Bhadrakali (film)

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Directed by A. C. Tirulokchandar
Produced by Cine Bharath
Written by Aarur Dass (dialogues)
Story by Maharishi
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography Viswanath Rai
Release date
10 December 1976
Country India
Language Tamil

Bhadrakali (English: Kali in Fury) is a 1976 Tamil film starring Sivakumar and Rani Chandra in the lead roles. Produced and directed by A. C. Tirulokchandar, it is an adaptation of a Tamil novel written by Maharishi. The soundtrack and film score were composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The film was remade in Telugu as same name by same director.



The music composed by Ilaiyaraaja.[2]

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 Anandha Bhairavi Chorus Vaali 03:50
2 Kannan Oru K. J. Yesudas, P. Susheela 04:40
3 Kettele P. Susheela 04:40
4 Odugindral Sirkazhi Govindarajan 03:21
5 Oththa Rooba Malaysia Vasudevan, S. Janaki 03:12


Tirulokchandar decided to produce and direct a film based on a novel by Maharishi.[3] The story is set in a Brahmin household. Tirulokchandar produced the film under his home production "Cine Bharath", and Harur Dass was recruited as the dialog writer.[3] The director chose Sivakumar as the male lead and while looking for a "new face" to cast as the female lead, they chose Rani Chandra, a Malayali actress, and planned to introduce her to the Tamil audience under the name "Gayathri".[3] Prior to acting in this film, Rani Chandra had acted in about 60 films in Malayalam apart from Porchilai (1969) and Then Sindhudhe Vaanam (1975) in Tamil. Bhadrakali was considered her first major role in Tamil as she played minor roles in her earlier films in the language.[3]

Death of the female lead and her replacement[edit]

During the final stages of filming, Rani Chandra along with her mother and sisters went to Dubai to take part in a cultural programme.[4] When they were on a return from Bombay to Madras on 11 October 1976, their plane caught fire and crashed near the airport, killing all the passengers. As a result of her death, a few unfinished portions of her were shot using a look-alike,[5] named Pushpa, a group dancer. Apart from a few scenes involving the female lead, the climax portions were fully shot using Pushpa.[5][6] Though Tirulokchandar was not fully convinced with the idea to shoot with a look-alike as Pushpa slightly resembled Rani. However, Viswanath Rai, the cinematographer encouraged him to go with the idea of look-alike and used different camera angles and used long shots for scenes involving Pushpa, Rani's duplicate.[7]


The film released on 10 December 1976 receiving unanimous acclaim and turned out to be a box-office success.[7] Rani Chandra's portrayal as a Brahmin housewife was well received.[3] Ananda Vikatan said, "It is a daring effort to bring out the script of a Tamil writer in a high quality film format. Dialogues by Aroor Das have depth and the film deserves our appreciation!"[8]




  • Dhananjayan, G. (2011). "Bhadrakali - Goddess Kali in Fury". The Best of Tamil Cinema, 1931 to 2010: 1931–1976. Galatta Media. 

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