Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||S. Shankar|
|Produced by||K. T. Kunjumon|
|Written by||S. Shankar|
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
|Edited by||B. Lenin|
V. T. Vijayan
A. R. S. Film International
Kadhalan (transl. Loverboy; pronounced [kaːd̪al̪an]) 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 Raghuvaran, Girish Karnad and Vadivelu play other pivotal 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 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. Karkala 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, Karkala intends to topple the state government by planting bombs in the state; a recent bomb blast at a wholesale market inaugurated by Karkala 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 agree to go but, due to fear of terrorism, Karkala refuses to let her leave. She escapes with Prabhu and Vasanth via motorbike, outwitting her bodyguards.
Meanwhile, Karkala and bomb specialist Mallikarjuna "Malli" plan the next bomb blast at the Nataraja Temple where Natyanjali is to take place. Commander Ajay informs Karkala that Shruti left with two men to attend Natyanjali. Karkala 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, Karkala sends Ajay and a police squad to the temple. Ajay and the squad reach the temple, remove the bomb and bring Shruti back.
Karkala 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 Karkala. Prabhu's release is ordered by Karkala after Shruti's requesting.
Shruti is sent to her paternal grandparents' house 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 Karkala over a wireless transmission which Prabhu overhears. He discovers evidence of Karkala'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 Karkala, who orders the police to find Prabhu. Police arrest Prabhu and Vasanth, and Karkala 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 Karkala betrays him by trying to kill him with a bomb radio. Malli survives, and in revenge re-times the bomb to detonate during Karkala's scheduled visit.
Prabhu searches for the bomb, while Vasanth brings students to vacate the patients. After meeting the Vice President, Karkala 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 Karkala with a live wire, but himself dies. Prabhu and Shruti reunite.
- Prabhu Deva as Prabhu
- Nagma as Shruthi
- Vadivelu as Vasanth
- Raghuvaran as Mallikarjuna "Malli"
- Girish Karnad as Kakarla Sathyanarayana
- S. P. Balasubrahmanyam as Kathiresan
- Allu Ramalingaiah as Shruthi's grandfather
- Manorama as Shruthi's grandmother
- Ajay Rathnam as Ajay
- Balakumaran as College principal
- Dhamu as Prabhu's friend
- Shriram Lagoo as Party Head
- Kavitha as Shruthi's mother
- Padmapriya as Prabhu's mother
- S. Shankar in a cameo appearance ("Kadhalikum Pennin" song)
- Raju Sundaram in a cameo appearance ("Kadhalikum Pennin" song)
- Voice over
After the success of Gentleman (1993), K. T. Kunjumon decided to collaborate with director Shankar again for the second time. Shankar narrated the plot about "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 Jayalalithaa and the then governor Marri Chenna Reddy into the screenplay.
Shankar wanted Prashanth to play the male lead, but due to busy schedules he could not act in the film. Prabhu Deva was later finalised after Kunjumon felt that he would do justice to the role. Prabhu Deva earlier worked as a dancer for Kunjumon's previous productions. Shankar was initially reluctant to have him as a leading actor as distributors felt audience would not watch him as a protagonist because of his "lean physique" and "bearded look". However Kunjumon was firm with his choice and wanted to prove distributors wrong. Dubbing voice for Prabhu Deva was provided by then struggling actor Vikram. Madhuri Dixit was originally considered as the lead actress. Busy schedules meant that Nagma was chosen for the lead role. Kunjumon initially wanted to have Goundamani play Vasanth but, due to scheduling conflicts, Vadivelu was instead chosen to play the character. Girish Karnad was not initially interested in playing the governor, but after convincing by Kunjumon, he agreed.
The song "Urvasi Urvasi" was shot near the SPIC building in Guindy and other landmarks across Chennai. Art director Thotta 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.
The background music score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman. The soundtrack features nine songs composed by 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 Bollywood's tunesmiths and 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. 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. This song was penned by ace director S.Shankar. The synthesiser and the keyboard also feature while drawing from Tamil folk music. Playback singer P. Unnikrishnan made his singing debut with the song "Ennavale Ennavale" which was composed in Kedaram raga.
The Hindi version of the soundtrack, Humse Hai Muqabala, sold 2.5 million units in India. "Urvasi Urvasi" inspired the 2014 song "It's My Birthday" by American rapper will.i.am. It was remade in Hindi as a single, "Urvashi" in 2018, sung and composed by Yo Yo Honey Singh.
Release and reception
Kadhalan was released on 17 September 1994. Malini Mannath of The Indian Express said, "[Kadhalan] is better than expected, and will appeal to the college crowd." K. Vijiyin of New Straits Times said, "Sadly, the love story is not all that endearing as it is eclipsed by the dance songs." 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".
|42nd National Film Awards||Best Male Playback Singer||P. Unnikrishnan|||
|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|||
|Music Director – Tamil||A. R. Rahman|
Congress MP Era. Anbarasu expressed ban on the film alleging the negative portrayal of the governor. Kunjumon said he received calls from governor's office ordering him to remove certain scenes from the film. Jayalalithaa who was impressed with the film supported Kunjumon and no scenes were removed.
The song "Urvasi Urvasi" inspired the title of Rajsirpy's 1996 film Take It Easy Urvashi. 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. "Urvasi Urvasi" was remade as a video song by Yo Yo Honey Singh in 2018 starring Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani. The song “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.
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