikkam meets the guy. He surprises his sister when he makes the proprietor bow to him and readily to give seat without any condition. He also surprises his brother when he attacks the area Don who teased his sister. The men attacked by Manikkam are critical in the hospital. Shiva inquires Manikkam about his past life in Bombay. The film then goes into a flashback about Manikkam's life at Bombay.
The flashback shows that Manikkam was actually once a Don named Manik Baashha in Bombay. He had a great friend Anwar Baasha (Charan Raj). They were great friends despite being from different religions. Once Anwar questions the activities of the Mafia Don Antony (Raghuvaran). Events lead to Antony's men killing Anwar on the main road. Manikkam is saved due to the pleas of his father (Vijayakumar), who works as the personal assistant of Antony.
Manikkam vows to avenge his dear friend's death. He does so by murdering all those responsible before even his friend is laid to rest. The people of Mumbai also come to his support and claim they have not seen any murder occur to the police.
Manikkam soon becomes Manik Baashha, the Don – a "Robin Hood" kind of a Don. He is greatly revered by the people. But situations lead him to direct confrontation with Mark Antony.
Antony convinces an assistant of Baashha to murder him on his birthday. But Baashha cleverly recognises the plot and his foes end up shooting a wax model of him. The assistant is evicted and he later appears in the movie as the father of Priya.
Meanwhile, Antony goes desperate in his attempts to quell the Baashha challenge. The only option left with him is to kill Baashha's father. His loyalty notwithstanding, Antony proceeds with that. Baashha on the other hand aids the police in the arrest of Antony. He also promises his father before his death to forgo all illicit activities and return to Chennai to lead a peaceful life. He makes the media and the police believe that he has died in an accident.
Meanwhile Priya proposes to Manikkam. Her father arranges for a marriage with one of his men against Priya's wishes. She begs for Manikkam to save her life else she will kill herself. On the day of marriage Manikkam deeply thinks and finally decides to save Priya. He reaches the marriage hall and shows his hand to Priya. Priya is surprised when her dad did not show sign of opposing and is not aware of the fact that her father is familiar to Manikkam as Baashha. Priya's dad lets them go. An underling informs Mark Anthony that Manikkam is alive. Antony escapes from Bombay jail and kills Kesavan, avenging his family's death. He kidnaps Manikkam's family before Manikkam comes to their rescue. In the struggle Manikkam loses one of his friends. Manikkam rescues his family from Antony and chases him. Just as he is about to kill Antony, he is stopped by DIG DInakar (Kitty). Antony then tries to shoot Manikkam, but is instead shot dead by Shiva. Then Manikkam marries Priya.
- Rajinikanth as Manikkam / Manik Baashha
- Nagma as Priya
- Raghuvaran as Mark Anthony
- Janagaraj as Gurumoorthy
- Devan as Kesavan
- Anandaraj as Indiran
- Shashikumar as Shiva
- Vijayakumar as Rangasamy
- Sathyapriya as Vijayalakshmi
- Yuvarani as Geetha
- Charan Raj as Anwar Baashha
- Shenbaga as Kavitha
- Kitty as DIG Dinakar
- Dhamu as Dhamu
- Narsing Yadav as Anthony's Henchman
- Sethu Vinayagam as College Chairman
- Thalapathy Dinesh
- Mahanadhi Sankar
Mukul S. Anand had considered and discussed a potential scene for his directorial venture Hum (1991) with Rajinikanth, where Amitabh Bachchan's character would help Govinda get a seat in the Police Academy. Anand discarded the scene, because he did not find it suitable. But Rajinikanth felt the scene had the potential to develop into a script for a possible feature film.
On the sets of Annamalai (1992), Rajinikanth and Suresh Krissna discussed the scene, which Krissna also found to be interesting. The title of the film, Baashha, was suggested by Rajinikanth to Krissna, who suggested to Rajinikanth that a Muslim connection to the script was needed. Krissna brought up the subject again to Rajinikanth during the making of Veera (1994), but Rajinikanth wanted to discuss the script only after completing Veera. The discarded scene became the foundation for Baashha where Rajinikanth's character in the film, Manikkam, helps his sister get admission in the medical college she had applied for. Krissna planned to weave the rest of the film's story around the scene. Though Manikkam was initially considered to be written as a bus conductor, the "auto driver was the commonest man around. And Rajini liked the idea." R. M. Veerappan, who had earlier collaborated with Rajinikanth in Ranuva Veeran (1981), Moondru Mugam (1982), Thanga Magan (1983), Oorkavalan (1987) and Panakkaran (1990), was the film's co-producer, along with V. Rajammal and V. Thamilazhagan.
Development regarding the film's script commenced in the Taj Banjara hotel in Hyderabad. Eighty percent of the script, including the flashback portions of Rajinikanth as Baashha, were ready in ten days. Balakumaran was selected to write the film's dialogues. The entire team of technicians, including music director Deva, who had worked with Krissna in Annamalai, returned to work with him for Baashha. Actress Nagma was the first and only choice for the heroine's role after Krissna was impressed with her performance in Kadhalan (1994). Rajinikanth's looks in the film were inspired by his own look in the film, Polladhavan (1980) and from Mammootty's looks in the Malayalam film Samrajyam (1990).
The film's Muhurat shot took place at AVM Studios at the venue which later came to be known as the Rajni Pillaiyar Temple. Fans of Rajinikanth were invited for the shot. Choreography for the song "Naan Autokaaran" was done by Tarun Kumar, whose father, Hiralal, choreographed the song "Yaaradi Nee Mohini" from Uthama Puthiran (1958). Rajinikanth recommended Tarun to Krissna, who had initially wanted Raghuram to choreograph the song. Tarun completed the choreography in five days and the entire sequnce was rehearsed at AVM Studios with fifty back-up dancers. As in the song "Vandhenda Paalakaaran" from Annamalai, the sequence was shot with Rajinikanth looking into the lens with a smile, which was intended to make the audience feel that he was looking directly at them, and then putting his hands together to greet them. The gesture, which was already effective in Annamalai, prompted Krissna to extend the screen time of the shot. Krissna wanted Rajinikanth to sport a dress that would make Rajinkanth look slightly unkempt in appearance, but Rajinikanth finished the sequence in a smartly-tailored uniform, and said to Krissna that the audience would not find it odd. The filming of the song took place at the open space at Vijaya Vauhini Studios in Chennai, the same area where Hotel Green Park is present; the song was completed with a hundred back-up dancers used for it in four days. Choreographers Kalyan and Ashok Raj were part of the back-up dancers for the song.
In one of the action sequences involving the protagonist in a face-off against the antagonist's henchmen, the iconic dialogue Naan oru thadava sonna, nooru thadava sonna madhiri. (English: Saying it once is equal to my saying it a hundred times.) The first half of the film was shot for twenty-three days at a stretch. Regarding the dialogue's development, Rajinikanth said to the film's dialogue writer, Balakumaran, that the dialogue had to be simple yet effective, as it would be used in a sequence where another side of the protagonist was revealed. On the day when the sequence which featured the dialogue was to be shot, Rajinikanth came up with the dialgoue, which was originally spoken by him as Naan oru vaatti sonna, nooru vaatti sonna madhiri., which impressed Balakumaran and Krissna. Before the take, Rajinikanth, who repeatedly rehearsed the dialogue, told Krissna that the word "thadava" sounded more effective than "vaatti", and suggested Krissna to use "thadava" instead of "vaatti".[a] Balakumaran initially did not agree with Rajinikanth and Krissna as he felt that the word "vaatti" was "fine" and that there was no need to change the dialogue. Rajinikanth then spoke both the versions of the dialogue and convinced Balakumaran to change the word "vaatti" to "thadava". The dialogue had such an impact on everyone present at the set that, in the break that followed, everyone started using it one way or another. The dialogues occurs only five times in the film. According to The Times of India, it was potentially inspired by a line in Jane Austen's novel Emma, which read, "If I've told you once, I've told you a 100 times." The scene where Rajinikanth's character, Manikkam, gets beaten up to protect his sibling and the following sequence where he beats up the antagonist in turn, was suggested to Krissna by Raju, the choreographer for both the stunt sequences.
Ramalingam, the son of the film's producer, R. M. Veerappan, informed Krissna that Veerappan wanted to meet him. Krissna had finished shooting the sequence where Rajinikanth's character, Manikkam, gets beaten up after trying to protect his younger brother. When Veerappan enquired Krissna about how the film was shaping up, Krissna spoke about the scene which he had shot before his meeting with Veerappan. Veerappan wanted the scene to be deleted from the film as he felt that people wouldn't want to see an actor like Rajinikanth getting beaten up.. Rajinikanth offered to show a sneak preview of the film to Veerappan on 15 December 1994, and if Veerappan did not want the scene to be in the film, the scene would be re-shot, and Rajinikanth offered to bear the costs for re-shooting the scene himself. Shooting was stalled for five days after Krissna's meeting with Veerappan. Later, Krissna, Raju, the choreographer for the stunt sequence, and cameraman Prakash concluded that the scene would be tweaked in such a way that it would be as if Mother Nature is angry at the treatment being meted out to a peace-loving person like Manikkam; it was also planned that backlighting and a poignant background music would be used as well.
Twenty-five scenes, including those which show Rajinikanth's house and neighbourhood were shot at Vijaya Vauhini Studios. The set at the studio was designed by Magie, the film's art director. The set also consisted of a tea stall, a cycle stand and a theatre. The scenes featuring the comedy sequences, interludes featuring actress Nagma and some of the action sequences featuring actor Anandaraj were also filmed at Vijaya Vauhini Studios. Krissna wanted to complete the scenes scheduled to be filmed there before dismantling the sets. According to him, filming for Baashha was completed in less than five months.
The film's soundtrack was composed by Deva, with lyrics by Vairamuthu. Due to the popularity of the rap genre at that time, Deva and Krissna wanted the introduction song to be in the Boney M. group style of music, but the method wasn't successful. Then Deva tried the Gaana genre and sang a couple of lines to Krissna, which were — "Kappal paaru, kappal paaru, Kappal meledora paaru, Dora kezhey aaya paaru, Aaya kayila kozhandahai paaru" (English: See the ship sailing, See the Englishman on it, Also see the poor native woman on board, With a baby in her arms). This tune, originally done by Deva, laid the foundation for the song, "Naan Autokaaran". After Rajinikanth and Vairamuthu heard Deva's rendition, Vairamuthu composed the lyrics for the song in ten minutes. Recording for the song was done by Deva in collaboration with Sabesh-Murali. Vairamuthu revealed that he had completed the lyrics of the song "Ra Ra Ramaiya" in 8 minutes.
The song "Style Style Thaan" starts with the James Bond Theme; in its music video Rajinikanth enters holding a gun, a reference to the gun barrel sequence from the James Bond films. The song "Azhagu" samples the Hindi song "Dilbar Dil Se Pyaare", composed by R. D. Burman for Caravan (1971). The soundtrack was a large success, and all the numbers were chartbusters. A special function was held at Hotel Chola Sheraton to celebrate the success of the film's soundtrack. Rajinikanth was presented a platinum disc on the occasion.
|1.||"Thanga Magan"||K. J. Yesudas & K. S. Chithra||5:12|
|2.||"Naan Autokaaran"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & Chorus||5:37|
|3.||"Style Style Thaan"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & K. S. Chithra||5:27|
|4.||"Azhagu Azhagu"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & K. S. Chithra||5:12|
|5.||"Ra..Ra..Ramaiya"||S. P. Balasubramanyam, Swarnalatha & Chorus||6:33|
|6.||"Baatcha Paaru"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & Chorus||1:18|
|7.||"Namma Thozhan"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & Chorus||1:55|
Hindi version with lyrics by Indeewar & Gopal Ram. The Hindi version was repackaged by Prasad Rao as Baashha. Originally dubbed in Hindi as Manik Baasha in 1995.
All lyrics written by Gopal Ram unless noted., all music composed by Deva.
|1.||"Auto Wala"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & Chorus||5:22|
|2.||"Chahra Hai Tera Sundar" (Indeevar)||Kumar Sanu & Poornima||5:39|
|3.||"Super Style" (Indeevar)||Kumar Sanu & Poornima||5:07|
|4.||"Ek Hi Chand Hain" (Indeevar)||Udit Narayan & Chorus||6:33|
|5.||"Chahre Pe Dhup" (Indeevar)||K. J. Yesudas & Poornima||4:44|
|6.||"Baashha Dekh"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & Chorus||1:00|
|7.||"Baashha Dekh (Sad)"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & Chorus||1:07|
All lyrics written by Vennelakanti.
|1.||"Ek Hi Chand Hai"||S. P. Balasubramanyam, Sindhu & Rajagopal||1:41|
|2.||"Kalala Maharaju"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & K. S. Chithra||5:14|
|3.||"Nee Nadakala Style Adire"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & K. S. Chithra||5:11|
|4.||"Nenu Autovanni"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & Chorus||5:43|
|5.||"Ra Raa Ra Ramaiah"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & Chorus||4:50|
|6.||"Style Styluraa"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & K. S. Chithra||5:28|
|7.||"Baashha Choodu"||S. P. Balasubramanyam & Chorus||1:18|
Baashha received critical acclaim upon release. On 13 January 1995, a review from The Hindu said, "Rajini blossoms fully to portray two different characters, a former dada of Bombay and a docile peace-loving auto driver in Tamil Nadu, trying not to fall back on his old ways and finding it difficult to do so when force of circumstances pressure him" and that Suresh Krishna "has fashioned his screenplay to suit the image of Rajini and the taste of his fans and the songs and sequences are fashioned to boost the image of the hero". On 29 January 1995, Ananda Vikatan said, "The director has intelligently created scenes to present Rajinikanth with full honour... Superstar has taken the majestic form in the film through his acting and action sequences, and that makes the film a treat to watch...". On 23 January 1995, K. Vijiyan of The New Straits Times said "If you are not a Rajini fan, go without expecting too much and you may not be disappointed".
In October 2008, Outlook included Rajinikanth's dialogue "Naan oru tharavai sonna nooru tharavai sonna madhiri [sic]" in its list, "13 Cheesiest, Chalkiest Lines In Indian Cinema". In December 2013, The Times of India ranked Baashha twelfth in its list of "Top 12 Rajinikanth movies", praising the "punch dialogues and the mannerisms of Rajini". In May 2007, K Balamurugan of Rediff ranked the film tenth in his list of "Rajni's Tamil Top 10" films. Daliya Ghose of Bollywood Mantra ranked the film eighth in her list of "Top 10 movies of Rajinikanth". Behindwoods said, "Baasha was more commercial, used the Superstar’s style and inimitable punch lines to deliver one cracker of a movie". When stand-up comedian and television anchor Bosskey launched a quirky play titled Dada (Don) in October 2005, he named the cast after famous characters in Tamil films. Accordingly, Anniyan (one of Vikram's character in the film), Badshah (Rajinikanth's character in the film) and Velu Nayakkar (Kamal Haasan's role in Nayakan) play the central characters of a family of brothers. International Business Times said in 2014, "Rajini did a commendable job in the film". Eros Now ranked the film at number four in its list "Top 5 Films of Rajinikanth".
Digital conversion and 2012 re-release
The film was re-released in Hindi with colour restoration, DI correction, revamped new intermediate negative, new graphics for the title cards, with digitised stereo sound and the 5.1 channel. The Hindi version music is done by Deva who composed the original music score. Producer Badrakali Vara Prasad Rao said that the Hindi version will be released by end of May 2012 all over the world.
After the release of Padayappa (1999), Rajinikanth and Suresh Krissna discussed the possibility of making a sequel to Baashha. Even later, they discussed the feasibility. They felt that Baashha was inimitable—not even a sequel could equal it. Rajinikanth does not believe that sequels work in Indian Cinema.
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