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Theatrical release poster
Directed byS. Shankar
Produced byK. T. Kunjumon
Dialogue byBalakumaran
Screenplay byS. Shankar
Story byS. Shankar
StarringPrabhu Deva
Music byA. R. Rahman
Edited byB. Lenin
V. T. Vijayan
A. R. S. Film International
Release date
  • 17 September 1994 (1994-09-17)
Running time
170 minutes
Budget3 crore

Kadhalan (pronounced [kaːdalan] transl. Loverboy) is a 1994 Indian Tamil-language romantic thriller film written and directed by S. Shankar and produced by K. T. Kunjumon. The film stars Prabhu Deva and Nagma, while Vadivelu, Raghuvaran, Girish Karnad, and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam play supporting roles. It focuses on a college student who falls in love with the state governor's daughter. The governor opposes this, and unknown to anyone, plans on toppling the state government.

Kadhalan was released on 17 September 1994. The film was a commercial success and won many recognitions and honours, including two South Filmfare Awards, and four National Film Awards. The film was dubbed and released in Telugu with the title Premikudu and in Hindi as Humse Hai Muqabala.


Prabhu is the student chairman of the Government Arts College, Madras and his best friend Vasanth is the joint secretary. He goes to invite governor Kakarla Sathyanarayana as the chief guest for the college annual day along with Vasanth, during which he sees his daughter Shruti and instantly falls in love with her. Kakarla accepts the invitation and on the function day he arrives with his wife and Shruti; Prabhu is excited to see her again.

To get close to Shruti, Prabhu joins her dance school. Shruti initially hates him for disrespecting classical dance. Prabhu's father, police constable Kathiresan, advises him to impress her by learning classical dance properly and Prabhu assents. Unknown to anyone, Kakarla intends to topple the state government by planting bombs in the state; a recent bomb blast at a wholesale market inaugurated by Kakarla was actually orchestrated by him.

Shruti refuses to go to the Natyanjali festival at Chidambaram if Prabhu attends, for fear of him insulting the art. To disprove her, Prabhu secretly enters her house and demonstrates his dance skills to her. She is amazed and agrees to go but, due to fear of terrorism, Kakarla refuses to let her leave. She escapes with Prabhu and Vasanth via motorbike, outwitting her bodyguards. Meanwhile, Kakarla and bomb specialist Mallikarjuna plan the next bomb blast at the Nataraja Temple where Natyanjali is to take place.

Commander Ajay informs Kakarla that Shruti left with two men to attend Natyanjali. Kakarla orders Malli to remove the bomb. Prabhu and Shruti are chased by the police and Malli; that night they stay in a paddy field. Shruti realises Prabhu's love for her and reciprocates. They reach Chidambaram as planned. Due to Malli's inability to remove the bomb, Kakarla sends Ajay and a police squad to the temple. Ajay and the squad reach the temple, remove the bomb and bring Shruti back.

Kakarla doubts Shruti's virginity as she was with Prabhu for a night. Upset at this, Shruti meets with Prabhu and asks him to marry her, but then Ajay and his commandos imprison Prabhu and accuse him of planting the bomb. The police order Prabhu to confess, but he refuses while Shruti becomes embittered over his imprisonment, and expresses her love for him to her parents. Vasanth informs all the students about the happenings and a strike is called by all the students against Kakarla. Prabhu's release is ordered by Kakarla after Shruti's requesting.

Shruti is sent to her paternal grandparents' house in a village in Andhra Pradesh. Prabhu and Vasanth reach the village and find her. Shruti's grandparents support their romance and unite them. Malli sees Prabhu and informs Kakarla over a wireless transmission which Prabhu overhears. He discovers evidence of Kakarla's attempts to blast Nataraja Temple, and learns of his plans of blasting the Government General Hospital. After subduing Malli, Prabhu and Vasanth escape with the evidence.

Malli informs Kakarla, who orders the police to find Prabhu. Police arrest Prabhu and Vasanth, and Kakarla tells Malli to make the bomb detonate after his visit to the hospital to see the Vice-President undergoing treatment there. They plan to dump Prabhu and Vasanth in the hospital. However, Prabhu and Vasanth escape, and Prabhu informs Kathiresan about the bomb. Malli plants the bomb, but Kakarla betrays him by trying to kill him with a bomb radio. Malli survives, and in revenge re-times the bomb to detonate during Kakarla's scheduled visit.

Prabhu searches for the bomb, while Vasanth brings students to vacate the patients. After meeting the Vice-President, Kakarla gets stuck in a lift with his wife and daughter. Shruti is helped out, while Prabhu, having located the bomb, runs to a river and throws it there; the bomb detonates without killing anyone. Malli manages to kill Kakarla with a live wire, and succumbs to his injuries. Prabhu and Shruti reunite.




After the success of Gentleman (1993), producer K. T. Kunjumon decided to collaborate with director S. Shankar for the second time. Shankar narrated the plot of "a young dancer from a normal middle-class household falling in love with a girl from a very influential household". Kunjumon liked the plot and, "to turn this into as grand a film as was possible", he decided to incorporate the cold-war between the then Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa and the then governor Marri Chenna Reddy into the screenplay.[4]


Shankar wanted Prashanth to play the lead actor, but due to other commitments he could not act in the film.[5][6] Prabhu Deva, who worked as a dancer for Kunjumon's previous ventures, was later finalised by Kunjumon. Shankar was initially reluctant to have him as the lead actor as distributors felt audience would not accept him in that role because of his "lean physique" and "bearded look". However Kunjumon was firm with his choice and wanted to prove distributors wrong.[4] Dubbing voice for Prabhu Deva was provided by then struggling actor Vikram.[7] Madhuri Dixit was originally considered as the lead actress. Busy schedules meant that Nagma was instead chosen. Kunjumon initially wanted to have Goundamani play Vasanth, but he could not accept due to scheduling conflicts; Vadivelu was instead chosen. Girish Karnad was not initially interested in playing the governor, but after convincing by Kunjumon, he agreed.[4]


The song "Urvasi Urvasi" was shot near the SPIC building in Guindy and other landmarks across Chennai.[8] Art director Thota Tharani specially created a glass framed bus for the song. Since the crew made a film with a relatively new cast it created doubts on the trade, so the crew decided "to use the newest technology at that time to make the film appealing to audiences. They decided to go all out with visual effects in the songs, making them the attraction." S. T. Venky was chosen to handle the visual effects for the film and he had done by outsourcing the work to technicians from abroad. It became the final film to be shot inside the temple premises of Nataraja Temple after the film's crew was sued by court for shooting inside the temple.[4]


The background music score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman. with lyrics written by Vaali, Vairamuthu and director Shankar who penned the "Pettai Rap" number. The song "Mukkabla" became popular and was plagiarised freely by tunesmiths. Nearly a dozen versions of the song were churned out, a feat that earned "Mukkabla" and Rahman a place in the Limca Book of Records.[9] New styles were experimented with, as in the song "Pettai Rap", a Madras Bashai song which was written in a rap-like style, interspersing Tamil with English words. The synthesiser and the keyboard also feature while drawing from Tamil folk music. P. Unnikrishnan made his playback singing debut with the song "Ennavale Ennavale" which is set in Kedaram raga.[10]

The dubbed Hindi version of the soundtrack, Humse Hai Muqabala, sold 2.5 million units in India.[11] "Urvasi Urvasi" inspired the 2014 song "It's My Birthday" by American rapper will.i.am.[12][13] It was remade in Hindi as a single, "Urvashi" in 2018, sung and composed by Yo Yo Honey Singh, with the music video starring Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani.[14] "Mukkabla" was remade as "Muqabla" in Hindi for the 2020 film Street Dancer 3D, in which Prabhu Deva stars as one of the leads, and an accompanying video song was released in late 2019 as promotion for the film.[15]

Release and reception[edit]

Kadhalan was released on 17 September 1994.[16] Malini Mannath of The Indian Express said, "[Kadhalan] is better than expected, and will appeal to the college crowd."[3] K. Vijiyin of New Straits Times said, "Sadly, the love story is not all that endearing as it is eclipsed by the dance songs."[17] Balaji T.K. of Indolink wrote, "With a tighter script and more attention to the story's development instead of gimmicks like computer Graphics and having S.P.B. cavort in drag for song, this would have made a great entertainer. Still the songs and picturization makes this worthwhile".[18] The film was a major commercial success, and by the end of January 1995 was expected to gross 15 crore (US$2.1 million) against a budget of 3 crore (US$420,000) in South India alone.[19]


P. Unnikrishnan won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer with his first ever film song for "Ennavale Ennavale".[20]

Ceremony Award Awardee Ref.
42nd National Film Awards Best Male Playback Singer P. Unnikrishnan [21]
Best Audiography A. S. Laxmi Narayanan
V. S. Murthy
Best Editing B. Lenin and V. T. Vijayan
Best Special Effects Venky
42nd Filmfare Awards South Best Director – Tamil S. Shankar [22]
Music Director – Tamil A. R. Rahman


Congress MP Era. Anbarasu submitted a petition to the Madras High Court to ban the film, citing the negative portrayal of the governor; the High Court admitted the petition.[23] Kunjumon said he received calls from governor's office ordering him to remove certain scenes from the film. However, Jayalalithaa was impressed with the film, supported Kunjumon and no scenes were removed.[4]


The song "Urvasi Urvasi" inspired the title of Rajsirpy's 1996 film Take It Easy Urvashi.[24] Furthermore, the gibberish line "Jil Jung Juk" which was spoken by Vadivelu in the film inspired the title of a film of the same name, released in 2016.[25]


  1. ^ a b c d Dhananjayan 2014, p. 331.
  2. ^ a b Dhananjayan 2014, p. 332.
  3. ^ a b Mannath, Malini (30 September 1994). "Better than expected". The Indian Express. p. 6.
  4. ^ a b c d e Suganth, M. (17 September 2019). "How Kadhalan established Prabhudeva as an actor – 25 years of Kadhalan". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 17 September 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  5. ^ Rajitha (17 April 1998). "Vim and vigour". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 21 February 1999. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  6. ^ Suresh, M. G. (1 May 1998). "What makes baby-face Prasanth tick?". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  7. ^ Ramanan, V. V. (5 July 2014). "Cinema Quiz". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 1 February 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  8. ^ Tripathi, Apoorva (23 February 2017). "Tamil films: How north Chennai marks its presence while Kodambakkam thrives". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 17 September 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  9. ^ Srinivasan, Gopal. "The Complete Biography of A.R.Rahman – The A.R.Rahman Page". Gopalhome.tripod.com. Archived from the original on 15 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  10. ^ Mani, Charulatha (15 March 2013). "Mood enhancers". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 17 September 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Music Hits 1990–1999 (Figures in Units)". Box Office India. 2 January 2010. Archived from the original on 2 January 2010.
  12. ^ "A R Rahman collaborates with will.i.am on Urvashi song remake". The Times of India. 22 May 2014. Archived from the original on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Humse Hai Muqabala : Lyrics and video of Songs from the Movie Humse Hai Muqabala (1994)". Hindigeetmala.net. 26 May 2014. Archived from the original on 28 April 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Honey Singh recreates A R Rahman's 'Urvashi'". Daily News and Analysis. 8 August 2018. Archived from the original on 23 November 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  15. ^ Raghuvanshi, Aakanksha. "Street Dancer 3D Song Muqabla: Prabhu Deva And Varun Dhawan Recreate The Magic Of AR Rahman's Iconic Track". NDTV. Archived from the original on 27 December 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Kadalan". The Indian Express. 17 September 1994. p. 4. Archived from the original on 26 October 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  17. ^ Vijiyin, K. (1 October 1994). "Love story eclipsed by the dance songs". New Straits Times. p. 15. Archived from the original on 18 September 2019.
  18. ^ Balaji, T.K. (7 June 1997). "INDOlink Film Review: Kadalan". Indolink. Archived from the original on 7 June 1997.
  19. ^ Pillai, Sreedhar (22–28 January 1995). "Just Like Jackson". Sunday. pp. 70–71.
  20. ^ Pradeep, K. (6 December 2012). "Making it big on the right pitch". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 29 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  21. ^ "42nd National Film Festival". International Film Festival of India. p. 34. Archived from the original on 23 May 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  22. ^ "The 42nd Annual (South) Filmfare Winners". Filmfare. 1995. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Cong MP moves HC to ban Kaadalan". The Indian Express. 9 November 1994. p. 4. Archived from the original on 26 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  24. ^ Kareem, Rehna (25 October 2017). "Benny Dayal is bringing back the classic with Project Urvasi". Indulge. Archived from the original on 17 September 2019.
  25. ^ "Jil Jung Juk & Gethu postponed to next year". The Times of India. 16 January 2017. Archived from the original on 17 September 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2015.


  • Dhananjayan, G (2014). Pride of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 2013: Tamil Films that have earned National and International Recognition. Blue Ocean Publishers. ISBN 978-0-670-08620-7.

External links[edit]