Kalyanaraman (1979 film)
|Directed by||G. N. Rangarajan|
|Written by||Panchu Arunachalam|
|Produced by||Meena Panchu Arunachalam|
|Cinematography||N. K. Vishwanathan|
|Edited by||K. R. Ramalingam|
P. A. Art Productions
Kalyanaraman is a 1979 Indian Tamil-language supernatural comedy film directed by G. N. Rangarajan and written by Panchu Arunachalam. The film stars Kamal Haasan and Sridevi, while V. K. Ramasamy, Major Sundarrajan, Thengai Srinivasan, V. S. Raghavan, Senthamarai, Pushpalatha, Manorama and Master Japan Kuppu play supporting roles. It focuses on Kalyanam, a tea estate owner's son who is duped and murdered by a gang which is after the property, but lives on as a ghost. Kalyanam's twin brother Raman learns the truth and returns for revenge.
Arunachalam initially wanted to make a film starring Haasan and Rajinikanth, and had the actors' dates ready. The actors were against appearing in the same film, so it was decided to produce one film for each actor; the Haasan became Kalyanaraman, the directorial debut of Rangarajan. It was produced by Arunachalam's wife Meena under their banner P. A. Art Productions, photographed by N. K. Vishwanathan, and edited by K. R. Ramalingam. The story was inspired by Idhu Nijama (1948) and Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976).
Kalyanaraman was released on 6 July 1979 and became a commercial success, running for 140 days in theatres. It was remade in Hindi as Ghazab (1982) and in Kannada as Sriramachandra (1992). Six years after the release of Kalyanaraman, a sequel was made titled Japanil Kalyanaraman.
Kalyanam is the naïve and infantile son of Chinnadurai, a wealthy tea estate owner. Realising that his son would not be able to manage the estate or even take care of himself after his death, Chinnadurai tries to get him married, but fails as Kalyanam does not like the prospective bride. Kalyanam is in love with Shenbagam, a girl working in the same estate who is the daughter of Chinnadurai's driver Perumal. Along with his young friend Kuppu, he keeps chasing her, but she does not reciprocate.
The manager of the estate is after Chinnadurai's wealth and property. He conspires with Perumal and the cook Samipillai and hires a goon to mortally wound Chinnadurai. On his deathbed, Chinnadurai confesses to Kalyanam that he abandoned his first wife Rajalakshmi and Kalyanam's twin brother Raman in Madras, and advises him to go there, away from the malicious employees. An innocent Kalyanam reveals this plan to Samipillai, who leaks it to the manager. Samipillai tells Kalyanam he will go and bring Raman and Rajalakshmi himself, but instead hires actors Kittu and Rangamani to pose as them.
Kalyanam overhears the entire gang laughing at how they duped him and runs to inform the police, but they corner and murder him. Shenbagam, upon witnessing this, becomes mentally unstable and the gang cuts off the other witness Kuppu's tongue, rendering him mute. The gang tries to embezzle the property, but they face difficulty with legal formalities from the bank. Now a ghost, Kalyanam travels to Madras, looking for his brother and mother. He finds Raman and narrates all what happened. Raman learns the truth about his brother from his mother and decides to help his brother's ghost.
Coming to his late father's estate as the real Raman, he exposes Rangamani and Kittu playing the mother and son roles, who now change their roles and claim to be the stepmother and Kalyanam. Threatened by Raman posing as Kalyanam's ghost, Samipillai breaks down, apologises and joins Raman in his crusade. With the help of Kalyanam, Raman restores Shenbagam's sanity. He teaches Kuppu how to read and write, then makes him testify. When the manager and his gang try to kidnap Rajalakshmi (who had arrived at the estate to meet her son) and attack Raman, Kalyanam temporarily enters Raman's body and gives him the power to fight everyone. The manager and his gang are arrested based on Kuppu's testimony. Raman and Shenbagam marry.
- Kamal Haasan as Kalyanam and Raman
- Sridevi as Shenbagam
- V. K. Ramasamy as Samipillai
- Major Sundarrajan as the estate manager
- Thengai Srinivasan as Kittu
- V. S. Raghavan as Chinnadurai
- Senthamarai as Perumal
- Pushpalatha as Rajalakshmi
- Manorama as Rangamani
- Master Japan Kuppu as Kuppu
The producer/writer Panchu Arunachalam had the dates of Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth ready for a potential film. However, the actors were not in favour of appearing in the same film, so it was decided that Arunachalam produce one film for each actor; the Rajinikanth film became Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai, and the Haasan film became Kalyanaraman. While Arunachalam initially contemplated having S. P. Muthuraman direct both films, Haasan recommended that Muthuraman's assistant G. N. Rangarajan direct Kalyanaraman, which thus became his directorial debut. It was written by Arunachalam, and produced by his wife Meena under their banner P. A. Art Productions. The concept of Kalyanaraman was based on that of two different films: Idhu Nijama (1948) and Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976). Haasan played two distinct roles: twin brothers Kalyanam and Raman. In preparation for the role of Kalyanam, Haasan got his teeth fashioned from G. Janakiraman, a dentist. Cinematography was handled by N. K. Vishwanathan, and editing by K. R. Ramalingam.
The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and the lyrics were written by Panchu Arunachalam. The song "Kaathal Vanthiruchu" is loosely based on "Lady in Black" by Uriah Heep. "Kathal Deepam" is set in the Carnatic raga known as Natabhairavi, "Ninaithaal Inikkum" is set in Suddha Dhanyasi, and "Malargalil Aadum" is set in Shuddha Saveri.
|1.||"Kathal Deepam"||Malaysia Vasudevan||4:15|
|2.||"Ninaithaal Inikkum"||S. Janaki||4:48|
|3.||"Kaathal Vanthiruchu"||Malaysia Vasudevan||4:17|
|4.||"Malargalil Aadum"||S. P. Sailaja||4:39|
|1.||"Nene Neeku Pranam"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam|
|3.||"Neeke Manasu Ichaa"||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam|
|4.||"Edo Ragam"||S. Janaki|
Kalyanaraman was released on 6 July 1979. The film was also a commercial success, running for 140 days in theatres. In April 1980, when Doordarshan Kendra Madras announced that it would telecast Kalyanaraman, many people, particularly students, sent them letters telling them not to telecast the film during the examination season. A miscreant even telephoned Doordarshan Kendra and announced that four bombs had been placed inside the building. The film was telecast according to schedule, and the bomb threat was discovered to be a hoax.
Ananda Vikatan rated the film 57 out of 100, and was particularly appreciative of Haasan's performance. Piousji of the magazine Sunday said, "As the dim-wit Kalyanam, [Kamal Haasan] was superb". Kaushikan of Kalki appreciated the film for the story and the cast performances.
Following the success of Kalyanaraman, Rangarajan directed Haasan in four more films, namely Meendum Kokila (1981), Kadal Meengal (1981), Ellam Inba Mayyam (1981) and Maharasan (1992). According to film historian G. Dhananjayan, the film established the comedy horror genre in Tamil cinema. The film was remade in Hindi in 1982 as Ghazab, and in Kannada in 1992 as Sriramachandra. Six years after the release of Kalyanaraman, a sequel was made titled Japanil Kalyanaraman in 1985, it was the first ever sequel in Tamil cinema.
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