Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri

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Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri
Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri poster.jpg
Directed byS. P. Muthuraman
Screenplay byPanchu Arunachalam
Based onBhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri
by Maharishi
Produced byN. S. Mani
Edited byR. Vittal
Music byIlaiyaraaja
M. A. M. Films
Release date
9 September 1977 (1977-09-09)
Running time
146 minutes[1]

Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri (transl. Bhuvana is a question mark) is a 1977 Indian Tamil-language drama film directed by S. P. Muthuraman and written by Panchu Arunachalam. It is based on the novel of the same name by Maharishi. The film stars Sivakumar, Rajinikanth and Sumithra. It focuses on two friends with conflicting characters and their conflicting lives.

Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri was notable for casting Rajinikanth and Sivakumar as a hero and antihero respectively, contrary to the roles they played in earlier films. It was released on 9 September 1977. The film shocked audiences who were used to seeing Rajinikanth and Sivakumar in their usual roles; nevertheless, it was a commercial success, and won two Filmfare Awards: Best Tamil Film and Best Tamil Director for Muthuraman. The success of Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri led to Rajinikanth playing more positive roles in films.


Nagaraj and Sampath are garment salesmen and roommates in Nagercoil. While Sampath is a straightforward person who believes in honesty, Nagaraj is a womaniser, in contrast to Sampath who believes in true love. Sampath's lover Raji, while fleeing from a rogue bull, dies due to an accident. A depressed Sampath attempts suicide, but Nagaraj stops him, and Sampath decides to stop selling garments, instead confining himself to remaining Nagaraj's assistant.

Aboard a train bound for Madras, Nagaraj and Sampath encounter Muthu, a temple trust clerk who has a suitcase full of cash. But Muthu dies en route of a heart attack and Nagaraj steals his suitcase, over Sampath's objections. Muthu's sister Bhuvana visits them at Nagercoil to enquire about the lost cash (which is all black money). Nagaraj denies knowing anything, but Bhuvana remains suspicious. He pretends to love her; Bhuvana falls for his lust and has sex with him.

Nagaraj uses some of the black money to open his own garment store. To make the rest of the money legitimate, he decides to marry Manohari, the daughter of a wealthy businessman. Bhuvana, pregnant by Nagaraj, refuses to abort the baby and wants Nagaraj to marry her, but he refuses. To save Bhuvana's honour and help his friend, Sampath marries Bhuvana but they only share a platonic relationship, while Nagaraj marries Manohari and his business flourishes.

Sampath wants to have a physical relationship with Bhuvana but she rejects him, saying he is like a god to her. Sampath raises Bhuvana's son as his own. Meanwhile, Nagarajan and Manohari yearn for a child as the former has now become impotent due to his excessive libido. Nagaraj demands that his son be given to him for adoption but Bhuvana refuses.

When the child becomes ill and needs an injection, Nagaraj enters into a bargain that he would give the medicine from his pharmacy, provided it is agreed that the child is given to him in adoption. But Sampath arrives on time to deliver the injection and the child is saved. A short while later, Sampath succumbs to cardiac arrest, the result of years of excessive smoking and drinking. Bhuvana prefers to live as his widow.



Writer Panchu Arunachalam and director S. P. Muthuraman initially wanted Rajinikanth to play a small role in a low-budget film.[a] But after meeting him, the duo found him to have "brightness" and decided to cast him in "something bigger, better". The film was Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri,[4] an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Maharishi.[6] Produced by N. S. Mani under the banner M. A. M. Films,[7][1] its screenplay was written by Arunachalam.[1] The film was the first collaboration of Rajinikanth and Muthuraman,[8] and was conceived during the Emergency.[9]

This film had a role swap as Sivakumar, then known for playing clean and positive characters, played an antihero while Rajinikanth, then an established villain, played a positive character.[5][10] Muthuraman said he deliberately cast Rajinikanth against type since he wanted to "experiment with his acting skills".[11] He also explained that his decision to shoot the film in black-and-white, rather than colour, was budget-related because "colour film had to be imported and was very expensive".[12] Since Rajinikanth was not fluent in Tamil at that time, he was trained by S. L. Narayanan, who was popularly known by the prefix "Vaadhyar".[13][14] Cinematography was handled by Babu.[13] The film was edited by R. Vittal, and its final length measured 3,976.12 metres (13,045.0 ft).[1]


Ilaiyaraaja composed the music for the film.[15] The song "Vizhiyile" is set in the Carnatic raga known as Natabhairavi,[16] and "Poonthendrale" is set in Rageshree.[17] In June 2013, A. Muthusamy of Honey Bee Music released a 5.1 surround sound version of the soundtrack.[18]

1."Vizhiyile"Panchu ArunachalamS. P. Balasubrahmanyam4:24
2."Raja Enbar"Panchu ArunachalamS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki4:32
3."Poonthendrale"Panchu ArunachalamP. Jayachandran, Vani Jairam4:08
4."Theme" (Instrumental) — —2:05

Release and reception[edit]

Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri was released on 9 September 1977.[19][20] The film shocked audiences who were used to seeing Rajinikanth in negative roles, and Sivakumar in heroic roles.[21] Nevertheless, it won the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Film and Muthuraman won the Best Tamil Director award at the same ceremony.[7] Rajinikanth's performance won him the Thirai Kathir Award for Best Supporting Actor.[22] In 1978, the critic from Film World stated that although Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri dealt with social questions, it "neither had the motivation nor the justification very much essential to make a film realistic; at best [it] appeared frivolous."[23]


The success of Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri paved way for Rajinikanth the opportunity to do more hero oriented films.[11] Although Sivakumar's fans disliked seeing him play a negative character, he received numerous offers to play negative roles following this film's success, and felt accepting to play Nagaraj was a mistake; he elaborated, "I do not wish to be typed either as a goody- goody leading man or a villain. I would like to act all types of roles."[24] Film producer and writer G. Dhananjayan wrote that it is one of five films Rajinikanth considers "close to his heart"; the other four are Mullum Malarum (1978), Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai (1979) and Enkeyo Ketta Kural (1982) and Sri Raghavendrar (1985).[25]


  1. ^ While Muthuraman stated in 1999 that the film was Avalukku Oru Aasai,[4] he contradicted himself in a later interview with The Hindu's Malathi Rangarajan, stating it to be Aan Singam.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Indian Films. Allied Publishers. 1978. p. 124.
  2. ^ a b c d e Ramachandran 2014, p. 64.
  3. ^ Ramachandran 2014, p. 65.
  4. ^ a b Muthuraman, S. P. (22 December 1999). "Rajini acts in front of the camera, never behind it". Archived from the original on 7 January 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b Ramachandran 2012, p. 16.
  6. ^ Ramachandran 2014, p. 63.
  7. ^ a b The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. 1984. p. 234.
  8. ^ Shoba, V. (19 December 2014). "The Enduring Legend of Rajini". Open. Archived from the original on 24 February 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  9. ^ Ramachandran 2014, p. 71.
  10. ^ Surendran, Anusha; Venkatraman, Janane; Radhakrishnan, Sruthi (21 July 2016). "Rajini: the actor before the hero". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 28 March 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  11. ^ a b Shrikumar, A. (5 November 2015). "Flitting into flashbacks". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  12. ^ Ramachandran 2014, p. 66.
  13. ^ a b முத்துராமன், எஸ்பி. (13 January 2016). "சினிமா எடுத்துப் பார் 41: கமலும் ரஜினியும் இணைந்து நடித்தது எந்தப் படம்?" [Try making a film 41: Kamal and Rajini acted together in which film?]. Hindu Tamil Thisai. Archived from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  14. ^ Ramachandran 2012, p. 17.
  15. ^ "Bhuvana Oru Kelvikuri (1977)". Archived from the original on 1 April 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  16. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 168.
  17. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 154.
  18. ^ Jeshi, K. (15 June 2013). "Music to his ears". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  19. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (3 September 2019). "'புவனா ஒரு கேள்விக்குறி' – அப்பவே அப்படி கதை". Hindu Tamil Thisai. Archived from the original on 9 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  20. ^ "மாறுபட்ட வேடங்களில் ரஜினி-சிவகுமார் இணைந்து நடித்த புவனா ஒரு கேள்விக்குறி" [Rajini-Sivakumar acted in different roles in Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri]. Maalai Malar (in Tamil). 29 April 2016. Archived from the original on 28 March 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  21. ^ Subhakeerthana, S. (12 December 2018). "Rajinikanth deserves all the love he gets: SP Muthuraman". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  22. ^ Ramachandran 2014, p. 268.
  23. ^ Ramachandran, T. M., ed. (1978). "No Social Relevance". Film World. Vol. 14. p. cclxxxiii.
  24. ^ Ramachandran, T. M., ed. (1978). "Sivakumar — Actor with talent plus luck". Film World. Vol. 14. pp. cccii.
  25. ^ Suganth, M. (26 July 2015). "Panchu Arunachalam is the man who invented Rajinikanth as an actor". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2016.


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