Kadhal Desam

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Kadhal Desam
Kadhal Desam DVD Cover.jpg
DVD cover
Tamil காதல் தேசம்
Directed by Kathir
Produced by K. T. Kunjumon
Written by Kathir
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography K. V. Anand
Edited by B. Lenin
V. T. Vijayan
Distributed by Gentleman Film International
Release date
  • 23 August 1996 (1996-08-23)
Country India
Language Tamil

Kadhal Desam (Land of Love) is an Indian 1996 Tamil romantic dramedy thriller film written and directed by Kathir and produced by K. T. Kunjumon. The film starred Abbas, Vineeth and Tabu in the lead roles, while S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Vadivelu, Chinni Jayanth and Srividya played other pivotal characters. K. V. Anand was the cinematographer for the project and A. R. Rahman composed the film's soundtrack and score. The film opened in August 1996 to positive reviews from critics and became a Super-Hit at the box office. It was also remade in Bangladesh as Narir Mon, starring Riaz, Shakil Khan and Shabnur respectively.


In the city of Chennai, a traditional rivalry has always existed between the students of Pachaiyappas and Loyola colleges respectively. Karthik (Vineeth) is poor and an orphan, who studies in Pachaiyappa's College, lives in a rented room, travels by the bus, hangs out with a number of friends, and is the captain of his football team. He is also a good poet and daydreams about his dream girl. Arun (Abbas), on the other hand, comes from a rich and wealthy family, studies in Loyola College, drives his own car, hangs out with number of friends, and is also the captain of his football team. In a nasty intercollege riot Arun saves Karthik's life. So in return, Karthik lets Arun win in a soccer game because he thinks Arun can't take losses easily. Arun realizes that the victory is because of Karthik's sacrifice.

They become good friends, and they both show a good example of friendship to the others in the course of college. Things were going smooth until the new girl Divya (Tabu) joins the college. Both of the guys fall in love with her, but neither of them realize that they both are in love with the same girl. In a chain of events when they realize that both are loving the same girl, their friendship is strained and they fight with each other. The end of the movie shows whether Divya will fall in love with one of them and whether their friendship will be affected. At the end, Divya says that she likes them both, but do not want to choose one, thereby losing the other and disrupting their friendship. Hence the film ends with Arun and Karthik regaining their friendship.



Mumbai model Abbas was enjoying his holidays in Bangalore during his holidays and hanging out at a cybercafe near Brigade Road, when he bumped into director Kathir, who asked him to act in his Tamil film.[1] Initially reluctant due to his little knowledge of the language, he opted out and left for his college in Mumbai. A year later, Abbas received a call from producer K. T. Kunjumon asking him to come over for a screen test as a result of Kathir's insistence.[2] Vineeth was signed on to play another lead role in the film due to his association with Kunjumon, having previously worked in the 1993 Shankar-directed film, Gentleman.[3] Tabu was signed on to make her debut in Tamil films and worked on the film alongside Mani Ratnam's Iruvar.

Kathir mentioned that he dreamt of a "beautiful place full of young people" and was inspired by College Road in Chennai, with a setting by the beach.[4] Since it did not exist, he ordered it to be created for the film, costing Rs. one crore (ten million rupees).[5][6] The film also managed to convince Pachaiyappa's College and Loyola College, Chennai to give them rights to use their college names in the films, focussing on the rivalry between the institutions.[7] Then struggling actor Vikram had dubbed his voice for Abbas, while Maaveeran-famed dubbing artist Shekar Sega dubbed the voice for Vineeth. A. Karunakaran, who became a successful director in Telugu cinema started his career as clap assistant. Filming mainly took place in and around the cities of Chennai, Ooty, Mudumalai, Bandipur, Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam.[8]


The film went on to become a large commercial success.[9] The climax of the film broke a taboo in the Tamil film industry, where a love triangle would be decided with a happy ending.[10] Post-success, Abbas revealed that he felt that "Mustafa Mustafa" song catapulted him to stardom and enjoyed a strong female base after Kadhal Desam.[11] However, a critic from Indolink.com suggested that "Katheer's direction lacks the punch and innovation. The narration is slow, incoherent, and shaky", though mentioned there is "reasonably good acting by Vineeth, Abbas is OK for a newcomer and Tabu looks ravishing".[12]

The film won A. R. Rahman his fifth consecutive Filmfare Award for Best Music Director in Tamil.[13][14] K. V. Anand also received the Screen Award South for Best Cinematography for his work in the film.[15] The film was dubbed and released in Telugu as Prema Desam and became an equally big success.[16] The Hindi version, Duniya Dilwalon Ki, however, did not perform as well.[17]

The success of the film prompted Rahman to collaborate with Kathir again in Kadhalar Dhinam (1999) and Kadhal Virus (2002). As a result of respect for his first director, Abbas made a guest appearance in the latter film. The film triggered off a string of youth-based stories in films with Minsara Kanavu and Ullaasam featuring similar story lines.[18]


Kadhal Desam
Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 1996
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 35:23
Label Alaiosai
Big B
Producer A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Kadhal Desam

The soundtrack for the film was composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics penned by Vaali. The soundtrack was also released in Telugu as Prema Desam and in Hindi with the title Duniya Dilwalon Ki, with lyrics written by P. K. Mishra and Mehboob.

Tamil version[edit]

# Song Singer(s)
1 "Ennai Kaanavillaiye" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, OS Arun, Rafee
2 "Hello Doctor" A. R. Rahman, Storms, Noel James, Anupama
3 "Kalluri Salai" A. R. Rahman, Hariharan, Aslam Mustafa
4 "Mustafa Mustafa" A. R. Rahman
5 "Thendrale" Mano, Unni Krishnan, Dominique Cerejo
6 "O Vennila" Unni Krishnan

Telugu version[edit]

# Song Singer(s)
1 "Prema Prema" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, O. S. Arun
2 "Hello Doctor" KK, Srinivas, Anupama, Noel James
3 "College Style" KK, Hariharan
4 "Mustafa" A. R. Rahman
5 "O Vennela" Unni Krishnan
6 "Vennela" Unni Krishnan, Mano

Hindi version[edit]

# Song Singer(s)
1 "College Ki Saathi" Hariharan, KK, Aslam Mustafa
2 "Jaari Jaa E Hawa" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Sonu Nigam, Dominique Cerejo
3 "Hello Doctor" KK, Storms, Noell
4 "Mustafa" A. R. Rahman
5 "Jaana Jaana" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
6 "O Meri Jaan" Sonu Nigam


External links[edit]