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Theatrical release poster
Directed byG. B. Vijay
Written byRajaram Raghunath (dialogues)
Screenplay byG. B Vijay
Story byG. B Vijay
Produced byRamkumar Ganesan
CinematographyJayanan Vincent
Edited byP. Mohanraj
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Release date
  • 14 April 1993 (1993-04-14)
Running time
143 minutes

Kalaignan (transl. Artist) is a 1993 Indian Tamil-language thriller film written and directed by G. B. Vijay and produced by Ramkumar Ganesan. It stars Kamal Haasan and Farheen while Sivaranjani, Sindhuja, Nirmalamma and Chi. Guru Dutt play supporting roles. It was released on 14 April 1993, Puthandu.


Indrajith is a Tamil pop singer based in Bangalore with a large female following. When a back-up dancer, Sandhya, in Indrajith's group, is murdered under mysterious circumstances, the police suspect Indrajith, but they have no evidence linking him to the crime. Meanwhile, Sandhya's sister Divya arrives at her aunt Dr. Prabhavathy's house to find out the truth about Sandhya's death. She gets off on the wrong foot with Indrajith. She talks to his manager, Harichandra Prasad, and other musicians who all have differing opinions about Sandhya.

While investigating, Divya stages an attack in a bar, getting Indrajith to save her and takes her to his concert. At the end of the concert, Jennifer, a fan, gets on stage and kisses him. That night, Jennifer is killed by someone wearing Indrajith's coat. With no better evidence, the police keep a closer eye on Indrajith and warn Divya that Indrajith is a possible suspect in Sandhya's death. Divya stages a kidnapping to test Indrajith's knife skills (all the women murdered were skilfully cut by the murderer). But the next day, Indrajith sees Divya with the bandaged kidnapper walking out of the hospital and realises that she was faking her love.

He comes clean to her about Sandhya. She was an unstable substance abuser who had a thing for him, but he did not reciprocate. She had threatened to commit suicide if he did not reciprocate. He managed to save her and that was the last he had seen of her. The killer, who has pictures that look incriminating, has been blackmailing him into coming to the murder scenes just minutes after the murders. Divya believes him and falls for him.

In the course of a long cat-and-mouse sequence between the killer and Indrajith, the killer is revealed to be Harichandra Prasad the manager, who attacks Dr. Prabhavathy but she survives. Indrajith finds similar clothing in his closet, and later finds a secret room filled with photographs of the victims. The killer then kidnaps Divya and tells Indrajith to come to an abandoned house with the photographs. His motive is revealed to be jealousy of the women who lusted after Indrajith and ignored him.

In the course of a giant chase and fight scene, the killer is killed, Indrajith's name is cleared, and everyone lives happily ever after.



The film was initially titled Indrajit, but was later retitled Kalaignan.[1][2] G. B. Vijay was associate director for Pratap Pothen and worked with Kamal Haasan in 1989 film Vettri Vizhaa which was directed by Pratap and produced by Sivaji Productions.[3] While filming an action sequence in a subway, Haasan's spine was struck by a speeding car; this resulted in a dislocated jaw, cracked nose and three fractures, but Haasan eventually recovered.[4] Farheen, also known as Bindiya, was offered the film around the same time as Baazigar, but refused that film to accept this.[5]


The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and lyrics were written by Vaali.[6] The song "Endhan Nenjil" is set in the Carnatic raga known as Nalinakanthi,[7][8] and "Dillu Baru Jaane" is set in Sankarabharanam.[9]

Track listing
1."Edekku Muddakanna"VaaliS. P. Balasubrahmanyam5:48
2."Kalaignan Kattu Kaval"VaaliS. P. Balasubrahmanyam5:37
3."Kokkarako Kozhi"VaaliKamal Haasan5:06
4."Dillu Baru Jaane"VaaliMano, K. S. Chithra5:40
5."Endhan Nenjil"VaaliK. J. Yesudas, S. Janaki4:37
Total length:26:48

Release and reception[edit]

Kalaignan was released on 14 April 1993, Puthandu.[10][11] Ayyappa Prasad of The Indian Express wrote, "A mixture of Sakala Kala Vallavan and Sigappu Rojakkal, the director has used every trick in the book to make the film a slick presentation" but that he went "overboard in the climax".[12] G. B. Vijay later moved away from directing feature films and apprenticed under Rajiv Menon as an ad filmmaker. He played a pivotal role in mentoring Gautham Vasudev Menon, while he went on to write the dialogues for Minsara Kanavu (1997).[13]


  1. ^ "Of film gods, devotees and the rage". The Indian Express. 30 October 1992. p. 7. Archived from the original on 20 May 2024. Retrieved 19 June 2021 – via Google News Archive.
  2. ^ "கமல் நடிப்பில் உருவான துரோகி, டாப் டக்கர் படங்கள் என்ன ஆனது என தெரியுமா?". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 20 September 2016. Archived from the original on 22 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Shifting stance". The Hindu. 5 September 2008. Archived from the original on 8 September 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  4. ^ Jha, Subhash K. (15 September 2016). "Kamal Haasan finally back from injury". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 5 January 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  5. ^ "The Year Ahead". The Tribune. 3 August 2015. Archived from the original on 19 October 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Kalaignan". Gaana. Archived from the original on 22 April 2021. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  7. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 129.
  8. ^ Rao, Subha J. (26 January 2017). "A medley in tribute to Rahman and Ilaiyaraaja". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 26 December 2022. Retrieved 26 December 2022.
  9. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 127.
  10. ^ "Kalaignan". The Indian Express. 14 April 1993. p. 19. Retrieved 22 April 2021 – via Google News Archive.
  11. ^ Sundaram, Nandhu (15 April 2018). "From Kalaignan to Chandramukhi, charting movies released on Vishu and the break in tradition with no releases this year". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 2 September 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  12. ^ Prasad, Ayyappa (23 April 1993). "Full marks". The Indian Express. p. 7. Archived from the original on 1 October 2022. Retrieved 22 April 2021 – via Google News Archive.
  13. ^ "Talk of the town". The Hindu. 21 March 2001. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2021.


  • Sundararaman (2007) [2005]. Raga Chintamani: A Guide to Carnatic Ragas Through Tamil Film Music (2nd ed.). Pichhamal Chintamani. OCLC 295034757.

External links[edit]